Fashion Rio: Mani/Pedi, Lapa,Samba,The Mayor

I’ve been to Rio so many times, it now feels like a second home. I arrived last Thursday and I immediately got into my routine. One of the first things I like to do after checking into the Ipanema Plaza Hotel (when im not staying at the preferred Fasano Hotel) is to get a mani/pedi at a not far away hole in the wall nail spot. Brazilians are known for doing the best bikini wax (I can’t say first hand) but for me they do the best mani/pedi. They triple coat the clear varnish which I quite like though im told that only the favela boys gets their nails done like that.

In January I went to Lapa on Friday night for the first time and I was totally taken by the energy. It felt like the authentic carioca experience, all sorts of people drinking and partying in the streets while hopping in and out of neighborhood bars. I was determined to go back so I headed there with my friend Alexandre Federic, who had escaped from Paris to spend a few weeks in Rio. Lapa was just fun the second time around. We drank caipirhinias till 4am in the morning while meeting people along the way who took us under their wings and showed us some of their secret spots. Mind you, it felt semi dangerous, as though we could lose our lives at any moment, but that only heightened the adventure.

On Saturday after lunch at New Natural (one of my favorite Rio dining spots), we hit Ipanema beach to sleep off the hangover and gawk at the boys. Thank god you can still do the beach in the wintertime in Rio. Saturday night was about checking out something new and Kyoko Masunari from Gap Press and I decided to go to Salgueiro samba school after the fashion shows. That was to be an unforgettable experience. We were whisked in by one of the coordinators who recognized us as journalists attending Fashion Rio and we got the royal treatment–we samba-ed till 5am. We capped off the night at Dama de Ferro, a seedy after hour spot at the edge of Ipanema.

After a short nap, it was brunch at Sergio Cabral, the mayor of Rio’s house near Gavea high up in the jungle. A shortlist of journalists were invited for a meet and greet which turned out to be charming affair with Paulo Borges ( the new owner of Fashion Rio), the private equity guys from InBrands, local journalists such as Lilian Pace and Gloria Kalil. Sleep is gonna have to happen on the plane ride back.

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