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FASHION updates from an industry pro. What's in this season?

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The Boutique Hotel travel experts known as Mr & Mrs Smith say Ciao Italia with their latest guide.   The land of Tuscan dreams and Roman Empires is any vacationers ideal destination.  From the Northern hills of Turin to the Southern beaches of Capri, your dream vacation awaits you!   Mr & Mrs Smith know a thing or two about ideal destinations for romantic getaways.  The travel series aren't named after the Brad & Angelina film of the same name.  However, they do reference the age old practice of couples lookingBRAD & ANGELINA'S MR. & MRS. SMITH for a secret rendezvous checking into a hotel and signing the ledger "Mr. & Mrs. Smith"!    Having said that, you can bet all the hotels recommended in the guides are first class, intimate, and out of the ordinary when it comes to amenities and service.  One fashionable highlight is the Tuscan refuge of Castiglion del Bosco.. aka the Ferragamo Resort.  OVER 4,000 ACRES OF CASTIGLION DEL BOSCO With 23 luxurious rooms on over 4,500 acres - let's just say privacy is not an issue at this 5 star resort!  With the legacy of POOL WITH A VIEW - CASTIGLION DEL BOSCOluxury the Ferragamo name carries, you can be sure that the accommodations, the cuisine, and the service will be as exclusive as you can imagine.  A few days in Florence on the way to this amazing destination would be a dreamy holiday just on it's own, or as the beginning of a long journey around the country blessed by the Gods. 

It makes perfect sense that Mr. & Mrs. Smith were guests of honor at the recent re-launch of the Ferragamo Flagship boutique in NYC.   The 20,000 square foot SALVATORE FERRAGAMO FLAGSHIP - 5TH AVENUE PH: VT MALINOWSKIpalazzo of luxury is the largest Ferragamo boutique in the world!   The Smiths signed copies of this latest guide book featuring Castiglion Del Bosco.   The latest runway collection from this house of Italian Fashion FERRAGAMO SPRING RUNWAY SANDALwas also on full display.   The colorful and creative designs had every man and woman thinking "tropical getaway".   One of the hottest accessories right on trend are the colorful and sexy sandals that were the star of the Spring 12 Ferragamo runway show in Milan!

With Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, & Sicily all in one Country - how does one choose where to begin?   Consult the experts of course! Let Mr & Mrs Smith help plan your next holiday.  Arrivederci! 




CHRISTIAN DIOR changed the world of fashion.   The man who is credited with saving the industry after WWII created a new sense of style.  His "New Look" was a return to glamour and the silhouette was a back to the future mentality.   His use of the accentuated waist, full skirt, and detailed shoulders were classic but modern and totally glamorous. 

Designer John Galliano took the legacy of Dior to new heights during his reign at this legendary French House of Fashion. 

Galliano's career came to a screeching halt after allegations of public anti-Semitism surfaced in 2011.

The new book COUTURE chronicles just that, with photos by Patrick Demarchelier and text by Ingrid Sischy.   The magical work speaks for itself, and this is an excellent gift for any fan of fashion.

The house of Dior remains a legend in limbo as the suits figure out who to name as the next creative director.   The company recently partnered with artist Anselm Reyle to create a limited edition series of handbags, shoes, and maquillage.    Click Dior to see more accessories or Magic Maquillage to see the limited edition makeup!



Few cities have as much style as New Orleans!   Layers of social and cultural styles of dressing, interior design, and of course cooking give The Big Easy a complex sensibility that you won't find in another American City.  You might feel like you need a passport to enter the Crescent City, because this town is definitely not like the one you call home!     

New Orleans is filled with talented and creative souls in all forms, from the  gifted musicians to the masters of cuisine.  It is impossible not to be inspired at every turn.

One very talented native New Orleanian is a man known by millions of TV fans all over the world.   Bryan Batt starred as Art Director Sam Romano in the Emmy winning series Mad Men.  Set in a 60's era advertising agency on New York's Madison BRYAN BATT AS SAM ON AMC'S MAD MENAvenue, the show became a major pop culture phenomenon.   The fashion world became smitten with the cool retro glamour of the men and women of Mad Men.  Catwalks all over Europe and NY suddenly featured the very grown up tailored look for men, and slightly prim, but retro sexy vibe for women. (Think full skirts and tight sweaters). 

SUNNY SATURDAY ON MAGAZINE STREET IN UPTOWNIn real life, when Mr. Batt is not starring on Broadway or acting on TV,  creating interiors has always been another true passion.  He and partner Tom Cianfichi run home accesorry boutique- Hazelnut on Magazine Street. NEW ORLEANS TOILLE GIFT & TABLEWARE AT HAZELNUT   In the Uptown section of the city, Hazelnut showcases the guys eclectic taste and attitude towards decorating your home. (Also an excellent gift resource).

Mr. Batt's new book big, easy Style has page after page of perfectly styled rooms that are sure to strike a chord with your own personal style.   A play on words of New Orlean's nickname - big, easy, Style is meant to ensure readers to have fun when designing rooms to live in.  If you choose items that bring out your own style, the room will make you happy to be there every single day.   The book is full of photos of Mr. Batt's home and countless others from all around New Orleans,BRYAN BATT & CHRISTOPHE POURNY AT HAZELNUT in just about every style you can think of.  Also, the book has a great list of resources of home furnishing and antique stores.  New Orleans is of course, home to some of the finest French Antique stores in the country.   Balzac Antiques is a great example of just such a store, and it is referenced in the book.   Sarah Scott Thomas has the eye of a curator and the passion of a collector.   Her shop on Magazine street is a favorite of collectors from all over the Country.    In fact, on a recent visit to her store, I met clients from Dallas, San Francisco, and New York - all in the store on a sunny Saturday afternoon.   Many shoppers had stopped by that day to see Antique Restoration specialist Christophe Pourny who was having an in-store appearance at Balzac toTREASURED FINDS AT BALZAC ANTIQUES ON MAGAZINE STREET promote his line of furniture care products.   Bryan Batt is also a friend, and we all caught up over at Mr. Batt's bustling store.   Bryan was having his book signing and Hazelnut was hosting a block party - complete with a Jazz band!   What a fun weekend in New Orleans!

If you haven't been to The Big Easy in a few years - plan your trip NOW!  The hard work and dedication of New Orleanians to restore their beautiful city after Hurricane Katrina has really payed off.  Their perseverance and welcoming spirit will warm your heart.   You owe it to them, and to yourself to visit New Orleans.   The weather is just about perfect at any time of year.   While it is hot and sticky in the Summer, that's when things get really interesting!   

Click the big,easy Style book cover to bring a copy home today.   Click Mr. Batt's photo to visit Hazelnut - they have a HUGE selection of Christmas ornaments that can easily be packed and shipped.   Also, click Balzac to see some truly beautiful French Antiques.   See you in NOLA!