Come by here when you need a break from the heaviness of it all.
This is a salute to debauchery, but not debauchery as you have been taught. This type of debauchery is patriotic. It is the pursuit of happiness. It is two arms embracing the bosom of fun, frivolity, food, fashion, chilling and doing what feels good.
Rather than spending my precious few in reflection of ways I can reduce my carbon footprint, I am more likely in pensive contemplation of why my neighborhood market no longer stocks Ten Cane. What the hell? I never saw a single dusty bottle on the shelf. But I don’t limit my musings to the whereabouts of beloved spirits.
I also ponder other mindful topics. How many extra hours will I be forced to work to afford my vacay to the Maldives? Are the lace overlay shoes truly a necessity or a want or do I really care? If I were to corner that new recruiter guy in his office and proposition him in the most inappropriate way ever, would he report me for sexual harassment? Why does Nutella taste so good?
The problem with my interests and way of thinking is that society, media, the man (however he manifests himself to you) tries to control the very essence of us all. Eat this, not that. The purpose driven life. Think like a woman; act like a man.
It’s not that I don’t care about anything. Several things, causes, people not only grab my attention but shape and enrich my life. (Full disclosure: I boycott everything; some have lasted well over a decade.) I just choose not to wrap myself in a purpose driven pashmina and feign saintly qualities to fool the masses into thinking I’m more serious, smarter, or more altruistic than they are.
When it comes down to it, most of us (not just girls) just wanna have fun. We want to indulge in wine, not for health benefits but to savor and then get wasted. We want to eat foods dipped in butter. We want to do it, and do it well, with whomever we damn well please. We all want the laser cut Giuseppe Zanotti boots. All meaning me.
daphne debauchee is not here to enlighten or to answer all the questions. daphne debauchee is here to provide shelter for all those who choose to submit to their desires. Do you want to buy a fur? Do you want to lie in bed all Saturday and do absolutely nothing and not be judged? Do that. All I ask is that you, as forementioned, do it well (and on really high thread count sheets).
Him: I think we should get outta town for New Year, maybe something tropical.
Me: Babes, do you know it’s December 18?
Me: Do you know people usually book New Year’s eve vacays a year ahead?
Him: You can do it.
Him was right. I can and I did. I’m an odd combination of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and anal-retentive-nosey AF-planner-extraordinaire. So although I found this task to be daunting, I was up for the challenge.
As I spent every waking moment between December 18 and the day we booked our accommodations searching and planning, I couldn’t help but learn a few things:
1) Bring sand to the beach. Or nah. I prefer to know the person I’m going to kiss at midnight. I don’t want to share my hope and plans for the new year with a random. I enjoy the excited usies and bottomless champagne on the flights. I love basking in the shared afterglow on the flight home. But hell, if you like strange, you know I won’t judge you.
2) Don’t get stuck on a certain location. If you only have two weeks tops to make a New Year vacation come true, you can’t afford to be rigid. Expand your horizons. Watch Anthony Bourdain. To be perfectly clear, read on for #3.
3) Think outside the Caribbean. Like I said, don’t get stuck on a location. Americans often act as if the world just drops off after the Caribbean islands. It doesn’t. I know the islands are close and that you won’t have to use as much vacation time from work to travel there. When I began my hunt for vacancies, I started in the Caribbean for that very reason. I got lucky and found a lovely ocean front condo in Jamaica. However, it was the ONLY accommodation I could find that was up to my standards on the entire island. Repeat. The ONLY. I just got lucky. Don’t rely on luck though. I was open to Colombia, Argentina, and I’m always open to Thailand, but like I said… I. Just. Got. Lucky.
4) No room at ANY of the inns? Go rogue. An alternative to the resort is the vacation rental market. Websites like homeaway.com allow you to rent beach houses, condos or whatever you require all over the world. The site has photos, reviews, maps and more – everything you need for due diligence. My accommodations were in theory part of a resort with its own private beach. In reality, it was just an upscale condo that we rented from the owner. I used the site for the first time for this trip and it was a lifesaver.
