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JUNE 2018




















Sandals are undoubtedly among the most used and useful shoes for the summer: simple or bejewelled, flat or high-heeled, they represent the most elegant and versatile choice to pack for your holidays. Although presented in the collections of various brands from high street to high-end, many tourists as well as style icons, bloggers and celebrities have rather switched to the habit of shopping for their summer sandals directly at their destination. It isn’t actually surprising to notice how some of the most exclusive and elegant seaside towns happen to have a tradition in the craftsmanship of these accessories. Among the most renowned excellences of Italian handicraft around the world, the Capri sandals represent since the beginning of the 1900s a true object of desire for women from every corner of the globe: the history of these shoes dates back to the Ancient Romans as it is a common belief that Emperor Tiberius, who had moved to the small island of the Gulf of Naples, always wore strapped leather sandals creating an actual fashion trend throughout the locals. Carrying on this old tradition through the years, shoemakers from Capri have developed a singular process to guarantee the ultimate quality and durability of their shoes. The distinctive traits of these typical shoes are the layers of leather soles


attentively sewed together with softer layers of lamb skin to make them incredibly resistant as well as comfortable and soft. The merit of having spread the fame of Capri sandals internationally belongs definitely to legendary shoemaker Costanzo Ruocco, who owned an incredibly popular workshop during the 1960s where stars such as Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot and Jackie Kennedy Onassis frequently popped up to cop his small masterpieces. Nowadays, this Capri tradition is perpetuated by masters such as the artisans from boutiques like Canfora or Maiorita, that have become real institutions and required stops for the visitors of this Southern Italian gem: “Capri sandals are now more popular than ever, especially customised and embellished with precious stones or a gold mail as a final luxurious touch”, confirms Carmelo Esposito, apprentice at Canfora studio. On the other side of the Alps and precisely at the heart of the delightful town of Saint Tropez, in the faraway 1927, a young craftsman-shoemaker called Dominique Rondini decided to introduce to its customers a new design of sandals which he decided to call “Les Tropeziennes”: inspired by the sandals of the ancient times, he initially created them in brown natural leather with recognisable thin horizontal laces to hold the foot tight. This

new model gained an inexorable popularity among customers, turning Saint Tropez into an international capital of these shoes. Obviously, not too much time had to pass before Monsieur Rondini had to face some competition, and in 1933 Mr and Mrs Kéklikian Jacques opened their first ‘boutique à sandales’, which not only has become another symbol of excellence but it also spread the local tradition of Tropeziennes outside of the French Riviera after 1970 when they created the brand K. Jacques, successively opening stores and boutiques around the world. Far from the elegant, posh and pompous vibes of Capri and Saint Tropez, the Balearic gem of Ibiza has always been considered to be the free spirit of the Mediterranean sea. Crossroads of cultures and traditions, this Spanish island has inexplicably always been believed to hold some sorts of mystical or spiritual power, attracting through the centuries travellers and explorers to its shores in the lookout for inspiration or just a different lifestyle. Especially from the 1960s and 1970s a migration movement from all Europe created a unique example of hippy and gipsy community in Ibiza, including among others the British band Pink Floyd, attached to the island’s vibe.






Remembering the early 90’s when waist bags had recently gained popularity in the world of fashion and was adopted by every family going on vacation, we can all recall the embarrassing moment of wearing it in public. However, the versatile bag came extremely in handy when traveling and keeping all money and documents in sight and secure. From what used to be a clear staple for a tourist, the waist bag has now made a massive comeback turning it from the simple versatile bag to the chic and edgy bag that everyone should be wearing. Just a couple of years ago you would find this bag hidden away in the piles of clearance sales in all shops as well as in charity shops that no one would dare to buy. Now luxury brands have transformed this bag and made it into one of 2018’s biggest trends. With brands like Chanel, Prada, Moschino, Gucci, Fenty by Puma and many


more, the sophisticated evolution of this small leather bag has taken over the streets and dominated the fashion industry. This unexpected revival of this trend has caught everyone’s attention however this time around it is not worn the same. This bag is now currently being styled by wearing it across the chest instead of the waist. This adds a chic and edginess to the outfit while still being the same versatile piece. Danielle Rose, a fashion student that is currently studying styling, comments on the bag as “a simple yet classic piece that was bound to make its way back to the runway.” Nowadays, it has officially stripped away it’s touristy past and has made itself into the next styling staple to add to any type of outfit. Rose comments “Styling it in a sporty chic way really adds to the outfit giving it a spark to it. Although it was originally used as a sports piece, with the comeback of this


product many people style it all types of different ways. It’s an easy bag that changes up the mood of a style along with freeing up your hands.” Although many have currently been using it across the chest, especially the street style crowd, there are still many others that enjoy its original placement around the waist. With all of these new brands designing more and more waist bags, there has been change in the style of it when in comparison to the ones that were being produced back in the 90’s. With sleeker leather bags, and many different coloured ones, this has added to the popularity when it comes to styling the product. When wearing it around the waist, this cinches the body creating a slimmer looking waist along with adding a pop of colour and transforming the outfit.




