There is plenty of music-festival gear that might force some of us to think twice about wearing it out in the so-called "real world". Vests, Flower crowns, and anything fringe all come to mind, but until lately, kimono-style outerwear might have fallen into that category, too.Read More
Ahhh Paris. City of fashion, romance, and pioneers behind everything "effortlessly chic." Thanks to a #happilyeverhoughton love story, I was honored to join my dear friends Israel and the now Mrs. Adrienne Houghton in Paris for their dream wedding. (See the magic on my IG @thejeanniemai). In between the celebration, it was my mission to stop and smell the foie grois and fleur wherever I could. After all, my favorite travel partner in crime Mama Mai was in attendance and it was her first time in Paris!
Although we traveled everywhere by taxi, uber, comfy heels and yes, bikes, here's a breakdown of Mai Must Hits list:
1. Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, 35 Boulevard Haussman, 75009 Paris, France
This is across from the Galeries Lafayette, a high end department store in France which also has great department store finds if you're into a mall stop. This food hall is a MUST HIT because it's aisles and aisles of every Parisian fave you can imagine all delicately packaged and displayed for tasting, pairing, or purchasing. I was able to get souvenirs for #MaiGlamFam back home all in this one spot!
Peep my snaps of these eclairs, flavored Himalayan Salts (I got truffle, truffle, of course!), Vietnamese French delights, and pate!
2. Septime, 80 rue de Charonne, 11th district
Septime is a one Michelin star restaurant, located at 80 rue de Charonne in the 11th district, which is a busy area to go out to, full of bars and restaurants. It's in line with the new trend of the bistronomy or even neo-bistr, except that they elevated the dishes to many techniques and créativité to earn a well deserved Michelin star! What is also commendable is that it's not about tradition and étiquette, but about the food, art, and the freshness of the ingredients.
3. Then I should hope you would want to work off all you ate...! I went to the "Jardin du Palais Royal" where Parisians go at summer to sunbathe and eat at the hidden terraces under the trees or read a book by the pond/ under the tree. This garden is actually a gem as it's quiet, off the beaten track by tourists who go mostly to Tuileries. For me, it's perf for pictures :)
4. While there, do stop at the Palais Royal, a permanent art installation called "Les Colonnes de Buren" where you get the most fun, picturesque moments because the landscape and colors are so playful. Clearly. Here I am with my male better-version-of-me-spirit-animal, French couturier extraordinaire Julien Fournie:
Extra Option: Cabaret Manko, 15 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France
Last but not least, a fun stop to do late at night when you're feeling the need to be entertained 👀, is the Cabaret Manko in Avenue Montaigne. Not your typical cabaret, in fact I still don't know how the hell to describe it. All I know is, you shall be in awe. It was a perfect 2 blocks away from the Plaza Athene where the ladies and I were staying, so we could stay looking flawless as we were!
Hope you enjoyed this short list of Mai Must Hits List of Paris! Next time I'll include a more detailed list for my fashion finds. For now, eat your heart out, and do share where your Must Hits in Paris are for me below! Au revoir!
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Velvet in the fall is like the florals of the spring. There are certain times in the year where florals and velvet are more on trend than usual, and therefore more abundant in stores and on the streets. The fall and the winter seasons are definitely the time of year where velvet shines through, so there has never been a better time to jump on the velvet bandwagon than now! Here are my 3 tips to pulling off velvet this season.
- While velvet is widely seen on slip dresses and such, be bold and try a all velvet top! My top mixed with the woven pants creates the perfect balance of velvet.
- Another huge trendy way to wear velvet this season is on your shoes! Heels, booties, flats, and knee highs, velvet can seriously be found on any type of shoe and I cannot get enough of it! It's a super simple way to create a trendy outfit without much effort at all.
Do you love velvet as much as I do? Let me know down in the comments below!
