Sicily will always hold a special place in my heart. It is where my father grew up, where I used to spend long summers as a child and where I fell in love with my husband. If I had to use one word to describe Sicily it would be "Vibrant". Its a place where nothing is done half-heartedly. The passion of the natives is evident in everything they do. Lunch would never just be a quick sandwich, goodness no! Its a 3 course meal, beginning with pasta and ending with fruit, at a table with the whole family.... then off for a siesta before you do it all again for dinner.
The Sicilians have a gusto for life like no other. As a child I remember being mesmerised by the way they spoke. Everything sounded like an argument, everything was loud and exaggerated. The hand gestures, the facial expressions, the jingle of stacks of bracelets as their hands danced around as they spoke - everything was so animated.
Dolce and Gabbana's ad campaigns show sicilian women in mid-speak. It' s such a huge part of their persona, it seems the designers wanted to capture the essence of the Sicilian woman, it shows their passion and fiery nature.
My father is from a large family, there was 12 of them in total. So as you can imagine when the family was all together it was chaos. His sisters were extremely glamorous, everything had to be perfect, they were complete perfectionists. My aunties would spend hours getting ready and then emerge from their bedrooms fragrant and coiffed. My sister and I would sneak into their bedroom to look at their make-up cabinet- I remember it vividly, a circular, taupe leather cabinet containing every shade of lipstick invented. I have never seen another like it since. You would know when they were coming because you could hear the jingle of their jewellery and smell their intoxicating perfumes.
The Sicilian women know how to do glamour. There is nothing minimalist about them. Even the teenagers hanging around Mondello left an impression on me as a child, zooming around on their mopeds with their ripped jeans, stacked jewellery, deep tans and long, unkept hair. I though they were so cool.
Mondello, Palermo. We spent a lot of time here as children- its one of my favourite places.
The women in Sicily left a lasting impression on my sister and I. We both share a love of beautiful things. The Italians are masters at creating beautiful things and I take great pleasure in appreciating the workmanship of a beautiful dress or a special piece of jewellery. Some of the most influential designers in the world are Italian, they have a passion like no other, they have a sense of style that is timeless and they stay true to who they are while still creating fresh collections season after season.
Dolce and Gabbana have always been a brand synonymous with creating Italian inspired creations, and in the last 4 years they have created collections taking inspiration from Sicily. They are my favourite collections. They are traditional, yet still sexy. They are chaotic, fun, bright, loud, glamorous..... they are very Sicilian.
Traditional Sicilian cart prints featured in Dolce and Gabbana's Sicilian inspired collections.
Sicilian Cart Sundress by Dolce and Gabbana photographed with Soru Jewellery.
Their Fall 2013 collection takes inspiration from a place I spent a lot of time in as a child, the cathedral in Monreale. I was enthralled by stories of gold being buried beneath its mosaics, and also a little obsessed by the Gelato Cafe in the square- with its array of pastel coloured ice creams and brightly coloured sorbets.
Dolce and Gabbana's Fall 2013 collection. Rich and Regal; The Cathedral of Monreale.
Sicilian Gelato, my childhood love!
I have so many wonderful memories of Sicily, one sniff of Zagara Di Sicilia takes me right back to my summers spent there. Some might say palermo (the capital) is noisy, messy, hot, sticky and chaotic, and yes it is all of those things and thats what makes it so interesting. Sicily has been invaded many times, each country and culture leaving its mark on the landscape adding to its rich tapestry. Behind an old battered door there could be a breathtaking palazzo, its full of surprises. The architecture is Sicily depicts its rich history, from Arabic to Norman, from Baroque to Greek. The island of Sicily is like a sparkling gem in the Mediterranean, its beauty will never fade.
Sicilian architecture reflects its history, a melting pot of different cultures.
Sicilian market selling fresh produce.