One of the best things to do in Europe during the Summer, besides tanning under the sun, is to make sure you do not miss what's going on in the upcoming Fall/Winter fashion trends. While you are chilling out, many magazine editors, photographers, models, stage setters and style experts have been working extremely hard to give you the right feel of what should be the next new look.
My advice is that you start by buying some heavy magazines to enjoy along with your morning espresso. Those of you traveling by jet can shed the extra weight (and not get into trouble with your baggage allowance) by tearing out the pages you are most attracted to for later. Your next shopping trip is about how you want to be renewed in your life, family, and home.
This is the reason why in Porto Cervo, Capri, Montecarlo, and Ibiza, you'll find the latest in fashion, luxury and home design before it appears in the large cities like New York, Paris or London. Don't be lazy. "Oh, I do not feel like working now. I am on vacation and no way in the world I am going to try on heavy clothes and boots, especially as I will only use them in November and December in the snow. I have all the time on the world!"
Wrong! If you want that powerful feeling of being a trendsetter, style dictator, a glamour enchanter, a global Bohemian example of nonchalant understatements such as: "Oh, I just got those boots on my way to the beach before my flight. The kids ski outfits? I bought those in Capri, I am too busy to shop," then these are the places and time of the year you should shop.
And while your friends in New York or London are trying to find last month's sold out edition of Vogue Italia where the fashion trend is 'black mourning', you'll be peacefully having breakfast at Tiffany with your LTB (little black dress), bought last month in Anacapri. "Gosh, it was such a long time ago, I feel like I've had it for years!"
One of most luxurious boutiques in Italy believe it or not, is in Anacapri. Founded right after the war by Tonino Cacace's mother, a daughter of second generation hoteliers. Although the only shop at that time in Anacapri, it was very much visited due to its privileged location near the magnificent Greek Villa San Michele, a place of great magnetic attraction belonging to well-known Swedish physician, author, humanist and lover of the queen of Sweden) Axel Munthe (1857-1949).
In 1950 the boutique was moved to a different location and to today's size of 1,200 square meters by a visionary man named Mario Cacce, whose passionate encounter with Rita resulted in a marriage and a lifelong partnership. After ten years, one of the offspring of their union was the Europa Palace Hotel adjacent to the boutique. The hotel was later transformed by their son, entrepreneur Tonino Cacace, into a five star luxury hotel - the Capri Palace Hotel & Spa.
As I enter the Mariorita boutique after a long day at sea on the hotel's Capricorn boat, I notice the existence of different departments: men's, women's, sea and luxury. I am told that the amazing selection of products is personally chosen by the owner himself, well- known to be an elegant man with a touch of personal Italian classic-casual style. At his right arm is a smart, quick young lady named Valentina Prezioso. Her surname already states it: 'precious' and preciosity is what Valentina is able to bring after her precious sourcing for the boutique.
Most of the fashion, luxury and home accessory items are exclusive to the Mariorita boutique. More important, certain brands launch their products in anteprima (beforehand) at the Anacapri boutique before any other in Italy, and sometimes due to the staff's excellent relationships with the brands and the boutique's exclusive elite clientele, worldwide.
This is why I decided capture a few of the items around the various departments including the kids' boutique, Aquamarina and the Pop Gallery through my camera's macro lens, so that you can enjoy the ride and visit with me.
The men's department holds Versace Collection, Hugo Boss, Armani Collezioni, Armani Jeans, EA7, Ice Iceberg, Tru-Trussardi, Trussardi Jeans, Maserati and Paul & Shark. My favorite are the Maserati leather jackets--sexy, very sexy. (Photo below left)
The women's department also carrirs mostly Made-in-Italy exclusives with brands such as Armani Collezioni, M Missoni (my favorite black and white--see photo below far left), Armani Jeans, EA7, Ice Iceberg with funny Walt Disney striped icons, and wonderful ski outfits in fluorescent lilac. Swarovski crystal engravings and fur, very dans-le-vent this winter, Tru-Trussardi, Trussardi-Jeans, Valentino Roma by the "The Sheik of Chic's" new creative director Alessandra Facchinetti, the collection though, with a lot of white lace and black velvet remains still very Valentino.
