It's been cold in San Francisco lately so coats and layers are a must to stay warm and dry. I've been determined to beat this horrible weather while remain chic - I WILL NOT conform to the horrible outdoorsman coats that everyone in SF insists on wearing. If you know you know.
I just got these pictures back from my brunch date with my blogger babe squad in LA and am so excited to share. A few days ago my friend Kate and I brought together a group of our favorite LA-based gal pals for brunch at one of my favorite LA restaurants; Ysabel. If you have never been to Ysabel, GO (run) immediately! IMO it's a rare gem that strikes the balance of having both amazing food and a stunning interior. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a design freak and I'm a sucker for restaurants with amazing ambiance. Every time I'm in LA I find myself here at Ysabel on repeat because it's perfect for brunch with gal pals, or dinner dates with the bf. I will admit I have been here 2x in one day - that's how much I like it. Anyway...
Now, getting back to the lady date deets. Before lunch we all stopped by another favorite of mine - Alfred Tea & Coffee for a coffee and tea top up, you gotta get that caffeine fix, ya know? ;) I'm not at liberty to tell you what was discussed (girl code), but I can tell you that we had a great time and are very close to solving world peace (as well as how to deal with boyfriend's when they PMS). Jokes aside, we purposely invited an amazing group of power babes who are all working on growing their own businesses, building internationally-known blogs, slaying the modeling game, or crushing it in their careers - so encouraging to hear what each of these ladies is doing! Old relationships were strengthened and new ones were forged - and it's a day I won't soon forget.
We had such a great time and our lunch that Kate and I have decided to transform our casual babe lunches into a more regular thing. Starting in 2017 (as our schedules clear up), we'll launch a brunch series with purpose of giving creative female entrepreneurs a place to have fun, meet new friends and network. Please shoot me an email if you're interested in joining!
Waking up at 4 am to catch the sunrise above Paris was worth it.
These photos were taken by the mega-talented photographer Olivier Wong in Montmartre, Paris an early morning during Paris Fashion Week. Due to Olivier's busy schedule, I got the photos back several weeks after fashion week, but I couldn't be happier about the results. Olivier is a true artist and I HIGHLY recommend you take a look at his Instagram. As a model I've worked with many photographer's but there is something special about Olivier and how he shoots a scene. He is very aware of the shot he plans to create and it's a beautiful thing to hear and watch him direct and explain the shot as he has it in his mind, then see it come to life.
When was the last time you pushed yourself beyond what's comfortable in order to experience moments of life in a way that most others are too lazy to do? It's never too early to start thinking about goals and resolutions for the new year. In 2017 I am excited to pack my life full of these moments. I'm excited to share the journey with you (my friends) and have a truly extraordinary year.
Beautiful gardens, time with friends, fashion week, and classic white jumpsuits - this is the stuff my Parisian dreams are made of and it felt like a dream as I walked through the sprawling grounds of Jardin du Luxembourg on this afternoon. This photo set was photographed by my good friend Federico Guendel during my time in Paris for Fashion Week. On this particular afternoon we met for a stroll in the park to feast on sweets at the park cafe and shoot some photos together. Fede shoots everything from high fashion look books and editorials to beautiful couples who elope in Paris and I love shooting with him because he always teaches me so many incredible lessons about modeling.
Many of you know that I was signed by Scout Models a few months ago and I'm now modeling part time while I maintain my full-time work and entrepreneurial endeavors. I've been getting a lot of questions about the photos I post on my blog and Instagram and how they look so polished. I am obsessed with beautiful photography and I actually studied photography as my art while I was in college studying Business. All photos on the blog that I'm not in, I personally photographed. The photos I am in are either shots I've taken with various photographers friends or modeling photos. I have years of photography tricks and knowledge that goes into every one of these photos and the photographers have even more.
I am thinking about posting a few blogs about modeling, photographic art direction, and my tips and tricks but I'm not sure if anyone is interested. Please Snapchat or Instagram message me @elisegabriel and let me know if you are. I'd love to hear your questions so I know how to incorporate them into a blog.
