Style: Italian Resort Wear you can wear


Pack light. Travel light. Be light.

In my quest to bring more lightness to all areas in my life including my clothes, I came across this Italian resort wear collection at of all places, not Italy but at an outdoor market in Palm Springs.  I fell in love with the timeless, low maintenance pieces worn with ease by renowned fashion designer Sabina Bach.

Sabina designs a comfortable, stylish and unrestricted collection, produced in Italy out of all natural fibers like the finest linen and silks.

Most of the sizes are one size fits…..most.


San Luis Rey Ave
Palm Desert, CA 92260

I will be back!


Photos: (except first two taken from website) d. king

 Style: made in Italy

Whenever you get a label that reads “made in Italy” you immediately feel an element of understated elegance, refinement and quality.

photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse.  Colleen just visited their store location in *Capri, off the Amalfi Coast.  She is killing me with her enviable photos.

The clothing is usually a cut (excuse the pun) above the rest.  Mostly you feel an attention to detail,  design and fit. And I gravitate towards a cut that is simple and sensual.

The Flavio Castellani label is a reflection of the “made in Italy” style of sophistication mixed with a fun look for the feminine and modern woman. The brand is the outcome of the combined creative spirit of fashion designer Rita Ricci and the management skills of Flavio Castellani.flavio1

La moda e’ eleganza e raffinatezza.
La moda e’ arte e questa e’ la mia passione.

Fashion is elegance and refinement .
Fashion is art and this is my passion.    
                  Flavio Castellani

An Important Italian History Lesson:

One of my favourite kind of pants to wear once the weather starts to warm up is capris.  Thanks to a designer by the name of Sonja de Lennart who invented *Capri pants in 1948. The pants’ name derives from the Italian isle of Capri, where they rose to popularity in the late 1950s and early ’60s.  Grace Kelly was among the first movie stars to wear capris on the island. There have been many more since. Audrey Hepburn immediately comes to mind. To me they are the perfect pant –  comfy casual with flats and a Tee but can be dressed up with heels and a nice shirt.

How about you?  Do you believe the “made in Italy” label is more special?

photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse – Limoncello Coccinelle bags to brighten up your day



Art/Culture/Fashion – Bellissima

Italy High Fashion 1945 – 1968.  Okay, if you must know…this to me is emozionante.


A new exhibit offers an up-close look at dresses, handbags, and jewelry from some of Italy’s most iconic fashion houses.  How can I not find this exciting?

Milan 3 Photo by Steven Brooke Jewelry from Bulgari is shown alongside elegant gowns.
Photo by Steven Brooke
Jewelry from Bulgari is shown alongside elegant gowns.
Photo by Steven Brooke Italian design gets the front row in Fort Lauderdale.
Photo by Steven Brooke
Italian design gets the front row in Fort Lauderdale.

Didn’t make it to Milan for Fashion Week? Good news: “Bellissima,” an exhibit focusing on Italian style, will make its sole American appearance at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Bellissima highlights looks from the 1945–1968 period of groundbreaking Italian design and features pieces from houses like Pucci, Fendi, Valentino, and Simonetta. And the big names aren’t only represented on labels: one of the exhibit’s curators is W magazine editor Stefano Tonchi, and the whole project is a partnership with Maxxi, the buzzy Rome contemporary art museum designed by Zaha Hadid. Of the 230 garments on display, many were custom pieces handmade for movie stars like Ingrid Bergman and Ava Gardner. And because no Italian fashion exhibit would be complete without them, there will also be handbags and leather goods in the show, plus plenty of jewels from corporate sponsor Bulgari. (It’s not just necklaces and earrings—be on the lookout for a gem-encrusted cigarette case.) Many of the looks will be displayed alongside film clips, fashion magazine spreads, or gorgeous black-and-white photos of Elizabeth Taylor to give a sense of context.

This moment in history laid the foundation for Italy’s future ready-to-wear fashion, and the exhibition traces its beginnings within the social and cultural context,” Tonchi said in a statement. “The high fashion of that time was grounded in a strong sense of reality: They were luxury creations, but nonetheless practical; precious, embroidered textiles that had a certain simplicity; short cocktail dresses that allowed for movement; and warm, roomy coats accompanied by oversized handbags. This awareness of reality created an opportunity for a fashion system that truly served its patrons, with garments designed for the life of the modern woman.” The post-World War II period was crucial in Italy, as the country built its economy back up largely by encouraging manufacturing, especially for textiles—which gave the country’s emerging design stars plenty of local goods to work with.

Relive the era of Alta Moda at NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida until June 5th.

While in south Florida, might we suggest staying in one of these Traveler-approved hotels and resorts?

Source: Lilit Marcus for CN Traveler


Tonight (April 25th) join me at the fun annual Arts Club California Wine Fair taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Rounding out the rich array of 400 premium wines is an extensive silent auction featuring  premium California wines, luxury goods, and entertainment and travel packages.

As the Arts Club’s signature spring fundraiser, all proceeds from event ticket sales and auction packages go toward the development of new Canadian plays and staging world-class theatre created by Vancouver artists.

