PTB Adventures

My summer of 2014 was spent studying fashion in Europe.  I started in London followed by Paris, Milan and Florence.  It was an incredible experience!  Below is all about my trip:day 19 IMG_5218.jpg IMG_0129.jpg IMG_0133.jpg

Our day began with a lovely lunch at the Gucci Cafe and I had a little cappuccino with the Gucci logo sugar.  How cute is that sugar??  Following our lunch we went through the years of Gucci in the museum located in the heart of Florence.  It was so glamorous to walk from room to room to see how the brand evolved from leather bags to an entire lifestyle including cars, kitchen ware, and even golf clubs.  THe mind of Guccio Gucci was incredible and innovative starting in his young days inspired by luxury and then designing for some of the most famous stars.  The quality and beauty was evident in all of his brand from the beginning to today.

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Visiting the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum was such a unique experience.  It was incredible to learn about how he originally fell in love feet and created his first pair of shoes at just nine years old.  He was not just a designer, but an innovator.  He is the reason that we now have the wedge.  His goal was to create a shoe that was not just aesthetically appealing, but also provided comfort and a bespoke characteristic.  I chose to put the photo of his bespoke collections for celebrities like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe to indicate his unique tailoring to two of the most famous women in history.  Ferragamo’s goal wasn’t to just create a great shoe, but a great shoe uniquely for the client.  I found it to be so inspiring that a designer not only would take the time to get to know the customer and what he or she likes, but to create a mold for their exact foot.  That takes not only dedication, but a true love for making a client feel special and indicate to them the designers love for their craft.

After a lovely afternoon at the museum and a quick cat nap, we headed to a trendy bar called, Art Bar.  Their specialty is to make drinks that look like art and as you can see below, they were successful.  I had a yummy strawberry drink and my friend, Alden, had the Moscow Mule.  They tasted as great as they look!  We then went to a yummy local spot and had some mouth-watering pasta!

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Florence began with a tour of the beautifully historic city immediately.  I was overwhelmed by not only the beauty, but also the deep history.  The cathedrals and basilicas are ornate and I can only imagine the amount of prayers and praise has gone on in each one.  As we wonder through the city everything seems to imitate a painting.  There is such a vast amount of inspiration in the history and art of the Italian cities available for designers.

We ended our evening with a delicious meal and a little limonchello at La Giostra.  It is definitely one of my favorite meals on our entire trip!

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We spent our last day in Milan shopping, eating, and even attending a fabulous little party!  We had a cappuccino at the Marc Jacobs Cafe dinner at Bulgari Hotel, which was delicious!  I highly recommend it.  Plus, they had a candy bar and as soon as I saw that I was hooked!  After a great meal, we went to Just Cavalli and had a great time meeting new faces from all over.  I would definitely say that Milan was high on our list!

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While our day in Lake Como had a rainy start, it ended with blue skies!  We began our day visiting the silk museum, which gave us a thorough history of the years that Lake Como has been involved in silk.  Lake Como has been the center of silk production for years due to two things: vast amounts of water and widespread mulberry farming.  The region has been the perfect spot of silkworms to cultivate.

It may be known for its years of producing incredible silks, but it is also home to some of the most beautiful scenery.  I just about fell in love! Scratch that previous statement, I did fall in love.  The quant town is full of small shops, yummy restaurants, and delicious gelato, but above the town are fabulous homes that over look  the mountains and water.  George Clooney knew what he was doing when he decided to purchase his vacation home here…I think I might try to befriend him! 😉

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Our first full day was filled with a guided tour of all the Milan Fashion Districts.  The tour began on the famous street of Via Monte Napoleone learning all about how Milan and this street is where ready-to-wear began.  The rich history of some of Italy’s most famous brands was so very evident as we strolled through the fashion districts.  Below you can see the original Prada name and store.  It is located within the Galleria Vittorio, which is beautiful in itself and adds an extra glamour and luxury to the brand.

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After a 9 hour train ride, we made it to Milan!  This is the view from our hotel.  Since we were late arriving we headed straight to get aperitivos and wine.  Then of course we had a pizza!  Let me put it to you frankly, we loved Italy from the second we arrived!

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Our last day in Paris was spent roaming around the city.  We slept in, but had a lovely little brunch at L’Avenue.  It was absolutely delicious…especially the french fries!  :)

After our brunch, we went into all of our favorite stores and got lost in the streets of such a beautiful city.  It was a perfect little leisure day in Paris!

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We began our day walking down Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, which is home to some of the most luxurious stores in Paris.  Our walk included the discussion of how merchandising and sales played a role in the window displays.  I snapped a few photos of displays that caught my eye and made me want to go inside.  These stores are not just selling an article of clothing, they are selling a lifestyle.  It is evidently clear that

After a lovely stroll, we ended at Ladurée!  Have I mentioned to you yet my love and obsession with macaroons??  Let’s put it this way…I went the first day and bought a small box, then I went back the second day and bought another.  They are delicious and dainty.  In my opinion, they are the perfect feminine treat. :) 

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I have to advise you to do everything that we did on Day 10 if you take a trip to Paris.  We started our day off at a little cafe eating croque monsieur followed by a tour of the Opera Palais Garnier (Outfit Post Here).  The Opera house is not only beautiful, but also home to years of history.  It was the place for socializing in the late 19th century and early 20th century. It now is the setting for many fashion shows, including Dior, and the famous novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera. 