As the birthplace of several luxury powerhouses, including Gucci and Emilio Pucci, many hold the belief that Italian high fashion was born in Florence. This means that the city is often, naturally, referred to as the fifth fashion capital. As a rising destination in fashion, it is not only the established brands and popular stores that are based within this city, there is an increasing number of new designers that are creating labels founded in Florence. Wandering down the pretty city streets will now almost enviably lead to the discovery of a boutique store. To find out more, we spoke to Fashion Editor, Laura Fantacci, to discuss fashion in her hometown of Florence. Since leaving at the age of sixteen, Fantacci regularly returns to visit her family and whilst living in London, she loves to stay connected to the city by discovering and wearing authentic Florentine brands. Below, she shares her three favourite upcoming brands and reveals her knowledge on the best place to shop all the latest luxury pieces at once.





Firstly, Laura Fantacci introduces Avec Modération, an Italian brand based in Florence, founded by two friends. This is a footwear brand that specialises in creating luxury shoes, through mules, slippers, sandals and slides. Each pair is made using traditional Tuscan leather techniques, resulting in chic Italian styles. Fantacci describes how the brand ‘merges lush materials with high-end craftsmanship for a contemporary design with whimsical decadence.’ The brand experiments with bright colours and textures through feathers, fur, embellishment and large pom-poms, making them the ultimate fun summer shoe. Yet, at the same time, the pieces manage to achieve practicality through comfort. Fantacci owns a green pom-pom pair and, in terms of styling, she simply states that she would wear them with anything, from a pair of rolled up chinos to an evening maxi dress. As they are stocked in stores world-wide and online, a pair of their sandals should be at the top of your summer wish list. Through Avec Modération, you can tap into the trends for this season through statement yet wearable shoes.


Next up is Espie Roche, a very new brand that Fantacci has just recently discovered. This brand initially launched in March 2018 with Collection 1, featuring a selection of four vibrant yet classic handbags. Italian craftsmanship is intertwined into the accessories and inspiration for the items has been directly drawn from the art and architecture of Florence. Fantacci owns the Arno Satchel in Limoncello, a bright yellow and comments; ‘For me, this brand is quite special and I love to wear my bag because it is so connected to my hometown, the handles of the bag are adorned with gold bridges that are inspired by the iconic Ponte Vecchio, one of my favourite spots in Florence.’ As such a newly emerging brand with a strong first collection, Fantacci advises that this is definitely one to watch.

Another brand Fantacci champions is the clothing line, CC by Camilla Cappelli. ‘Every piece of Florence-born designer Camilla Cappelli Germani’s collection is made in Italy, with particular attention paid to the details and craftsmanship’ she explains. Every collection has a bohemian feel through the use of lace inserts, ruffle details and brightly embroidered fabrics. The Florentine stylist has created clothing that gives you a statement silhouette as the designs feature flared cuffs, puffed sleeves and asymmetrical hems. Fantacci stated that the ‘entire Spring/Summer collection sums up the sort of things I would throw in my suitcase for my holidays this summer, both in the city and on the beach.’ When asked about the best location to shop in Florence, Fantacci stated; ‘I would have to say Luisa Via Roma, if you are looking for some serious high send shopping, this is the store to head to.’ Located right in the city centre, just off Piazza del Duomo, this store sells over 600 luxury retailers and 80% of the stock is devoted to Italian designers. The store is known for having innovative layouts, full of the latest items, Fantacci says she will ‘always find an amazing selection of items, direct from the catwalk.’ Fantacci also claims that whilst you may often shop online on the site, ‘the store really is a bit different from anywhere else.’ So, it seems Luisa Via Roma is the perfect place to discover your next Italian investment. 07




Update your wardrobe this summer with this advice on how to take a selection of the Spring Summer 2018 trends and work them in to your beach outfits. This season, these three typical trends can be styled in new ways and worn through the latest brands.


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Prada Straw Boater Hat, £315

Le Sepcs Lolita Cat Eye Sunglasses, £75

Cult Gaia Small Bamboo Clutch, £135 Saint Laurent Woven Leather Slides, £470

The colour white was a key trend that many designers showcased in their catwalk collections. Nothing says summer sophistication quite like a little white dress, it’s a staple that will never fail. However, whilst white pieces may seem like the simplest items to buy for summer, they can be easily over looked. An easy way to access this colour trend, on the beach, is through accessories. You may already use a basket bag and whilst this is still a popular choice, you can further update your straw style by purchasing a white version, for instance, Cult Gaia has reinvented its bamboo clutch from last season, into a pristine white. Or, if you already love to wear cat eye sunglasses, you could consider a white frame, from Le Specs, for your next pair.


Other ways to approach white accessories on the beach could be through shoes such as the Saint Laurent woven, leather slides. Statement jewellery is also an easy way to wear this trend, white shell earrings will fit seamlessly in your existing beach outfits. This season, it is best to be bold, as celebrity stylist, Deborah Brett declares, “don’t be afraid to choose a head to toe, crisp white look.” Another strong trend that emerged from the catwalks was the use of floral prints. This trend can be easily translated on to the beach through most clothing, but the most popular way to wear florals is set to be though floating dresses, playsuits and skirts. These prints look best worn through a statement-making silhouette, you can achieve this through choosing pieces with ruffles.



