Chic to Chic goes to Dubai!

Chic to Chic goes to Dubai!

This month I am really excited to share an interview with an extraordinary local stylist, editor and producer Lydia Santangelo of TESstylist, a Boston production and styling company which she founded after years of event production and trend forecasting for a major retailer. Her styling expertise for TESstylist spans from runway to print to broadcast styling and production and she is one of Boston’s top stylists. She recently had an incredible project in Dubai and brought some of her favorite Chic to Chic styles along. We had the opportunity to sit down with her this month to hear a little bit more about her project in Dubai, the highlights of her trip, what the women of Dubai thought of our pieces and even a bit about the spring trends she presented!

Tell us a little bit about your project in Dubai, how did it come to be?

I was invited by Al Tayer Insignia based in Dubai. They were seeking an editor and stylist who could bring a New York & US perspective to their clients and host workshops to a very specific audience interested in fashion. All women in Dubai are fashionable but this was a private event targeted to an elite group. They asked me to create a presentation focused on what is trending, and how to incorporate these trends into your wardrobe.

The event took place in their Bloomingdale’s store at The Dubai Mall which was wonderful because it enabled the clients to shop with me post-workshop and discuss trends on a personal level. I was able to share what I saw at Spring ’14 – New York Fashion Week shows and it became a very intimate and engaging experience – the women loved it, and so did I! It was proof that no matter where a woman lives in the world she is starving for this same knowledge as her counterparts across the globe. Most of what I presented, I would have shared if the event were in the United States, Fashion is a universal language.

You selected some styles from the Chic to Chic Private Collection, were you going for any specific looks for your project? In other words, how did you arrive at styles you did for your event?

During the selection process I was like a kid in a candy store. Who doesn’t love to play with diamonds and raw uncut gems? I love Beth’s collection. She does an amazing job of selecting pieces that are not mass produced. They are often times one of a kind, and that is one of the compelling reasons I am drawn to Chic to Chic because each piece is unique. I also liked the idea of supporting and representing a local brand’s collection abroad.

For this particular project, I was going with the intent to personally wear some Chic to Chic pieces while I was presenting, so I gravitated towards sliced diamonds & raw stones. I stayed away from gold because the gold souks in Dubai are renowned worldwide.

I love the oxidized and industrialized finishes in the Chic to Chic collection. Beth has an incredible mix of high and low price points as well.

Two pieces that I wore every day from the Chic to Chic collection were the cuff with sliced raw diamonds, and the chocolate sliced diamond snake bracelet. I just stacked it with the other bracelets that I have on my wrist; I have a collection that keeps growing which includes bracelets from my travels, vintage finds, & a piece done by a designer in NY with a personal message, one that I will never take off.

As for necklaces, I chose a horn shark tooth that hinged and wore it in combination with my father’s dog tag. I like to pair my new jewelry finds with something very personal. When someone asks me ‘diamonds or crystals?’ I say both! Highly fashionable women can mix and combine their jewelry, and they should.


This is the first time Chic to Chic has been shown in Dubai {thanks to you}, we are dying to know, how did the audience in Dubai react to the pieces?

I definitely had a great response to the pieces. My wrist became rather conversational and an icebreaker of sorts. It started a dialogue about finding treasures that are personal to you, mixing colors and stones.

It also encouraged women not to be afraid of making a statement, that there are no rules, and if you wear something confidently or you feel good in something, chances are it is true to your personal style. I felt Chic to Chic was a beautiful compliment to my look, it epitomized my advice to women on how to approach style. The pieces were a conduit to the conversation on how to wear jewelry well and with selfexpression.

Like you we are always looking at fashion trends, what would you say were some of the biggest trends amongst women’s fashions in Dubai?

The women of the UAE are a highly-versed and fashionably astute audience. They are equipped with a pulse on emerging trends and were thirsty for a western perspective. Some highlights included forecasts in handbags and the new view on shoe collections. What’s refreshing this season is the designer’s response to a sensible shoes – flatbed sandals, gladiators, athletics, and point toe flats, that spare us some reflexology sessions.

We discussed the latest “it” bags, the micro bag, and its unique shape, textures, and finishes that commanded the runways.

Additional trends of the season included:

• Artful prints
• Metallic for day
• The athletic trend {and yes you can wear diamonds and stilettos when done right}
• Evening and red carpet looks

What would you say were some of the highlights of your trip?

The overall experience is one that just might top my career. I have been invited back and I am very humbled by that. I look forward to my return and sharing an editor’s eye on Fall 2014 collections in a city that is arguably one of the next fashion capitals of the world.

There was also just this genuine ease amongst the women and to one another. Having never been to that part of the world, I had done my research and had anticipation of how things might be; and yet when I arrived there was such a comforting welcome both by Al Tayer, and the women of Dubai. They were completely gracious, warm and so engaging. By the end of the trip, I left with new friends and we’ve since connected through social media so we can keep in touch. They send me pictures and ask for styling advice — we formed a relationship. It was this personal side of the project that I found extremely rewarding.



I really enjoyed visiting the souks and local markets as well. As for food, the hummus was delicious! It has the texture of whipped cream — I ate it everyday. The dates were amazing too, who needs chocolate? I liked that it was very easy to eat healthy which can be a challenge when you are traveling.

I have to say, overall this was an enlightening experience for me, and I am very thankful for all that has come to me professionally, including my relationship with Beth and Chic to Chic. This entire project and collaboration has been such a rewarding experience and is part of why I love my job so much. Truly blessed!

Oxidized large chain link 36 inch necklace with mother of pearl horn and pave diamond tear drop findings set in
oxidized sterling silver
Sliced diamonds set in oxidized sterling silver
Pavé diamonds set in oxidized sterling silver with pyrite
Sleeping beauty turquoise, moonstone and rose cut diamonds set in oxidized sterling silver with 18kt gold
Rose cut gray diamonds surrounded by white diamonds set in
oxidized sterling silver with 18kt gold
Single cut champagne diamonds and yellow diamonds with 14kt gold and rhodium and set in oxidized sterling silver
Chocolate diamond slices set in rhodium sterling silver with
14kt gold
Faceted labradorite with pavé diamonds set in oxidized
sterling silver with vermeil
Multi colored sapphires and polki diamonds set in
oxidized sterling silver
Sliced diamonds set in oxidized sterling silver with 18kt gold
Moonstone and pavé diamonds set in oxidized sterling silver with 14kt gold

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