Tag Archives: Locally Made Clothes

Style-Diet Shot – Antonio

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

I hit a Style-Diet jackpot yesterday, bumping into Antonio in Rome yesterday. In a mecca of style and fashion, Antonio stood out on so many levels.  His suit is an original Valentino made in 1975.  Two years before I was born and well before being bought by Qatar. His mom and I think one of his aunts used to be tailors for Valentino.  Shoes from Tuscany.  Glasses made by a friend, the inside have a small houndstooth design.  Note the matching tie and shoes.  Antonio is a fabulous cross-cultural character in every sense of the word.  He said to tell you that he’s related to Jack Nicolson (a younger brother).  That is a joke.  I’m pretty sure – but the resemblance is uncanny.  He works in the world of art and music.  Currently looking for a museum in Canada to launch an exhibition….

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The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.

Abito da sposa

Ceremony and traditions give sense of the definite to our relativity. They mark the passage of time with gravitas and levity. I welcome every excuse to celebrate life.  I became acutely aware of just how precious life is, having undergone major surgery in 2011.  How many more joyous events will I savour with my health intact and my loved ones around?

2013 has been the year of Weddings (with a capital W). It kicked off with an epic Indian wedding that spanned three continents and several cities. As more invites came in, I had to make gut-wrenchingly difficult choices as 2 sets of weddings were on the same day in different countries. Two of the years’ weddings have been Indian, one Italian, one Spanish-Turkish, one American and one Canadian. So much love from all around the globe, family and friends dizzyingly beautiful and crazy.  But of course, (said wiz a Frensh accent) that’s what weddings are all about.

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I have sung at many weddings over the years. It’s an acutely emotional experience to sing at a wedding. The lifting of the human voice in song is primal, primordial.  It’s atavistic.  Couple that to the nervous bride and groom, atmosphere that is pregnant and about to deliver.  It’s a moment that will define lifetimes.  It’s a juicy dramatic concoction.  There’s the hidden anxiety (never so far manifested thank my lucky stars) that I’ll be overcome with emotion and weep half way through singing.  I’ve come close.

For me music has always been the most important part of a wedding.  But ask the bride and she’ll say The Dress. Each wedding I attended this year – and have ever attended – had the most beautiful brides wearing amazing dresses. It is rare that the dressmaker herself or himself is in attendance. Rarer still that she be a close friend of the bride. When I learned that Gabriella made Rossanna’s abito da sposa, it was an epic Style-Diet Shot!  Gabriella made this dress herself from the beautiful buttons to the cintura: the kind of belt, the drop-waist.  Note the detail: the beads and embroidery – the labour of love.

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Below is Gabriella, wearing her own design in green silk. The Bracelet in Enamel is made in Tuscany by a local artisan.  Note the line, how the bottom of the shirt scoops upwards slightly.  Note the green fingernails and the bracelet.

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Love how the warm glow of the Tuscan alters the perception of color.
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Style-Diet Shot – Elena

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

 – Thomas Jefferson

I met Elena in Tuscany, Italy where she lives.  Her clothes are Dixie dixie.it and her shoes are from Raspini http://www.raspini.com/negozi_eng.html.  I called Dixie to find out where their clothes are made.  (Any excuse to pick up the phone and speak Italian!)  Dixie is made in a suburb of Florence called Signa. Raspini is a famous set of shops for the fashionistas of Florence.  Raspini recently added a vintage boutique to boot. Italians as a rule have a passion for fashion.  I understood this when I saw the bus drivers of Florence wearing Prada shoes.  I smelled it in the air.  I could feel it in my bones.  After a few years of living in Italy, we embraced the art of la Bella Figura.  Once you understand what quality is, there’s no turning back.  Like with their beautiful cuisine, the Italians appreciate locally-made, lovingly-made.  Well made. Quality.

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The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.