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Monthly Archives: May 2012

I was invited to the Rome store opening, co-hosted by Monocle magazine, of this Milan based company.   I went with my partner in fashion and art crime, Erica. We had an excellent time (and some prosecco).

This men’s store is fantastic.  I wanted to check out Officina Slowear before bringing my client, Coach G.  I thought he would like it.  He did and we found some great pieces.  Over the weekend I saw him wearing the polo shirt he bought and he was rocking it.  Riccardo, the store manager, was super helpful and even gave Coach G a book as a gift.

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Officina Slowear is preppy chic meets Italian style and tailoring. The clothes are cut slim and made with high quality materials.  Price wise, they’re mid-range, more expensive than J. Crew but less expensive than a store like Kiton.

Slowear has a few international stores… London, Seoul, and Paris.  I think they’re opening a store soon in Mexico City and you can find some of their clothes at Barneys in the United States.

The store also carries interesting books and accessories. If you’re looking for causal clothes with style, this is the place.

Officina Slowear

Via di Campo Marzo, 73

Rome, Italy

+(39) 06 925 95 839

My first trip to southern France was incredible.  My friend’s boss invited me to join them on his yacht. At first I wasn’t sure about going since I didn’t have a film at the festival and I had nothing to wear.

I like to have a plan. What exactly would I do in Cannes? My friend told me to get a grip as the trip was completely paid for.  She had a point.

I’m very glad I said yes.  Our host was lovely.  Being a good host (and a good guest) is not something everyone knows how to do.  I’m not sure why this is as there are a billion magazine articles and books on etiquette.

The attention to detail was impressive.  The crew went above and beyond to make sure we were comfortable. The chef was OUTSTANDING.  I ate well and drank some great wines.

On the first day, the water was extremely choppy. It calmed down by the evening and I had no problems sleeping.  it was so quiet (unlike my darn neighborhood).   The décor of my en suite cabin (and the yacht in general) was fantastic, very classic and understated.  It felt like a home.

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It was nice, and surreal, to catch up with some Hollywood friends. There were multiple celebrity sightings.  I did slip into a little funk after one exec said something bitchy to me.  My friend and her husband cheered me up and reminded me why I left L.A. in the first place.  Also, a good friend back in Rome told me to remember where I was staying and to forget about that miserable snobby person.  Which is what I did as I drank some rosé.

On Friday we drove to St. Tropez.  The traffic was bananas but it was worth it.  We had a delicious lunch at Le Club 55.   It was great people watching.  Later, I read that during July and August the whole beach becomes quite the scene.  When we were there the restaurant was packed with local families looking like the wealthy French version of J. Crew.

The sun came out during lunch and we drove back with the top down.  It wasn’t a bad way to spend a Friday afternoon.

The village of St. Tropez is charming.  I would love to go back and spend more time there.

There were many highlights during my short trip (French bread, excellent bath products, jogging through Cannes early in the morning) but the best thing about it was spending time with my friends.

I went to Cannes last week for the film festival as a guest of my friend’s boss.   I cannot get this song out of my head.  It plays during the trailer of the new Wes Anderson movie, “Moonrise Kingdom”, which was the opening film of the festival.

The first time I saw the trailer I was worried the movie would be too “twee”.  There’s a reason Anderson is one of the most polarizing film directors working in Hollywood today.  I bumped into a film critic last week who told me the movie really moved him (after the first half hour) and I’ve heard the performances are great.

My parents had several Hardy records when I was growing up, but I was trying to fit into suburban America and wasn’t checking for a singer from France.   Now, like many other things my Caribbean parents liked, I get it.

Here’s the “Moonrise Kingdom” trailer.

Filippo Cosmelli of IF Lifestyle Management suggested I check out Wonderfool when I asked him for some advice regarding one of my personal shopping clients.

Prospero Di Veroli, a former advertising executive on Madison Avenue, has created a beautiful space dedicated to well-being and style.

I’ve heard people rave about the spa services.  Originally the store was a men’s boutique and spa. In 2009 Wonderfool began to offer spa services to female clients as well.  While the décor has a luxurious, understated masculine vibe, the prices for the spa are moderate.

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Prospero has a brilliant eye and finds interesting things to sell in Wonderfool.   I like that he champions unique artisan designers, like Natusko Toyofuku.  Wonderfool is also the only store in Rome that sells Orlebar Brown swim trunks (Daniel Craig, in Casino Royale).

The scarves by Rome-based Wilma Silvestri are gorgeous and made with vintage fabrics.  I must buy one of the Chez Dédé totes.  I will be writing a separate post about those.  There is a tailor on site who makes made-to-measure suits and shirts.

I’m so glad I “found” this store and look forward to bringing my clients to Wonderfool.  However,  I need to stay away because every time I walk in I buy something.   This is a problem.

Wonderfool

Via dei Bianchi Nuovi, 39

00186 Rome

http://www.wonderfool.it 

I have to say I had a great time in Milano.  I don’t think I could live there with all the fog and smog.  It’s too cold during the winters (ten years in Los Angeles, has clearly thinned my blood) and too grey.

The “rivalry” between Rome and Milan is similar to the one between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  I swear when I hear Milanese talk about Rome it sounds like a person from San Francisco complaining about flaky Angelenos. Meanwhile many Angelenos say San Francisco is a fake New York and needs to get over itself.

The vibe in Milan is completely different from Rome’s. As a Milanese friend said to me once, “Milan is an European city. Rome is an Italian city.”

It’s a smaller city, with Milan’s city limits population at 1.3 million compared to Rome’s 2.8 million.  Milan is the business, fashion, media/advertising, and design capital of Italy and many international companies like Google and Sony base their Italian offices there.

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One thing that cracked me up was that every single cab driver (I took a lot of cabs thanks to the strikes. Sigh) told me they thought Rome was beautiful but could never drive there.

When people who drive for a living tell you a place has insane drivers, one must pay heed.  One cab driver said, “Look at this traffic!  See how we have lanes here and it’s orderly?  That doesn’t happen in Rome.”  I learned to drive stick in Rome and had to agree with his observation.

I’ve often heard that the Milanese were not friendly.  That wasn’t my experience at all.  Maybe everyone I met was in a good mood because of the Salone?

On Saturday morning I was looking for a textile showroom located on a small side street not far from the stock exchange. I couldn’t get over how quiet it was. I felt like I was in NYC’s Financial District.  At 10:30 a.m. Rome is already crowded with tour buses and huge groups of tourists following a tour guide holding an stick/flag/umbrella.

When I saw Cattelan’s (one of Italy’s most famous contemporary artists) piece, I gasped.  I could not imagine a work of art like that on Wall Street, especially as the finger is being given to us, the public.  I thought it was a very astute comment on the financial meltdown of 2008.  When it was unveiled many business people were not pleased but the mayor stood firm.  It was only supposed to be there for a month.  It might remain in its current location until 2013, then moved to a museum.

Next time I go to Milan, I hope I have time to see some art. And the Prada flagship store.

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