5) When you snooze, you sometimes lose. So you are successful with lodging, but what about the rest? Anybody who’s ever waited until the last minute to try to make NYE party or dinner reservations, even in your own town, knows it can be close to not happening never. Try booking a local chef. I employed the services of a true gem of a lady, Michelle. She cooked a couple of meals per day while I gallivanted on the beach. I’d come home to authentic Jamaican food and a clean condo. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
6) Lounge. Thank me later. Holiday travel is too unbelievably exhausting and the entire airline industry hates you. Seek comforts wherever you can even if you have to just throw money at it. If you aren’t already a member of some airline’s lounge club thing, entry is usually extended with the purchase of a business or first class ticket. You can also buy one-day passes. Do whatever you can. Did I mention the “free” drinks?
Since you’re reading this, I know you’re in a hurry and have no time to waste. Let me know if any of this helped. Also, do you have any tips? I’m sure this last minute trip won’t be my last.
Greetings! It’s been a long while and a lot has happened, so instead of explaining, I’ll just jump right in.
Last year I took the first real vacation (no laptop, no phone calls) that I’ve had in years. Because I’m Daphne, I know no other way than to go big, so I splurged on a whirlwind ten days in Asia. My trip began in Bangkok, marinated in Phuket and then ended in Hong Kong. To sum up the experience in a word or two: fairy tale.
Some deets: In Bangkok, my sister and I took a private boat tour down the Chao Phraya, toured Chinatown by night and sampled a little street food (not nearly as much as we would’ve liked). Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on perspective, our time in Bangkok was packed with sightseeing so the best dining experience we had ended up being at our hotel, The Peninsula. I’m dying to go back soon, be able to take my time and get all Anthony Bourdain with it.
In Phuket, we lodged at the Trisara aka Heaven on Earth, rented a mini yacht for the day for some island hopping and partied at the newly opened Nikki Beach. We didn’t have to go far for excellent food (Poo Nim Phad Phong Ka-ri, Trisara’s curried crab was unbelievably good!), but we did manage to tear ourselves away. One of the best dining experiences was at the Siam Supper Club – good food, good wine list, hot Aussies.
Hong Kong was pure fancy schmancy. From the overwhelmingly beautiful view from the suite at the Four Seasons to Michelin-starred French truffle overload and Chinese decadence, I was just blown away. Man Mo Temple, Victoria Peak and shopping occupied us for the remainder of our time.
Planning a trip of this magnitude was labor intensive. When I decided to expand to include Hong Kong, I knew that I needed to call in reinforcements.
BONUS TIP: I know it may sound old school, but I worked with a travel agent who specialized in luxury travel.
Our agent was also a member of the Virtuoso network which afforded us complimentary amenities at some of the world’s most exclusive resorts and hotels. In addition, working with an agent gave me representation I could use to press for even more free goodies. However, even though I worked with an agent, I checked and re-checked every detail. I was able to negotiate rates and receive several free upgrades because I was armed with so much information.
I learned a lot planning this trip that will help me in the future and will hopefully help you as you plan your next sojourn.
12. Like I said, research, research, research and then research again. Leave nothing to chance. Make lists, whether written or mental, of things you’d like to do or attractions you’d like to visit. Sure, it’s your vacay and you don’t want a detailed agenda like you’re still at work. BUT, mark my words, lack of planning will only lead to possible missed opportunities and not being able to take full advantage of everything that is available. Trip Advisor is good for many things, but when you’re planning a true extravaganza, Luxe City Guides and Louis Vuitton are great resources.
11. Get help. I am aware that some people love a challenge, even during their down time. When it comes to my vacation, I am not one of those people. I am not interested in seeing if I’ll throw my back out while schlepping heavy luggage to and fro. If you’re like me, you’d rather have a lovely gentleman meet you as you step off the plane, grab your carry on, expedite you through customs, collect your checked bags, load them into a luxury vehicle, open the car door and then hand you a warm towel and a bottle of water, as he whisks you off to your destination. Firms like Abercrombie & Kent can arrange for private tour guides, valets and chauffeured cars. An agent who knows her shit, should be able to hook you up. Leave the stress at home. Just pay for the help. It’s worth every damned cent.
10. I flew Cathay for this trip and was very impressed. Business and first class are very comfortable due to a pod-like quality and fully flat seat that make you almost feel like they’re no passengers on your plane. The food was tastier than I expected and the wine list was good. The flight attendants were very attentive and only had to be told once to keep the champers a’coming. I give them a pass because they were probably unaware that one person could drink that much.
