Cel­e­brated US fash­ion de­signer Tory Burch shares her rec­om­men­da­tions for Is­tan­bul, a city that has inspired a num­ber of her col­lec­tions

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

vis­ited is­tan­bul for the first time when I was a univer­sity stu­dent and have been back sev­eral times since. It’s a beau­ti­ful, an­cient city with an in­cred­i­ble history and cul­ture, from the sul­tans and pashas to the mix of old and mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture. My ideal day in Is­tan­bul starts at the Top­kapi Palace, which was the pri­mary res­i­dence of the Ot­toman sul­tans for about 400 years. I love see­ing how Turk­ish art and its dif­fer­ent ar­chi­tec­tural styles evolved over time. It’s an in­cred­i­bly in­spir­ing place for me as a de­signer— the colours and graph­ics in the tile­work, tex­tiles and ar­chi­tec­ture have all found their way into our col­lec­tions through the years.

For lunch, I’d stop off at Konyali, a res­tau­rant at the palace that over­looks the Bospho­rus, and or­der an as­sort­ment of mezes—small plates of tra­di­tional Turk­ish food. Af­ter that, I would head to the Blue Mosque—a few years ago, we tried to recre­ate the beau­ti­fully faded qual­ity of the tra­di­tional Iznik tiles, which had with­stood cen­turies of wind and sun in the Bospho­rus, for one of our print pat­terns.

In the late af­ter­noon, I’d go to the Grand Bazaar, one of the most ex­cit­ing shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ences ever. It’s one of the largest and old­est cov­ered mar­kets in the world, with 61 streets and more than 3,000 shops with jew­ellery, tex­tiles, pot­tery, glazed tiles, bronze, leather and car­pets. I love wan­der­ing the streets and side al­leys, stop­ping at the stalls and step­ping into mar­ket af­ter mar­ket.

One bazaar high­light is vis­it­ing my friend, the Turk­ish jew­ellery de­signer Se­van Biçakçi, at his shop. His sig­na­ture tech­nique is re­verse in­taglio, which al­lows him to craft scenic views—such as tiny repli­cas of the Blue Mosque or Scheherazade’s Palace—in­side a gem­stone. I have a Se­van ring with a small Ha­gia Sophia replica in­side a stone and I wear it ev­ery day as a re­minder of Is­tan­bul.

I’d fin­ish the day with din­ner with my Turk­ish busi­ness part­ner—i love to travel by boat to his home on the Asian side of the Bospho­rus as the sun is set­ting. The city lights are just so beau­ti­ful against the night sky.

The ceil­ing of the Blue Mosque

“I love col­lect­ing china and porce­lain, and Iznik and Seljuk pot­tery is some of the most beau­ti­ful. I use it all the time when I’m en­ter­tain­ing, from small fam­ily brunches dur­ing the sum­mer to big­ger din­ners”

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