Hotel Il Salviatino

After recent renovations were made to a 15th century villa on Florence’s northeastern outskirts, with the purpose of converting it into a boutique hotel, long lost frescoes and hidden garden mazes were discovered. Antique bath tubs and old world artworks were restored and incorporated with modern furnishings and contemporary design – and in 2010, Hotel Il Salviatino was open. I’ve been to Florence a handful of times but have never ventured outside the city into the Tuscan countryside. A trip to Italy is now looking . . . well, molto bene.

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Karen Walker Visible

Another covetable eyewear collection, another inspiring campaign. This season Karen Walker is working with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative to create work in community groups of micro-artisans located in Kenya. Each pair of sunglasses from the new collection comes with an eyewear pouch handmade by Kenyan artisans, who are the stars of this season’s campaign. They include Maasai beaders, metal casters, craftsmen and artists – all of whom have have acquired or refined their skills through the Ethical Fashion Initiative. Look out for the collection which launches on February 10th!

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DIY Pearl Choker & Rings

Karl Lagerfeld turned up the ol’ pearl game about 100 notches with ginormous pearl necklaces, bracelets and rings for Chanel‘s spring collection. Costumey, over-the-top and DIYable . . . I was sold. Next came the painstakingly long search for the largest pearls I could find and in my hunt for pearls, came the inspiration to make rings inspired by Russian designer Maria Stern‘s super chic double pearl rings. It’s a pearl party and everyone is invited!

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You’ll need (for the pearl choker):

You’ll need (for the pearl rings):

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Bimba & Lola Spring 2014

Bimba & Lola turned to surrealist painter Maruja Mallo, one of the most significant visual artists of the Spanish avant-garde movement, for inspiration this season. Her 1952 painting Mermaids influenced the different materials used in the collection: fabric with shiny iridescent finishes, metallic leather, loose knits imitating fishing nets and stamped neoprene resembling sea sponges. Under the sea and on our wish list . . .

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