And in case you don’t speak Italian ;-) :
Tell us about your “fashion story” – When did you decide that you wanted to be in the fashion world?
I wouldn’t call my journey into fashion typical or even inevitable. Although, from as far back as I can remember I always knew exactly what I wanted to wear, I had an innate point of view and a fascination with the stage.
Yet, It was with music where I found my first creative outlet, the clarinet to be exact. I grew up listening to the best jazz and classical the world has to offer through my father’s perfectly curated and extensive record collection. The great composers and musicians of the world are true masters and teachers of style. It was around the same time that I became fascinated by Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, I watched the film on repeat and had the clothing redesigned for myself, much of which I made by hand. It was the striking visual aesthetic, colors, costumes and set design that I was totally taken by. That film became my definition of originality and fantasy, and it ignited my spirit.
As a teenager, I channeled my energy into studying music and eventually became a professional clarinetist in the “President’s Own” United States Marine Band. During this time, I was still very drawn to the visual arts and fashion. My best friend and I were constantly being creative and even organized some elaborate photo shoots, one of my favorites being a moody noir-themed series shot in a former art deco hotel. Now looking back on it . . . I guess you could say I was a bit eccentric. I like to shock, and turn stereotypes upside down.
Two years ago I left my career in music / the military to move to NYC with my husband and follow my dreams of creating fantasy driven fashion. In March 2014 I started my blog “The Eye Travels” paying homage to the legendary queen of style and fantasy, Diana Vreeland.
How would you define your style?
I focus on creating a wide ranging esthetic, this is one of the elements of fashion that make it fun and enchanting, the way you can change your persona based on what you are wearing. Beyond that I like to push boundaries by layering complex patterns, shapes and colors in unexpected ways.
A phrase that repeats in my mind as I’m getting dressed: “It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.” Style is so much about how you carry yourself and the ability to be true to who you are. Also, close attention to detail. Confidence and originality are my key words. Appearances are definitely not everything, but they do tell a story of who you are, even if for a moment. Remember, style is about the life your living in the clothes.
Which are your fav brands to wear?
It’s about a particular look or individual piece for me, which can come from anywhere and any decade. I’m open and interested in designers or labels that are creating something compelling. As a result, it’s difficult for me to identify completely with any single brand aesthetic. I like one-of-a-kind pieces that I pull together in unique ways.
Where do you usually shop?
My new favorite shopping area is the Miami Design District, not only is it a beautiful and artistic outdoor shopping experience, but it’s also home to the US flagship of Loewe and Delpozo, who don’t even have stores in NYC! Outside of that, I do most of my shopping online and in my neighborhood (Soho, NYC.)
Do you have a style icon you look up to?
Diana Vreeland. I reread parts of her book on a weekly basis for inspiration. Her thoughts on life and style are vividly descriptive and timeless. I also strive to emulate the elegance and poise of Grace Kelly.
Do you have a beauty routine?
Motto = Everything in moderation. Hydration is essential, I prefer Voss. Exfoliate, moisturize (serum, oil, cream) and use SPF or wear a hat everyday. Though, there is no natural beautifier quite like being happy, kind and loving.
Do you usually read or consult other websites or fashion blogs? if yes which are your favorites?
I first look to the runways and contemporary art. And I’m always inspired by photographer Adam Katz Sinding (@Le21eme.) The way he captures fashion has influenced how I put looks together. Undeniably, Adam has one of the best understandings of what is happening in fashion and is influencing its direction. I see the future in his work.
Which are the pieces you’ll suggest our reader to buy or wear for this Summer?
A colorful kimono is the perfect addition to any summer wardrobe, last summer I wore mine with denim shorts, a crocheted crop top and gladiator heels. I also wore one over a white lace dress – perfect for a summer evening dinner party – and I even wore a black and gold patterned kimono to the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner over a Cushnie et Ochs red cut-out dress. It’s endlessly versatile and a unique way to layer in the warmer months. This year I’ll be adding a silk belt.
Some of my summer staples: White distressed denim (I just picked up a great pair from Off-White), espadrilles, a cozy summer sweater and a rattan handbag. I would also recommend incorporating chartreuse as a pop of color to your summer wardrobe, as it was all over the runways.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spend quality time with my husband (and cats) and travel to a place we’ve never been at least once a year. I love listening to a perfectly programmed orchestral concert or jazz performance. Living in NY I’ve had the luxury of hearing some of the best music in the world at Carnegie Hall (and have performed there myself twice.) I also have a passion for Broadway. I would be lying if I said I haven’t dreamt of being in a Broadway show. Phantom of The Opera (and the sequel, Love Never Dies!) being my all time favorite, the music is sublime. Going to a Broadway show reminds me of the first time I ever set foot in Manhattan, my parents took me to see Oklahoma and that feeling of pure amazement and the sheer excitement of being in NYC has never left me.
Do you have any big project or dream for the future you’d like to share with us?
My close friend/ creative soul sister/ amazingly talented photographer, Keziban Barry, and I are planning our first international editorial shoot and video in Iceland this summer. We are both so excited about this project, visiting Iceland has been a dream of ours individually and when it came up in conversation one day it seemed right that we would go together and document our journey. I think the exciting part about all of this is the unknown element, of visiting this stunningly gorgeous country for the very first time and allowing the landscape, weather and scenery to influence us as we create. This work will then be on presented/on display (and open to the public) during Art Basel Miami 2016 at an art space in Wynwood.
Also, my new business partner, Marina Beaumont, and I are thrilled to be working together to grow The Eye Travels, enhancing the power individuals have on the fashion industry while inspiring others. I feel so blessed to be spending my time with this incredible woman and building something we are both passionate about together.