Entertainment

The 5 Books You Should Be Reading This Summer

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With just a few weeks left of the glorious sun before real life comes back with a vengeance this fall, I’ve put together the 5 books that you should be reading this summer to achieve optimal relaxation while you take advantage of the dwindling beach days! Happy reading!

The Summer I Turned Pretty Series – Jenny Han
Okay, so I guess technically speaking, this isn’t really a list of five because my first suggestion is actually a trilogy. But, who doesn’t love some good, coming-of-age young adult literature to break your heart during the summer? The Summer Trilogy tells the story of Belly and her summers at the beach house with the Fisher boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. It’s a story about unrequited love, growing up, and loss through warm and realistic characters that you can’t help but grow attached to. I’ve genuinely read this series every single summer since I was 15 and I still swoon over Conrad and cry at the end–it’s that good.

Girl On A Train – Paula Hawkins
This is one of those books that came out of nowhere but everyone is talking about. It’s even being turned into a movie starring Emily Blunt, out later this fall, so that’s even more reason to read it now. I plan on seeing it, but, as we all know, the books are always better than the movies. Girl On A Train is the best psychological thriller since Gone Girl. It’s crazy, unpredictable, and heart-stopping to the point where you won’t be able to put it down.
Billy and Me – Giovanna Fletcher
Gi Fletcher has been one of my favorite authors for years now. Finally, the good people at Penguin have decided to take her talents across the pond and have published this incredible book to be sold in US stores. Can I hear a “Hallelujah”? This book will appeal to anyone who identifies as a fangirl and tells the story of Sophie May, a quiet girl from the British countryside, and her relationship with world famous actor and heartthrob Billy. Although a bit melodramatic at times, this story made me laugh out loud and cry on multiple occasions and it’s a fun look into the life of dating an uber celebrity–and Gi would know; she did marry Tom from McFly after all!
Is It Evil Not To Be Sure – Lena Dunham
If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I essentially worship the ground that Lena Dunham walks on. So, when I found out that she was publishing a year’s worth of her journals from college, I practically set an alarm for when they would be released. As an avid journaler myself, I was eager to see how she documented the ramblings of her mind. I quickly found that the best part of this collection is that she kept all of the wacky punctuation and run-on sentences so that they still feel authentic and like a genuine look into the way she thinks and how she experiences life. These entries are endearing, enlightening, and really relatable for anyone who has ever been 20 years old and a reminder that your experiences, big or small, are worth preserving.

Just One Day Gayle Forman
From the author that broke our hearts with
If I Stay comes this next novel about a sheltered American girl named Allyson who goes on a Euro trip and meets the charming and adventurous Wilem. Together, the two share an incredible 24 hours before they are forced to separate.  Although their short-lived relationship is exciting and romantic, this story is really a look into the grief of a lost connection that nobody really ever talks about. It’s genuinely a beautiful story to get lost in this summer.

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Featured photo courtesy of flavorwire

The Top 3 Casino Designs Frequented by Celebrities

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The ubiquity of smart devices has seen a rising number in the people taking up gambling as a pastime so much so that operators saw a fall in footfall through the doors of their traditional casinos. But while gambling operators are now fighting back to win customers using the same technology and applications, there is one form of marketing that precedes them all, architecture. From the iconic buildings that line the Las Vegas Strip to casinos in more exotic locations, operators have long used unique and head turning architectural designs to stand out. With that in mind, here is our list of the top 3 casino architectural designs in the world:

featured1. The Venetian Macao – Macau, China
At over 500,ooo square feet and filled with some of the worlds best gaming machines, poker tables, hotel rooms, restaurants and bars, the Venetian Macao in Macau, China is an architectural wonder.  Recently, a group of Celebrity Foodies visited the Macao to celebrate the Chinese New Yar.  The Venetian is the flagship casino on Macau’s bustling casino resorts that include other beautifully designed gambling spots such as Casino Porte and the City of Dreams Casino. Featuring architecture and designs in which visitors would be forgiven for thinking they may be in Venice; the Venetian Macao receives millions of visitors every year and is highly rated in the industry.
casino2. Tusk Rio Casino Resort – Klerksdorp, South Africa
Casino resorts are now holiday destinations in their own right and the Rio Carnival-inspired Tusk Rio Casino Resort is no different.  The exotic-looking buildings cover over 255 000 square feet of gambling tables, machines and other attractions that would entice any enthusiast. Thankfully, if a holiday here is not quite achievable yet, players can always turn to mobile gambling platforms such as Red Flush Casino that offers just as much variety of games and tournaments. The tusk Rio takes top spot in South Africa by virtue of being the biggest casino in the country and for its world beating design but is followed closely by the world-renowned Sun City Resort in Rustenburg.
 


3. Foxwoods Casino Resort – Ledyard, Connecticut
This impressive looking building is home to the Foxwoods Casino Resort and features over 300,000 square feet of gaming tables, slot machines, restaurants and hotel rooms. The resort even has an arcade area for children that spans over two-storeys! Built over a decade by JCJ architecture in a project worth $989 million, the Foxwoods Casino Resort’s design transformed it into one of the largest and most successful gaming attractions in the world.  Later this fall, Foxwoods Casino Resort will be showcasing the grand openings of several celebrity themed restaurants including Food Networks star Guy Fieri and “Iron Chef” and TV host Cat Cora.
Having taken a big hit due to the current uncertain and less favorable economic situation, as well as the mass adoption of mobile-based platforms, gambling operators have adapted accordingly as the list above shows. In addition to the top 3 casino architectural designs in the world listed above, there are many more beautiful gambling destinations that show the industry is still robust and is fighting back.
All images provided by Flickr CC License
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The 9 Most Fashionable Films of All Time

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Some people would say that fashion in films is just a fluffy extra—pretty, but less important than the other cinematic details. For fashion lovers, however, it’s a completely different story.

