Essentials

Trying to find the perfect everyday essentials is not really an easy task. Lately I've been gravitating towards simplicity, functionality (things I can carry around, since I'm always rushing from one place to another to take pictures) and good design when buying goodies. Well, I fell in love with each of these products once I found them, here's why.

Nikon EM: I actually got this cute little guy last year but never wrote about it here. It's an automatic film camera from 1979. I thought it would be nice to carry it around, stop and shoot with it -just for the love of film and nostalgia- . There's something about film that makes you appreciate memories a lot more. The films I normally use are Kodak 200, Kodak Portra 400 and Fuji X-Tra 400.

Hanging Rock Creek by Prospector Co.: I've always loved everything from my friends at Prospector Co., their products are simply the best (I've been using for about a year now, or maybe more). This is my favorite everyday fragrance, Hanging Rock Creek; the smell is kind of woody, rustic and beachy at the same time. Simply perfect!

Baxter of California Scrub: There's something about tubes when it comes to skincare products, maybe that's why we're all a little bit obsessed with Aēsop?... My friend Tulio recommended this Exfoliating Scrub to me a few months ago, he said exactly this: 'You should try it. You'll have the skin of a baby!' and he was totally right*. 

Muji pens: Pure perfection. I'm a 100% loyal user of their Gel Pen and 0.3 Mechanical Pencil. I use both of them everyday because they're simple and pure in form and function. Just great.

Moleskine notebooks: My favorites. I've been using them since high school, they're perfect for writing lists, personal thoughts and for sketching as well. I'm totally a fan of this little yellow one, I even started a hashtag on Instagram, #TheYellowNotebookSeries - Check it out!

Steven Alan sunnies: These are the Mayhew in Classic Tortoise. And they're just necessary because I live in the most hot/sunny island in the world (or at least that's how it feels). My other favorite pair -not pictured- are the Amherst in Caramel Horn by Classic Specs.


*He also recommended the Clay Pomade, which is absolutely great.

Details: Botanical Garden

Being surrounded by nature is definitely one of my favorite things to do, that's why I could easily spend a whole afternoon wandering in the Botanical Garden. Since I re-descovered it, I've been visiting countless times this year in search for inspiring details in its diversity and complexion. I decided to share some of my favorite pictures (shot on iPhone) of my favorite details in this wonderful place. Hope you like them!

As you can see I'm a bit obsessed with the materials and textures that are part of this place. Concrete, marble, stone, bricks... The way they merge with nature and create such a peaceful and visually rich environment with it is absolutely fantastic. Hands down to Benjamin Paiewonsky -the architect- who is truly a genius.

Classic Specs: A Summer adventure

Luckily for us, the warmth of Summer lasts until December in our beautiful island. Even though It can be very overwhelming and tiring sometimes, it's sad to see Summer go. It feels like this sense of freedom is gone, an awful feeling. But anyway, I'll tell you a little bit about a Summer adventure I had with my friends Shaina Cohen and Yin-Lai Trinidad. One of those hot Summer afternoons, I was hanging out with Shaina; we were brainstorming about ideas for a collective collaboration to work together, so I immediately thought about Classic Specs. We wanted to visually explore the subject of living in a Tropical island, so we decided to take a little road trip to different places and see how we could use these environments with the frames to create a visual balance.

Beaumont Sunglasses in Brandy Tortoise

Beaumont Sunglasses in Brandy Tortoise

Amherst Sunglasses in Caramel Horn

Amherst Sunglasses in Caramel Horn

One of the best things about this collaboration was having total creative freedom. Exploring was also very fun, for us it was more like re-descovering the island and the wonders it has to offer; the long sunny days, the diversity in the colors, and of course its beautiful nature. We wanted to reflect all of these qualities in the pictures in our own way.

Head over to Framework Magazine to read the full story and a little interview :)

P.S.: I'll be sharing the girls' pictures in different posts this weekend so stay tuned!


In partnership with Classic Specs

Refresco

I met Olga and Javier earlier this year in a sort of random way. I remember receiving a call from a strange number that seemed foreign, when I picked up the phone it was a very sweet voice with a strong Spanish accent. It was Olga de la Iglesia, she wanted to share an idea for a collaboration with me. That same week we met, I fell in love with them and their work. They are art directors, visual artists and photographers based in Barcelona. They have a project called Refresco, which is is about selected art and clothes from the Caribbean (Haiti and Dominican Republic) in Spain. All of the pieces come from the popular markets of the island, they look for prints and patterns that represent the idea of tropical style. A few days after I met them, we went to the flea markets to select some of the pieces for Refresco. I wanted to share this short interview because I thought it could inspire you the way they inspired me. 

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you guys met.

We both studied graphic design, Javi in Buenos Aires and Olga in Barcelona, after that each of us developed our creativity in different fields such as collage (Javi), photography and print design (Olga). We met by a friend in common who put us in touch, Julieta.

What inspired Refresco?

Mainly: The island, its people, landscapes, colors, spontaneity and freshness… its nature, the little houses around the island painted in pastel colors and their geometric shapes, the signboards and typefaces painted in the walls, the inimitable flavor of papayas, mangoes and avocados. The Caribbean context in its great totality is the base for the concept of the project.

Can you describe the process behind finding great pieces?

Javi and I choose the clothes. According to our aesthetic criteria we make a selection. We want to supply new alternatives, unusual and daring combinations, original prints and designs. Fresh pieces.

It all starts when Javi and I get in the red Mitsubishi Lancer ’76, a beauty, without air conditioner, we lower the windows, and the city’s intensity enters through them, we arrive at the flea market, all the vendors are friends by now, they greet us happily, the table is full of clothes to the top, the bustle from the streets is felt strongly, the heat, the loudspeakers, the music, the roving vendors… We divide and conquer to be more efficient; we each make a selection and later check that everything is in good shape. 

We spend around an hour there, sometimes more, we buy fruits and vegetables in the little market around the corner and then we’re on our way, this time the Lancer full of bags of clothes, we unload and do inventory.

Where do your passions for style, photography, art direction and graphic design come from? How do you put all of these disciplines together?

They all stem from a place we share, our being. What most excites us is to create. Color combinations, mixtures of textures, compositions, ideating images…to observe the life around us and create something from it. 

What are some of your favorite places in the Dominican Republic and Barcelona?

This last time that we were there, we felt something very special in El Morro, Montecristi. The nature is very beautiful and overwhelming.

In Cataluña, we really like Cadaqués and Menorca, but we’ve never felt something similar to the DR. The energy there is different, everything isn’t as exploited, it’s more unusual, intense.

What’s the best part of your job?

Creating, thinking of a new idea, and from that idea build another, and so on. Working directly with our artisans, watching them create is livening.

You only sell in Spain. How does that affect Refresco?

From our online store we sell worldwide, we’ve even sent pieces to South Africa.

I’ve noticed that you also work with artisans from DR, how do you choose the people you work with?

It’s more like their work chooses us, we have a vision and criteria of what we want to project, and based on that we pick with whom to work with. Sometimes we discover them by accident, with others we are already familiar with their work and we go find them to meet them personally, work with them, see their workspace, how they develop their work. We’re also passionate about Haitian Artisans, in our next trip we’ll go meet them in Haiti.

- Special thanks to Ana Valeria Castillos -