BUSINESS TRIP Put away your confining pencil skirts and agonizing high heels, a new professional wardrobe has arrived.

Maje Printed Satin Jump

suit, £220

Victoria Beckham Belted Jumpsuit, £1,250 Saint Laurent Black Leather Tote Bag, £1, 985

MAX MARA SS18 Nicholas Kirkwood Pearl Shoes, £495 Manolo Blahnik Pumps, £495

Dressing for business can be difficult. Dressing for a business trip? Even worse. Not only do you have limited packing allowance, but you have to maintain looking professional without compromising on stye. Thankfully for us, many of the SS18 collections that came out last year provided some stunning examples of power dressing, and how to make it look effortless. Elie Saab created oversized, slouchy silhouettes that came in the style of muted teal maxi dresses and stark white jumpsuits, offset with metallic military style buttons and sultry plunging necklines. In contrast, Claire Waight Keller at Givenchy favoured razor sharp boxy shoulders on deep midnight blue blazers. Also, hordes of clashing monochrome prints-uneven polka dots, leopard print, and thick stripes, were added in splices to edges of asymmetric skirts, or conservative button up shirts.

One area flagged again by designers was the lack of sky high heels, and many opted for flats to remain in keeping with the demands of a modern day, busy woman. Olive FitzSimons, senior account manager for Atlas Travel, explained that the pain (and blisters) aren’t necessary. “Years ago, when you flew business class, you were expected to dress up, but it’s not like that anymore, nowadays most people dress in something comfortable, especially for long haul.” This works in our favour, because although 6-inch heels might look elegant, no one really wants to trek around an airport, with luggage, in a pair of Manolo’s. But FitzSimons, does suggest bringing one pair of smarter shoes, for any business trip dinners that might occur. “I always bring three pairs of shoes with me. Two pairs of comfortable, smart-casual shoes for daywear, and some nicer, normally heeled, shoes for dinner.” 09




Traveling on a long haul flight can be exhausting and uncomfortable making you want to fly in your pyjamas, but here are ways for you to dress comfy but still fashionable all in one. Mo



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Lulu Lemon Align Pant, £88


Adidas x Yeezy Boost 350, £2,350 Stella McCartney Falabella crossbody bag, £620

Airport athleisure is the way to go when it comes to traveling. This recent trend of athletic wear that is also suitable for everyday wear is one of the many ways to fly comfortably, yet still look right on trend when leaving the airport. All you need is a good pair of leggings to let you move around easily, paired with any top of your choice knotted into a crop top to show some skin, along with a beautiful yet simple duster coat, and sneakers. Plain and simple, yet chic.

If you’re off to much warmer climates, one of the best options to stay fashionable yet comfortable is an oversized shirtdress. There is nothing more freeing than having plenty of room in a long flowy shirt while still looking suitable as you walk off the plane and head to your final destination. Pair that with a nice set of leather ankle boots and a buckled crossbody bag and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer edgy look.

A set of matching sweatpants and a shirt paired with sneakers says you’re looking calm and collected yet still on trend. Matching sets is a good way to keep your entire outfit looking well put together and still extremely comfortable. It’s just like wearing a pair of matching pyjamas yet still remaining appropriate for everyday wear while keeping a sleek look. Pair your colourful set with black sneakers and you’re ready to jet off in a stylish way.

Katie Eyes, a student fashion stylist, recommends “Never forgetting that it is possible to be comfortable yet still on trend. With all these new trends appearing, it has been proven that being comfy is the new fashionable style. A well put-together look is always a need when traveling especially while on business. However, no one ever said that it can’t still be comfortable.”





Heading out on the raz this summer? Here’s a selection of Spring Summer 2018 trends and styles that will be sure to put you at the forefront for a stylish summer, and maybe put summer romance on the cards. So if you’re feeling the packing pressure look no further.

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Balmain Sequin Dress, £5,365

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Gianvito Rossi 105 Sandals, £575

Everyone knows that the best party of a holiday are the evenings, getting showered after a day at the beach, getting all dolled up and going for dinner and drinks or maybe just drinks? Whichever type of holiday you’re going on, evening wear is an essential when packing. A bodycon dress is always a safe bet for showing off your curves. For an iconic clubbing look that’s right up to date, go for a dress with cutouts, mesh, crochet or prints. Style with flats or heels depending on the venue vibes (and whether you’re planning on dancing solidly until sunrise), and gold hoops for the cool-girl chic. Missguided offer so many holiday dresses you’ll have too much choice. The Black halterneck eyelet detail bodycon dress is one for me.

Loewe Ibiza Printed Clutch, £525

A legendary night on the clubbing scene is a chance to get your glitter on. Nothing is too OTT for Glitterbox, so go all out if you want to turn heads. Metallic and sequinned dresses are obvious choices, a perfect instant outfits that don’t take up too much packing room. If you don’t want to go full disco ball and light up a room, go for one embellished piece, like a beaded skirt, pared with a plain ensemble. If sequins are not your gag then not be afraid to experiment with body glitter and makeup. The gypsy shrine off many body, face and shoulder jewels to make you shine bright like a diamond.




