“I’m not a chef, I’m Italian”- David Rocco

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Embracing Your Inner Sophia Loren Through Fashion and Food

To me, spring is the perfect time to come out of your shell. Think about it..fresh blooming flowers, spring cleaning, it’s all about a new start in a sense. Opening up. I don’t know about you, but when I think of a fresh start, I instantly think of fashion and of course, food. That might just be me, after all, my mother worked in the fashion industry for many, many years, I was pretty much born with heels on! And as far as the food, let’s not kid ourselves, I’m always thinking about food! But spring is a great time to have a little fun with fashion and explore some delicious new produce. So, let’s take a cue from one of my favorite actresses and my style and beauty icon, the one and only…Sophia Loren.

I have always loved Sophia; she is an incredibly talented, smart, beautiful and stylish women. She is the epitome of glamour.

When I was first in Italy the summer of 2011, I noticed instantly how glamorous Italian women are; donning fabulous stilettos, designer handbags, red glossy lips, full 50’s style skirts, fashion to the extreme. There is just something about these women that instantly grabs your attention, you can’t help but look. I have always loved that kind of style, in fact, that is usually how I dress. More specifically, I like to dress like an Italian movie star in the 50s and 60s, my main inspiration being Sophia. If you want to channel your inner Sophia here are a few of my tips:

1.      Confidence. They key to owning an outfit is confidence. You won’t look your best if you don’t feel your best.

2.      Embrace your figure. Sophia had an AMAZING body and she didn’t mind showing it off. It’s spring, so you don’t have to be too covered up. There are two levels of Sophia you can try out…If you’re new to this kind of fashion, try a beautiful fitted at the waist a-line skirt with a halter top or cropped sweater or go full Sophia and wear a fabulous white fitted dress or a floral halter dress with your best movie star sun glasses and heels and your best smile!

3.     When shopping for vintage Sophia style clothing, there are many options. Mainstream stores like H&M, Zara and Forever 21 always have little hidden gems. Maybe a beautiful full skirt or a cropped sweater. You can also shop specifically at Vintage clothing stores or stores with an eye towards new vintage style, like one of my favorite stores, Bettie Page and accessorize with a fabulous pair of sunglasses and of course, some beautiful shoes. As you can see, I had a little too much fun taking the pictures for this piece! 

4.      Eat!!! Sophia liked to eat, as is evident in her famous quote, “Everything you see I owe to Spaghetti.” In honor of Sophia and her obvious love for spaghetti, I think it’s only fitting to share her recipe for Spaghetti al Limone…

If you’re going to prepare Sophia’s Spaghetti al Limone, you’ll need some fresh lemons, which is perfect, because the outdoor markets have finally come out of their cocoon just in time! Luckily, living in NYC there are a fair share of green markets in the area, the most popular of course being the Union Square Market. But, if you’re not in Manhattan, there are plenty of wonderful green markets to be found in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Forest Hills, Queens. These markets are a fantastic way to do a little experimenting with fresh produce..turnip tops, dandelion greens, baby zucchini, you’ll have so much fun discovering new and wonderful produce. I love how bright and fresh lemons are, they’re the perfect taste for this time of year. So, grab a few fresh lemons and get to work!!

Spaghetti al Limone

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
Zest of 3 lemons
½ cup heavy cream
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 ½ pounds spaghetti
Freshly grated parmigiana

Start by heating water in a large pot and salt the water. When the water is boiling, cook the pasta until al dente. In the meantime, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, add the lemon zest and ¼ cup of the cream. Add salt and pepper. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and add to the saucepan along with the remaining cream. Toss well; making sure every piece of spaghetti gets covered! Serve with a little freshly grated parmigiana and your best Sophia dress!! Buon Appetito!!

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