Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Alexander McQueen Spring Summer 2015 Paris Fashion Week

I love Alexander McQueen.
I love Alexander McQueen runway shows.
In fact, as soon as Paris Fashion Week releases it's show schedule I put the McQueen show in my calendar.


The Alexander McQueen show is always about theatrics.

The brand is known for it's impeccable tailoring. 
The cut of Alexander McQueen pants and jackets is always an exercise in perfection. 
And the runway show is always a visual spectacular.




Backstage at Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2015










I found these images on Vogue.com, see more pictures here

Monday, September 29, 2014

Elie Saab Spring 2015 Paris Fashion Week

I have been so busy with the Corinna B's World Glam Italia Tour that I haven't had much time for fashion month.
But now that I'm back in America I'm busy painting faces again, and catching as much of Paris Fashion Week as possible.

Elie Saab Spring 2015

Today I've been dying over Lebanese designer Elie Saab's Spring 2015 collection.
I always love red carpet favorite Elie Saab - he never disappoints, but this season I am crazy about his dresses, his colors, his draping.
He is, as always, perfection.











images via Fashionising.com

What Happens When There's An Inflight Medical Emergency?

Have you ever wondered what happens when there is a serious medical emergency on a commercial flight?

image via emssolutionsint.blogspot.com

Do you assume the flight attendants will spring into action and know exactly what to do? 
I never gave it any thought whatsoever.
And then it happened.
And frankly, I was appalled.

I was on a US Airways flight from Charlotte to Rome. I like US Airways, have flown them many times and will fly them many more. I don't know if this is endemic to the industry, if it is a US Airways concern, or if it just pertained to the crew on that particular flight, but in case of medical emergency - flyer beware.

We boarded our flight and a fabulous young Italian man sat next to us. Anyone who has flown internationally will know it takes a long time to get all the passengers boarded and seated, so we had plenty of time to chat before the flight departed. He spoke limited English, but I speak some Italian so we were able to communicate well enough. Luckily for him while we were talking he recommended and wrote down his friend's restaurant near Piazza Navona in Rome and his own name so that we could say who referred us.

A few minutes later the plane pushed back from the gate and started making it's way to the runway to take off. We were still chatting when it happened.
His arms raised up above his head and started moving as if not part of his body, his face contorted, and he went into a full blown grand mal seizure. A tall, well built man, having convulsions in a tiny, compact space, hemmed in by seat belted adults. 
It was not pretty.

Have you ever seen someone have a seizure before? I hadn't.
I didn't know what was happening, but knew it was bad enough to call the flight attendants and get the plane stopped.

For some crazy reason I thought they would know what to do. 
I assumed they were trained in what to do in a medical emergency.
But you know what they say about assuming things...

The flight attendants seemed even worse prepared than I was.
By the time they got there and organized stopping the plane, the man had collapsed on my friend - a convulsing dead weight that she was trapped beneath. 

And they had no clue what to do.

As in not a single clue.

One of them thoughtfully showed up with a little plastic tray with latex gloves and dixie cups on it  (so they could glove up and have a tea party??) - but there was no first aid kit, no anything to help, and worst of all, no one in charge.

None of them caught onto the fact that the man was now turning blue and frothing at the mouth while having full body spasms.
No doubt too busy with the dixie cups.

At that point I started calling out to other passengers for help, and the man in question hit his second lucky moment of the day. There were five doctors seated around us, and they jumped into action.
I came to find out later that he had swallowed his tongue and now couldn't breathe. Had the doctors not been there I am relatively certain he would have died. While one doctor took charge, demanded oxygen, called out to passengers for Ativan and started working on him, an anesthesiologist took control of his thrashing head, cleared his windpipe and then worked the oxygen when it arrived. 
Ativan arrived but the flight attendants wouldn't allow it to be administered.
Meanwhile I was trying to translate what the doctor was saying into Italian, telling him to breathe deeply (in his oxygen mask) and trying to soothe him as the seizure subsided and the poor guy was left in some kind of fugue state, not knowing where he was or what was happening. 
You would think that the flight attendants would either have one among them who speaks the language of the destination country, or would make an effort to find a national to help out with translation, but I guess they were too busy doing something else.
The entire event took several minutes, so there was plenty of time.

Shortly after the plane returned to the gate the paramedics arrived. 
The doctors briefed them on what had happened and then the process of getting the passenger off the plane got underway. Had we not made an effort to identify and get his cabin baggage to him, it would have been left on board, which would have been stressful to the passenger and potentially hazardous to everyone else.

While the airline clean up crew sanitized our row of seats and made them flight ready again, the airline had someone come on board with a clipboard to take statements from the doctors, and someone else to fill the now vacant seat with a stand by passenger.

We were really concerned about the young man, and decided that when we got to the Rome leg of our trip two weeks later (we had a connecting flight out of Rome the same day), we would track him down and make sure he was okay.