Heels: Kendall and Kylie
Earrings: Forever 21
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Jumpsuits are versatile, fun, an easy throw on and go item, and best of all put together. So whats not to love? Well, maybe the fact that they can be extremely hard to style in the fall and winter! But today, with easy swaps and creative styling, I have come up with 3 different ways to wear this underrated winter item during these chillier months.
- Lets take Mai jumpsuit for example. Luckily since we film The Real inside, I was able to shread some layers and wear this jumpsuit on its own. However, An easy way to warm this up would be to layer a turtleneck underneath! This layered look has been extremely popular this season and theres a good reason to the craze... it's actually comfortable!
- For the coldest of the days, the heavier material in denim will keep you extra warm. Denim jumpsuits are now easily accessible and easy to style! Pair a combat boot and a few feminine jewelry pieces to tone the look down.
- Winter definitely calls for heavier fabrics, and one of my favorites lately has been velvet! While velvet may seem like a scary fabric to take on, you will be surprised how figure flattering it can be! And not to mention velvet is SO soft!
Mai whole look is shopable below!
Heels: Steve Madden
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Recently I have had the amazing opportunity to become a Contributor to one of Mai favorite brands, BCBGMAXAZRIA. In 1989, Ariza launched BCBGMAXAZRIA, named for the French phrase "bon chic, bon genre," a Parisian slang meaning "good style, good attitude." And this completely relates to everything that I believe in because I truly do believe that good style can completely change your attitude... aka #Wearapy.
See the video below for a behind the scenes look at my day at the BCBGMAXAZRIA offices, and I have linked some of Mai favorite pieces from their collection for you to shop 👇 😍
Special thanks to the BCBG family for this fun photo shoot and for the years of friendship. Ever since meeting Lubov and Max years ago I've always been behind their mission to enrich the strides of women worldwide. Love to everyone who made this photo shoot so special, especially Christiaan. Your eyes alone give everyone you meet the hug they've been needing. Thank you for all you do 🙏
Shop Mai Fav BCBG Looks
While we think that work wardrobes for women consists of only dresses, comfy sweaters, and a pair of comfortable flats, why leave all the fun of wearing a power suit to only men?Read More
When one thinks of florals their first thought most likely is a summer piece worn when the weather is either 1. warming up (spring) or 2. already hot af (summer). With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner one may suspect that we should all start to wear darker hues of color, right?
Click below to keep readingRead More
Want to know how I styled a bold and firery skirt? Click me. :)Read More
Paisley is a print that has been spinning through fashion for ages. And yep you thought right, I am talking about that 70's trend that appeared on all items such as bell bottoms, cropped tee's, and slip dresses.Read More
Thank God for cities like LA where legs are always a good accessory, especially when the sun is always out, right? This was an outfit I wore to a fun pool party, then some patio bbqs after.
Click below if you want to read more about #endlesssummer outfits..Read More
Who says pastel's can't be worn in the fall? Because I completely DISAGREE with that rule!
Color blocking is going to be a HUGE trend this fall season so I am HELLA excited about that.
Who doesn't love a fun printed jumpsuit?!
Driving along the Amalfi Coast with Freddy and our friends was an incredible experience. It’s just so surreal that something as beautiful as this could exist in the world. Best part is that the beauty in these towns is the actual natural landscape. It’s like God literally laid out the framework, and the Italians sprinkled their life in between.
And baby...they be sprinklin it with that special grape juice.
The squad and I decided to hit up Gambino Wines. The winery is located atop Mount Etna which is an active volcano! This makes their wine special because the high altitudes and volcanic soil influence the taste of the grapes. And all of their grapes are picked by women. That's cuz we know what we're doing. Right, ladies? Now, I'm from the Bay Area and live in LA, so wineries are a dime a dozen in a great way. But I'll tell you this, I haven't been to one as cool and personable as Gambino Wines.
