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Finding "La Dolce Vita"

Posted by Crystal Cave on

It wasn’t until I went to design school that I learned the true meaning of “La Dolce Vita.” Going straight to the source (design school in Italy) definitely helped! 

Prior to going to design school, I solely worked as a stylist. I was a celebrity stylist and also offered life coaching, focusing on helping women define their style essence! I loved it, but felt like I wasn’t listening to some undefined desire in my heart. Eventually, I hit total burn out. That’s when I decided to deliberately invite something new into my life by going to design school in Italy. How I felt going in? Basically, I thought if I keep going the way I’m going…I CAN’T! So, I packed my bags. 

Entrepreneurship runs in my family. I’m a business woman! I arrived to Italy as a workaholic, but quickly learned Italians did NOT consider that la dolce vita.

Italians truly do take the time to enjoy life. I quickly learned my go-go-go work ethic, wasn’t the Italian way! I learned that Italians have a balanced approach to life. Work time doesn’t take precedent over leisure time nor the other way around, but there is a distinct fluidity between how the two tie-in to one another, there not as quick to categorize their time as one or the other, and their style reflects this!

Italians are known for their effortless style. It’s this effortless quality, I think, that sums up their lifestyle! They wear clothing that is comfortable and moves with their body, it drapes effortlessly! But it’s also clean cut, professional, and beautiful. For Italians, there’s no differentiation between daytime wear and after work wear (i.e., there’s no such thing as “athleisure!”). They wear beautiful clothes that allow them to be themselves wherever they are throughout the day!

I think Americans, on the other hand, do have a dichotic approach to life. It’s as if 9:00am-5:00pm are the only hours you have to get work done, so you go-go-go! Then, you leave work, get home, and that’s the only time you get to live the life you really enjoy living! For many Americans, that goes for their clothes, too! You leave work, go home, and immediately change into something other than your work clothes that you’d rather go-out in, or something you’re just more comfortable in, i.e. athleisure. 

Italians see to it that they dress up for themselves! I think there’s SO much value in that. I know when I dress up, I do feel more on top of the world! I think the reason why Italians are able to do that day-in and day-out is because they’ve made their clothes comfortable. They’ve made their style sustainable and wearable, and that’s JUST what I want to do with Poppy Row.

Poppy Row clothes are all a soft knit with 10% spandex stretch. I was inspired by all of the draping I saw in Italian clothes and really wanted to incorporate that into Poppy Row! Well done draping helps flatter and accentuate a woman’s curves and areas she may be uncomfortable with. Althleisure is a type of clothing, not a style! I think outfits should reflect your style, and that’s the mission of Poppy Row! 

My whole Italian experience was transformational and I’m so appreciative of Polimoda, the school I attended. They were all about the process, slowing down and capturing a moment in time. It wasn’t until I attended Polimoda that I learned how necessary it is to slow down, discover what you stood for, what your mark really is, and allowing that to be the essence of your design. 

When you take the time to slow down and listen, la dolce vita begins. When I slowed down, I began to re-discover passions that have been there for a long time, waiting for me to trust them! Once I did, Poppy Row came to life!

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