Hello Lovlies! I have some exciting news for you; this year, for the first time ever, I had the opportunity to visit Paris for Fashion Week and it was amazing! I'm in the midst of launching a new business venture which is the reason I was originally in Paris, but the timing was too perfect to ignore so I extended my trip so I could attend Paris Fashion Week. Those of you who have followed my blog over the last year may already know from a previous post that it's a tradition of mine to always visit Palais Royal during the first day of my trip to Paris. It's a personal tradition I started years ago and I haven't broken it in my 7+ trips to Paris since. :)
This trip to Palais Royal on Day 1 of my Paris trip was particularly memorable because I was able to coordinate schedules with my dear friend Federico Guendel for an early morning photo shoot in the Palais Royal garden. Fede is a super talented fashion photographer who taught me a lot of what I know about modeling and has become a good friend of mine over the years. The photos above are from our photoshoot together. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing more in the next blog.
p.s. Interested in learning more about the ins and outs of Fashion Week or Paris? Feel free to leave comments below or on my Instagram @elisegabriel.
This fall has been one of the craziest seasons of my life. I've been working at my full time job in advertising as well as preparing to launch my own company and to call life a 'balancing act' is an understatement. My boyfriend, Sunny, and I both live these fast-paced lives as we push forward in our careers and personal projects. If you read my blog regularly, you know that this fall I have been traveling A TON. I'm currently in the middle of a multi-country trip that's taken me from New York (fall fashion week), to Paris (meetings), to Morocco (for business) and now Zurich, and the trip continues to several more countries after Zurich. Until a few days ago I hadn't seen Sunny in weeks as he too was traveling on business and was in England. :(
We were invited to Zurich Film Festival as speakers and decided it would be the perfect place to meet up and see each other for a few days. These photos are of the dress I wore to the Zurich Film Festival opening party - it's from Windsor Store.
After a crazy summer of travel for work and holiday, I'm finally getting around to writing about our time in Kyoto, Japan. If you've followed along with my previous blog and Instagram posts you may already know that Sunny and I went to Tokyo on business earlier this summer. We've both been in love with Japanese culture since we were young and a fun fact is that our first date was actually in a Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. So because are both so obsessed with Japan we decided to extend the trip a bit longer so we could have a few days to holiday and explore.
When visiting Japan for the first time, seeing Kyoto is also a must, however getting to Kyoto from Tokyo isn't exactly a quick ride. It's about a 2 hour trip via the Shinkansen bullet train and about approximately $150 USD each way, so this is something you only do if you're committed to visiting Kyoto. All this said, visiting Kyoto was 100% worth it, in fact, we loved it so much we plan on spending several more days there during our next trip. And I already have it on our list to visit this restaurant (if any of you have been there please email me and tell me how it was).
Many friends and followers on Instagram are asking me about our itinerary in Kyoto so I've posted it here below. We had an absolutely amazing time and I am happy to send a more detailed itinerary to anyone who is planning a trip to Kyoto and would like one.
Fushimi Inari-Taisha // The 2 hour hike through the famous orange Torri and shrine was definitely the highlight of our time in Kyoto. This place has such a fascinating history and the vermillion colors are mesmerizing.
Shrine-Hopping // As my friend Jane said, there are so many Shrines in Kyoto you can't really go wrong. After visiting Kyoto, I totally agree with this. We really enjoyed visiting the historic budist temple Kenninji, but there are many others that people rank higher - I think this is a pretty great list here.
Gion // The most famous geisha district in Kyoto is now packed with cool bars, restaurants, and shopping. As a photography fan I really loved visiting the Leica store there which is housed in a beautiful old building with sliding wooden doors.
Riverside Dining by the Kamo River // There are miles of restaurants along the banks of the Kamo River that are ALL GOOD. My recommendation is to enjoy exploring the area around dusk then duck into a spot that tickles your fancy at the time. You can easily find sushi and yakitori options here.
