January 8, 2014 PC’s Pants: a Small but Mighty Collection

Motorcycle Pants in the December issue of Women's Health.

Motorcycle Pants in the December issue of Women’s Health.

At Peruvian Connection, we currently only have a total of 11 pant options, but what we lack in quantity, we make up for in style! Our Motorcycle Pants, shown above in Women’s Health, are an especially flattering and versatile pair.  Here are a few of the recent comments about them:

OMG Incredible
“Style+++, fit is incredible and unbelievable comfort all in one hot pair of casual pants. They’re ‘Where did you get those pants!’ pants. They are slimming but forgiving. Definitely my go-to pants for going out. Please PC offer them again in more colors!!!”–jojazzy, PA

Best Fit ever for Pants!
“These pants hug all curves and can create curves that usually can’t be seen. I’ve got legs that aren’t too skinny & aren’t too muscular, but no rear. These pants looked wonderful and gave me a lift like no other pant I have tried. 5’5” 119. I usually wear 4 & I considered all the reviews written & I bought size 2 which was a perfect fit.”–Renee Michele

Our Paloma Skinny Pants are another pair winning lots of praise:

Indigo: Think CHOCOLATE!
“The description may say Indigo but that belies the true glory of this color palette. It’s actually chocolate brown, taupey tan, with a dusty blue webbing. Those colors, as combined, are absolutely divine and extremely versatile…
What more can I say? Oh, actually, I can say something more. As with everything from PC, the tailoring and construction of this garment is impeccable.”–StillFabulous, NV

The rest of the small group is getting plenty of 5-star reviews as well. The Spring collection will soon be here, with another crop of curvaceous jeans, printed pants, as well as some fabulous striped trousers…stay tuned.

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January 3, 2014 Weaving Lives, Engaging History

Handweaving a manta at CTTC in Cusco, Peru

Handweaving a manta at CTTC in Cusco, Peru

Join PC in exploring the vital traditions of weaving, spinning, dyeing, and knitting in Peru’s highland communities. Nilda Callañaupa of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, Peru (CTTC), along with Catherine Joslyn, author of “Children of the Inca”, will conduct a public lecture at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 9 in the Atkins Auditorium of Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Mark your calendars for Friday, February 7,  for a unique Trunk Show of handwoven CTTC textiles, plus ‘El Mercado’, highlighting local artisans and various Latin American goods: Mattie Rhodes Center, 6-9 pm.

 
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December 4, 2013 PC’s Gift Guide: Wearable Treats!

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‘Tis the season to give…and to receive!  Whether you’re looking to stuff their stocking or your own, we’ve got the perfect little something.  Wrap them up in our memorable scarves, legwarmers, and gloves! Adorn them in sparkling arm candy, handcrafted wearable treats and cozy giftables!  We’ve got it all!

giftguidecozies

When the snow is falling and sleigh rides are calling, you can never go wrong with a coveted cozy—from legwarmers to artsy knit sweaters.  You can go wrong with sizing though, so unless you’re absolutely positive of their size, stick with sizeless giftables like scarves, hats and other accessories.

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Throughout the years, our Plaid Baby Alpaca Scarves have proven to be one of the best selling gifts around—for him or her!  They’re addictively soft, surprisingly affordable and timelessly stylish!  Make sure to order one for yourself, because you won’t want to give it away once you get it!

giftguidechandra

Or there’s our shoulder-wrapping Chandra Shawls.  They are handwoven in a cozy double-faced weave and then adorned with gorgeous hand-embroidered leaves in colorful space-dyed yarns. At $110, these wearable works of art are a steal!

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Our whimsical chullo is a fabulous topper and a great conversational piece—handloomed by Peruvian artisans in a blend of alpaca yarns.  A traditional hat of the Andean people, Chullos provide more than warmth for natives—the various colors and types carry different meanings.

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Legwarmers make a wonderfully unique gift.  They can be hard to find elsewhere, so stock up on our wide array of exclusive handloomed legwarmers.  What’s more, you don’t have to worry about sizing—they stretch to fit any size leg!  Our Market Wool Legwarmers and Geo Wool Legwarmers are knit of hand-painted space-dyed yarns for an unbeatable spectrum of color (which is a great little story to tell them once they’re unwrapped!) .

giftguidejewelry

Let’s not forget sparklers and beaded treats—what girl wouldn’t love a special piece of jewelry in her stocking?  We offer utterly unique pieces that are created by artisans across the globe…from Peru to Thailand to Portland.  No matter what age you’re looking to please, we have glittering headbands, stacks of bracelets and outfit-making necklaces.  Here are some of our favorites:

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Our Fair Trade Bead Bracelets are fabulous for anyone on your list.  They come as a set of 6, but they can be divided up!  These glass bead bracelets are hand woven in Nepal—profits go to support the local Nepalese communities, not only by supporting their local economy and artistry, but also through the erections of schools, hospitals and more!

giftguidenecklaces

If you’re looking for some authentic Peruvian goodies, check out our handcrocheted Ashbury Necklace (pictured  way above) or the Topanga Necklace (pictured immediately above).  These pieces embody cultural traditions that have been passed down for generations—the elaborate handwoven textiles and gorgeous crochet stitches!

stockings

And, of course, if you’re looking for a stocking to fill, check out our handwoven Peruvian Christmas Stockings!  They are handwoven and then handembroidered in colorful, folkloric florals!  They’re large enough to hold just about anything!  Happy Holidays!!