CITY BREAK Whether it’s a weekend in Warsaw or a getaway to Greece, follow these simple rules to perfect your city break uniform.


Louis Vuitton Sneakers, £2,350

If backpacking over Himalayian mountains or trecking through the Amazon rainforest is considered the marathon of holidays, then city breaks are the sprint. Your routine is inevitable: getting up at the crack of dawn to cram in your near impossible itinerary, attempting to check off every tourist destination spot your coworkers have insisted that you simply must go to, but admitting defeat and cutting short your evening to collapse on the bed of your hotel room to get some well deserved shut-eye before you’re up and ready to start it all over again. The ultimate city break uniform therefore has to be versatile so it can see you from early morning sightseeing to dinner and drinks at sunset. A classic shirt is a sure way to nail your summer look, and this offering from Balenciaga takes a men’s business button up and adds an 12

Gucci Skirt, £620

Balenciaga Shirt, £775

Loewe Gate Bag, £1,725

element of class with sophisticated satin and a feminine pussy-bow tie around the neck. Pair your shirt with a midi skirt, the item that stormed the SS18 catwalks. Whether it’s pencil, a-line or wrap, this length will keep you cool this summer while also allowing the freedom to go from day to night with ease. Long days exploring on hard city sidewalks means that trainers are the only acceptable footwear option. Thanks to these kicks from Louis Vuitton however, there is no need for flats to ruin your look. Instead, these sporty sneakers add a casual vibe making the look even more versatile. Pair with a simple cross-body bag to hold just the essentials and some killer sunglasses, and you’ll be strutting the sidewalks as your new runway.



From whimsical pastel buildings, to shiny curves and porthole windows, these are the places that make up Miami’s infamous art deco architecture.

WORDS CAMILLA QUIMPER Miami Beach’s art deco historic district is made up of buildings all built between 1923 and 1943. There was a time where due to decades of neglect, the district was on the verge of being demolished. However, thanks to Barbara Baer Capitman who founded the Miami Design Preservation League, an organisation that protects and promotes the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District, the art deco district of Miami you know today still stands. The infamous Miami pink and blue pastel buildings, enchanting neon signs, and curved metal rails can all be found in Miami beach starting from 5th street and 23rd street. Ocean drive, Collins Avenue, and Washington Avenue as well belong in the historic art deco district that is frequently visited by many tourists. If you head over to the intersection of 5th street and Ocean Drive, this is the area where you’ll be able to experience the city’s quaint buildings with pastel colours covering most of the area and geometric pothole windows. If you walk a bit further down to 6th and 7th street, you’ll be able to find The Celino South beach hotel which is highly considered an art deco gem where many Hollywood celebrities loved to hangout. 14

Right on Ocean drive, the Beacon hotel built in 1936 and the Colony hotel built in 1935 are both some of the most famous art deco hotels where you’ll be able to see its massive neon accents and signs. Walking right down Ocean drive you’ll also find the popular Miami party place named the Clevelander hotel. This hotel is known for being one of the most popular places to party in Miami but as well known for it’s art deco style with it’s neon letters, curved building, and geometric squared windows. Last but definitely not least would be the incredibly famous Villa Casa Casaurina. The Spanish-style mansion that was built in in the 1930s where Gianni Versace lived and died in. This is a must-see when hunting in Miami for all of it’s beautiful art deco buildings. Eric Maquilon, a tour guide from the art deco welcome centre in Miami, comments “The Art deco district in Miami is one of the most important parts of this city. I believe it defines and expresses the type of lifestyle here all through architecture which is why the art deco district is so highly admired and praised from all around the world.”




THE ART OF THE STAYCATION I’d take a staycation over a vacation any day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to pooh-pooh a luxurious, tropical getaway or a dazzling, big-city adventure. I’m just saying by choosing to stay home and savor more local delights, you might find the escape you’ve been dreaming of. Not only are staycations typically more affordable than traditional vacations, they also offer the gift of time and a fresh perspective on things. A cheesy thought? Perhaps. But there’s something truly powerful about slowing down to appreciate your life just as it is—no bells and whistles. The next time you’re looking to take a short trip, why head out of town when you can have an enjoyable vacation by staying close to home? “Exploring your backyard with a staycation is a relaxing break and one that’s very special because most of us have never visited the highlights in the area where we live,” said Marla B. Schaffer, the president and chief executive of Leaders in Travel, a New York travel consultancy. Book a luxury hotel. You’re not far from home, but the point of a staycation is to feel as if you got away, and staying at a high-end hotel is a good way to do that. “The property you book should make you feel pampered with its luxe surroundings and doting service,” Ms. Schaffer said. Many upscale hotels, especially in cities, even offer appealing staycation packages with breakfast, late checkout, in-room movies and discounted spa treatments. Consider a splurge. Since you’re not paying for airfare or spending a large amount of money on fuel, a staycation is a good excuse to spring for an indulgent experience that otherwise is too expensive. You can take a helicopter ride or a private boat tour, for example, to see where you live from a different perspective. Other possibilities include a massage or a facial at a fancy spa, dinner at an expensive restaurant, a private cooking class with a well-known chef or a private behind-the-scenes tour of a museum or theater. Ms. Schaffer has arranged for her staycation clients in New York to be given backstage tours of Radio City Music Hall and Lincoln Center and has also booked private walking tours of art galleries in SoHo with a local artist. 16

WORDS JESS MOORE While you should have some semblance of an itinerary, as with any vacation, don’t plan too much for your staycation: Leave room for spontaneous discoveries. Select an area of town that’s unfamiliar to you, and walk the streets or skip making dinner reservations one evening, and enjoy small bites at the bar at several different restaurants. Better yet, sleep in and have breakfast in bed or hang out in your pajamas one night while you watch a movie or savor a rich dessert.