After a great tour of the Opera, we went for a river cruise down the Seine.  It was filled with chocolate crepes and wine, so obviously it was great!  We were able to see the sights with the wind in our hair and followed the tour with a delicious meal at a local cafe.  I would classify it as a really great day! :)

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IMG_4899.jpg   days title_edited-1 Image 4.jpg Our morning began with a presentation from the Comite Colbert organization, which embodies the luxury and taste of the best fashion houses and other luxury businesses in France.  We were able to learn about the ability for the houses to work together to create the most forward thinking and best future for French luxury.  The goal of the organization is to promote French lifestyle.

After our great meeting with Comite Colbert, we stopped and got the famous Angelina hot chocolate.  It was amazing! I bought some to bring home…it was that good! :)

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After a quick train ride, we arrived in Paris!  We spent the afternoon touring the city and I was able to snap a few photos of the beautiful architecture and unique design of the city.  It does not matter where you in Paris, something beautiful is typically right in front of you.

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On our last day in London, we spent the afternoon in the Jean Paul Gaultier Exhibit.  His work is not only exotic, but also time-consuming and elaborate in the most exquisite way.  The exhibit was two floors full of hours upon hours of work from his haute couture and pret-a-porter.  As you can see from a few of his designs above, he is a cutting edge designer and is always testing the limits.  I kind of love it!  He is not afraid to take a risk, which has made him unpredictable and an idol in the fashion world.  He has designed pieces for Madonna, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell and has collaborated with some of the most famous photographers and artists.

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We ventured on our Sunday morning to the town of Bath in the countryside of London.  It is absolutely beautiful…if you can’t tell from the pictures!  The Roman baths have been standing since 75 AD and were used as a “spa” for the elite Romans.  There is approximately 1,170,000 liters of steaming water that still fill the bath each day.  This town has always been a spot throughout history for the elite, beginning with the Romans and continuing with royalty.  It was known as a place of luxury and now stands as one of the most fascinating and historic areas in the world.

While the Roman baths and town were an incredible treat, we couldn’t go without taking a look at the Fashion Museum in the town.  It is located inside the old assembly rooms of the “Georgian Period.”  You might have caught my Instagram here of the girls and I dressed up in Georgian style fashions.  :)

Within the museum, we were able to see fashions that were once worn when the city was at its modern height serving royalty and aristocrats.  We also got a chance to see other great pieces that the museum holds from the years including many famous pieces worn by celebrities and even royalty.  It holds the dress of the year, which I loved by Christopher Kane!

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Sweet Morgan (Bottom Right) was able to get us all tickets to Wimbledon this past Saturday – it was a blast!  Not only were we able to watch matches, but also enjoy the adorable scenery and atmosphere.  How about that champagne bar??  I loved it!

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Day 5 had some pretty fabulous things in store for us.  We started our day at the Burberry on Regent Street, which is not only the largest Burberry store, but also the most innovative.  The goal of the Burberry team was to bring the digital world and the physical together.  Above is a photo I snapped of a Burberry bag with a chip inside.  When the bag is placed on the stand it automatically appears on the mirror with every feature and price.  This store was incredibly innovative.  It hosts concerts and a live feed of its Kensington Gardens fashion show.  I was WAY impressed!

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After our tour through the amazing Burberry store, we headed through a few areas around London.  We visited Carnaby Street, which is known for its Mod and hippie styles for the fashionistas.  Next, we walked past Berkeley Street.  If you don’t know already, I have the most adorable little sister who I miss SO much named Berklee.  She spells it differently, but seeing the street name put such a big smile on my face that I had to snap a picture of it.  Last, but certainly not least is the Borough Market where I had the most AMAZING grilled cheese.  The market was great and offered everything under the sun – especially great cheese!  If you are ever in London, I would highly recommend it.

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WGSN was our first stop on day 3!  WGSN (Worth Global Style Network) is the world trend forecaster…pretty cool right? I thought so!  We had a meeting teaching us all our their incredible research and the time and expertise that is offered from their network.  The network offers resources to buyers, designers, merchandisers and anyone working with fashion.   I encourage you to check out all that they offer!

After a delicious Italian lunch, we headed to meet with the talented men and women of Henry Poole Company, which is the oldest tailoring shop on Savile Row.  Savile Row is a street over from the famous Bond Street in Mayfair, London.  It is home to some of the most famous bespoke tailoring for men.  Henry Poole is known for creating suits for much of the royal family and his legacy continues to attract prestigious clients.

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We spent the morning looking in two of London’s most famous stores, Harvey Nichols and Harrod’s.  I have featured a few of my favorite window displays from Harvey Nichols and the delicious treats inside Harrod’s.

Each store approached the sale season a bit differently.  Harvey Nichols obviously uses a theme throughout their store promoting their sale.  The clock is a chic way to represent a sale and also ties in with their old clock that hangs above the store.  Harrod’s windows represented the current event of Wimbledon that is taking place outside of London!  They use creative and glamorous looks within green turf.

I fell in love with both store and especially the delicious treats in Harrod’s!

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On our first day in London, we visited Kensington Palace (a.k.a where baby George, Kate, and William reside) and visited the “Fashion Rules” Exhibit.  Within this exhibit were some of the dresses from the royals through the years, below are a few of my favorites.  I love the feminine colors and embellishments.

While all this was beautiful and exciting to see, the best part was having a run in with baby George and his nanny.  If you follow along on Instagram then you have already heard me gushing about it.  He and his nanny were strolling around an exclusive part of a park on the grounds of Kensington.  It was the perfect start to our first day!

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