Reflecting character, social class and, most of all, cultural relevance, fashion in films creates grandiose, or even simple, worlds that are tangible and realistic. From setting the time and place, clothing isn’t just a prop but an inside clue to a movie’s ultimate message. For nine films that show this exceptionally well, check out my list of must-sees for every fashion lover.

  1. The September Issue” (2009)

The first of many fashion films to come—and most of the world’s introduction to fashion stylist extraordinaire Grace Coddington—“The September Issue” charts the most influential month of fashion from behind the scenes at the world’s most coveted style magazine, American Vogue. From the tails of Anna Wintour’s daily outfits to the exquisitely made designer duds in every documented photo shoot, this film is a whirlwind through the fantasy and hard work that goes into the multibillion dollar fashion business, and every minute is a rare design treat.

  1. You’ve Got Mail” (1998)


The third time pairing of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (and second time in a Nora Ephron film) didn’t just make for box office gold, but it also showed exactly what New Yorkers looked like fashion-wise in the late 1990s. As those same trends—minimalism, neutrals and menswear inspired—come back strong in this millennium too, it might be time to hunker down for some film research and take a nod or two from Meg Ryan, Parker Posey, and Heather Burns.

  1. The Devil Wears Prada” (2006)

Andy Sachs’ transformation from college newspaper editor to gleaming and glossy magazine assistant is one of the best on-screen transformations since “My Fair Lady” (and Anne Hathaway’s other famous fashion transformation in “The Princess Diaries”). “The Devil Wears Prada” explores the famed halls of a leading fashion magazine (loosely based on Vogue) and the fashion-filled life of one assistant who gets in the middle of it all. My personal must-see is Meryl Streep’s closet; as the editor of the fictional Runway Magazine, her outfit choices are the culminating spectacle of the whole storyline.

  1. Marie Antoinette” (2006)


No list about the best fashion movies of all time is complete without a nod to the most fashionable woman of all time—Marie Antoinette. From her sumptuous mile-high hair creations to her pastry-colored custom gowns, the most notorious queen of France is a style icon, there’s no doubt about it. Paired with Sofia Coppola’s ’80s pop-infused rendition of the ill-fated heroine’s story, it’s one of the most visually appealing movies of all time and perfect for any style lover to watch endlessly for fashion inspiration.

  1. Valentino: The Last Emperor” (2008)

Follow Valentino Garavani throughout his last few years as the head of his couture house. “Valentino: The Last Emperor” isn’t just about Valentino’s gorgeous creations (though there are ample amounts of them in the film) but also about the extravagantly fabulous fashion lifestyle the designer lives. Not only do you see his ravishing designs, but you also get a glimpse of his house outside of Paris and his design studios in Rome. This documentary is one that will reveal the inside world of couture fashion in a way that will dazzle and inspire its viewers.

  1. Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005)


While “Memoirs of a Geisha” may not have been the critical success that was expected, there is no doubt that this opulent story is one that exposes traditional Eastern fashion and culture in a singularly elegant and accurate manner. From the intricate rituals of the geisha to the transformation of Japan after the end of the Second World War, this movie encompasses not just the story of a traditional art form but all of the fashionable accoutrements that follow it, and it’s a wonder to behold.

  1. How to Catch a Thief” (1955)

Alfred Hitchcock is well known for his thriller, but “How to Catch a Thief” deserves special recognition not only for its cinematic prowess but also its incredible fashion. Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, this movie flits between the casual attire common to a French Riviera beach town in the 1950s to the sumptuously costumed creations fit for a king, and it’s all designed by the legendary Edith Head—easily the greatest costume designer to live. Any lover of fashion will love sinking her teeth into this black-and-white classic.
 

  1. Working Girl” (1988)


There is very little doubt that any movie of the 1980s defined the tumultuous fashion and socioeconomic environment of the decade better than “Working Girl.” Sigourney Weaver’s elegant business get-up cemented the power woman spectacle of the era, and the early dressings of Melanie Griffith’s trend slave mindset showed the very opposite end of the same decade. From feathered hair to slick chignons, sneakers and suits, to bulky leather jackets, this heroine movie isn’t just about the rise of the American Dream in the 1980s but all the fashion it took to get there. If you haven’t seen this classic, it’s currently available on American Netflix for streaming, so get to watching!

  1. Sabrina” (1954)

Audrey Hepburn was a cemented style star long before this film came out, but with the added help of Givenchy’s sumptuous creations, she catapulted her status into the stratosphere for fashion lovers to fawn over for all time. With Hepburn’s simple yachting attire to her epic black-and-white embroidered ball gown, this movie is a classic reminder that fashion, glamour and movie stars have always gone hand in hand.
About Me: Isa Cox is a creative writer who loves to combine her two favorite things—fashion and film—whenever and wherever she can. From street style to runway looks, she hopes you get a chance to really appreciate these picks for the fashion they encompass, and if you have any favorites to add to the list, please leave a comment below!
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Images provided by Flickr CC License.