Discovering the three literary gems behind the most talked-about movies of this year WORDS FILIPPO PONTELLI

“Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman Winner of Best non-original Screenplay at the 2018 Academy Awards, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name has been received with enthusiastic reactions both from the public and the critics, probably thanks to its singular, and nowadays rare capacity of being at the same time intimate, delicate and almost demure, while recounting the relationship between the adolescent Elio and the American researcher Oliver during a hot summer in the Northern Italian countryside. However, this intriguing and captivating story is the result of the creativity of Egyptian-born writer André Aciman, who first published the homonymous novel in 2007. Great admirer and theorist of Marcel Proust and his In Search of Lost Time, the author developed this book to be a Bildungsroman (or formation novel) as well as a philosophical speculation on the concepts of time and longing, that, as confessed by Guadagnino, will let you taste “the beauty in the birth of desire”.

“The Shape of Water” by Daniel Kraus There is nothing controversial about claiming that Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water has probably been the most impressive movie of 2018 so far, having been awarded four statues at this year’s edition of the Oscars, respectively for Best Picture, Directing, Original Score and Production Design. As everyone probably knows, this groundbreaking film revolves around the unconventional though moving love story between an anthropomorphic amphibious and a deaf-mute custodian of the facility where this mysterious creature was secretly held at the time of the Cold War. Differently from the previous reading suggestions, this novel isn’t properly the base on which the film was developed, as it rather is an alternative and complementary adaptation of a shared idea through a different medium. As a matter of fact, author Daniel Kraus and director Guillermo del Toro had already collaborated for Netflix’s show Trollhunters, and it is apparently during one meeting that the two creative geniuses came up with this incredibly charming story. Published shortly after the distribution of the movie, this literary version aims to complete and add some nuances to what Del Toro depicted in his film for the pleasure of its multitude of fans. 18


“Zama” by Antonio Di Benedetto This novel is considered by critics to be one of the most notable examples of Argentinian and South American literature in the XX century and just happens to be unexpectedly back into the international spotlight. A big part of this has to do with the fact that this incredible story served as the backbone for Lucrecia Martel’s visionary motion picture, presented at last year’s Venice Film Festival and now in cinemas worldwide. In an article for the Spanish newspaper El Paìs, the Argentinian director described this inspirational novel as “an exquisite and irreversible journey into sounds and images of decidedly unexplored territories,” taking the reader back in time to rural unadulterated Paraguay during the Spanish colonial empire in the late 1700s. The book tells the story of the fictional figure of Don Diego de Zama, an american official of the Spanish crown, waiting incessantly to be promoted to a more prestigious position while dealing with a deep existential crisis: drafted in 1956 by Di Benedetto in a state of solitude while vacationing for 20 days in the isolation of an empty house, this masterpiece has a brief, short and condensed writing that will deeply immerse you into its captivating story, making it impossible to leave it until you’ve reached its last page.

“Let’s Unpack It” Episode 1 Want something to listen to now? Well you’re in luck. This month’s “Let’s Unpack It”, the fashion podcast by Open Skies Style, hosts an eclectic group of guests offering you their best style tips and travel advice. Travel blogger and entrepereneur Monica Scott advises on how to pack light on holiday and her fashion must-haves that have travelled the globe with her. We speak to Miami local Karen Heravo about growing up in the glorious city and how to achieve her iconic Miami style. Digital fashion assistant Alexandra Dorrell gives her expert advice on what to wear to the airport and what she’s packing this summer. Our Lifestyle Editor chats with Italian textile designer Francesca Miotti about her unconventional summer holiday plans, and our Travel Editor finds out about the best fashion exhibitions in Beijing from L’Officiel’s Fashion Editor. To listen to this episode, simply click the play button.

1. Let’s Unpack It OPEN SKIES STYLE 10:54





Don’t be a general tourist when you are in Beijing, it’s not valuable. Break the stereotype, let yourself live a Beijinger’s life. 22


After he finished his menswear masters degree in the UK, Mathew moved to Beijing in 2016. He is from Dalian, a city in the Northeast of China. He spent 4 years studying in Beijing and chose to settle his life in the city. Since then, he has had the opportunity to explore Beijing in a unique way. Working as a fashion editor in Chinese Harper’s Bazaar after his graduation, one of his favorite pass times is to walking around the stylish and fashionable places in Beijing. Q: I know that you have been in Beijing for several years. But what was your image of Beijing before you moved here? Mathew: As modern business center, as I didn’t know much about fashion at that time! (He laughs) I can’t really say what my image of Beijing was because when I realized that I needed to spend minimum 4 years here, I was just 18. But at that time, Beijing was already a huge city which made me nervous. You know, the first-tier cities’ life is really far away for a child. Q: When you were a college student, what impressed you most about Beijing? I know that you were studying fashion design, so as a fashion student, is there anywhere hidden gems you have found in Beijing?