They start you off with a wonderful, simple glass of white and tell you the history behind the winery. Did you know that archeologists believe grapes have been growing here as long ago as ancient times? We're talking 4 or 5 millennia ago. And we can thank the Greeks for a new cultivation system for mass growing and wine production. "Opa!" We enjoyed the view while soaking in the details. Around us were couples, families, and kids getting in their R & R sprawled across the lawn. Two girls were braiding one another's hair, an old grampa was completely zzzz'd out, and these super cute kids were playing tag. (Do they have "tag" in Italy? I don't know. Kids running look like tag to me.)
Next they sat us down and began the tasting. Out comes these amazing cheeses that complement all the whites and rose. The refreshing citrus essence was a perfect balance to the heavier flavored cheese.
Now, I'm no wine sommelier, BUT I do believe in these basic wine tasting tips that will help you truly get the most of your tasting.
1. Sight - Check for uniformity in color. Also, the richer the color, the more intense flavor you can expect.
2. Smell - Take a good sniff. This will prepare your taste buds for what they are about to experience.
3. Taste - Now sip. Ideally you want to swish the wine around so it touches all of your taste centers.
Remember it's all about the senses. So take your time.
Next, Gambino brings out the beef. Thin, savory, spectular meats as a gorgeous charcuterie spread. Be warned that this could lead to a discussion about the pronunciation of capicola, a.k.a. "gabagool" to all those Italian-Americans out there. What are we on "The Sopranos" or something?
Crazy fact. Gambino wines, unlike most wineries, give you practically full pours for your tasting. So you are almost having....8 glasses of full-ish pours. And ...they leave the bottles there at the table for you to continue tasting yourself. So be careful because you may find that you don't recall how you got grass stains on your outfit. (Hint: It may or may not be because you and your husband decided to roll down a hill like a couple of seven year olds.)
People always ask me about mai relationship. “How do you keep it fun?” “How are you guys so happy?” “You have sex, HOW MANY times a week?” I’ll admit, Freddy and I are pretty damn lucky to have found each other and have been happily married for almost 8 years. Let's keep it real dot com: it's DEF not a cake walk.
But, I would be crazy not to admit that marriage is hard. Like, really hard. Freddy and I bicker like any normal couple. (Because bickering over how many food pics I keep taking while he's starving is norm.)
Ten years ago, a friend introduced me to this seriously LIFE CHANGING book and I’ve sworn by it ever since. If the bible can’t answer my tough questions, I turn to this. I travel with it. It’s on mai bedside table. And Freddy and I even read it together sometimes. It’s called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to a Love That Lasts and it was written by relationship and marriage expert, Dr. Gary Chapman.
I never thought that I was the type of person who would take relationship advice in the form of a book written by a total stranger but once I let mai guard down and opened mai mind to it, I was so thankful for what it tought me and continues to teach me about love and marriage.Read More
...of Kevin and Sabrina at Chateau de Canon.
As you can see from the events leading up to this final wedding reception, (day 1, a traditional Cambodian ceremony, day 2 a romantic reading of vows within castle grounds,) this wedding was a symbolic matrimony of culture and family for my friends Sabrina and Kevin.
Sabrina happens to be one of my savviest stylish friends. I was honored to be with her on one of her many bridal gown shopping excursions, and I could immediately tell from her choices that Sabrina wanted a captivating fairytale moment with whatever dress was chosen. I j'adore the princess gown she had custom made to shape her darling frame. Her handsome-now-husband, Kevin, complimented her perfectly with his tuxedo complete with tails, and a sharp tailored fit. Being a talented and remarkable photographer, it's only expected that the two look picture perfect. (And they did!)
And thus, when Mrs. Sabrina asks her guests to come wearing their fashionable best, we obey.
The most timestaking piece to my outfit had to be the hand crafted fascinator by Marika from @KickaCustomDesign. Thanks to Becky Farmer, I discovered Miss Marika in my home of LA before I left to France and was honored to take one of her hand crafted pieces of work as the finishing touch to my look.
Even lil Lukey loved Mai fascinator (I think.) :)
Guess what else I had the pleasure of bringing to the wedding? A one of a kind groomed and sculpted masterpiece from none other than my Paul Mitchell creative artist Noogie Thai himself- a fascinator sculpture made of human hair which completed the look of Sabrina's bridesmaid and my chi (sister) Mimi Vu.
