All posts tagged: Italy

Perfect Finds: Shopping Italian Blackamoor Jewelry

If you’ve ever been to Venice, you’ve seen blackamoor art. It’s pretty ubiquitous in hotels there although you might not have noticed them. They are the sculptures depicting African males (and sometimes females) decked out in jewels and/or regalia and holding a tray or some type of container at entrances. With jewelry and sculptures dating back to the Early Modern period of European art, blackamoor art has drawn controversy in recent times, most notably on the Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2013 runway. Much of the blackamoor jewelry on the market today are Venetian antiques carved from ebony or enamel and inlaid with gold and fine stones, like diamonds, rubies, pearls, turquoise etc. Famed Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin was said to keep a blackamoor figurine on his desk to remind him of his great-grandfather, black Russian nobleman Abram Petrovich Gannibal. This figure can be seen in his former St. Petersburg apartment, now turned into a museum. Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel and Anita Pointer of the Pointer sisters are also collectors of blackamoor jewelry and furniture. I …

That time I went to Italy and didn’t like the food…

Without hesitation I can say that one of my favorite travel destinations is Italy. In the days leading up I salivate as I plan my first meal of my go-to Italian delights and research regional cuisine that I will most certainly be trying. So, when I was recently in the Veneto region in the town of Vicenza I thought, “Yes! Venetian seafood!” The last time I was in Venice, my dining experiences were just fine. To be fair, I ate in very touristy areas and the better meal I did have was when my friend Kate and I ditched our travel companions. I was very eager for a dining upgrade during this trip, although, I wasn’t going to Venice, I was going to Vicenza a city a little more up in the hills. None the less, I had a pretty solid list of the cuisine I wanted to try. Very excited, rice & peas? Hello! My family is Jamaican. Polenta e osei? Mouthwatering…. I’m a big game bird fan. Give me a quail, pheasant or …

Fast Track: How to live out your dreams of the Italian countryside

I’m sure you’ve daydreamed about owning a home in the Italian countryside. I know I definitely have. Well, according to the New York Times, a town below Mt. Etna, Gangi is actually giving away homes! Really (some are being given away, some are going for as little as one euro). Located close to central Italy, in the Madonie mountains, Gangi has dealt with a seriously dwindling population in the last century, loosing over half of it’s population to emigration. These houses were left abandoned and the town government is trying to bolster the local economy, and attract new inhabitants that will love and want to preserve Gangi. The catch: these homes are hardcore fixer-uppers, sometimes gut jobs and you have only four years to do it. As someone that’s spent time in Southern Italy, let me tell ya, that’s a pretty big catch, especially if you’re a foreigner. However, in 2014, Gangi was voted the most beautiful village in Italy, Borgo Piú Bello d’Italia, so maybe it’s just about rolling up your sleeves and getting …

‘N’s Nomads: ELLE’s Beauty & Fitness Editor, Megan O’Neill

You know when a girl passes you on the street in Bushwick and you immediately think DOPE then do a major head turn? That’s Megan O’Neill; imagine the extent to which she blew my mind when I saw her in Amherst, Massachusetts. I couldn’t believe we had never met in New York. In a sea of popped collar polos and Patagonia fleeces, I had to know the girl in the leopard swing coat with perfectly undone hair. Recently made Beauty & Fitness editor at ELLE magazine and a veteran of Lucky, I can’t think of a better representative of the new wave of editors heralded by Eva Chen: Megan is incredibly stylish, funny and witty — oh, and an enviously tall stunner too! Her potty mouth humor got me through many an Amherst night and it’s always a pleasure bumping into her backstage during New York Fashion Week. Extremely articulate, Megan has a skill of painting pictures with her words that often has me trying products I never knew I needed and eagerly awaiting her next …

10 Minute Editorial with the Min Wu collection

I can’t wait to share my amazing experiences at the Origins Fair with Not Just A Label with my ‘N A Perfect World… audience. The fair re-energized me and reminded me why I liked to work with emerging designers. These people were not only inspiring and talented but they also had their affairs in order and were burgeoning ethical business owners. One of the designers that I formed a bond with was London-based, Min Wu. I have some great content with Min coming soon, and trust me, this Vogue Italia darling is hilarious as she is talent. During the last moments of Origins, while I was packing up my booth, Min came over with my favorite skirt from her collection. I dug into my suitcase for shoes while Min found a top. After changing in the booth, we pinned the samples (a stylist is always prepared!), ran outside and there happened to be an Italian fire brigade. Voilà… we had a casual editorial. 😉 Here’s a quick outtake from my upcoming interview with Min!

Live from Vicenza!

I have the privilege of being in Vicenza, Italy for the Origins Fair with Not Just A Label on behalf of designer Azede Jean-Pierre. 100 emerging designers from around the world paired with 100 leading Italian manufacturers with a focus on craftsmanship and sustainability, this is an #NAPerfectWorld dream…