Blanket Scarf

It’s a perfect time of the year to get a plaid scarf. Use it as a blanket on a cozy day at home or as a scarf over turtleneck or leather jacket to keep you warm and stylish. It makes a great travel companion and became a staple in my wardrobe.

My picks: COS / JCrew / ASOS / Nordstrom

Red at Met

Standing on the rooftop of Met museum on this gorgeous day overlooking the city. I can’t help but feel the magic with 5 millenniums of art history below me and some around me, replicated by Argentinian artist, and on display till end of the month. You don’t have to be an art history expert to enjoy this whimsical rooftop installation called “Theater of Disappearance”. The sculptures are made out of foam and based on 3D scans of more than 100 real pieces from the museum’s own collection from different centuries and cultures, anywhere from Egypt, Asia and Europe. The artist unexpectedly paired the sculptures in what looks like a chaos after a fun party. I always appreciate artists who have imagination to create something like that and view history from a different perspective. I guess nothing in life ever ends or disappears, it just takes a different form.

The Mark

One of my favorite hotels in New York is The Mark. When I first stepped in the lobby of this amazing place I fell in love. There are many reasons to adore this luxury place: the black and white floors and the whole interior were created by French designers; it houses a flower shop and a famous French book shop Assoulin, with one of a kind fashion publications; it offers an express lift to Bergdorf Goodman for fashionistas like myself; and of course, it offers one of a kind dining experience by one and only Jean-Georges. It was my treat to stay at this luxury hotel for my birthday for a mini stay-cation.

My outfit was inspired by this place, as I am loving bold and textured materials and colors. Red velvet has become my favorite, as seen me wearing red velvet accessories at the fashion week (see post here). My blazer is by JCrew, but few seasons old, they have an amazing velvet blazer in stores now, shop it here. My beret, skinny scarf, pants and top are all from Zara’s older collection, but they make these classics on repeat, so definitely can find something similar in stores now. My round tote is by Vivienne Westwood, but here’s the similar but smaller version of wine color circle wristlet.  And lastly, the sock boots are my must-have this fall, I’ve posted my favorite boots on my fall shopping list here.

Fall shopping list

Here are the trends I am loving and shopping for this fall:

  1. Sock boots

2. Military style coats…again 🙂

3. Statement coat in color and texture

4. Headwear – Beret

Italy travel style

Thank you for following my Italian getaway. As promised I am sharing links to items I wore on the trip that are still available online or very similar in style. I am working on post with detailed itinerary and will be posting soon.

Ciao, Elena

Venice

“Venice is a city that has the sea for its floor, the sky for its roof and the flow of waters for the walls” – B. da Signa.

It’s true that all cities in the world are more or less similar to one another, but Venice is unlike any other. I keep going through my pictures and admire this gorgeous gem and what an amazing time we had in Venice. When I first saw Venice few years ago, visiting with my husband, I was in complete awe and in love. This time I brought my kids, as I wanted to share with them my feelings for this beautiful place. My husband taught them a lot about its 1500 years old history, the legends, the carnival, the history behind the main monuments. But what I wanted them truly to experience (and I know they are young and may not fully appreciate it now) but the eternal beauty and uniqueness of this city. They may not remember exact dates and events in history, but they’ll remember the grandness of St Marco square and how much fun they had feeding the pigeons – it’s local residents. They will remember our walks on narrow streets surrounded by water, the gondola rides, the reflecting canals, the hidden courtyards, the mysterious islands, and the beautiful ornate buildings that looked like they were suspended between water and the sky. I really wanted them to be amazed and appreciate the beauty, to ask questions and be curious. And by the look on the faces I knew that we succeeded.

Under the Tuscan sun

One of my favorite days in Italy was a day we drove around Tuscany, stopping at the hillside villages and various wineries. We were based in Siena for a couple of days, which we found very convenient to explore Tuscany. We stayed in a cute boutique hotel Italia just outside the city walls. It was very affordable, had great breakfast and easy parking by the hotel (the cars are not allowed within most of the walled-out cities in Tuscany). We walked inside the city, visited its famous gorgeous Duomo and had one the best dinners with red wines of Montepulciano. The next day we drove south from Siena towards beautiful valley called Val d’Orcia, driving through the towns of Asciano and Montepulciano. It is such a picturesque ride with wavy hills, cypress trees, wheat fields and unlimited blue sky.

