Archive for August, 2013

Savona, Scarsdale

Posted by Winifred on August 28th, 2013  •  No Comments »

Savona Scarsdale

Savona Scarsdale

With the closing of Le Cote Basque, then Country and the steady decline in food quality of the Four Seasons Grill Room, despite still maintaining an enchanting ambiance, we are finding a refined dining experience considerably more difficult to obtain. It struck us as quite a statement that it would require a trip to Scardsdale for us to be reminded of what dining could be, and once upon a time certainly used to be in New York. We won’t bother to say what’s already been said about the preponderance of steak houses and an uncomfortable race towards more and more casual dining. What we discovered in Scarsdale is what we had thought all along which is, casual dining ought not sacrifice elegance, quality, attentiveness and ambiance.

Four of us chose a casual Sunday to ride the train to Scarsdale and explore Savona, an Italian restaurant with a sister location in Gulph Mills, PA. After exiting, we walked through quaint, cobbled winding streets filled with small boutiques and quickly landed in front of Savona. From the moment we stepped inside, the feeling was that of warmth. Warmth from the hostess who greeted us, warmth in the lighting and soft murmurs of dining guests and warmth of our table, situated comfortably towards the front yet with enough distance from other tables that with the goings on at ours, we would never notice anything around us. We were immediately comfortable with the acoustics, the attentive staff and the accessible menu.

We had trout, a fish on the grill item with an optional side of tapenade. The trout came with the skin still on, crisped perfectly and seasoned, and the fish itself flaky, light yet flavorful. (we do not recall the last time we dined out and had fish that was not bland and dry) The tapenade was outstanding, to be savored in small toppings on each bite, adding just the right amount of tart to the butteriness of the fish. Two of us had this dish and we each carried the same expression from the first bite to the last – satisfaction. The kind where you chew everything a bit longer, making sure to savor the rich flavors of each bite. Keeping conversation light so as not to distract from using all senses, sight, smell and taste to fully experience the richness of the meal, your entire body captive to its joys.

By now, we understood that at Savona, attention was being paid to every detail. Flavors hit all the right notes, had the right amount of impact and were paired with the right amount of compliment to each other. We trusted them to not disappoint us with a dessert we rarely order as it is rarer yet that either the texture or the flavors avoids a misstep. Panna Cotta. Savona did theirs in hazelnut, the texture was not flimsy, not custardy and sugary. It was a bit firmer, more to our preference, the hazelnut subtle, not overwhelming in sweetness. It was perfect.

Savona understands what casual means. It simply means we do not want judgment or obnoxiousness in being served. It does not mean less elegance, not being able to hear yourself speak, not having a knowledgeable waitstaff, not having a seasonal menu of well-prepared, detail-oriented, flavorful food. Casual means no reduction in excellence. If it requires us to take Metro North to have what we want respected and understood, we will accept it.

Posted in : A Taste Refined  •  Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Who we are and why we are what we are….

Posted by Winifred on August 26th, 2013  •  No Comments »

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We have been talking to you for some time now about the things that warrant our attention. Delightful distractions that go on our mood board and keep us creating A World Refined. We realize that we have not yet shared much about us. We have not given you a foundation for all of these inspirations or signs for the journey on which we are taking you. Today, we would like to introduce ourselves and give you a peek at Winifred’s world.

We remember as a little girl watching our mother prepare for entertaining or an evening out.  In her bedroom was a vanity, her place for transformation. She would sit on a satin cushioned chair and use the vanity’s oval shaped mirror to apply her make-up.  The vanity is where she kept her lipsticks and perfume bottles; our favorite was a crystal dish with a body powder in it. Our mother would apply the powder to her décolletage with a lovely sky blue powder puff.  We still recall its scent and the sensuous act of her delicate hands ever so lightly dabbing the powder, with a careful press or two against her skin.  She would emerge in her heels, perfumed, painted, coiffed – a lady.  It was a glamorous time filled with ritual, ceremony and beautiful things crafted towards a woman’s enhancement.

This has continued to inspire our tastes and influence our outlook on life.  Refinement, ritual, the art of beauty. It is this we want to share with you. A World Refined is more than a website, it is a portal that is transporting and takes our readers to another time and other cultures – to a place of elegance. A World Refined offers beauty, creativity, revelation and surprise. Our website is a salon, a beautifully styled space, where we envision our style icons might gather.  Diana Ross, Faye Dunaway, Lana Turner, Marlene Dietrich would all feel at home in this space and the conversation would flows effortlessly, gracefully. There is always something new, an unexpected detail, a unique point of view.

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A World Refined makes the simple, decadent, stays away from the obvious and predictable - that which lacks grace. A World Refined is a transformation to elegance that is, for now, our site. As such, you will find that there are themes and people we continually come back to:

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Our Style icons ~ Diana Ross, Faye Dunaway, Bianca Jagger. Our Style Point of View ~ the glamour, jet-setting, rocker chick style of the 70s and the decadent, more is more Art Deco style of the 1930s. Our Style Quirk ~ We never leave home without our gold necklace with an ogrie ai, black tourmaline (Provenance, Suriname) a Red Jasper Stone in the shape of a foot (Provenance, Spain) and gold snake bangles (Provenance, Suriname). Story to follow soon! Jewelry we covet ~ Cartier Love bracelet in rose gold & platinum, de Grisogono Sensual ring. Perfume ~ JAR Lightning. Necessary Extravagance ~ Flying first class on Arab Emirates Airlines Airbus 380, a return to the chic, exclusivity and service of air travel in the 60s. Style fetish we try to keep secret ~ We adore Gothic Victoriana, particularly as executed by Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Rodarte, Olivier Theyskens for Nina Ricci. In the event of a fire we would save ~ Jardins de Nouvelle Angleterre scarf (Hermes), gold bell sleeved maxie dress (vintage, early 1970s), chocolate brown & creme cloche hat (vintage, early 1970s), monogram trunk (Louis Vuitton).

Images Via Coco+Kelly, Sassysistah

Posted in : Dimensions, We digress  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mood…Black in the Brightest Way

Posted by Winifred on August 23rd, 2013  •  No Comments »

We love black. It is rather odd for a Surinamer; in Summer we wear black in Winter we wear black. There are definitely days filled with color, but we just so easily, so comfortably revert to black. And when we see looks like these, it does not help us to get serious about our (admittedly thin) resolution to distance ourselves a bit more from black.

Can we talk about those pants and the waist accenting cropped top with the pop of color from suede sea foam shoes?

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Sheer panels over slouchy waisted pants, with the center blocked out, a bit of reveal, not too much, not desperately sexy.

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This reminds me a bit of what a Italian military boy of the 1940s might look like, sexy androgyny easily balanced out by a bit of curve, and big hair.

Viktor & Rolf

This appeals to our inner goth and though we might still wear our Fiorentina & Baker motorcycle boots, we would opt for our black fedora with bristles on the side and be a bit more Stevie Nicks about it.

Ann Demeulemeester

Ann Demeulemeester

Since we’re prone to black even while on vacation, this is the type of loose silhoutte and light fabric that would make us feel less dark, especially with our Michael Kors rubber flip flops. But locally, an ankle bootie would be the very thing.

Stella McCartney

This feels Eva Marie Saint to us, very North by Northwest. We can’t say we would actually do the red lip, though we adore it. What we would do is pair it with our Louis Vuitton Alma Bag, in red.

Louis Vuitton

The Surinamer in us, our yeye, will always be drawn to color, but our world refined is shaded in black…

Galliano, Akris, Viktor & Rolf, Ann Demeulemeester, Stella McCartney, Louis Vuitton

Images Via Style.com

Posted in : Looks we Love, On Style  •  Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

Posted by Winifred on August 21st, 2013  •  No Comments »

It began with the beautiful line-up of cars for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. We wanted to just enjoy something rare and stunning, something we do not often get to see.

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Then we thought about how lovely it would be to attend the Concours d’Elegance. Surely, a setting such as this, in Monterey, California, deserved a style choice timeless and beautiful, but in celebration of the craftmanship and design from the past.

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Then we saw Danielle and Jodie Snyder, sisters and founders of Dannijo Jewelry, styled like this

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And when we read the story, in celebration of sisterhood we appreciated that the Glamourai could lead us from celebrating the superficial, extravagant toys for our visual delight, to celebrating that which is all that matters. Love, family and sisterhood of all kinds…

Images Via Business Insider, The Glamourai

Posted in : Objects of Our Desire, On Style  •  Tags: , , , ,

The Cuff Refined

Posted by Winifred on August 19th, 2013  •  No Comments »

We don’t often perk up for a cuff.  On the one hand we do appreciate the strength it conveys, on the other, we gravitate toward finer pieces, more delicate, preferably more interesting. But lately, we have seen our eye wander toward the more hardware looking type of cuff. Even less delicate than usual, stronger than we have ever liked and used in ways different than we had considered.

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We love the luxury of changing one’s mind…

Images Via Fashiolista, Purseology, Haper’s Bazaar, Beads Lace and Shoes

Posted in : Objects of Our Desire, On Style  •  Tags: , , , , ,

In Acceptance of Fall…

Posted by Winifred on August 15th, 2013  •  No Comments »

We were a bit sad that first day; on our way to a workout in our usual short sleeved shirt, we were suprised by it. Smacked in the face almost, by a gust of wind, the likes of which was much too chilly for Summer. The kind that really would have required longer sleeves, were it not for the fact that we were on our way to excercise and thus would likely sweat. It was August, in our experience still a hot month in New York, but suddenly, like much of the unpredictable weather of the past months, out of place and signaling an unexpected change of direction. So there it was, the start of cool mornings, cooler evenings and rain. We were quite proud of ourselves for our response. Rather than sulk and feel let down by a far too short Summer, we perked up at the potential upside: hair that cooperates again, skin that is a bit less shiny, and enjoying our vintage hats.