Mathew: Yeah, I explored a lot since I wanted to be familiar with this city. I think the most unforgettable place for me is Tian’an men Square. You have to understand that this was a dream for a Dalian boy. But basically there are a lot more fashionable places in Beijing than everybody thinks. When I was in college, I often hung out with my friends in Sanlitun a lot.

“If you want to do some shopping, go on a date or meet for drinks, go to Sanlitun.”

It is a place where young people are the main community. If you want to do some shopping, go on a date or just go and get drunk, go to Sanlitun. I can’t describe the vigor enough through words, you need to get to know the people there, and then you can feel it.

Q: Do you have any changes when you started to work? Do you get any different feeling about exploring this city? Mathew: Because of working, I use public transport a lot. I have to travel lots of different places for photoshoots. Sometimes it is in the studio, but sometimes it is in a designer’s store or an art space. If I thought of myself as a tourist before, I definitely think of myself as a local now. You no longer want to just famous tourist attractions, but new and interesting places. I definitely enjoy Beijing more now. Q: Can you tell us more about that? How do you like Beijing now, after these years living? Mathew: Well, there are lots of tourists that come to Beijing, seeking the historical places and travel experience, but I think people should pay more attention to the real life experience. If you want to feel the history, you can go to Qianmen, instead of spending too much time at a museum or The Forbidden City, because that’s how Beijingers’ live. Beijing is a business hub, and a very political place, but for locals life in Beijing is much more relaxed. I know a girl who is originally from Beijing, her attitude is always very optimistic and relaxed, and I can tell that this is the city sprit of Beijing. 23


THE TRAVEL HACKER Travel blogger and founder of ‘The Travel Hack’ Monica Scott talks wistful wanderlust, the secret to perfect packing and the realities of travelling with toddlers. WORDS MADDY REID The ‘mumtrepreneur’ (yes, it’s a thing) has achieved global online success, partnering with several impressive tourism companies including British Airways, American Express and Virgin Atlantic. But the 32 year old comes from humble beginnings, and fell into blogging organically immediately after graduating. Fresh out of university, Scott began working for her local newspaper and was commissioned to write a blog for their website. “They had a [blog written by a] local teacher, a local councillor and a local shop owner, just people from the community,” she explains, “So I was the ‘local girl who goes travelling’.” It was here that ‘The Travel Hack’ was born and she spent the next two years documenting her experiences online to local readers about the wonders of the wider world. Scott worked two jobs - working in an office by day and blogging by night but it wasn’t until she started getting invited on luxurious promotional opportunities that she decided to take the plunge and quit her job. “I started to get invited on more and



“The most important part about going away as a family is just enjoying your time together and creating really beautiful memories” more press trips and found I was having to say no to a lot of opportunities because I was always in work. I found myself really resenting work… I hated being in the office thinking I could be on a press trip in Barbados right now!” she reminisces. Fast-forward four years, and Scott now spends her time travelling the globe with fiance Sam and their two boys, George and Joseph. While the thought of travelling with toddlers for some may seem terrifying, Scott assures me that it, while sometimes difficult, is no different to home life: “Sometimes you can go out with them and they’re the most perfect little angels you can imagine, like the sweetest little kids ever and I’m like ‘I can’t believe these are my children!’, and other times we go out and they’ll be little monsters, and I never know which way it’s going to go. I think it’s just about being patient and realising that you have to take your time, and some days you’re not going to do anything exciting, you’re just going to stay in, and that’s fine.”

Travelling with her children has become Scott’s expertise, and she talks highly of the benefits travelling has for the family. “At home there’s always things that you have to be doing, whereas when you’re on holiday there isn’t anything you have to do other than have a nice time. I just think that’s so important when you’ve got your kids with you, just to spend a week or two just having a nice time with them and not just plonking them down in front of the telly because you’ve got to make dinner, and not just sending them out to play because you’ve got to tidy up. It’s not always about the destination, it can be about getting away from all those obligations at home,” she explains. Scott candidly expresses the difficulties of bringing up toddlers with an authentic ease despite the taboo many mothers face divulging the struggles of parenting. However, even she can struggle with the criticisms she faces posting about her family online. “Comments online can be difficult because if anyone says anything about your parenting style or something that feels really personal and that kind of bums be a bit more,” she reveals. She used to spend hours late at night anxiously scanning the comments from followers, but says as the years has passed she’s gotten much better at handling the negative critique. “I think it’s just about trying not to be constantly connected to all of these comments and messages, and having a break from it, and sharing things that I feel really happy about it.” As I chat to Scott, I can hear her boys making noises in the background, and she periodically shushes and giggles as they 25