Fast forward two weeks and we were in Rome and were able to look for him. He had remembered writing everything down for us, but that was his last memory of the event, so he had contacted his friend at the restaurant to keep an eye out for us in case we thought to check in. He didn't know what had happened to him, and was hoping we would try to find him.

And here is where the story gets even worse.
The airline told him he fainted, not that he had a seizure. He was absolutely stunned when I told him what had transpired. 
No one told him he went blue.
No one told him he had been choking.
No one told him that doctors on the flight had saved his life.
They told him he fainted.

Even though I personally witnessed the doctors telling the paramedics that he had had a seizure, they somehow also missed that fact, and told the hospital he fainted.

The man had been removed from the plane sometime between 7pm and 7:15 pm and taken to hospital, but based on the fainting information was discharged and back at the airport in Charlotte
by 10pm.
Funnily enough he just missed our plane, as we had some kind of mechanical issue and ended up departing 3 hours after our scheduled time.

But what's not funny is that he had to sleep on the airport floor until the next US Airways flight to Rome, at 6:30pm the following day.

I am stunned that you can have a grand mal seizure on an airplane, and the crew not know what to do.
I am shocked that the airline would not tell the passenger what happened to him, if for no other reason than that your doctor will run different tests and approach a seizure diagnosis differently to a mere fainting episode.
I am intrigued that the passenger had his lawyer in Italy try to find out what had happened, and the reply was that he fainted.
And I am appalled that after going through such a medical trauma a passenger is left to sleep on an airport floor, and not taken care of.
Was there no other airline he could be transferred to? Is there really no provision in place for a passenger with a medical trauma? Just have them sleep on an airport floor?

For someone who frequently travels internationally it definitely leaves you wondering what would happen if it were you or one of yours, in a foreign country where at best you had a very limited command of the language.
Will all airlines just leave you disoriented and alone on an airport floor for nearly 20 hours with no food, no water, no blankets or pillows?
And if they do, can you rely on their word as to what happened to you?
Food for thought.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Victoria Beckham Re-Works The Pantsuit

I just love Victoria Beckham.
Her fashion sense is always so completely on point.
I found this on Vogue.com and loved it.

Check out how Vicky B turns the pantsuit on it's ear and makes it super sexy and super slick:


The pantsuit, a favorite of women globally—and made most famous by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton—is having a renaissance this season.Victoria Beckham, whose flagship Dover Street store just opened in London, was spotted arriving stateside in New York yesterday. And instead of slipping into one of her fanciful frocks, the designer chose to rework the standard suit into something fresh. The cut is precise, and with the trousers hitting just at the ankle, the pants are leg-lengthening, especially when paired with sleek stilettos. The jacket thrown over her shoulders gives Beckham an air of sophisticated cool, while a crisp, button-down neatly ties the look together.


article and images courtesy of Vogue.com

Friday, September 26, 2014



… and I am happy to think that I now carry in my soul a picture of Sicily, that unique and beautiful island, which is clear, authentic and complete…

Giardini Naxos, Sicily

From the first step I took on this hauntingly beautiful island, from my very first breath, I was completely enamored of her. And there has not been one day in my life since then that she hasn’t crept into my thoughts. 

Taormina, Sicily

The screensaver on the inside of my eyelids runs a slideshow of spectacular Sicilian vistas when I go to sleep, and sometimes the all encompassing need to get back there defies reason and dominates all thought.

Castelmola, Sicily

This largest island in the Mediterranean is truly unique. It is like a giant mosaic made up of thousands of vibrant and exceptionally hued tiles, impossible to put together, yet alone each is magnificent, complex, and exceptional.

Taormina, Sicily

View from Forza D'Agro, Sicily

Visually astounding, her shores are lapped by the bluest of seas – the Mediterranean, the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian. 

Lida copacabana, Letojanni, Sicily


 The architecture and the cuisine have been layered by a history of being conquered. The Greeks, the Carthaginians, Roman, Arabs, Norman and Spaniards all ruled Sicily over the millennia and left their mark, their flavor, their influence, weaving a rich and brilliant tapestry that is equally beautiful and brutal.


Ortygia. Sicily

Sicilians have a hard history. The rich were magnificently rich while the poor toiled in abject poverty. They were repeatedly heavily taxed to pay for someone else’s wars, throughout time their men drafted to fight the ruling country’s battles. Although since the unification they are Italian, they are first and foremost and to their collective core, Sicilian. As a people they have pride and resilience, are at times stoic, in some ways isolated from the mainland, theirs is a Sicilitudine

 Castelmola, Sicily

Yet invariably Sicilians smile the deepest of smiles.

At times more North Africa than Southern Italy, Sicily is maddeningly beautiful, a culinary dream, it is mysterious and moody, incredibly sexy, and feels vaguely dangerous with it’s rumbling volcano and it’s air of mystery.


Sicily is everything.

To take on this magical island all you need is a good map and a sense of adventure…
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