The luxury department, founded in 2007, includes stunning hand picked pieces, most of which are limited editions.
The Bentley pens are one example. The prestigious house offers the possibility of engraving the number of one's Bentley engine in the roller or ink pen. Tibaldi Da Vinci Code Limited edition, is an opulent and precious work of art engraved with high precision on yellow gold and a touch of intrigue reproducing Leonardo Da Vinci's Man Vetruvio, a series of the movie 's sites, several codes and symbols.
Deciphering the code formed by letters and symbols decorating the pens cap will result in the combination of the two words that historically permit the opening of the Cryptex. It's price is 17,798 euros in case you decide to keep yourself busy. The boutique is the first global retail representative for Tibaldi Giorgio Armani's pen collection as well.
Another very special item is the woman's wrist watch from Chopard in white gold and 1.58 karats of diamonds with a mother-of-pearl background belonging to the 'Happy Spirit' Collection. The bracelet is available in satin or leather in your choice of colors. Its price is 19,000,00 euros. In addition to the jewelery Chopard introduced this year, for the first time on the market they've released a line of leather handbags, which has already met high success in just a few months. Mariorita is among the few worldwide stores to carry the 2009 collection in avant-premiere.
Among many types of jewelry, my favorite is the local Gioielli Di Luca, hand crafted and encrusted with cameos, corals, and precious woods. The owner, Gino Di Luca, is the president of Oro Mare association of jewelers and coral and cameos handicrafts.
Cartujano, a company from the Italian region of Puglia, specializes in leather accessories dedicated to smokers including cigar pocket humidors made out of Cedar wood, portable pens, ties and individual watch cases luxurious for your elegantissmo man.
Memento is an Italian company specializing in home accessories, mainly vases and ashtrays. They are produced out of glass and covered with a hand crafted embroidery of resin, contemporary and decorative at the same time.
Carlo Moretti is the excellent maestro of craftsmanship of hand-blown Glass from Murano. Exclusively for the L'Olivo restaurant at the Capri Palace Hotel and designed by Tonino Cacace himself, they have dedicated a special collection of tableware and glasses. At the boutique, the client has a choice of having his or her name engraved or selecting an exclusive custom designed color also signed by Cacace.
Jewels Sandals by Enrico Lugani can be ordered and produced in nothing less than two weeks after expressly picking the semi precious stones, model, size, color with personalized name or a phrase such as: "You can step on me dear whenever you want my dear... always yours." The box comes in black velvet and the lock in Swarovski crystals as if it were a jewelry case. (Picture above)
The Pop gallery, the most recent inaugurated this season and the latest grand passion of Tonino Cacace. It involves a sponsored space with works of pop art mainly from artists and craftsmen of the Italian region of Campania. All the exhibits are the result of a thorough search for talented and gifted individuals with personal and original inventive creativity.
Aquamarina is the children's boutique, the most successful of all. It features blue wood floors and a cloudy light blue ceiling that makes you feel like Alice in Wonderland -- what a trip!
Even with the current world economic and financial crisis, it looks like parents still need to spend time with their children--especially in Italy and worldwide.
The Made-in-Italy brands including Armani, Dolce & Gabbana Junior, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, Dior, Ferrari, Iceberg, Miss Bikini, and Vilebrequin are to die for. Cashmere sweaters with flowers and striped cotton Doppio Petto (double breasted) for small and Junior boys nurture you a fantasy of acquiring immediate parenthood.
Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy: D&G baby sneakers, Baby Dior wool small pink dress for little princesses, and at last...
The motto on an Armani baby girl penguin sweatshirt: "I want to become an Eagle" ...
I have nothing else to add..
Enjoy the rest through the view through my camera lens!