“It’s not always about the destination, it can be about getting away from all those obligations at home,”

fight me for her attention. I am blown away by her work ethic, as she describes the routine she has adopted when on holiday. “I take the majority of my photos first thing in the morning, so I’ll get up at maybe 5am and go for a walk for an hour or two and then get back to my family at around 7 o’clock in the morning when everyone else is just waking up, and I’ve already got my work for the day,” she recounts. “I didn’t used to do it, but we went on one trip and I did it that week and my photos were so much better than anything I’d ever taken, so it’s hard but totally worth it.” With the blurred lines between her work life and home life, not to mention the never ending influx of reader engagement buzzing through her phone at all hours of the day, how does Scott switch off from it all and still fulfill her wanderlust? “this is something that i’m 26

really passionate about,” she admits, “I take my pictures first thing, and from then on nothing I post is live - I edit all my photos and post the images once the trip is over. The most important part about going away as a family is just enjoying your time together and creating really beautiful memories to look back on, especially while the boys are so young.” Scott is an eternal optimist, always finding the funny side of a meltdown-worthy moment with her children, and this does not waver throughout our conversation. As our interview draws to a close, I realise that her perspective isn’t naive, but authentic, reminding us that holidaying as a family doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be far, as long as you’re together.



LONG HAUL SKIN SAVIOURS WORDS AMIE PAGE Holidays are dreamy. Cocktails are dreamy. Beaches are dreamy. Dull skin from a long-haul flight? Not so dreamy. But, after some research, the main culprit became clear. Air conditioning. Whilst removing the humidity from the air, it also removes a lot of the moisture from the skin; hence why our complexion takes a bit of a battering. Janie Bertan-Sassao, skin therapist at SkinSmiths, explains “All that moisture that lives in the top, protective layer of skin is getting sucked out, which is why when people get off a plane, their skin feels really quite dry and dehydrated.” With these tips you never have to fear flying long haul again. In fact, your skin might love it so much, that you accidentally book more trips away, but only for your skin, obviously...


Eve Lom Brightening Sheet Mask, £75 When our skin needs a pick-me-up, here’s our go to mask. It contains Niacinamide to target pigmentation and encourage collagen production, Sodium Hyaluronate to give the skin a burst of hydration and Allantoin to reduce any inflammation and help aid moisturise retention. All the ingredients to make dull in-flight skin, a thing of the past.

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This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £18 We’ve all heard the rumours about beauty sleep and the wonders it has on the skin, but when on board a long-haul flight, getting those eight-hours can be tricky. Packed full of lavender, vetivert and wild camomile, The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray promotes relaxation, putting you in the headspace to sleep.



Caudalie Beauty Elixir Face Mist, £32 A favourite of our team, this face mist feels instantly refreshing. It contains the essential oils of rosemary, grape and rose to help balance the pH of skin. This banishes dryness and tightens pores with just one spritz.

Clinique Moisture Surge, £36 This is a personal favourite, and honestly feels like my skin has taken a drink of water once applied. Also, a little skincare secret: if you keep this product in the fridge, it instantly cools, calms and hydrates the skin on achingly hot days.



Crème De La Mer Reparative Skin Tint, £70 Travel Blogger, Kara Caradas, swears by using a BB cream as an alternative to foundation when travelling around. We all know of the wonderous Crème De La Mer, used by the Kardashians and celebrities alike, but did we know they create a luminous skin tint too?

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £28 Again, another cult product that is too good to ignore. MUA, Billie Rae loves this for its versatility, “you can put it anywhere your skin is chronically dry, it’s great for hands especially.” She also recommends it for soothing eczema and psoriasis flare ups.

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ST TROPEZ Discover the glamour of Southern France this summer in St Tropez. Situated in a shielded gulf of the French Riviera, the tiny idyllic village of Saint Tropez lived secluded from the outer world in an enchanted, unalterable state since its ancient foundation in 69 AD. Enclosed in a provencal bucolic scenario, the small town has been always the home of humble fisherman and artisans, sharing the privilege of inhabiting this charming area, reminiscent of the Arcadia narrated by Virgil and the ancients. Coloured birds and cicadas sing joyfully, flying across olive trees and maritime pines, as if they were inspired by the overwhelming scent of mimosas, lavender and thyme, and the impressionist pink light of the sun reflected by the turquoise waters of the sea at sunset seems to materialise the famous verses of Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose. Having already attracted the creative minds of well-known artist such as Guy de Maupassant, Colette and Picasso, this gem of the Cote d’Azur gained its unique universal status of celebrities’ favourite summer retreat only after French director Roger Vadim decided to elect the (at the time) wild and pure beach of Pampelonne, located just a few steps from the village, as set for his generational movie And God Created Woman in 1955. The enormous success of this iconic movie is intrinsically connected to the fame of Saint Tropez as it is also to the star of the film and at the time wife of the director, French diva Brigitte Bardot, who has subsequently become not only a resident but especially a symbol for the town and its signature vibe and mood. The 1960s definitely represented the golden era for the gulf, which attracted not only Hollywood stars and Nouvelle Vague cineastes but also high-society playboys, socialites, rockstars as well as royalties and wealthy businessmen who brought every kind of luscious vice and caprice to the rural hamlet, and overwhelmed its roads and seas with fancy cars and gigantic yachts. Although the times of ultimate glamour and uninhibited libertinism are longtime gone, Saint Tropez keeps drawing crowds of rich and famous to his sunny peaceful shores, that with time started hosting luxurious and exclusive beach clubs. Also the picturesque streets of the town, once empty, are now decorated from the windows of fancy luxury boutiques and restaurants, famous for fulfilling the demanding needs and desires of its numerous visitors. Through the precious hints of Mariapia Bernardis, owner of Point. Showroom in Milan and adoptive resident of Saint Tropez’s warm summers, we’ll reveal the most authentic and chicest spots to truly enjoy the magic and the Joie de Vivre of this wonderful place.



