Browsing Tag

Italy

Posted on September 27, 2015

It’s a Pom Pom life for Dolce & Gabbana’s Summer Collection 2016

Accessoires/ Bags/ Featured/ Romantique
Wicker basket and dress with pom poms and mirrors. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Wicker basket and dress with pom poms and mirrors. Photograph: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images

Wow. Dolce and Gabbana’s summer 2016 collection was an explosion of colours and highly embellished clothes and accessories. I was one of the loyal Dolce fans following the live stream of the Milan fashion show entitled “Italia is love”. And the title did not disappoint.

A highly wearable, feminine collection oozing zest for (Italian) life, based on stereotypes of Italy in the 50s. The designer duo presented well tried ingredients from previous collections such as prints of lemons, oranges, umbrella stripes, Sicilian carts and florals woven onto highly embellished brocade and lace. Dresses painted with picture-perfect post card prints of Taormina, Palermo, Capri, Rome and Venice paired with touristy camera shaped handbags.

Photo by swide.com

Photo by swide.com

Stefano Gabbana said that the initial inspiration for the collection came from a book he read on Second World War fashion when tailors turned to traditional handcraft techniques to embroider materials because they were scarce.

Embroidery featured heavily in the show: Rich, decorative Sicilian folklore elements such as pom-poms, mirrors and medallions, usually the domain of the Sicilian straw coffa bag, found their way onto wicker baskets, shoes, earrings, dresses and headscarfs.

Pom Pom Dress Dolce Gabbana SS2016 summer collection

From head to toe richly embellished. Photo by swide.com

Photo by swide.com

Siclian cart dress and pom pom bucket handbag. Photo by swide.com

Critics of Dolce and Gabbana will say they are rehashing the same old Italian / Siclian traditional styles which are getting tired. I disagree: Dolce and Gabbana listen to their customers who love Italian themed fashion and demand wearable, flattering clothes rather than OTT circus fashion.

coffa bag featured image

Indulge in the Sicilian Dolce and Gabbana mood with Sicily Bag: Featuring pom poms, mirrors, medallions, and bells embroidered onto the cloth showing the geometric pattern of the Siclian cart. Each Sicily Bag is one of a kind. Artisan Luigi takes 2 days to make each bag.

Dolce Gabbana SS2016 pom pom bucket bag

 

Posted on July 30, 2014

Beach Stylin’: The Summer Sarong

Accessoires/ Italy/ Romantique/ Travel

Beach style is all about carefree, effortless dressing. A stylishly printed silk scarf, efficiently redesigned into a sarong, not only saves room in your suitcase but also looks elegant: All you need for this look is a silk scarf. Tie the two ends together and then wear it as either a skirt or a dress. Keep this article as a handy reference, it demonstrates 6 different ways on how to tie a beach pareo.

Alice and Lionel Scarf Beach Style Lavender Bloom

I’m wearing: My beautiful Lily and Lionel “Lavender Bloom” scarf. The lightweight silk is perfect for a sweltering hot day at Sicily’s Isola Bella beach near Taormina, Sicily. The makeshift dress easily switches from beach day chic to after-sun apero whilst sipping a Spritz or two.

Beach Style Sarong Sicily

Isola Bella, Sicily, Taormina beach sarong Lily and Lionel

 

Posted on July 23, 2014

Granita Siciliana

Cuisine/ Italy/ Romantique/ Travel

granita siciliana taormina bam bar

Sicilian cuisine is just as rich and diverse as it’s culture, bearing traces from the Arabs and Greeks. The opulent deserts and sweets have been influenced by the Arab candymakers of the 9th century.

My all time favourite desert from Sicily is Granita, also knows as Granita Siciliana. Hailing from Catania, Sicily, the delicious, sorbet-like dessert made of sugar, water and flavourings is savoured all over Italy, but it tastes best in Sicily! (Yes, you guessed it, Sicily is NOT the place to go when you’re on a diet)!

The quality of Granita is amazing almost everywhere on the island, but Bam Bar in Taormina is the prettiest spot for enjoying the sweet but light local speciality. At the orange-themed café in the heart of Taormina, you can chose between several flavours: Café, Almond, Nutella, Peach, chocolate & and many more. The icy granite is a saviour during a hot summers day. Dip a brioche into the Tranita to eat it like a real Sicilian!

The texture and taste of Granita varies from city to city in Sicily: Catania specialises in chocolate Granita and he texture is smooth like a sorbet whereas in Palermo, the sweet is more coarse and grittier.

granita siciliana taormina bam bar romantique

My favourite Granita flavour? A mix of Coffee and almond. Delish!

 

The pretty tiles of Bam Bar also decorate this years Rough Guide travel book

The pretty tiles of Bam Bar also decorate this year’s Rough Guide travel book

 

Mr Romantique cooling down at Bam Bar, Sicily.

Mr Romantique cooling down at Bam Bar, Sicily.

 

I'm wearing a gingham dress by Gant and blue Straw bag earrings from Sicily.

Posted on October 12, 2013

Best of Italy: Lecce, the Florence of the South

Italy/ Romantique/ Travel
I am wearing a floral Max Mara dress and Moschino cross body bag. Sandals from Attilio Giusti Leombruni

I am wearing a floral Max Mara dress and Moschino cross body bag. Sandals from Attilio Giusti Leombruni

The opulent artistic style of the Baroque is my favourite  architecture: Romantic cherubs, minutely detailed facades and domes that create emotion and drama. For my wedding, I chose a 1700s baroque Roccoco venue in Berlin and it was only natural to book our honeymoon to Rome, where the baroque architecture started, follwed by a lazy beach holiday in Puglia and a day trip to nearby Lecce.

Lecce is the only city tourist destination south of Naples. Known as the “Florence of the South” or “Little Rome”, the historic town is a feast for the eyes, a masterpiece of baroque architecture. Floral pattern and  mythological figures adorn the ornate buildings. Our Italian landlord recommended we visit at night when the town is lit up. A magical time to go there and stroll in the picturesque alleyways and marvel at the wonderfully over-the-top-facades of the Santa de Croce Church.

As if this is not enough, Lecce also boasts a Roman amphitheatre and theatre  in the middle of the centro storico.

Basiliica of St Giovanni Battista in Lecce

Basiliica of St Giovanni Battista in Lecce

Mr romantique strolling along the alleyways

Mr Romantique strolling along the alleyways

Lecce's ruins of a Roman amphitheatre

Lecce’s ruins of a Roman amphitheatre

Entrance to Lecce's centro storico

Entrance to Lecce’s centro storico

Remember Dolce and Gabbana's wonderfully baroque AW 2012 collection? Inspired by the opulent churches and the baroque if Italy

Remember Dolce and Gabbana’s wonderfully baroque AW 2012 collection? Inspired by the opulent churches and the baroque if Italy

Alleyway Lecce Italy

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Posted on October 5, 2013

Best of Italy: The dreamy fishing village of Gallipoli

Dresses/ Italy/ Travel

Gallipoli Italy

What is the perfect place for a romantic honey moon? Exactly, Italy, the land of Dolce Vita and La Bella Figura. After 3 days of touring the eternal city of Rome, we spent seven relaxing days on the beautiful coast of Puglia, the southern heel of Italy. Gallipoli is located on a limestone island,  capturing  the romantic charm of Italian fishing villages and the rustic Mediterranean. Reminiscent of Dolce & Gabbana’s ad summer 2012 ad campaign, Gallipoli oozes the essence of Southern Italy. Enjoy the beautiful pics of Bella Italia!

I am wearing: For an overcast but warm day in Gallipoli I’m wearing all Italian!  Vichy checked dress from Max & Co, metallic sandals from Attilio Giusti Leombruni, cross body bag from Moschino and Ray Ban Wayfarer 2140 sunglasses.

Ingredients for Dolce and Gabbana's ad campaigns? Take a gorgeous model, throw in rustic Italian seaside setting, garnished with a little black lace dress and matching lace tote bag.

Ingredients for Dolce and Gabbana’s ad campaigns? Take a gorgeous model, throw in a rustic Italian seaside setting, garnished with a little black lace dress and matching lace tote bag. Viva Italia!

Gallipoli Italy fishermen and nets

Honeymooners!

Honeymooners!

 

Narrow alleyways, a typical site in Gallipoli's historic heart

Narrow alleyways, a typical site in Gallipoli’s historic heart

All Italian! AGL shoes, moschino bag and max & co dress

All Italian! AGL shoes, moschino bag and max & co dress

 

Gallipoli Fishing

Watch the fisher men sell their fish after a day out on the sea after 17.30.

 

Posted on September 20, 2013

Gatti di Roma, The Cats of Rome

Current Affairs/ Italy/ Romantique/ Travel
A black feline soft paw chiling in the evening at Largo Argentina

A black feline soft paw chiling in the evenign at Largo Argentina

 

Rome is just an incredible city. Strolling through the heart of the city, every corner could be taken from a post card scene. From baroque churches to ancient archaeological sites; every building is a feast for the eyes.

Even more fascinating than the opulent buildings is the strong bond the ancient city has with cats. Yes, cats! During our trip, we stumbled upon a colony of 200 cats (!!) living at the ancient site of Torre Argentina, where Julius Cesar was once stabbed by Brutus. The cats live in a shelter which is publicly protected. Italy is a no-kill nation, meaning no healthy stray cat is allowed to be put down. The cats of Rome, Gatti di Roma, are a well known tourist magnet and decorate lots of calendars you can buy around the city. All together more than 260,000 stray cats live in Rome in over 2,000 colonies. Rome’s city council even declared cats as part of the Roman bicultural heritage.

Largo Argentina Roma

Why do cats have such a special place in Roman culture? Apparently, it all dates back to the bubonic plague. The cat population in Italy kept the disease carrying rats in check, avoiding Italy’s population to succumb to the disease, unlike the rest of Europe. When the Italian Catholic church started to chase and hunt down cats in the 1300s, there were not enough cats anymore to chase rats and disease spread rapidly across the country.

Largo Agentina Rome

Today, organised volunteers and the neighbourhood “gattare”(=cat ladies who feed cats) look after Rome’s felines. The most famous gattare was Italian movie star Anna Magnani, known for feeding the stray cats of Trastevere with pots of pasta.

Anna Magnani with one of her cats

Anna Magnani with one of her cats

 

So on your next trip to Rome, look out for the cats of Torre Argentina, the Colosseum and the garden of Trajan. Beautiful animals majestically perching on marble columns, looming over Italy’s ancient cultural treasures. What a sight!

Gatti di Roma Largo Argentina

 

 

 

Posted on September 9, 2013

Honeymoon in Dolce Roma

Love & Relationship/ Romantique/ Travel

photo

Italy is my favourite country in the world! After having visited the Amalfi Coast, Napoli, Sorrento and Sardinia, it was only logical to book in a three day trip to Rome to kick of the Italian honeymoon extravaganza after my wonderful wedding (full wedding update will follow once I am back in Londres).

