You’re the queen of prints with your gorgeous line, La DoubleJ. What do you love about prints? Any tips or tricks on how to style multiple prints together without looking like a patchwork quilt?
I read recently that depressed people don’t like color- they are much more apt to wear black and white- and I thought that must be why I’m drawn to colorful print. It has a very high vibration, a different energy level that boosts my mood, and makes me happy just looking at it. And on those days that I do feel depressed a great deep purple or dazzling fuchsia will sometimes make my heart ache in a good way. We are very lucky to be working with an inexhaustible source of vintage prints from the Mantero archive in Lake Como— and everything we do is printed in Como, not China or India which would be 10 times cheaper. I often wear prints together and also mix prints on my dining room table too. It helps when you mix geometrics and florals and if you mix small scale with large scale prints. I find that keeping everything in the same color palette keeps you from looking like a train wreck.
You’re originally from Los Angeles with a stop-over in New York, before you moved to Italy. What is it like being an ex-pat living in Italy? Did you bring any of your American habits, style, or even slang overseas to blend with the style of your adopted home of Italy? Or do you find yourself being more and more of an Italian with every passing day?
For the first 3 years I walked around very dazed and very confused. I couldn’t find sushi, yoga, take-out food, internet cafes, a nearby car wash, 1 hour photo (this was pre-Iphones), 1 day dry cleaning or gluten-free anything. I had to give up all of these things and just go with the Italian flow. I definitely kicked and screamed a little bit but then I relaxed and now I just do things the Italian way. It turns out they do everything better anyway. When I left my journalism job and started my own company, all of the Italians looked at me like I was PAZZA. No one could believe I would take a chance like that— that’s where the wonderful American can-do spirit comes in, which is still a part of who I am.
Italians have a decidedly different approach to life. From a lack of exercise clothes in the streets, to three hour dinners, Italian women know how to live. What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve learned from the women of your adopted homeland?
They are amazing housekeepers—even very professional, full-time working creative women know how to KEEP HOUSE. None of their homes are a mess. Or out of control. They know how to organize themselves, the help, the closets, the linens, the ironing, the food, the service, the parties, the flowers, everything. It’s truly amazing. I spent many years just staring with my mouth open at the symphony of these dazzling entertainers and then began writing about it in our School of Sciura section of our website. Also inspiring is the way they dress themselves- no one is walking around Milan in their exercise clothes. Thank God! Lastly, and most importantly, I’ve learned alot from the Italians just by watching them live freely, happily, with passion, with abandon, without a lot of rules, without a lot of judgment and criticism. They are some of the most happy, well-adjusted people I’ve ever come into contact with.
When packing for a trip like a three day jaunt in Monaco, what are you packing necessities?
To be honest, I am a terrible packer. So my packing necessity is that I pay enough attention while doing the suitcase so as not to forget an entire category like all underwear or all toiletries, which often happens! This time, I think I only forgot toothpaste which was a miracle. I also had a new Away suitcase from Margherita Missoni, my first small roller suitcase of my life and it was awesome. I had no idea how much you can pack into those things. I wear big shoes on the plane and pack small, skinny shoes like Alvaro flats or ViBi venetian slippers. I also pack yoga gear because I practice wherever I go – in this case, I did morning classes at 7am next to the pool under a great tree. I also always pack Essential Oils which are excellent companions. The rest is alot of La DoubleJ printed dresses. They go anywhere, anytime.