The first day in Rio it poured and we weren’t able to get out to do much due to the weather, then the last day swung to the opposite extreme: scorching hot and 90 percent humidity. Since it’s been raining in San Francisco for almost two months straight I had forgotten what it felt like to be. that. hot. But with the sun out we took the opportunity to head to my number one spot I wanted to visit – the beautiful Parque Lage at the foot of the Corcovado in the Jardin Botanico neighborhood.
The park and Italianate mansion that sits near the entrance were both formerly owned by industrialist Enrique Lage and his wife, Gabriella Besanzoni, a singer. The mansion was remodeled in the 1920s by Italian architect Mario Vodrel and eventual became a public park in the 60s. Today walking paths meander through the subtropical forest, drawing visitors in search of tranquility, monkey sightings, a view of Christ the Redeemer statue, or an espresso from the cafe that encircles the mansion’s central reflecting pool. Trying to look pulled other in high humidity can be a challenge, and I was thankful I packed this loose-fitting white linen dress from Halsbrook in my suitcase for a timeless look that kept me cool while touring the grounds.
I’ve mentioned before how much I love turning to the stylists behind Halsbrook for discovering emerging and new-to-me designers. (Past blog posts here and here.) One of my goals this year is to prioritize adding timeless pieces to my wardrobe instead of indulging in fast fashion, and hopefully discovering more sustainable and ethically manufactured fashion brands along the way. Halsbrook’s philosophy of building an enduring and timeless wardrobe not only challenges me to avoid fast fashion, but also has introduced me to so many socially responsible brands that I now love. (Alexandra de Curtis and Kayu to name two!) For Brazil I was happy to find this easy white linen dress, created by Australian designer Megan Park. Each piece by Megan Park is handworked by artisans from cutting to embroidery to completion, so no single item is every mass produced and has a special, personal quality to the garment. Its simple silhouette will flatter figures at any age and looks especially vacation ready when paired with a bright handbag and playful accessories like these cabochon earrings, matching bracelet, and this gold bracelet. (I love that the earrings and bracelet have so many colors and coordinate with almost everything in my suitcase!)
Similarly, I can never resist a straw bag and this coral and raffia striped tote is designed in Paris by new-to-me brand Sans-Arcidet, then handmade by artisans in Madagascar. The company was founded in 2000 by three sisters who spent their childhoods on the African Island while their father was working for Air France, and wished to create economic opportunity for Malagasy women by transforming raffia fibers (a local resource) into timeless hats and handbags with a Parisienne chic sensibility. I love that the artisans are allowed to either create in the company workshop, or take their work home so they can be with present with their families, bringing the finished products back to the shop for finishing and quality control. This striped bag is so chic and just the right size for toting vacation essentials like sunglasses and a hat while touring the town. I also appreciate how Halsbrook provides several different ways to style each item in the “Wear It With” section at the bottom of each product page, which was so helpful for envisioning different outfits and how to get the most use possible out of a new purchase.
I was surprised that both Megan Park and Sans-Arcidet have been around for almost 20 years, but in a world where algorithms dictate what we discover based on what we already like it can be hard to break into new territories. That’s why I consistently love turning to Halsbrook for that “discovery” stage on my journey to creating a timeless wardrobe that works well at home and when traveling abroad!
Thank you Halsbrook for sponsoring this post!