9. Leave the workout gear at home. Unless you’re one of those people who lives to shred, why fat shame yourself on your own vacation? Pack fly, but loose-fitting ‘fits. Refer to #7.
8. Mo’ massages, mo’ betta. I love a good massage and nothing says vacation more. Despite the fact that I almost missed my flight back home because I was in such a massage-induced, limp state of delirium, I am so happy that I managed to book the Jade Stone Therapy massage at The Spa at Four Seasons Hong Kong. It should be a requirement before any long haul flight. I could go on and on about it because it was one of the best NORMAL massages I’ve experienced. However, I was spoiled by something I had experienced only two days before. I say something because I’m not even sure it can be called something as limiting as a massage – Trisara’s Six Hand Massage. Yeah, that happened to me and I’m not really sure humans are equipped to receive that kind of pleasure.
7. Pack more kaftans. There really isn’t much more to say about that. Just do it.
6. Take advantage of every opportunity to do anything you would normally never do. Hong Kong is such a glamorous city and because of my research I knew that I could go all out as far as fashion. In other words, I had the perfect excuse to wear my see through tee with a sequined skirt with train. No biggie.
5. There is no such thing as too many swimsuits. Bring ALL of them. Even though you will likely settle on two go-tos that you’ll mix, match and wear daily, it’s still good to have options. My sister learned the hard way that it isn’t so easy for an American body to find a suit in Thailand.
4. Stay at the Trisara as long as your wallet and free time can afford. If you don’t know Trisara, google it, make reservations and thank me later. This is where you go when you want to truly get away and be pampered. I only saw other guests when I went to the Sunday Jazz Brunch (best brunch I’ve ever experienced and I’m a brunch connoisseur) and a beach barbecue.
3. Yacht like your life depends on it. But seriously, in this part of the world, sightseeing by boat is a necessity with its floating markets and secluded beaches. If it comes down to a budget choice between a boat and something else, choose the boat. You won’t regret it. We took the Phetmanee out for the day and enjoyed a lovely breakfast, snack and lunch on board as we island hopped around the Andaman Sea.
2. Always, ALWAYS sleep with Aussie Daniel Craig lookalike who asked you to sit with him at the bar of the swanky and delish Siam Supper Club. I know. I know.
1. Use the lounge. Why sit amongst the teaming masses and their unsupervised children in hard seats? There’s a very nice room with waaaay fewer children, comfy seats and “free” liquor.
This vacation was what some would call a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list trip, but I refuse to limit myself and I don’t plan on dying any time soon. I’d much rather have more of these experiences and I will allot my money accordingly. However, as a debauchee, it’s so hard to set limits. I just can’t get enough. but I’m itching to get somewhere new. Where should I go? Got any tips for me?
Though I have never nor will I EVER read the book, Charlotte Olympia has forced me to inadvertently participate in the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon. I ignored the nods to the pathetic bible of the sexually repressed soccer mom when it first jumped from iBook squarely onto the runway. I ignored it all (it’s that debauchee rebellion in me) even though the trend caters to all my fashion sensibilities.
Side note: It’s just so boring. Didn’t we already do this with 9 ½ Weeks? Would these women be so geeked if they knew Christian or whomever would turn out to be Mickey Rourke?
The influence was almost impossible to shake with all the black lace and black leather and strappy see-through-sexiness from Jason Wu to Versace to McQueen. All of these things are things I happen to LOVE, but I refused to enter into the shades of fray. That was before my life was forever changed by the burgundy Dolly suede platform with ankle strap.
In its infinite genius, that shoe combines two trends that I approve – burgundy and shades-of-greyness with the ankle strap that screams French maid sexy time. There are so many ways to wear them and I have approximately three options here. There’s something here for every body. So, charge up your ereader, pull out your credit card and let your freak flag fly.
I am in the process of redecorating. Frankly, I am OBSESSED with decorating my home. As you might imagine, my decorating philosophy is a play on scorched earth. Translation: try to cover every square inch in quirk, kitsch and a little sophistication. It should truly say daphne to all who cross my moat.