The rest of the evening was dreamy and unforgettable. Kevin thanking Sabrina's family for welcoming him as their son, Kevin's father handmaking the most sensationally sick poppy seed wedding cake. Sabrina adding personal Cambodian touches with handmade scarves from her country, to the couple even ending the night with the necessary Asian classic, "mi goi", instant ramen noodles as a late night snack. It was the perfect day to commemorate the blend of culture and love between Sabrina and Kevin.
Thank you for having me you two! It was an unforgettable first night. Here's to the next few days I'm about to spend with the newlywed and their friends and family in the beautiful beach town of Deauville, France, and I cannot wait to share all the pics with the rest of you :)
No matter how many weddings I am invited to attend or be a part of, (37 to be exact), one thing is always clear: each matrimony is complete different. From the location to the traditional touches, to even the loving gaze between bride and groom, I tend to remember the most fairytale or reality show moments for each.
The nuptuals of Sabrina and Kevin had a more memorable combination of all.
It took place in Normandie, France. I landed by plane in Paris, found the first safe looking car I could bargain into giving me a fair ride out of the city, (there's a particularly vicious protest happening btwn taxis and Uber at this time), and started on my road trip journey three hours into the country side to the location of the wedding, Chateau de Canon.
Yup. Just the front of the grounds alone looks just like this.*
I arrived on the exact day day to celebrate the marriage of these two adorable love birds.
Sabrina, of French and Cambodian descent, is quite the fashionista herself. Not only does she have an esquisite taste for couture, but she decided that on her big day, her environment just had to reflect the timeless love she had for her husband to be.
The gardens behind the Chataeu de Jardin.
Sabrina's husband, a successful photographer and entrepreneur, who captured Sabrina's heart through his lens, fit right into the peaceful, romantic setting within the chateau grounds.
Sabrina requested her wedding guests arrive in their most fashionable attire, complete with fascinators. Obvi, we couldn't disappoint.
For the ceremony I decided to go with a bit of spring and sparkle. Only with a bride like Sabrina Duong coud I do a @FurneAmato crystal brassiere, paired with a peach Alice & Olivia high waisted pants and a Derek Lam white cape, and my rosegold @BarabouxOfficial clutch, I was ready to say I do, too.
The nuptuals were precious. Spoken in French and English, both the bride and groom read their vows in each language to seal the deal. My favorite part was hearing Sabrina barely make her way her emotional words of telling Kevin she chose him to be her one and only for the rest of her life.
My fave memory was watching the trail of yummy kiddies running after Kevin and Sabrina after the vows!
As much as we love a beautiful wedding, it's nothing like having Mai reuniting squad of sistas from Hong Kong, Vietnam, and London to get our selfies on lock.
After the ceremony, I couldn't help to jump into the scenery for just a bit. After all, every girl wants to be a princess right? Wearing just a brassiere...but Mai own kinda princess aigh?
It was so fun to have the whole gang reunited from all parts of the world! Loved seeing you again Vicki, Rana, Mimi, Cheng, Khanh, Stephanie, and meeting you Diana! Can't wait to share the deets tomorrow for the next part of the beautiful evening, the reception!
*In fact, picture me, in skinny jeans, Adidas kicks, and a James Perse tee chillen right outside these gates figuring out where to go with my luggage once I arrived.
You know what makes me more uncomfortable than awkward questions? Squirming for an answer, then thinking of what I SHOULD have said after the fact. Story of Mai life dude. If you're like me and experience this often then you knowits about time we prepare ourselves with the perfect comeback. (Or something fun to say rather than telling ppl to f*ck off.)
What are things people always give you shit for? And what do you say to back them up? I wanna hear some clever comebacks. Comment below!Read More
Mai mom is by far one of the most important people in mai life. She has been through so much, and is such a strong woman. There is no way in hell I would be where I am today without her.Read More