 

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October 29, 2013 Cracking the Holiday Dress Code

The holidays are just around the corner, and so is the holiday party circuit: business lunches, festive get-togethers, chic soirées. More than likely you won’t be receiving invites like Kim Kardashion’s  “all white” party or Capote’s famous masked party that give explicit instructions on what to wear.  Instead, you’ll have to crack the dress code—“Festive”? “Creative Black Tie”?   But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

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Cocktail Attire

The look here should be sophisticated and chic, with a bit of fun!  Stick to tasteful, knee-length options paired with sexy heels or stylish ankle boots. Think of that perfect LBD—like our Natalia Sheath. Or that favorite taffeta party dress—our Claudine Sheath, Borealis Dress or Marilyn Party Dress are sure to impress! Complete the look with a beautiful clutch and some sparkling jewelry.

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Business Attire

Business attire is a glammed-up version of what you would wear to work. Although it’s still a suitable option (pun intended), these days we can go beyond the polished suit set.   Say, a beautiful pencil skirt with a nice top—like our Marais Pencil Skirt  or East-West Skirt.  Go a little bolder with the jewelry and accessories. Stacks of bangles, a statement necklace or pretty scarf add an elegant touch.

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Festive

No, this doesn’t mean donning a holiday sweater with a 3-D Rudolph or light-up Santa. Probably the most elusive of all dress codes, Festive attire falls somewhere between business and cocktail attire.  Think of something special and fun, but still sophisticated, with a touch more opulence than normal—like our Zelda Dress or Organza Skirt and Top.  Try adding in some sparkle—like we did on our lurex-laced Priya Dress.

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Creative Black Tie

Think formal, but with a trendy, creative twist… a modern touch to the traditional.  Instead of a floor-length satin dress, go for a lacy handcrochet number—like our Edwardian Dress. Or even a long skirt with a gorgeous topper.

Black Tie Optional

You don’t have to wear a long evening gown (but you can if you want to). You can also wear a formal cocktail dress, a dressy pantsuit, or even a long full skirt with an elegant sweater.  Just keep it classy and elegant—try to think if you’d be embarrassed standing next to someone in their sparkling floor-length evening gown.  We suggest our Stardust Dress or the Portia Lace Dress.

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Dressy Casual/Elegant Casual

This means just what it sounds like: relaxed, yet polished and pulled together.  This could mean something as simple as an elegant sweater-dress with cool accessories—like our Cambridge Dress. Or you could wear a crisp pair of our Coated East End Jeans with a cool jacket or dressed-up sweater, like the Burnished Moto Jacket or Kelmscott Cardigan.

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Casual

This doesn’t mean wear your sweats, but it does mean relaxed. For evening, a pair of jeans with a pretty top or nice sweater would be appropriate.   Don’t over-think this one too much—wear whatever makes you comfortable!

One last thing to remember: An event during the evening is always dressier than one during the day!

 

 

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October 24, 2013 Sticky Toffee Pudding

After we returned from the Holiday photo shoot in England, my mind kept drifting back to sticky toffee pudding—the perfect amalgamation of cream, caramel and dates!  Since I couldn’t find it on any dessert menus back home, it didn’t take long for me to whip up a version of my own.  Without further adieu, I present to you….

Sticky Toffee Pudding

stickypudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease an 8” x 8” square cake pan.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 1/3 Cup evaporated milk (or regular milk), 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 8 oz chopped dates.  Bring to a boil, but watch closely so it doesn’t burn or boil over.  Boil for a couple minutes, until the mixture thickens and the dates seem nice and soft.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ½ Cup brown sugar, ¼ Cup sugar and 1 stick of butter (1/2 Cup), softened.  Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add 2 eggs and beat for another minute.  Then add 1 ¼ Cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt, beating just until it’s combined.  Lastly, add the date/milk mixture and beat again just until it’s combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  I start checking after 25 minutes, testing it with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, prepare the caramel (toffee) sauce:

                               caramel

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 stick of butter (1/2 Cup) with 1 cup of brown sugar and a small dash of salt.  Once it boils, you’ll want to stir it almost constantly with a wire whisk.  Continue boiling for 2-3 minutes, then add ½ Cup heavy cream (whipping cream), without turning off the heat.  Return to a boil and let it cook for a minute longer, whisking almost constantly.  Finally add 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract just before removing it from the heat. Set aside.

Once the cake is done, it only needs to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.  You want it to be warm!  While cooling, whip up some fresh cream for the top.  All you have to do is pour about ¾ cup heavy whipping cream into a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric beater until thick.  When it’s close to the perfect thickness, turn off the beaters and add a small amount of powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), about ½-1 tablespoon depending on how sweet you like it.  Keep in mind that the caramel and the cake are both very sweet, so the cream does not need to be as sweet as normal.

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To serve, cut the warm cake into squares and top individual servings with a heavy stream of caramel and a dollop of cream!

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