A few tickets are still available. Price: $90  To purchase please visit:


style: modo italiano

This is me on my way to go grocery shopping!  

MILAN Street Style
MILAN Street Style
photo: Isabel Alcantara

Unfortunately I’m only kidding….but I can imagine wearing this Quilted Versace Helmut (price upon request). on my little scooter.

AND then there are the Italian Stallions who Scott Schuman for “the Sartorialist” sums up very eloquently:

A lot has been written about “Italian style.”  A number of “facts” have been detailed: the Agnelli-isms of unbuttoned shirt collars, unbuckled monkstrap shoes, ties over the sweater – your general *sprezzatura minutiae. But when it comes down to it, these things border on gimmick. To me, that’s not really about what Italian style is about, or what people relate to in my photographs.

Photos: Scott Schumann for The Sartorialist
Photos: Scott Schuman for The Sartorialist
What I think people are actually aspiring to is something much trickier to attain. It’s the same kind of thing that you’ve seen in all classic menswear icons, most perfectly embodied by Cary Grant and Fred Astaire. It’s grace.

Why people react to Italian style is the grace with which these gentlemen inhabit their clothes.

Now, some people will discredit this and call it “effortless style,” or write it off by saying, “These Italians are just born with it.”

But it’s quite the opposite. There is nothing effortless about their style, or their look. What’s unique is that they put an extreme amount of effort into their look when they buy the clothes, when they have the clothes altered by their tailor, and when they put them on in the morning. But once they put them on, they don’t think about them until they take them off again at night. It’s that graceful thoughtlessness that is so seductive.

Do me a favour. Look at these photos above. Look at the shoulder line. Look at how relaxed these guys are. Their shoulders aren’t uptight and around their ears. These guys are having fun.  Then take a look at your typical Savile Row-tailored gent. Refined (read: restrained) to within an inch of his life, shoulders straight as a board and typically looking like they’re having as much fun as an American wearing a suit.

If there is one piece of advice that I could give to someone who wants to embody, in their own way, the very best of Italian style, it would be: take an extra half an hour when buying the clothes, and extra half an hour at the tailor to make sure they perfectly fit you, and an extra half an hour in the morning to make sure you are confident in your choices.

Then think about food, think about women, think about cars – and only think about your tie when you buy the next one.

*Word of the daysprezzaturaa certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all art and make whatever one does or says appear to be without effort and almost without any thought about it”.

The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman (Penguin) is out now. £19.99.

Gingham Style…

…and Classic Design.  FABRIC THAT STANDS THE TEST OF TIME:  You can resort to wearing this even if it’s not exactly considered “RESORT” wear.

Kirsten Dunst, Jackie Kennedy & Marc Jacobs shirt on model.
STYLE!  Kirsten Dunst (cute in gingham dress), Jackie Kennedy (this woman made even wearing gingham look chic)  & Marc Jacobs (a sophisticated gingham shirt on model.)  A little bit goes a long way with this fun fabric.


Personally the design reminds me of an old fashioned Italian style picnic.  But that is why I love my gingham lined wicker picnic basket & pieces of gingham paper lined small wicker trays for storing cheese in the fridge.   In summer I sometimes wear a head scarf on the beach with denim on one side & you guessed it….gingham on the other, conjuring up images of Annette Funicello in the movie beach blanket bingo. Don’t even remember the movie but I’m sure they had loads of fun shooting it.  Gingham is a timeless piece when it’s not overdone – or It can be too cutesy.

my picnic basket needs to be filled
my picnic basket requires nice weather
Sean Connery as James Bond
Sean Connery wears a manly Gingham shirt as James Bond – nothing cutesy about him.

FYI The word “gingham” is derived from the Malay word “genggang” meaning striped. Gingham fabric first started off as a stripe pattern when it was first imported to Europe in the 17th century, but crazy folks making fabrics in Manchester England experimented with check versions.  Over time the word gingham evolved to be mostly associated with the check pattern.


In the 50s, women wore gingham dresses, but men rarely wore gingham shirts.  We know this from watching a few episodes of Mad Men.

In 1963, James Bond (Sean Connery) sported a large blue and white gingham check shirt with his swimsuit in From Russia with Love.  Casual stuff.

At some stage (guessing it was in the 70s) someone designed a tablecloth with this pattern and became very successful.  Since then gingham has been cursed with the name “table cloth pattern”.gingham3 - images for italian style

In the 80s and 90s, bankers never took gingham seriously. Neither Patrick Bateman nor Gordon Gekko would even consider wearing it to work.

Even Nike has a cool gingham print
Even Nike has a cool Gingham style print

At some stage, perhaps due to marketing of Ralph Lauren, gingham dress shirts went mainstream.  Natty British socialites wore them to rugby matches.  Suburban WASPS embraced gingham as the perfect shirt to wear under their blue blazer with their white pants when they went to the country club.  Glenn Beck wore them on TV.  Frat boys wore them to class.  Now wearing a shirt or dress can be fashionable when kept simple.

Fun Fact: DorothyDorothy wore a blue gingham dress in the Wizard of Oz   One of my all time favorite movies.

Research taken from “The Proper Cloth.”