"Happy places" often serve as inspiration when my design team and I take to the drawing board to create new styles. This year inspiration led us to Martha's Vineyard.
The last time I was on the Vineyard was on a girl's trip. I had just finished chemotherapy, moved back to NYC, launched my business, and started to grow my hair back. While I had the best time sailing and feasting with my girls, I dreamt of one day returning to the Vineyard with a thriving business and team, an extravagant turban collection, and perhaps even a husband who is as committed as I am to matching outfits.
Returning to the Vineyard with my manifested wishlist in tow, and shooting the pieces that were inspired by the very place, was a dream come true. Dive into my Martha's Vineyard style diary to come along on this wonderful adventure with us.
woods hole ferry to martha's vineyard
I always believe in arriving in style. Dressing for travel doesn't just add to the excitement of the journey ahead, it empowers you to walk with confidence, no matter to which corner of the world you are traveling. I boarded the ferry to Martha's Vineyard at Woods Hole in a monochromatic sage resort wear set, completed by our Effortless Hard-wear Turban. As we took in the beautiful harbor views on our 45-minute ferry ride, mother nature and her ocean breeze became our best special effect.
Cottage City Private Tour
Cottage City is a historic neighborhood in the heart of Oak Bluffs that was founded in 1870. With my first step into Cottage City, I am instantly transported back in time, every time. The iconic gingerbread houses make me feel like a Barbie come to life who is window shopping for her Barbie Dream House. We started our day in Cottage City with a private tour of the historic homes led by the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association. As we strolled this dreamy waterfront town, we stopped and shot in front of the very homes that inspired our designs this season. The pastel checkered activewear turban and headband in particular captured all the joy, color and timeless beauty of Cottage City. Our designs received so much love and appreciation from the town dwellers as we made our way through Cottage City.
Full disclosure, we started and ended our trip to Martha's Vineyard with the same meal: Lobster Mac and Cheese at the Lookout Tavern, an Obama family favorite. I bought the Lily Pulitzer cocktail dress I wore on our first night on my last visit to the Vineyard just before the pandemic. Although I hadn't found an occasion to wear it since then, I couldn't think of a more fitting time to christen it - returning to the Vineyard with some of my most important dreams and goals accomplished. As our night moved to The Ritz Cafe, I switched from my elegant dinner headband to a glamorous turban. As I danced to the cool blues sounds of Johnny Hoy & The Bluefish, I swear I shined a little brighter everytime I heard "honey you're a bit overdressed for this place."
Flying Horses Carousel
Riding the nation's oldest platform carousel, opened in 1884, is a cherished tradition that makes me feel like a kid again when I'm in the Vineyard. The whimsy of our Sweetheart Couture Turban and its oversized bows complimented the nostalgia of my favorite tradition perfectly. As the carousel spun round and round, my sundress billowed and my turban turned heads. I felt every bit a princess riding her steed through the story book that is Martha's Vineyard. I even won a free ride as I pulled a prized brass ring from the carousel's ring game. Between the free ride and the rounds planned for our shoot, the total count of my rounds on the carousel was 3! By the end of it I needed to be pointed to the nearest oyster bar!
While most people go to Martha's Vineyard to slow down and relax, I found myself bit by the adventure bug. So we spontaneously rented a vespa and took our stylish adventures to the road. While I was disappointed to not have a headpiece safe enough to wear on our vespa, I managed to find a helmet that completed my ensemble in style. My husband put his home grown motorcycles skills from the streets of Mumbai to use for my cause. As we shot with our adorable vespa and modern floral turban at the Jaws Bridge, the theme was "pretend you're a New Yorker who actually has a driver's license"...ha-ha!
In hopes of finding pearls to add to my couture headpiece, we stopped at my favorite oyster bar in all of the Vineyard - 19 Raw Oyster Bar in Edgartown. We didn't want our kimchi and champagne mignonette oysters to get lonely, so we also ordered lobster bolognese and curry mussels, too. After our divine and decadent meal, I had a wardrobe change and we explored one of my favorite buildings in Edgartown, the Old Whaling Church. Here, we mixed and mingled with notable African American figures during a Black August event, where we shared our loved of African inspired headwear and fashion history. By the end of it all, my soul and my appetite were absolutely satisfied.
Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook
One of my favorite memories of this trip was rising before the sun to embark on a cross island drive to the Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook. The hour long voyage by vespa through the lush and serene backroads of Martha's Vineyard was so peaceful yet energizing. I wanted to find new grounding in the experience and remain in the moment, so I put minimal focus on my look and simply wore what made me feel free and at ease. I styled my neutral crochet inspired dress with a classic sweater to keep me cozy as we zipped on the winding roads and stood atop the cliffs. I wore no makeup and simply pushed my hair up in our beige activewear turban and headband. Going to this site of great natural beauty as my bare self reminded me that I am enough. No matter how much growing and learning is in my future, I am arriving as a person who is capable enough, strong enough, and resilient enough, to conquer it all.