Cactus Love Story

As an Australian, one of the more visually fascinating parts of America is the Californian desert. Yes, we have the rich Red Centre in Central Australia, but the two don’t really compare. Both Joshua Tree and the surrounding Palm Springs desert invoke the fantastical which most definitely has to do with their native—and to me exotic—flora; the many various cacti and trees like the Mojave plant leave me star gazing—well, cactus gazing…you get my drift.


Viva wears Equipment romper, Alex and Ani bracelets


Viva wears Equipment romper, Alex and Ani bracelets


Viva wears Tory Burch cardigan, Alex and Ani bracelets


Hot Springs desert


Viva wears Ro & De top, Tory Burch pants.

A desert shoot has been on my to-do list for some time, and finally, I can cross it off.


Viva wears Raisins bikini, Trinas Turk knitted tank top, Alex and Ani bracelets, Converse shoes


Viva wears Raisins bikini, Lush camisole, Alex and Ani bracelets


Hope Springs Resort

Having already shot three films this year in three different locations, the California geothermal Hot Springs was just the quality downtime I needed. I chose to stay at the Hope Springs Resort because of it’s top-notch word-of-mouth reputation amongst LA locals.


Viva wears Seafolly bikini, vintage sunglasses

Arriving at this resort is like nothing I’d ever experienced; I felt I had stepped onset of a Mad Men Draper family vacation. All kitschy color coordinated decor and banana lounges in yellows, oranges, and greens, this mini vacation of mine soon felt like a retro middle America throwback party in the desert! It was fabulous!

While the pools look like regular resort pools, they’re not. At Hope Springs, there is one very hot pool, one warm pool, and one cool pool. Along with the palm trees, it’s safe to say that one feels she has stumbled upon an oasis. The water in each pool is pumped from a geothermal earth source so it inherently possesses healing and purifying properties. And you can actually feel the power of the water in action! One morning, for instance, I felt a migraine coming on and so I spent a few hours moving from pool to pool, relaxing in the water, and the ailment literally vanished. There’s not much that can cure a migraine, so I don’t write that lightly.


Outside my room



Viva wears Equipment silk shirt, Raisins bikini, vintage sunglasses


Viva wears Elizabeth and James T-shirt, vintage Levis ripped denim shorts, Alex and Ani bracelets

Inspired by both the character of Hope Springs Resort and the desert itself, I chose to style this shoot with maritime and pastel resort wear, and playful jewelry. When you can’t beat ’em, join em, I say!


Viva wears TART SWIM bathing suit, Alex and Ani bracelets


Viva wears TART SWIM bathing suit, Alex and Ani bracelets


Also outside my room


Viva Joie silk top, Raisins bikini bottoms, Alex and Ani bracelets and earrings


*Fashion without Photoshop.

Photography by Antonio Beliveau.

Thank you Tory Burch, Alex and Ani, Raisins, Ro & De, Converse, Elizabeth and James, Equipment, Joie, Tart Collections, Lush, and Trina Turk.

And thank you Hope Springs Resort 🙂


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