Designer Profile: Hot!Couture Sara Di Salvo

Designer Profile: Hot!Couture Sara Di Salvo

Last year I met a young designer Sara Di Salvo during one of New York’s fashion shows in the Meatpacking district. An adorable girl who speaks English with a lovely Italian accent, I would prefer to speak Italian with her but she said “no, no, no… I have to practice English during the time I’m in New York.” “No problem with me,” I said…

During our conversation I noticed that she was observing me a lot — think she was unsure of what to say. I told her she can relax with me and tell me her story. Mrs. Di Salvo is a 26 years old Rome born Italian designer who graduated from the International Fashion Academy “KOEFIA” of Rome. Debuting her first graduation collection in 2008 at the “Spazio Etoile” her inspirations come from images of her surrounding. During these visual experiences she creates amazing, sensual and elegant collections based in incredible attention to detail in tailoring and passion for fashion. She choreographed her own photo shoots to make sure that everything goes well in expressing “her”. Sara’s dresses were well received and therefore a great success by the public, and caught the eye of famous fashion experts and TV shows in Italy.

She’s been featured in Italian magazines e.g., DMODA, Suitcase and many more. Her gowns are top quality and definitely Red-Carpet style. Soon she will be on everyone’s lips. Below are images of her 2010 new collection Come Un Fiore. Please check out Sara Di Salvo’s official website:

PS: All images here are used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the designer.

Photographer of the Month — Pete Ambrose

Photographer of the Month — Pete Ambrose

Pete Ambrose a 28-year old talented photographer who describes himself as an artist’s brat. He’s from all over the country, born in Colorado, lived in California and New York, but spent his formative years in West Virginia.

He received his education and graduated from Ithaca, NY College with a major in Film, Photography, and Visual Arts.

Mr. Ambrose began his career in 2001 when he picked up the camera for the first time for college projects. As a visual artist, he thought to be a filmmaker, but things didn’t materialize fast enough because of his own impatience. Then he picked up the camera again and found a very stylized aesthetic foundation to convey what he wanted artistically. Inspired by famous photographers like: David LaChapelle, David Bailey, Sally Mann and many others, he reinvented himself artistically. As he would put it in his own words: “Fashion and Photography are like peanut butter and jelly – amazing in their own right but their combined visual potential allows for a world of artistic and commercial communication. Both Photography and Fashion capture the world as it is and culture as it evolves. They both do it from different perspectives but rely (not wholly, but significantly) upon each other in many ways to stay relevant in contemporary society”.

Today he works in his studio in Los Angeles where his photographs stand out amazingly, with a wide variety of images that reflect uniqueness and extraordinary quality. He’s worked for the likes of America Online, Delicious Vinyl, Barack Obama on his presidential campaign, Jorian Hill Vineyards and many more clients.

He has two coffee table books coming out, one fashion, one fine art, toward the end of this year. Please check out Pete Ambrose’s official Instagram. Below are some of he’s awesome pictures…










The Amazing Art of Japanese Rice Fields

The Amazing Art of Japanese Rice Fields

Inakadate located in northern Japan rice field creates art in the country of the rising sun where rice farming has sustained the people of this village for two thousands years. The trend started in the early 1990s with small farmers planting several varieties of colored rice leaves, mixed with their regular rice in different patterns, creating various enormous  images. The results reveal real 15,ooo ft2 masterpieces. And then a few other farm fields in rural Japan joined in and it became a family affair as the villages of all generations joined in to hand-plant each rice shoot following the trend. Three months later, the rice fields were transformed to look their best ever! Sadly the rice paddy can’t last forever, the art will be be visible until each September, when harvest wipes the field clean.
A former city worker, Koichi Hanada said, that before, the art villages only had each other to talk to. Now people all over Japan know this place, and annually this small corner of the country with just 8,400 inhabitants, received about 170,000 visitors. Art submissions from all over Japan are coming in because of this huge success that’s lead to inevitable imitations of murals madness, flourishing in paddies across Japan.

Don’t keep these awesome pictures and the stories to yourself … share them!

A Sengoku warrior on horseback has been created from hundreds of thousands of rice plants. The colors are created by using different varieties. This photo was taken in Inakadate, Japan.

Napoleon on horseback can be seen from the skies. This was created by precision planting and months of planning by villagers and farmers located in Inakadate, Japan.

 This year, various artwork has popped up in other rice-farming areas of Japan, including designs of deer dancers. Smaller works of crop art can be seen in other rice-farming areas of Japan such as this image of Doraemon and deer dancers. The farmers create the murals by planting little purple and yellow-leafed Kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed Tsugaru, a Roman variety, to create the colored patterns in the time between planting and harvesting in September. The murals in Inakadate cover 15,000 square meters of paddy fields.

Stunning crop art has sprung up across rice fields in Japan, but this is no alien creation. The designs have been cleverly planted. Farmers creating the huge displays use no ink or dye. Instead, different color rice plants have been precisely and strategically arranged and grown in the  paddy fields. As summer progresses and the plants shoot up, the detailed artwork begins to emerge.

 Fictional warrior Naoe Kanetsugu and his wife, Osen, whose lives are featured on the television series Tenchijin appear in fields in the town of Yonezawa in the Yamagata prefecture of Japan.

From ground level, the designs are invisible, and viewers have to climb the mock castle tower of the village office to get a glimpse of the  work.

Closer to the image, the careful placement of the thousands of rice plants in the paddy fields can be seen. Rice-paddy art was started there in 1993 as a local revitalization project, an idea that grew from meetings of the village committees. The different varieties of rice plants grow alongside each other to create the masterpieces. In the first nine years, the village office workers and local farmers grew a simple design of Mount Iwaki every year. But their ideas grew more complicated and attracted more attention. In 2005, agreements between landowners allowed the creation of enormous rice paddy art. A year later, organizers used computers to precisely plot planting of the four differently colored rice varieties that bring the images to life.

Star Style of the Week — Divine Diana Vreeland

Star Style of the Week — Divine Diana Vreeland

Hello Dears Readers,

.. thought to share these glamorous pictures of Diana Vreeland and some of her quotes with you all, today. She was one of the most interesting, fashionable and fabulous women of the fashion industry.

Secrets of the Sea:

❦ He knows the secrets of the sea, of the woods and of the vineyard. They are simple and natural worlds, beautiful and varied. He prefers them to the concrete and hard worlds built by other men. Ideas blossom very quickly, and then they are very painstakingly realized and evolved. His many harvests of thought go on and on, and the origins emanate from things as simple as a golden bluebell. Like a positive parent he gives love at the moment of creation, bowing to the beautiful things that he originates.


❦ The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it. (my personal favorite!)

❦ Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal.

❦ Too much good taste can be boring.

❦ Never fear being vulgar, just boring.

❦ The greatest vulgarity is any imitation of youth and beauty.

Louise Joséphine Bourgeois 1911-2010

Louise Joséphine Bourgeois 1911-2010

Sadly artist Louise Bourgeois passed away this week at age 98. One of the greatest artists ever such a joyful and inspiring woman, the grande dame of contemporary artists best known for her sculptures and disquieting symbolism. Intense, brilliant, strong and really brave and indeed one of a kind artist that’s why she lasted for so long, will be forever missed by those who admired her artwork.

In an e-mail exchange in early 2008, The Associated Press asked Bourgeois what advice she would give young artists just starting out.

Tell your own story, and you will be interesting,” she responded. “Don’t get the green disease of envy. Don’t be fooled by success and money. Don’t let anything come between you and your work.”

There are no words to describe such a wonderful woman whose artwork are here to remind us that nothing is impossible, no one or nothing can stop our dreams. It’s when we let imagination flow that keeps the spirit alive and soothes our souls…

HARD SERVE: “The Couple” represents just one facet of Louise Bourgeois mercurial artistic vision.

This photo features a 30-foot-high spider, “Maman,” carrying a basket of eggs, flanked by two smaller spiders. (“Maman” means “Mama” in French.)

Celebrate with Me

Celebrate with Me

Celebrating 5 Years of Bella Bohemian™ by Rhônya Holman

The Spring-Summer 2010 collections this year have a special meaning to me as a designer and creative person. It’s a celebration to prove that all our dreams can be possible with determination hard work and especially patience.

It’s when we learned to count and believe in yourself and nobody else no matter how hard and difficult things can be sometimes. In the meantime you realized that you can work and do anything at any age, and that’s exciting. Remember that the only thing blocking your achievement is self-doubt. Trust your gut, follow your instincts about where your true talents lie and reach for it, take risks with wisdom and new paths will open up when you make a real investment in yourself…

After this process you focus and analyze on new projects that are coming your way, communicate with others freely and confidently, and take one step at a time. When you let new inspirations flow intuitively and freely, such a wonderful unique way allows abundant ideas to turn in a total blessing for you. The dream can create our future.
Bella Bohemian is here to share beautiful things and cheers women across the globe. It’s time for a fresh start because every piece has feeling in it. From the elegant romantic set of the Bossa Nova collections to the fabulous extravagant bold long Bella Bohemian necklaces. The collections are colorful and perfect for brightening up the summer, each piece is gracefully hand made and is one-of-a-kind, it’s like wearing something new all the time.

I want to take the time to say a big huge THANK YOU to all of you for your support, especially to the close friends who were with me since the beginning of Bella Bohemian.

I’m deeply honored, grateful and extremely excited in including you all in this special moment and to welcome you all in joining me in this amazing journey, including those clients who placed their first orders at my place or my trunk shows. I am very grateful for the encouraging words that cheered me on to continue with this dream. For me, hard work led to opportunities and luck also followed me during these years –  it was meant to be… It’s such a wonderful feeling that I know will never go away!

Your enthusiasm and generosity is good for my soul as an artist and person. It means so much: THANK YOU again from the bottom of my heart!!!  And for those future clients that will coming, I would love to hear from you all as well.

Love and Peace… What else is there?

A Tribute In Honor of Artist Steven P. Thiel 1957-2009

A Tribute In Honor of Artist Steven P. Thiel 1957-2009

Far away in a beautiful countryside house lived a man, surrounded by his art collection and a gorgeous garden that he was passionate about. He had a cat he named “My Lovely” — his only companion for a long time.

He never got married and was without children. A man with dashing good looks: tall, confident, with a face like porcelain. He had kind of a shy smile that could light up a room when he was happy, a silky-smooth voice to die for, dark mysterious blue eyes, and long light brown curly hair that flowed to his shoulder and smelled like roses… In addition, he had a knack for baking, making the most delicious banana bread ever!

Just looking at him tending his garden flowers was like a vision of Paradise. His face was red from working in the sun. He had a cute beauty mark on his face, a final charming touch! Sometimes he could give the impression of a dark angel hiding from the charmed ones, especially when dressed in a long sleeve black sweater.

Beautiful and pure. He was a handsome Prince, the kind you’d read about in fairy tales. He had many women during his life, but none could hold his heart for long. He had the best material things in life, but spiritually something lacked.

He hibernated in his country home, where he dedicated himself to his garden, art and composing music… A true artist in heart and soul, he knew and understood real life and human beings. He was delicate like a piece of fine art – yet at the same time was strong and vulnerable, an enigma, a man with a fine sensibility for the beautiful things in life.

One day he found a “Smiling Lady” with whom to share his thoughts and feelings. He felt reborn and began to shine like the sun, blossoming with the flowers, and his imagination started to fly like butterflies… They became close friends for a long time. Soon he felt happier than he’d ever felt in his life.

Ms. Smiling was curious about him and wondered about his hidden secrets. She asked many questions but with caution. The more she knew about him, the more she wanted to know. Artists are emotional creatures…

He had a unique nickname that intrigued her. She asked the origin of the names “Puskin” and “IpKiss.” IpKiss, she learned, was part of a nickname a friend had given him. The friend had a stuffed animal named “Puskin IpKiss” which had provided her comfort when she felt homesick overseas.

IpKiss communicated with her often, but he did so in the abstract. He sent beautiful poems that he said he wrote specifically for her… Many times she had to look up the meaning of his words. He was teaching her the magic words of life. IpKiss said to her: “Perhaps it’s the interest in the arts, music, and life that unite us.”

They continued a long and beautiful friendship based on kindness, respect, trust and love… Neither could wait to hear from the other. IpKiss never knew Ms. Smiling saved his messages and remembered all his words. It became a kind of romance with a touch of Shakespeare In Love.

He told her that he liked her easy nature, warmth and smile — his trust in her was complete. Her smile, he said, reached out and brought him light and peace. He said she inspired him to create. “Hope your day is one of beauty and love,” he wrote. “Here is the sun and it opens me up to writing. The first crocus flowers appeared today and soon the daffodils. Write me a long gorgeous letter. I can’t wait to hear from you again.”

He wrote often. “It’s a soft sky today. The sun is blending with light clouds. I’m drinking Peruvian coffee. I walked through my garden, and prepared some flower beds, and it’s the most gorgeous ever because of all the rain we have had and winter snow… It’s the most beautiful time with spring flowers in bloom. Late spring and summer garden should be good too with roses and other perennials growing and getting ready to bloom. My neighbors came by with their pooches on their morning walk….”

A few days later he wrote more. “It’s a gorgeous Sunday… How are you dear? Here comes the sun! Warm today! I wrote a new song. “Sojourns Journey.” I like to play it and worked on that yesterday… I need to learn it better… It’s been busy here with so many projects around the house. It’s great and I feel good. It feels like everything has flipped for the better. I woke up thinking of you this Sunday morning. Let me know if I can be any help to you. I will encourage you and support you. It’s a talent to interact with people. That’s an art unto itself. I’m hidden away here not looking yet for discovery. I’m quiet and do my work and enjoy my garden. I do well here but it can be lonely sometimes. But it helps drive me to think and create. Now I have you and I’m not lonely anymore my sweetie…”

She accepted him for the person he was from one beloved soul to another. They had beautiful moments together. He made Ms. Smiling feel so special for a long time and his words and thoughts were only for her until the end.