WHERE TO STAY WHITE 1921 Located facing the central Place des Lices, where the town market is held a few times a week, the renovated White 1921 is undoubtedly a great option when looking for an accommodation. Owned by French group LVMH, this small boutique hotel offers a modern and sleek ambiance along with privacy and careful service at an affordable price (of course, for Saint Tropez’s standards). Whether instead you’re more attracted to the glamorous and the sumptuous, you probably will love the historical Byblos Hotel. Opened by Lebanese businessman Jean-Prosper Gay-Para in 1967, this hotel has witnessed the golden age of Saint Tropez, hosting, among others, nothing less than Mick Jagger’s wedding to Bianca Jagger. 31


WHERE TO EAT SHELLONA Although Saint Tropez hosts many well-known restaurants and bistros, the beach clubs of Plage de Pampelonne in the near municipality of Ramatuelle represent definitely the most coveted and sought-after places, each with its unique and original style, people and ambience, even though united by a similar level of exclusivity (and level of expensiveness!). If you’re looking to spend your day popping bottles of champagne on kingsize sunbeds in company of cinema stars and topcharts DJs, recently opened Greek restaurant and beach club Shellona will definitely work well for you.

“The mood is perfect for a day with friends to enjoy good drinks” 32

“The mood is incredibly amused and funny, perfect for a day with friends to enjoy good drinks, sun, great music and exquisitely delicious food (their chimichurri beef is addictive!),” confirms Mariapia. And if weirdly this doesn’t sound convincing enough for you, Ms Bernardis also confessed that she repeatedly spotted there Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet, discretely catching the attention of the other customers.


WHERE TO DRINK SENEQUIER Around the narrow streets of Saint Tropez, it is not very hard to find nice spots to have a glass of rosé, but if you want to enjoy also a slice of the traditional Tarte Tropezienne, a sweet, soft cake with strawberries and cream, the bar Senequier is your perfect destination. Immediately identifiable from its vibrant red decor facing the small harbour of the town, this café is an excellent option to try the refreshing and typical Piscine de Champagne, a big round glass with champagne and ice cubes, while enjoying the idyllic view during the day as well as at night.

“Senequier is definitely one of my dearest and most favourite places there, and Monsieur Karl Lagerfeld loves it too,” Mariapia assures. For those who instead can’t give up partying, a visit to Les Caves du Roy, club of the iconic Byblos Hotel, is the best option: decorated with vibrant lighting and opulent oriental designs, this exclusive nightclub hosts many international DJs and singers during the summer. “It’s not the easiest to get in, so dress up elegantly and prepare yourself to queuing,” admits Ms Bernardis.



WHERE TO SHOP SOHO, W1 If there isn’t something that lacks in this tiny village is amazingly fashionable stores and boutiques, ranging from small artisanal shops to high-end flagship stores of the biggest French and international brands such as Dior, Gucci, Celine and Fendi. A notable stop in your shopping tour is definitely the pop-up Chanel store hosted yearly during summers at the beautiful palace La Mistralée. Here not only can you see a stunning example of a provencal villa but you can also see and buy Coco beach, Chanel’s new beachwear collection held exclusively in a few selected boutiques. Probably due to the wealth and elegance of its residents and visitors, Saint Tropez is also home to a small, stuffed vintage store called Le Depot: here you can find rare and beautiful clothes from all brands and all decades as well as alligator Hermes Birkin bags. “Every summer I have to visit this incredible gem, and I’m never able to go out empty handed,” says Mariapia, smiling.



WHERE TO VISIT VILLA EPHRUSSI DE ROTSCHILD Because of its pastoral history and quite isolated location, the town of Saint Tropez doesn’t have many notable cultural sites to visit, being as a matter of fact a summer retreat for relaxing more than sightseeing. Nonetheless, many visitors enjoy strolling around the area of La Madrague, the most famous house in Saint Tropez and also the actual residence of actress Brigitte Bardot, in order to get a glance or a stolen picture of the very discreet diva, now rarely to be seen around town. Ultimately, if you feel like you can’t give up on a taste of culture

and art, the magnificent Musée Picasso in Antibes is reachable only with an hour-long drive, assures Ms Bernardis:“As I spend almost three months in Saint Tropez, whenever there is a rainy or cloudy day, I take the chance to see some of Picasso’s genius art in Antibes or walk through the majestic gardens of Villa Ephrussi de Rotschild in Cap Ferrat.”


Open Skies Style  

Student project created by Year 2 London College of Fashion fashion journalism students. A style supplement for the existing Open Skies maga...

Open Skies Style  

Student project created by Year 2 London College of Fashion fashion journalism students. A style supplement for the existing Open Skies maga...