In recent years,the fashion shows in Milano are getting more and more bizarre--even disturbing. One has to ask, "What does this have to do with presenting great style?" Nothing. It's shock value to grab cheap attention. Perhaps this attitude has always been around concerning high fashion, going back to Helmut Newton's often bloody and kinky photographic scenarios back in the 60s and seventies, for example.
But what point was Gucci trying to make with having models carrying their own heads, walking past medical examination tables or having deadpan faced models carry dead baby dragons?
What ever happened to beauty, elegance, classic style and timelessness?
Deadpan expressions, or just plain dead?
Gucci must be a fan of old Twilight Zone Episodes.
Watch the film, The Water Horse to see how we are supposed to treat dragons.
When Voyaging in Campania, one of the best things a woman can bring back is custom made sandals from Capri, Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi (town) or Ravello. While these sandali artigianali shops will have ready-to-wear models, it's more fun to have them make a pattern of your feet, walk around town for a while, and when you return you'll have exactly what you wanted, custom-sized to your feet. They also offer more affordable ready-made soles which can be trimmed out to your personal taste. They have a wide variety of lacing and decorative trimmings, such as Swarovski crystals.
In Capri, arguably the most well-known shop is Canfora (where decades ago, Jackie Kennedy bought hers), although other sandal shops dot the towns of Marina Grande and Ancapri. Keep in mind that the prices for custom sandals in Capri are generally higher than shops in towns along the Amalfi Coast. Sorrento also has many shops, including Sandali Corcione on Corso Italia. In Positano, one of the more popular shops for sandals is Safari, with Nana a close second.
Red silk with buttoned strap shoes, 1920
Designed by André Perugia
André Perugia (1893-1977) was born in Nice, France in 1893 of Italian parentage. He trained in his father's workshop and at the age of 16, in 1909, he opened a shop in Paris where he sold handmade shoes.
OK... I've So got to do this in our garden. This summer, the search is on for the right type of old bike when we go to garage sales. I'd paint it red with lots of trailing plants.
The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport was the bridge between pre-war and post-war production and served as their last truly hand-built offering. Its styling was definitely looking toward the future. Through many series and variations, the 6C evolved through the years leading up to WWII and beyond, with engine displacement growing from 1500cc through to 2300cc and the chassis taking lessons learned on the racetrack by the Scuderia Ferrari racing team. Italy’s best coach builders had their turn with the 6C chassis, with the last-of-the-line 2500 Sport and short wheel base, triple carburetor Super Sport forming the foundation for post-war automobiles around the world. With its twin-cam engine and sophisticated independent suspension, the 6C 2500 is one of the best performing and most desirable automobiles of the era, a car that embodies both the past and present of Alfa Romeo.
Whether you're Voyaging through Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Puglia or Sicily, you will inevitably come across the most beautiful floral displays in hanging wall pot gardens. The kaleidoscope of colors is often dizzying, and the collection of interestingly shaped terracotta pots along with the texture of old stone walls only add interest. Although many plants are hung in more common hanging baskets from metal arm brackets or on balconies, the unusual thing for Americans to see is pots hanging directly on the walls of houses. And it's not just one pot but often dozens creating texture and color on the side of a home. It's easy to get this look in your home garden, if you use the right brackets and choose plants carefully.
Geraniums are one of the more common plants you will see on walls and balconies in Italy. They continue to bloom until frost arrives. In southern Italy, the plant continues to thrive and bloom year-round. Able to grow in most soil types, geraniums have few problems and will give even more blooms by picking off spent blooms and keeping the plant fertilized, so don't plant them too high.
Dahlias grow from tubers that must be dug up and stored during very cold winters. They come in a kaleidoscope of colors with the shorter varieties doing very well in pots (they love well drained soil). Just don't let them dry out repeatedly and remember to regularly fertilize during the growing season.
Petunias grow very well in hanging pots, especially the trailing types. They will need water every day, lots of fertilizer and benefit (like most annual flowering plants) from pinching off the dead blooms (which prevents them from going to seed, which takes energy from the flowering process). And don't forget to plant some Calibrachoa, which look like small petunias but are a different genus. Like petunias, they come in a wide range of colors.
Fuchsia is a wonderfully varied flower to grow in wall pots, its bell shaped pods dangling and opening to reveal a very complex flower shape. They come in many different types... from pastels to powerful blues and reds, some ruffly and others like delicate butterflies. And if you want to attract hummingbirds, this is the flower to grow.
If you cook with herbs (as any good Italian does), planting some of your favorite herbs in your hanging wall garden is a great option. Many herbs require good drainage and soil that's not too high in nutrients, like sage, thyme, or oregano. The wall is a perfect environment, in fact, many herbs in Italy grow naturally in cracks in craggy walls. Since mint is usually a runner, often turning into a garden weed, growing it up on your wall is a great way to control its rambunctiousness. For things like basil or parsley, which need more nitrogen (for leaf growth) and water, plant them in a richer, water retaining soil. You can even add some Soil Moist water retention crystals to your soil mix. Plant these pots lower down so you can easily snip what you need before preparing dinner.
If you don't have a sunny wall or expensive terracotta or ceramic wall pots, be creative --use a fence or put your plants in other things that can make a fun plant container.
Here are some hanging pots, brackets and other things to get you started.
Click on each photo to see them on Amazon.