• What is green architecture?

    Green architecture, or green design, is sustainable architecture. The “green” architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices.

    shutterstock_360829034

    It is all about incorporating earth-friendly materials, natural ventilation, and more natural daylight into the buildings we live, work, and play in. Green architecture contributes a fair share of effort towards mitigating climate change and environmental damages that are slowly destroying our planet.

    Consciously designed to minimise negative environmental impacts, green architecture champions the principles of moderation and efficiency in energy and resource use, building materials, and even the effects and impacts on the natural ecosystem in which a building resides.

    Energy efficiency can be increased in a variety of ways: for example, by orienting buildings to take full advantage of seasonal changes in the sun’s position and by the use of diversified and regionally appropriate energy sources, which may – depending on geographic location – include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, water, or natural gas.

    shutterstock_220877293

    The most desirable materials are those that are recycled or renewable and those that require the least energy to manufacture. The best scenario is that they are locally sourced and free from harmful chemicals. These materials are made of non-polluting raw ingredients and are durable and recyclable.

    Architecture 2030 is a non-profit organization established by the architect Edward Mazria. Its goal is that all new buildings, developments and major renovations are carbon-neutral by 2030. According to Mazria, this target can be accomplished by implementing innovative sustainable design strategies, generating renewable power on-site and/or purchasing renewable energy.

  • Met Gala 2017 – the best dressed

    The Met Gala, also known as the Costume Institute Gala, is an annual fundraising gala event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Each year, the event celebrates the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. The theme of the fashion exhibition sets the tone of the dress code for the formal event.

    This year, it was Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of In-Between.

    shutterstock_631954349

    Katy Perry certainly grabbed the media attention. The singer who was co-chairing the event wore a Maison Margiela outfit in red. She was not the only one in that colour palette – Emma Roberts went for retro glamour in a bright red Diane von Furstenberg gown. The designer herself was wearing… Diane von Furstenberg, of course.

    emma-diane

    Other extravagant ladies were Madonna in Jimmy Choo’s camouflage outfit for Moschino and Kendall Jenner in La Perla Haute Couture.

    madonna-jenner

    One of the top beautiful surprises was Zendaya’s dress – a bright orange and yellow Dolce & Gabbana style with parrot print. Not something you see every day, right?

    zendaya

    We also saw the classic colours for formal occasions – white (Kim Kardashian West in Vivienne Westwood), pale blue (Jennifer Lopez in Valentino) and pink (Lily Collins in Giambattista Valli Couture).

    met-gala-collage

    Cara Delevingne proved that she is sick and tired of society’s beauty standards and sported her new bold look. We have to admit that she still looked stylish. Another unconventional decision was her Chanel suit instead of a typical gown that most of the ladies prefer for such occasions. Bella Hadid didn’t go for a formal dress either – instead, she chose a jumpsuit by Alexander Wang.

    cara-bella

    Bella’s sister, Gigi Hadid, looked beautiful in a Tommy Hilfiger beige dress. Pale beige was also the go-to colour for Selena Gomez – the singer was wearing a Coach dress and Tiffany & Co. jewels.

    gigi-selena

    As for the couples, our favourite lovers were Gisele Bundchen (in Stella McCartney) & Tom Brady (in Tom Ford) and Blake Lively (in Atelier Versace) & Ryan Reynolds (in Versace).

    met-gala-couples

  • Celebrities’ favourite handbags

    Truth be told, the newest handbags from the runways can transform even the most ordinary girl into a flawless fashionista. In the world of handbags, there are also the classic designs from brands like Hermès (the legendary Birkin Bag), Chanel (the iconic 2.55 bag), Fendi (the Peekaboo), Dior (the Lady Dior bag), and the list goes on.

    But now, our focus goes on something else: those lovely pieces that our beloved Hollywood stars sport on daily basis on the streets.

    Bold colours

    insta_maxmara-jpg

    Having a contrasting bag two decades ago was considered weird; having a contrasting bag now means that you have style. Top fashion bloggers (such as Olivia Palermo) helped the neon designs enter the streets. And they are here to stay.

    bold-colours

    50 shades of beige

    insta_topshop-jpg

    Beige is a neutral colour and hence it could be easily combined with almost everything: little black dress, timeless trench coat, expensive jewellery and even cute printed T-shirts. So think pink beige and if, by and chance, you still don’t have a beige staple in your wardrobe, now is the perfect time to get it!

    beige_collage

    Exotic prints

    insta_bogner-jpg

    Leopard, zebra, crocodile – reptile skin handbags are a huge chapter of fashion history. The first celebrity name that pops up at the top of our heads? J Lo, the queen of exotic prints and loop earrings. Crossbody bags or leather clutches – it doesn’t matter; let the exotic print speak for itself!

    shutterstock_84323713

    Chains

    insta_stella-jpg

    A long & style-free time ago, chains were used for lifting, pulling and securing things. Now, in the XXI century, chains and so much more than that: they are the metal hardware that transforms a regular bag into a gorgeous must-have. Have a look at Sarah Jessica Parker and Chiara Ferragni and you will see why!

    chains_collage

    Shop now from our special selection of beautiful handbags here.

  • 2017 – the year of sustainable tourism

    The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism.

    The International Year will promote tourism’s role in the following five key areas:
    (1) Inclusive and sustainable economic growth;
    (2) Social inclusiveness, employment and poverty reduction;
    (3) Resource efficiency, environmental protection and climate change;
    (4) Cultural values, diversity and heritage;
    (5) Mutual understanding, peace and security.

    shutterstock_468271937

    According to the UNWTO 2015 annual report, one billion tourists made international trips in 2015, accounting for 10% of the world’s GDP. Tourism has the potential to create employment, contribute to local development, and introduce people to different cultures. However, the benefits of tourism are not always felt by local communities and it can come at a cost to the natural environment.

    Sustainable tourism, on the other hand, is committed to benefitting local people, protecting cultural heritage and limiting the impact on the natural environment.

    Here are few examples of sustainable tourism around Europe:

    Slovenia
    From being a city which was previously dominated by car transport, Ljubljana’s focus is now on public transport and on pedestrian and cycling networks. Progress has also been made in preserving and protecting the green areas which characterise the city

    Iceland

    The Skagafjordur Food Chest project, a winner of the European Destination of Excellence Award (EDEN) for 2015, shows how sustainable tourism promotes local businesses and culture. Local food producers teamed up with tourism entrepreneurs to showcase traditional food to visitors, giving a boost to their economy and celebrating their local heritage.

    shutterstock_249380863

    Portugal

    The municipality of Torres Vedras is another winner of European Green Award – this time in 2015, demonstrates how to develop tourism while protecting the natural environment. Torres Vedras’ main objectives regarding biodiversity and land use are the reduction of biodiversity loss and the decrease of unsustainable use of natural resources.

  • Solar energy station will power Hawaii at night

    Solar panels are great because they produce power without filling the air with pollution. The bad news is that once the sun goes down they become pretty useless. But Tesla and Hawaii have a solution that’ll use the sun’s rays both during the day and the night.

    The Kapaia project is a combination of a 13 MW SolarCity solar farm installation in the Hawaiian island of Kauai and a Powerpack storage facility with 52 MWh of total capacity. The beauty of the new facility, in terms of the specific needs of the sun-soaked island in the Pacific, is that it can capture energy from the sun during peak production day hours, and then keep that power ready for peak consumption hours at night.

    This is an innovational process for solar power generation, made possible by Tesla (American automaker, energy storage company and solar panel manufacturer) in partnership with the KIUC (Kauai Island Utility Cooperative). The station, along with Kauai’s other renewable resource solutions including wind and biomass, won’t completely keep the island from using fossil fuels but it will temper the need.

    In addition to using Tesla’s station to battle the island’s incredibly high electric bills, it’s also part of a long-term Hawaii-state plan to be completely powered by renewable energy sources by 2045. Kauai has its own goal of using 70 percent renewable energy by 2030.

    According to Tesla and the KIUC, the 45 acre Kapaia project will reduce the use of fossil fuels by 1.6 million gallons a year. Tesla’s hoping that the example of what it’s done in Kauai will act as a roadmap for what it can do for other commercial energy providers around the world.