A few weeks ago I got some time off to Surf Air my way down to San Diego with two of my best girlfriends for a weekend of relaxation, amazing food, and exploration - to date, it's one of my favorite weekend trips of all time and a memory I won't soon forget. My best friend from High School, Jenny drove down from Los Angeles to join me and my dear friend Jane, from San Francisco flew down to meet us in sunny San Diego.
One of my favorite hotel's in the world is the historic La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California. I remember staying at La Valencia when I was younger, but for our girls weekend I thought it would be fun to visit the all pink, seaside hotel as adults for some R&R and girls time. From start to finish, we were greeted with amazing service during our stay - from the food to the amenities, there is literally nothing I would have changed about the trip (except to have stayed longer).
The first thing I must call out is the room. Wow. The room we stayed in had massive retracting glass windows that made it feel like we were in a treehouse at night - there is nothing quite like smelling and hearing the ocean waves as you fall asleep. Amazing. The second thing I need to call out; the food. The food at La Valencia is INCREDIBLE. We were lucky enough to meet the award-winning Chef, James Montejano, who is running a tight culinary ship there at La Valencia. Everything is SO GOOD. When Chef Montejano found out Jane, Jenny & I were all major foodies, he made sure we tried all of his favorite dishes and even came out to our table to hang out and tell us about each dish as it came out. Seriously, I love this guy. He gets my #1 chef award. The final thing I want to call out is simply how beautiful the grounds are - for such an old hotel, it's in immaculate condition and the entire property is stunning.
Confession time: during our stay Jane, Jenny and I indulged in multiple room service sessions, watched our first episode of The Kardashians, somehow figured out a way to use a champagne bucket as a weight in an ab workout, and were constantly in and out of the amazing hot tub. If that's not a successful girls trip, I don't know what is. Looking forward to the next trip. :)
Photography: Jane Hu & Elise Gabriel
The last several months I've been traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco on an almost weekly basis - in fact my Swarm app (the app I use to track my travels) just told me I've been in airports 11 straight weeks in a row. Umm... wow! No wonder I'm exhausted these days.
I was recently invited for a cocktail party by the poolside of the beautiful Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California. I'm not writing a full story about the party or the hotel since it was just a quick visit and I didn't actually get to stay at the hotel, but I will tell you that the cabanas and pool areas were beautiful and I hope i'll have the opportunity to stay there at some point soon. Here's a preview of the modern all black look I wore for the party - photographed by my friend Matthew McFate. More photos up on my Instagram. :)
I'm back home in San Francisco and it feels so good. Traveling is amazing for work and pleasure has been amazing, but it's so nice to be back in my own bed, get cosy in my own apartment, and slow down (a bit). Unfortunately, it's Super Bowl weekend here in San Francisco so my chance to slow down before my trip to Los Angeles next week will be a brief one, but these last few days have been fantastic none-the-less.
It's been cold in San Francisco lately so I've been wearing a lot of chunky sweaters and simple monochrome looks. It's also been a busy time for me with my full time job so the monochrome looks make getting dressed in the morning so much simpler. This photo set was shot by my photog bestie, Victoria Heer at my apartment in San Francisco. Victoria is an amazing photographer and person and it's always a pleasure to hang out with her. If you're a fan of following San Francisco photographer's work - I'd recommend you like her Facebook page - her style is so on point.
Pants - Levis, Sweater - H&M, Gold Bangle - Vita Fede
These photos are from a recent weekend trip up to Sausalito with my friend Zach. Zach is an extremely talented photographer who loves to shoot dance photos. His absolutely stunning work on ballerinas can be found on his website and always makes me want to take up dance again - I'm looking forward to the day when I'll be able to make more time to take classes. Shortly before Zach and I headed back into San Francisco, we stopped by the Sausalito docks to snap a few photos in the beautiful evening light. I hope you enjoy! More on my Instagram.