Then one sunny Sunday morning IpKiss surprised Ms. Smiling saying he went to the florist and bought pink roses to plant for her. She said, you have so many flowers in your garden already. Why not just put a single pink rose in a vase. He said absolutely not; he created a path of pink roses especially for her. “It’s in the drive way, so when I leave the house and come home I think of you,” he said.

Ms. Smiling couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Her eyes welled up with tears of joy. She was so right about this man. He was rare indeed.

She was becoming a part of his daily life. He told her he wished she would live with him in his beautiful house! She was his inspiration and he was hers. Life was turning beautiful with her IpKiss by her side. Both started their days together with morning greetings and good night kisses.

Then one night Ms. Smiling heard strange noises in her sleep. She tried to wake up, but couldn’t. Finally, she awoke. It was morning. That day was her birthday but a weird feeling took control, a deep, inexplicable sadness in her heart. IpKiss failed to wish her a happy birthday. Why, she wondered, hadn’t he contacted her? She felt sad that day and for many subsequent days she cried a lot.

The pain didn’t go away. She thought of a poem she had discussed with Ipkiss called “Empty Vessel.”

I was trying to unite illustrate the body was the form
the vessel/ the mind rested upon.. The spirit inhabits
the body. We are united by our similarities more than
by our habits, routines, religious convictions. We
cling to our nationalities, our customs and routines
almost to a fault and often instead of admiring
variances in cultures they are used to separate us by
corrupt leaders and people who are manipulated easily
to hate.

We are all back to back ~ A time where we need to
necessitate a change of philosophy a critical time to
explore new relationships with others.

Nothingness ~ A goal to dissolve the personal and to
realize the infinite.

Let go of desire for oneself and as I wrote to unwrapped and ‘be’ part of the Universe…instead of the thought you ‘are’ the Universe…

A brief start to an explanation… kisses

Thank you so much for asking about Empty Vessel. It has been a while since I thought these thoughts and it’s stimulating to explore them.
xoxo ! Ip

Ps: You’ve given me a great gift… Beautiful friendship.

Ms. Smiling was no longer smiling. She was worried about Ipkiss…. She flew to his hometown. But it was too late. Her family and friends were already memorializing him. There they were surrounded by his beautiful art, music and poetry.

IpKiss was an enigma for Ms. Smiling and always will be. He left a part of her empty… For the first time in her life now she can say that she tasted a bit of love between a man and a woman, all those things that he did for her were proof of love.

IpKiss’ final words to Ms. Smiling: “I’ve been thinking and wondering about opportunity and action to follow… I hope it comes spontaneously by intuition… otherwise I may think for eternity… I feel as if everything (life) keeps wrapping in and in and eventually it should be unwrapped like the Universe and the secrets it holds.”

She asked him what he meant. He just said that he meant a lot. For the first time he didn’t answer her, but by his silence she understood him.

The night when Ms. Smiling had felt a sense of dread, he wore his most beautiful suit, looked for the last time at his garden, wrote a letter and a farewell to life.

She was surely in his final thoughts. IpKiss in the end said the three magic wonderful words that she’d been dreaming to hear for so long, but by this time it was too late… IpKiss took to eternity the love he could not share with her during life.

But the memories will be with her always. So many beautiful things to say but she will keep only for herself. She will move on with her life, smiling, hoping, shining and happy… She will miss him dearly but will continue living life to the fullest to make him proud, for he always wanted her to be happy and to enjoy every day.

She misses him deeply. There are moments when his gorgeous face comes to mind and her eyes flow with tears. When she’s feeling sad she just closes her eyes. He flies in her in dreams, embraces her small waist with his long white wings, resting her head in his chest comforting her saying: darling you will be just fine. I’m here for you and always calling her name. He sings the song “Sojourner’s Journey,” and lulls her into sleep. He flies away, leaving the smell of roses in the air, his mark on her.

Ms. Smiling every year will light candles, make wishes and blow kisses to her IpKiss in Heaven.

With Love and Pink Roses.

Naked Smile
Turquoise sea
Feet splashed by whales
Pulled in by strong hands
Breathing underwater comes easy to you
A naked smile is welcome
Push-Box locks
Conveyor whirs
Mystery voyage
Dream filled, drowning
Island fantasy
Black beach
Devil grin
Naked Smile.

~ Steven Paul Thiel

Steven Paul Thiel artworks will travel the world, and funds raised will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Please for more info visit

image of Steven's concert flyer