Then of course there are the lovely things we have had to wait for since Spring; Fall looks that can now be contemplated seriously and put into rotation much sooner than we had hoped. With that said, here is some of what we are coveting – today, Winter whites, delicate and light but substantial…

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Tsumori Chisato

Tsumori Chisato

Céline

Céline

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Maison Rabih Kayrouz

Elie Saab

Elie Saab

Images Via Style.com

Posted in : Looks we Love, On Style  •  Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Lady vs. The SUV

Posted by Winifred on August 14th, 2013  •  No Comments »

Recently, we hosted a couple from out of town. We wanted to show them different parts of the city and hired a car to take us around. Mr. K requested an SUV providing us plenty of space to ride around in comfort. And there was, as the car that came to meet us was a GMC, three rows of seats included. Immediately we felt unease. The car had a high floor, requiring us to step up into it, and the third row was situated behind the back door. There was only one way in, inelegantly, rear end high in the air, confronting all parties involved and innocent passers by.

With sadness, we made our way in, a recognition of what it might feel like to be 11 years old on your way to soccer practice, being ferried about by your mom. There was no grace in twisting into the back row, not even a gentleman’s hand could smooth out the contortions required to be seated. This was a box meant to entertain a group of men on their way to a bachelor party. It was not suitable for a lady, there was no hint of the refined.

At that moment we thought of the one thing that could be our rescue. A suitable sedan. A glamorous, sleek, low to the ground, purring, minx of a sedan.

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The kind that would allow a simple bend at the knee,

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A graceful slide in,

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And offer the appropriate cradling of our body, a place of relaxation, happiness, warmth, a return to all things civilized…only ever Mercedes.

Images Via Motortrend

Posted in : Objects of Our Desire, On Style, The Unrefined  •  Tags: , , , , , , ,

Jaboneria Marianella Patchouli

Posted by Winifred on August 12th, 2013  •  No Comments »

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Though we take many cues from the past, mostly we do try to move forward, enjoy change and express gratitude for the future. On the rare occasion, we admit, we tend toward the nostalgiac, having found something that is perfect the way it is, we refuse to accept that it can be made better, or requires any change. We are having such a moment with a line of soaps that we first became acquainted with in 2008. Jaboneria Marianella was a soap unlike any that came before it. The scent that stole our devotion was Patchouli. We had really never been a fan of any soap bar other than Dove, and had never before been attracted to the scent of Patchouli. Then we received a gift of Marianella soaps, in packaging from the line’s early days: a simple, yet elegant cotton pouch tied with a ribbon. The soap bar inside wrapped in a sheet of wax paper.

The scent was beautiful, it was soft, like milk, fresh in a powdery way but smoother, clean. There was a buttery honey like note to it, delicious, but not sweet. The look of the bar instantly conveyed the experience. There were three different colored layers and the texture was soft and buttery, in the way of natural butters like shea and avocado. It lathered with such a creaminess, richer than anything that sounds as harsh as soap. It was soft, it was beautiful, it was luxurious, it was the most refined piece of soap we’ve ever had, and we’ve had all kinds. And we were devastated when after enjoying Patchouli soaps for years, we went for yet another order and it was gone.

There has been no scent like it, nor a texture like it. There has been no experience as rich or refined. We have quietly rooted for this company, as they relaunched their line, pared down the number of SKUs (look at us, always thinking stock keeping units), upgraded their packaging, built a gorgeous and sexy website and created successful partnerships with among others, J.Crew. We love the evolution of their business and the success of their new brand. And we cannot let go of Patchouli, not in our minds, and not of the tiny little last bar that we have left, from which we slice just a sliver to lather up with for only a special occasion.

We write this for our own need for closure, perhaps a gentle nudge to ourselves to move on and as a way to commiserate with those who have experienced this kind of loss. How do you cope when your favorite things are discontinued, swiftly and with finality, as you helplessly stand by…?

Posted in : Beauty Refined  •  Tags: , , , , , ,

The Garden of Allah, 1936

Posted by Winifred on August 7th, 2013  •  No Comments »

We rather feasted our eyes on The Garden of Allah starring Marlene Dietrich. There was beautiful cinematography, as the story takes place in the North African Desert. There were strong Dietrich moments, Technicolor providing her a renewed presence from her prior black and white films. And then there were the clothes. We could see their influence everywhere…Come have a look.

Do you see how this,

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Reminds us of

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And this,

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Sets the tone for,

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And we could create this,

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With this

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Accessorized with this

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Ahhhh…1936, a world refined.

Images Via

Style.com
J. Mendel
Me and Lex

Posted in : Classic Films, On Style  •  Tags: , , , , ,

Ode to the 70s

Posted by Winifred on August 2nd, 2013  •  No Comments »

It seemed fitting to offer up another round of applause after the close of the Museum of the City of New York Retrospective: Stephen Burrows When Fashion Danced. We appreciate him as much for his contribution to the glitter and glamour of 1970s as we do for the memories that he holds.

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Dancing days…

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Flowing jersey days…

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Pat Cleveland days…

And always a red day….

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What a life refined…

Images via stephenburrows.tumblr.com

Posted in : Dimensions, On Style  •  Tags: , , , ,