Before I boarded the plane for my latest adventure to Paris and the South of France, I asked my darling friend and favorite fashionista, Melissa, what would she like me to bring her from the City of Lights? Her answer was simple: a photo of Chanel’s original store. And that is how my walking tour of Paris began. The mission was clear, but the challenge proved to be unexpected.
Who would have thought that not many Parisians know which one of the many Chanel stores in their lovely home city was the first one to open its doors and change the history of fashion forever? Such a piece of information, I later found out, is only known to the style experts or the eternal romantics, like Melissa.
After lots of walking, wandering, and practicing my French asking for directions (I couldn’t check Google since I had no Wi-Fi connection), I reached my coveted destination: a beautiful French chateau on the lovely Rue Cambon. The only problem was that the building was under renovation. Despite my disappointment, I was glad to have carried out and executed my mission successfully. But mostly, I was happy to have brought Melissa’s soul along with me. So I closed my eyes, and let my imagination take me to that moment in time, when a petite but fearless woman decided to turn the world of fashion upside down with her fresh ideas, signature style, and most of all, her love of feminine beauty. – Myriam Alvarez
Fashion designer Paloma del Pozo – photography credit Myriam Alvarez
After a recent visit to Madrid, Spain, I asked my friend Myriam to share her thoughts on Spanish fashion …
“No wonder red and yellow are Spain’s national colors. The land of Picasso, Miro, and Dali, among many other artists, is driven by one thing: passion. It’s intensity can be felt in their passionate discussions about bull fighting, the sound of their Spanish guitars, and the clapping of their Flamenco dancers. This intensity can also be found in the works of a new generation of young Spanish fashion designers who are not afraid to show the power of their roots. One such designer is Paloma del Pozo, who finds inspiration in the art world and is fearless when it comes to changing and challenging the rules. Her designs travel in time and yet are mordern and fresh. The colors she chooses are bold and unapologetic. She uses high quality fabrics and paints on them as if it were her own canvas, giving her collections a unique touch. Paloma reflects in her work the spirit of her country – a place where family comes first, where endless nights are shared among friends with tapas and vermouth, and where music and art collide in vibrant celebrations that last for days. The modern Spanish woman is no longer afraid to show her taste for risk, without losing sight of her own style.” ~ Myriam Alvarez
When I was a little girl, my mother represented the perfect vision of style and elegance. Her blonde hair, her manicured hands, her impeccable way of dressing. I watched her, fascinated, as she dressed for work every day, put her makeup on and left the house -looking glamorous. Through my little girl’s eye, she was more beautiful than Grace Kelly. As I became a teen, my sense of style changed and I was more influenced by my peers than my mother. Suddenly her way of dressing was “old fashioned” and boring. My new idols were Madonna and Janet Jackson and my mother did not dress like them! But time has an ironic way of putting things back where they should be. Now a wife and mother myself, I laugh when my children call their 20 year-old teacher “old”. I recently celebrated my 45th birthday and went out with my girlfriends for lunch. As I was going through my closet, I picked a special dress I bought years ago. It was a dress very much like the one my mother used to wear when I was a little girl. The second I saw it my choice was clear. I needed my mom to be with be in spirit, and she was – through the dress. The simplicity of it, the way it accentuates my waist and its full, airy skirt which could cause a “Marilyn” moment at any time, made me feel connected to the woman who has been the most important influence in my life. She lives a continent away from me in Argentina, and yet she was more present than ever. Wearing this simple yet beautiful dress reminded me of our unbreakable bond and of the unconditional love that we share. ~ Myriam Alvarez
My friend Myriam, my world traveler, just returned from Bali. And when she travels, she takes me with her; every sight, every sound becomes mine too. Here is Myriam …
“I love a culture that is not afraid of color. Bright, bold and brave, the island of Bali is such a place. Inundated with a lush vegetation and illuminated by the brightness of the tropical sun, this island in Indonesia is home to more than four million people, whose Hindu origins can be seen everywhere, from their magnificent temples to their colorful clothing. Balinese people are friendly, welcoming, and warm. But what impressed me the most was their genuine smiles. They are happy and grateful people and they are not afraid to show it. Their open-hearted culture is reflected not only in their smiles, but also in the way they dress. Despite the fact that black and white are the religious colors of Hinduism and are printed like a checker board in most all fabrics that wrap statues in temples and squares, Balinese men and women are not afraid to wear bright colors.
My friend Myriam has just returned from Hong Kong full of fashion inspiration – and joy of joys, we get to come along for the ride. Here is Myriam …
“As a first-time visitor to Hong Kong, I was amazed at the many similarities between this Chinese metropolis and New York City: The imposing landscape of tall buildings, its cosmopolitan population, its powerful financial center and, most important, its absolutely amazing sense of style. In Hong Kong, East meets West and nothing says it better than its fashion. Chinese women walk the streets of this former British colony showcasing their impeccable taste, from business casual, to urban chic and evening elegant. And like New York, Hong Kong never sleeps; its streets are always vibrant with wine bars, shops, and open air markets. When I arrived, the city was preparing to celebrate the Chinese lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Horse. Continue reading →