Roaming in Istanbul
This exceptional city encompasses luxurious designs, endless fashion statements and some wonderful sights for sore eyes
Istanbul is one of my favorite cities. Usually, when you mention Istanbul to Israelis, their first association is cheap deals and even cheaper hotels, but if we’ll try to set that aside, suddenly a diverse colorful city is discovered. It is filled with tastes and scents you cannot find anywhere else.
During my last trip there, I chose to stay at The House Hotel. If Claska Hotek in Japan is the best boutique hotel I’ve ever been in, than this hotel is a serious contender.
As a rule, I’vw learned the hard way that when trying to save money, one can stumble upon a very bad experience. When choosing the wrong hotel, the entire journey may be compromised. Personally, I prefer intimate boutique hotels that emphasize outstanding design.
The House Hotel has three different locations in Istanbul. The Nisantasi branch was designed by Autoban, a company specializes in furniture and industrial design. Autoban’s designers took over the five stores and 45 rooms of the hotel and created a small paradise for those addicted to exquisite taste.
They have succeeded in creating a warm, almost feminine and enriching atmosphere. Also, the hotel’s location; just a few minute walk from the Bosphoros, the Blue Mosque or Grand Bazar, guarantee it is one of the best options the city has to offer.
If you’re in the area, there are a few landmarks you need to see. Tulu, for instance, is a textile store, located near the Grand Bazar (in Ulcear Sokak). This beautiful store was opened by Elizabeth Hewitt, a textile specialist and designer, which focuses on fabrics and home accessories. Hewitt stands out in the way she – much like the city itself – combines tradition with contemporary features.
Fashionwise, there’s nothing one can’t find in Istanbul. The millions of local residents create an intoxicating texture of high and street fashion.
If you prefer vintage, don’t miss out on By Retro. Apart from the friendly staff, more than willing to serve tea if needed, you will be immediately struck by a maze of dozens of funny sunglasses, jewelry, outfits and shoes.
To trace trends which will lead local looks in upcoming seasons, you might want to stroll around Chiangir neighborhood, which encompasses mainly the young and fashionable. Try Simsirci st., filled with inspirational stores.
When it comes to art, Istanbul had already become a vibrant hub. The city’s biennial, for example, is a compulsory stop on the global route for collectors, curators and artists. Check out the Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center , devoted to research and practice of contemporary, as well as creating a platform for contemporary artists. Vasif Kurtum, who curated past biennials, now leads Yapi Kredi Kazim Taskent Art Gallery, an institution that supports culture events and develops local scene by creating exhibitions. Don’t forget to browse through their calendars.
To see the city in the best way possible, wait for the sunset and climb to the top of Misir apartment building, which was established in 19th century.
On the top of building, a vast penthouse was transformed to 360, a popular meeting point for local art, fashion and culture scenes.
As implied, a night at 360 also includes a panoramic view of Istanbul. By the way, in this building you can also find designer’s Banu Bora studio, catering the elegant needs of Istanbul’s sophisticated clientele.
For me, the highlight of this trip was the close encounter with a boutique factory focusing on Fully Fashion knits, with whom I will be collaborating starting next season.
I discovered a place in which one feels right at home – a family business with a sense of excitement and creation in the air. They work with some of the world’s leading brands, including Moschino and Gucci.
I could not believe I see Maya Negri labels next to Chloé’s. It was an exciting experience of immediate connection. In this tensed times, I find that my work with them materializes my aspiration for unity. After all, it’s much easier to remain in endless conflict.