A lifetime is not enough to get to know Rome so I won’t even try to give out travel tips for Rome. Just sharing a few highlights I cherry picked from the wealth of culture to see in the Eternal city.
Trastevere: We were lucky enough to base ourselves just 20 minutes walking distance from world famous sites such as the Trevi Fountain or the Piazza Navona. The bubbly district of Trastervere is located west of the Tiber river. Quintessentially Italian, you will find cobbled,  narrow allies lined by medieval houses,  beautiful piazzas coming to life at night and many amazing restaurants, trattorias and cafés.
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Via Scala in Trastevere
We stayed at a wonderfully romantic apartment in the heart of Trastevere, booked via airbandb. Accommodation in Rome can be hit and miss so we were delighted to have found this jewel. Contact us if you’d like us to share the details.
Honeymoon-in-dolce-roma-2
One of the many Piazzas in Trastevere. Polka dot dress from Max & Co.
Victor Emmanuel II Monument aka the ‘Wedding Cake’
This is a very young sight compared to most of Roms historical buildings dating back to BC. Completed only in 1911, the grandiose palace towers over the rest of the city. I love the marble white exterior and the stunning views the palace provides, often shared with brides who use this stunning setting as a wedding backdrop.
Crossbody bag from Moschino, wayfarer sunglasses from Ray Ban
Gianicolo Hill
Just outside the historic centre in Trastevere, Giancolo Hill provides stunning views overlooking the city. If you are a bit overwhelmed by the rich culture of the city (like I was!), this is the place to chill out and to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
The Aqua Paola fountain at Gianicolo is a 17th century basin made from marble taken from the forum. I dipped my feet into the fresh cold water to cool down. Like many of Rome’s sights, this is a popular wedding backdrop.
A  lucky bride using this stunning, ancient amphitheatre as a background for her wedding photos.
Posted on May 9, 2012

Molto pretty summer jewellery!

Accessoires/ Romantique

What I love most about travelling is discovering local shops to see what the country’s own  influences, trends and styles are.

Porto Cervo is the capital of the Costa Smeralda, Sardinia and caters for its affluent visitors with high-end shops.
I discovered the jewellery shop “More & Chic” at Porto Cervo’s luxurious shopping mile.
Their stunning pieces of jewellery reflect the colours of the Emerald coast:
  • Off-white gem stones like the sugary white sand at Spiaggi Principe
  • Emerald  green earrings and necklaces  like the crystal clear water that gave the Costa Smeralda it’s name
  • yellow and light brown zirconia as warm as the Italian sun
As you can see, the jewellery is, like everything in Italy, excellently crafted and shows the expertise of its designers.
Above: Italian Model Bianca Balti wears stunning emerald green Jewellery by “DeGrisogono”
 
Emerald pearls with a golden bow – cute!
Look at those gorge cocktail rings!
Sea and shells! Imagine this necklace on tanned skin and an elegant dress!
How amazing are these heart earrings?
All of the above eyecandy jewellery is sold at More & Chic at Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy.
Never forget to have fun with jewellery too! I’m messing about with pop orange pineapple earrings, €5, from a Sardinian souvenir shop.
Posted on May 7, 2012

Aquamarine day at the beach

Romantique/ Skirts/ Travel/ Wardrobe

 Teresa di Gallura is the most Northern tip of Sardinia and just 30 minutes away from Corsica. It’s a dream location for spending the day at the seaside.
Italy is a feast for the senses: The spring with its luscious, rich colours of bright pink colours embedded in moss green mountains,  the gelati coloured houses, decorated with loving attention to detail, the tasty food and of course the crystal clear waters in shades of turquoise , deep blue and emerald  green.
Above: I’m wearing an aquamarine pleated skirt from Benetton and espadrille wedges overlooking the beach.
Dream of summer and enjoy the beautiful pictures of Sardinia
Needless to say I had a few gelatos too many last week!
Posted on April 28, 2012

Italy Travel Style

Blazer / Jackets/ Coats/ Romantique/ Skirts/ Trousers/ Wardrobe
It’s Sardinia for me the second time round as we leave dreary London behind for a little bit of springy sunshine in one of Italy’s most beautiful spots.
On arrival in Olbia, I’m wearing a silk A-line skirt by Stefanel  in one of my favourite colour combinations – turquoise and brown. A light trench coat is a safe option for a spring trip – after all it can rain in the Mediterranean too! Nude ballet pumps from Pretty Ballerina will fit with any colour packed in my suitcase.  The light pink straw bag is from Sofia C.
 Mummy Romantique  is wearing a white, ruffled blouse by Airfield, lemon yellow handbag by Mulberry and quilted ballet pumps by Pretty Ballerina.
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