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Found: The Perfect Travel Dress

Karina travel dress

Ladies, I have found it. Thousands of miles and hundreds of destinations later, I've found the dress that works on every single body type, and more importantly, travels effortlessly and elegantly. It's the Karina dress, available in 15 styles. You can stomp on the dress, crumple it up, and it will still look smooth and polished when you slip it on. Versatile and appropriate, I wear the dresses for both weekend getaways and work trips.

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Locals Share Their Favorite Spots in Istanbul

Gulgun Ozek in Istanbul

Gülgün Özek, Photo Editor (pictured)
Location: Sofyali Sokak, Asmalimescit
“My neighborhood is historic yet cosmopolitan. Inside the Neoclassical buildings you’ll find bars, theaters, and one of the best contemporary art galleries—Arter (211 Istiklal Cad.; 90-212/243-3767).”

Seren Yüce, Filmmaker
Location: Kadiköy Harbor
“I love the view of the Bosporus from the lighthouse. I just had lunch at Çiya Sofrasi (lunch for two $50)—a traditional Anatolian restaurant nearby.”

Mehmet Öktem, Bar Owner
Location: Galata Bridge
“I come here often, just to soak in the city. This bridge connects Beyoğlu—the city’s modern, European heart—and the old peninsula, where I shop at the Spice Bazaar. It’s next to the New Mosque, which is almost three hundred and fifty years old.”

Yasemin Arpaç, Interior Designer
Location: Serdar Ekrem Sokak, Galata
“A lot of artists are moving into the area—it’s very trendy these days. At one end of the street there’s the Galata Tower; at the other is my favorite jewelry boutique, Aida Pekin (44A Serdar Ekrem Sk.; 90-212/243-1211). The designer creates pendants inspired by local landmarks.”

Interviewed by Christine Ajudua

Photo by Kerem Uzel

Contest Watch: Galapagos, Shopping Spree, More!

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For some, the holidays can be joyous, delicious, and restful. For everyone else, there’s Contest Watch! If you need something to look forward to during these short days and cold nights, hit up these contests for solace and excitement. Can’t get far enough away from Aunt Milly? How about the Galapagos (above)? Need a daily fix to get you through a long stay with prying in-laws? Click on ever-changing giveaways from Design Hotels. Of course, if you love your family and need more quality time, there’s always the kid-friendly ski vacation from Virginia Tourism.

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Hotspots on Melbourne's High Street

shopping in Melbourne's Northcote neighborhood

You’ll find offbeat fashion boutiques, live music venues, and more on this off-the-beaten-path strip in Melbourne's Northcote neighborhood, a new hub for the city’s creative-cool crowd.

Hand-printed totes and knit hats—plus other crafty accessories such as earrings made from comic book pages—are the stock-in-trade at I Dream a Highway. 259 High St.; 61-3/9481-8858.

Northcote Social Club showcases indie musicians from near and far. Don’t miss the upscale pub grub served in the outdoor beer garden. 301 High St.; 61-3/9489-3917; dinner for two $50.

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Travel-inspired Candles by Astier de Villatte

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How’s this for a flame of the month? Paris-based ceramics company Astier de Villatte recently unveiled a range of scented candles inspired by some of the world’s loveliest locales. With hints of, say, the wisteria-covered trellises of the Grand Hôtel in Cabourg, France—where Marcel Proust penned part of his classic Remembrance of Things Past—and a patina to match, they’ll surely transport you to another time or place.

Candles from $75, astierdevillatte.com

Christine Ajudua is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo credit: Lars Klove.

Muriel Brandolini's Design Inspiration

Muriel Brandolini

With a new book out this month and a pop-up store at Barneys New York through November, Vietnam native Muriel Brandolini has truly landed on the style map. Here, the designer tells T+L about the country that informs her textured, vibrant interior designs.

Q: What are some memorable moments from your last trip to Vietnam?

A: I stayed at the Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa (doubles from $175) and trekked with a guide to the isolated Hoang Lien Son mountain range, near the Chinese border. Wandering through the Bac Ha Sunday Market in Sapa in search of crafts and textiles is extraordinary.

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3 Great "Techcessories" for the Music Lover

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If you're like me, you can't be without your beloved iPod-or other MP3 player when traveling. Whether it's passing time on a long bus commute (my primary mode of transportation) or soaking up the rays at the beach, the perfect tunes enhance the travel experience. And so, in turn, do the perfect tech accessories.

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Helsinki: So Hot Right Now

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It may be getting chilly in the Baltics, but Helsinki is heating up. Finland’s biggest city—perhaps best known for its colorful Marimekko prints and Modernist works by the late, great Alvar Aalto, not to mention its abundant saunas—has been named the 2012 World Design Capital.

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Copenhagen's Top New Hotspots

Copenhagen hotspot: Meyers Bageri

Once-gritty Jægersborggade, a cobblestoned thoroughfare in Copenhagen’s Nørrebro district, has been transformed by locals selling everything from house-made candy to flea-market treasures.

Arrive early at the compact café Meyers Bageri, owned by a cofounder of Noma (S. Pellegrino’s best restaurant in the world for 2011). The pumpkinseed rye bread and cinnamon buns made with organic Nordic flour often sell out by 9 a.m. No. 9; 45/3918-6900; breakfast for two $15.

Coffee Collective brews a clean cuppa using direct-trade beans from the developing world that are hand-roasted on site. Learn DIY techniques during one of its monthly courses. Coffee for two $6.

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Online Shop Sells Cool Finds from India

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Sub-continental style takes on a refreshing meaning with the launch of “Shop of Indian Origin” (SOIO) this month. Irked by stale representations of Indian design—think mango motifs and Taj Mahal prints—U.K.-based entrepreneur, Nisha John, created a much-needed web portal for artists and designers “linked to India by body, mind our soul.” The result is a delightfully whimsical collection (paintings, jewelry, clothing and home goods) of over 300 pieces that include rickshaw-patterned flip-flops, teak wood purses, and pillowcases splattered with images from vintage Bollywood films.

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