So one day while enjoying a kiki (surprise, surprise), I was discussing the empty space above my dueling coat closets with a fellow kiki-er. What should go in those matching blank and rectangular spaces? Wall décor emblazoned with the words “live,” “laugh,” or “love?” GTFOH. No, what would be more daphne?
We poured ourselves yet another when I decided that I did want some sort of graphic art. daphne loves the words. My name? Although my name rolls from the tongue, the idea is not groundbreaking. A fancy quote? Done and over. Then, it hit me. What words would both make me laugh and confuse and then enrage my mom every time she saw them? “TWERK SUM’N!!!!”
Debauched decoupage was born that night. It was my first attempt at decoupage and it was surprisingly fun and easy. I added 3-D elements and it became an amazing collage/ debauched dream board /source of laughs. What more can you ask of your home décor? Dust off your acrylic heels, crank up the 2Chainz and take a look. Whatcha think? Oh and let me know where I can find an apostrophe. JoAnn’s didn’t have any.
If your face is cracking and there is a way to stop it from cracking, why would you continue to let it crack? That is the millennial equivalent of the if-a-tree-falls-in-the-forest question. With plastic surgery being as ubiquitous as fashion people using the word ‘everything,’ I am surprised by my waffling opinion. Some days I’m down with it. Bring on the Botox! Fire up the Fraxel Laser! Other days I am flying the flag of feminism while angrily deriding all who seek to marginalize women with their limited, fantasy-based pablum.
Bring on the Botox! Fire up the Fraxel Laser!
In 2011, women underwent 8.4 million cosmetic procedures. We spent 10 billion smoothing out wrinkles, pumping up breasts and sucking out fat. See, everybody’s doing it. However, as a feminist who was raised by a feminist who was raised by a feminist who didn’t even know she was a feminist, I understand that the pressure on women to be beautiful and remain young at all costs is a tool of misogyny. However, knowing this gives me no comfort. I don’t want my nurtured need to fight the power to have me looking like the Crypt Keeper.
Men are never pressured to believe that their worth is for a large part determined by their beauty. In 2011, only 9% of cosmetic surgery patients were men. If a man is not beautiful, hey that’s ok. Just make enough money or be really good in bed or be able to fix stuff. Some woman will want you, dawg. If he can make a lot of money, the world is his oyster and nothing else matters.
Sure, she may have conquered global media, educated the kids and made a billion while doing it. But have you seen her without makeup?
Although less than model beautiful woman can and do rise in stature and esteem through their business accomplishments, the public will still try to compartmentalize and diminish. Remember all the Oprah bullshit? Sure, she may have conquered global media, educated the kids and made a billion while doing it. But have you seen her without makeup? She needs to lose weight. Oh and Stedman doesn’t want to marry her.
And still I waffle.
And still I waffle. I see the beginnings of fine lines on my forehead. Is it so wrong that I want to Botox the shit out of ‘em before they become deep furrows? I have a pleasant face. I don’t wanna a perma-scowl. I can say now that I would never get a facelift with my skin currently tight and its right place. Would I say the same thing if my chin and neck were sitting on my chest?
The thing is that our youth and beauty obsessed culture isn’t changing any time soon. I can protest against the misogyny for a month of Sundays, but will that change the fact that the visible signs of aging are the death knell? As a woman ages, she is paid less attention. You begin to not count, to be less important than, less valuable than. Who would knowingly sign on for that just to prove a point no matter how valid?
I participated in my first flash mob. No, I was neither singing nor dancing. I mobbed in the manner I mob best – by eating. Le Dîner en Blanc converged on the grounds of the Art Institute for its first dinner in Chicago last Friday.
As the name suggests, white was the theme. All white everything from the tables, chairs and tablecloths to the picnic baskets, suits and frocks. So since I love a theme almost as much as I love a surprise, I donned my first pair of white shoes since lace ruffle ankle socks and Easter speeches.
The way it works is that members are only told a neighborhood meeting/’harmonization’ point and what to wear and bring. Normally, members bring everything, but I cheated a little and rented a table and chairs and purchased food and wine from the organizers and had them all waiting for me at the venue. As you can imagine, daphne does not schlep well.
Led by a table leader who was in on the secret, groups from all over Chicago met up, set up and ate and drank the night away. It was a lovely evening and a great flip on the overdone white party. I can’t wait for next year’s le dîner . I’ll know what to expect and although the outfit most definitely will change, the shoes will remain the same. Decent looking white shoes are hard to come by.
So it is said that Monday, September 3 is the last day of this year that white can be worn unless maybe you’re a nurse stuck in a uniform time warp. Although I normally won’t let anybody who’s not contributing to the daphne debauchee wardrobe fund tell me what to wear and when, I’ll play along. You look kind of dumb in January wearing a white cotton eyelet mini-dress with your snow boots.
So as the official end of summer nears and that awesome three day weekend approaches, you might have been invited to a BBQ or two. Oh and I absolutely mustn’t forget the oh-so-original white party. Tangent time: I just don’t get the whole white party thing anymore. I’m not against them. I even attended a kind of white party last weekend. However, if you really want to impress me, throw a grey party. I love the color grey, but that is neither here nor there.
Anyhoo, it’s your last chance, so whiten up by taking a gander at this homage to all white everything. If you order now, like right now and with express shipping, you can probably have these white dresses before you hit the harbor for that Labor Day ‘yacht’ party.
I really love fringe and I’m blaming 80’s Stevie Nicks. Each strand of fringe waves hello as you approach and shimmies goodbye as you depart. There’s a look-at-me quality. Fringe is very easily the spirit fingers of clothing detail. What’s not to love?
Since I’d prefer not to look like an automated car wash or a Hair extra, I have to choose my fringe wisely. Judicious use of fringe is the hallmark of a person whose fashion sensibilities are firmly planted in the here and now.
So the fringe I choose and that I love most is attached to my handbags. However, all fringe handbags are not created equal. Only a few are deemed beautiful enough to receive debauchee approval.
Fortunately, there is no reason to fret. There are some truly inspired offerings available to right now. The best of which are Barbara Boner creations. I dub her the princess of fringe. This woman knows my heart and I think I love her. Well, I KNOW I love her fringe bags. Check out hers and some others that make me jingle.
As you may have surmised, I enjoy my expense ish. This enjoyment bleeds into every area of my life and that includes skincare and beauty items. Hell no, I don’t want NYX. I want Nars. Aveeno! Are you crazy? I only use Perricone.
Of course, it’s cool to say that I use Creme de la Mer moisturizer and dr. brandt pore refiner. However, as I and my skin care needs have matured, I find that some beauty maladies can be remedied without throwing a ton of cash at them. As a matter of fact, some lower-priced, drug store products work better.
Behold the holy trinity of beauty on a dime: Amlactin Lotion, Milk of Magnesia and Hydrogen Peroxide.
Are you ashy? Does your pedicurist cringe when she sees you walk in the door? After your next pedi, slather on some Amlactin. This lotion contains lactic acid which apparently is like Kryptonite to calluses and dry skin. I promise your pedicurist will think your feet haven’t touched the ground when you return. No, it doesn’t smell like organic, farm-to-le bain incense and myrrh, but for a measly $20 or so, you, and your pedicurist, will be singing my praises.
I just don’t like…for my pores to appear so big in pics that I look like I’m wearing flesh toned swiss cheese on my face. Seriously, I’ve tried it all in my quest to achieve the look of Christy Turlington’s pore less skin. The products just don’t work. Milk of Magnesia does. Dab a TINY, repeat TINY, amount over the problem area. Apply foundation and voila! Your skin is like Meagan Good’s. (Maybe an exaggeration, but you know what I mean.)
For an occasional break out, OTC acne creams are the equivalent of killing an ant with a sledgehammer. Enter hydrogen peroxide. It’s not just for cuts and scrapes anymore. The next time you wake up to see a zit yelling ‘Surprise!’, dab some HP on that bish, give it a couple days and au revoir. And another thing, if sleeping over at your man’s and you don’t want to slap him in the face with your morning breath, gargle with it the night before. Your breath will be remarkably neutral and ready for dawn delight.
And there are more. For example, I no longer buy commercial face cleansers, but that’s another day and another post. With all the savings, you have more money for boutiques and booze. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’.
What are some drug store diamonds in the rough that you swear by?