Originally from Italy, Dario and Valeria moved to Ibiza many moons ago, having spent a few years travelling around, searching for “their” island. Ibiza immediately felt perfect, so they found a place to live and unpacked their suitcases. They opened a little shop in the village of San Miguel, on a sharp corner of a twisty road leading to a white church straight out of a Spanish dream.
Parking your car outside their front door, you are immediately drawn to the small selection of heart-wrenchingly desirable, bohemian dresses, skirts and sarongs floating in the breeze. You push through the door and enter an Aladdin’s Cave filled with clothes and accessories fit for exotic princes and princesses. Valeria greets you with a twinkly smile, loose tendrils of long, black hair tumbling around her face. Dressed in a white petticoat and a lace top, her tiny feet clad in flip flops, she’s like a gorgeous, Mediterranean pixie. Seconds later, Dario trips out of his adjacent workshop to see who’s come to visit, his sinuous body tanned and toned from hours of cycling around the island. His long grey hair is tied in a scrunched up pony-tail, he’s wearing cotton print drawstring trousers, and a loose white shirt with a Mandarin collar made from fine Indian cotton. His hands are rough from years of working with leather.
You glance around, somewhat stunned by this treasure trove of ethnic fabrics and leather goods. Delicious smelling leather backpacks, adorned with tiny mirrors and antique swatches of Afghan material, each more colorful and interesting than the other, hang from the ceiling, demanding an impossible eeny-meenie-miney-mo. You want this one! No, wait, you want that one! Or maybe that one? Yes! You decide on the creamy one with the dusky pink straps, embellished with a deep red tapestry-type fabric, featuring flowers and exotic birds.
Wow! Look at those amazing belts! Check out those silk shawls! Purple, peacock blue, crimson, white, dark green, pale green, hot pink, pale pink… Oh dear; the cashmere wraps are fabulous, too. And gosh, wouldn’t that heavy silver necklace look incredible with a simple black sweater and jeans? You brush the shawls with the palm of your hand and venture further inside the shop, entranced by multi-tiered, gypsy-princess dresses, and antique, ankle-skimming, heavy silk skirts in mouth watering colors, some sprinkled with sequins, others embroidered with silver thread. You fancy yourself as an Indian princess, as a bohemian heroine, as an exotic pixie…
A tiny room to the right reveals crisp kaftans, antique lace tops, silk trousers, ethereal dévoré velvet and organza dresses. Valeria points out a particularly special piece, commenting on the exquisite craftsmanship of an antique silk skirt adorned with minuscule mirrors and teeny-tiny bells. It’s a perfect, soft shade of apricot, and it’s begging you to try it on. What should you wear with it? She suggests a short, peachy-gold sari top. Worried about belly overspill? Camouflage comes romantically in the form of an enormous apricot silk shawl that settles across your body like a cloud.
But wait, there’s more. Slightly dazed, you glide to the back of the shop, admiring a basket filled with calf-length, twist-pleated skirts in fabulous cashmere prints. They’d look great with boots, a simple white shirt and a pretty, crossover cardigan. As for the ankle skimming, white cotton skirt; team it with a flimsy white camisole, and you’re a Richard Avedon flower child. How can you resist?
A few minutes later, wearing the apricot skirt and the sari top, you stare at yourself in the beveled, smoky mirror. Valeria tilts her head and smiles as she drapes the shawl around your shoulders. You blink with dreamy disbelief. Who is this fabulous, exotic creature? Where has she been all your life?
You spin around, high on your bohemian fashion epiphany, only to discover blankets and sheets and bedspreads and cushions and wall-hangings. There’s even an antique four-poster bed, dressed for a thousand and one nights of romance! You float towards it, wishing your bank account was muscular enough to embrace the fine linen sheets, the cashmere blankets, the dreamy voile curtains and the embroidered cushions. You stroke the fabrics, dreaming you lived on this idyllic Mediterranean island, forever floating around in pretty dresses and flip flops like a hippie-princess.
Sighing, you decide to buy into the fantasy with a few carefully selected pieces that will transform your basics, adding a touch of Ibiza’s unique style to your daily wardrobe. On a roll, you square your shoulders and throw caution to the wind, adding a lacy-white cotton bedcover to your pile of must-haves.
Chatting animatedly, Valeria and Dario wrap your purchases in deep red tissue paper, thrilled that their unique pieces have been met with such enthusiasm, certain they will bring you endless pleasure.
And you know what? Years later, they still do!
"MUCHO CALIENTE! - Wish upon a Latino Superstar"
An effervescent romantic comedy
LASR: Best Long Book of the Year 2008 : "Laugh out loud hilarious!"
NOR: Reviewer Top Pick : "A seriously fun book with more twists and turns than expected"
CRR: “Hard to put down”