Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Gated between Europe and Asia, it has embraced so many different civilizations and cultures over 5000 years, that you could say it really is the most cosmopolitan city in the world ! This visit was a very special one, as I was celebrating the opening of a new DVF shop!
As I landed on Istanbul, I immediately took a car to Sultanahmet to go to Topkapi Palace. I especially wanted to see the Harem again, because I was still enchanted from my last visit. It was even more impressive than I remembered; the tiles, the large rooms, the view— a very unique oasis of peace!
A quick visit to the majestic Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the taste of fresh pomegranate juice made me feel totally immersed in the Istanbul culture. The Four Seasons Hotel gave me The Presidential Suite with all windows overlooking the Bosphorus. I could see the boats pass by under the full Moon!
The next 2 days were very busy…lots of interviews, a press lunch with a very friendly group of young and pretty editors, a super crowded, successful shop opening with lots of DVF fans, and a colorful dinner at Cahide with belly dancers.
The next night, my Turkish partners, Demet and Cengiz Cetindogan threw a huge formal dinner for me at their Ottoman Mansion in Anadolu Hisari, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The mansion, one of the oldest one around, has an amazing hamam, art collection, fruit room, and a garden that still has Byzantine ruins. The table was laid as in a Turkish fairy tale, the women were very beautiful and the conversation animated. Not knowing anyone as I arrived, I felt I made dozens of friends by the time I left at 2 am!!
I spent most of the next day in the Grand Bazaar. Even if you don’t like to shop…the Grand Bazaar is irresistible. I bought jewelry at Hilat and at Mavi Kose, textiles at Muhlis Gunbatti and at Timur, leaving a hefty contribution to the Turkish economy. At night, Mustafa and Caroline Koc, Istanbul’s leading couple, picked me up on their boat for dinner on the Bosphorus …nothing could have been more beautiful or glamorous.
I left the next morning, with Istanbul in my heart more than ever!