We stopped at Pienza town (or village to be exact) for some coffee, desert and cheese tasting, the most famous cheese in that area is Pecorino. The town, like all towns in Tuscany, is located on the hill and surrounded by the wall.  Following Pienza we drove to town of Montalcino, stopping by wineries to taste Brunello di Montalcino wine, which is now my personal favorite. At home in New York I often drink Montepulciano wine and we’ve done Chianti region wine tour on our previous trips to Italy (that’s north from Siena). This time around we tried a different route and wine from a different sort of grape and we were pleasantly surprised. To try Brunello wine, I highly recommend stopping Val di Cava and Casanova de Neri wineries. There are ~140 wineries in that small region and I am sure they are all great, but these two caught our attention on the road and we decided to stop by.  Following the wine tasting, we were ready for lunch which we had right in town of Montalcino at a local Osteria. This village is also located on the hill and provides an extraordinary view of Tuscan valley. We spend a lazy afternoon walking the streets and squares, grabbing coffee for us and gelato for kids.

I hope this gives you a good idea on what to enter into your GPS when you’ll be in that region driving around. And without any further write-up my pictures tell a good story of our wonderful day and experience.

Early Morning in Italy

Finally got a chance to go through my pictures from Italy and was planning to write a post on the blog and then stopped, thinking what do I really want to share…
If I were to give one travel advice for anyone going to Italy, or anywhere for that matter, is to experience the city at the sunrise. Every city I visited – Rome, Florence, Venice, it was an amazing experience to see those ancient cities waking up, before all the residents and tourists fill their narrow streets and grand plazas later in the day. The early morning is a time when you know precisely why so many great artists and poets found these cities so inspiring. They are reflecting, magical, even mystical, and full of stories of all the people that walked them for hundreds of years before us. You can’t help but feel yourself in a different lifetime, the feeling was so consuming to me that I wondered who I was and what I did to deserve to live this life here and now and see all this beauty. I wanted to freeze the time and remember how I felt that moment – grateful for this life and in great compassion for myself. I promise you’ll feel the same if you give yourself a gift to appreciate the sunrise and get connected with the place and with yourself. All answers are within.

PS pictures are taken at Spanish steps in Rome and St Marco Square in Venice – the rare case of them being empty (not counting the pigeons), only in the early morning

NY Fashion Week 2017 Recap

September Fashion Week in New York came to a close and I was very fortunate to be part of it and get a glimpse of the newest collections from established and new emerging designers. It used to be that only people in the fashion industry such as models, editors, buyers, designers and celebrities could attend the runway shows but that recently has changed with fashion bloggers’ growing influence in the industry. Now bloggers are invited to attend the shows, sit in the front row and some even walk the runway.
What also has changed in the fashion week industry in New York is the number of emerging international designers getting their own shows, and to which I was able to get front row seats to. Names like Galtiscopio, Dan Liu, Runa Ray, and my favorite of them Francesca Liberatore, are quickly becoming well-known fashion names.
NYFW is of course first and foremost is a home to big American mega-brands like Michael Kors and Tory Burch, whose collections I loved. My other favorite was Rebecca Minkoff whom I was lucky to meet in person. She held her show right in her boutique which was followed by a party and not a standard shopping spree of her collection right after the show. My other favorite shows were Self-Portrait and Zimmerman, I am a big fan of these two brands for their romantic, one of a kind dresses.
Runway shows aside, the real fall fashion happened on the streets of New York with the street photographers documenting every detail of the outstanding outfits. I wish I could have someone take a picture of me in the back when I was attending the show at Skylight Clarkson Sq Studios, when tens of  photographers jumped to take a picture of me wearing my white lace trench coat with red velvet Chanel bag and Bruno Magli shoes. It was such a surreal moment and it will stay in my memories for a long time.
Since the runway shows demonstrated collections for the Spring/Summer 2018, the real inspiration for the current fall trends came from the streets, when fashionistas walked to the shows, as well as dinners and parties. The most notable trends I liked were short metallic skirts with simple tee and a blazer worn over the shoulders, colorful fitted pantsuits, as well as oversized sweaters. For accessories there was an array of Gucci bags, wide strap cross body bags, berets and flat caps, most inspired by Dior Fall 2017 collections. Satin over the knee boots and sock boots are back in style. Fall transition colors were in the jewel tones of burgundy, emerald, marigold and deep blue.
Aside from attending the shows, what I love fashion week for is the chance to meet with fellow bloggers and share the secrets, ideas, trends and just have a good girl time. It was great to meet beautiful inspirational bloggers at events held by Like.it and Blogger and the Brand – the invite-only events that connect the bloggers from New York and all over the world.
Hope you enjoyed following my stories and pictures and here are few links to outfits I wore: