Travel Diary: Monique Lhuillier in Istanbul
As one of the fashion industry’s preeminent designers, Monique Lhuillier has a seemingly limitless source of inspiration and skill, which she adroitly applies to each of her finely crafted collections (bridal, ready-to-wear, and recently launched accessories). So when it came time for the Philippine-born, L.A.-based creator’s annual summer family holiday, Istanbul, Turkey—with its grand architecture, centuries-old artistry, and stunning cityscapes—was an obvious choice.
During her time in the Turkish capital of culture (her first visit to the city), Lhuillier toured sites like the Hagia Sophia mosque, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar, and dined both at the Shangri-La hotel (where she stayed) and at scenic restaurants like Blue Topaz, overlooking the Bosporus.
Afterwards, the designer—along with her husband, two children, and sister—set sail up the coast of Turkey, where they stopped at cities like Göcek, Marmaris, and Bodrum.
"A picturesque start of the day with the Blue Mosque as our background."
Rustem Pasha Mosque
"The iznik tiles at Rüstem Pasha Mosque are so vibrant, we had to stop for a photo."
"Family shot outside the Grand Bazaar. Right: Hat's off! I’m ready to shop!"
"Sweet delicacies inside the Bazaar."
Grand Bazaar - Nick's
"Mesmerized by the Old World craftsmanship of world-renowned calligrapher Nick Merdenyan, whose work features ornamental script on dried leaves."
"Each leaf is hand-painted and one-of-a-kind, reproduced with Islamic, Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist symbols."
"My husband and I at Blue Topaz, a restaurant with great food and incredible views of the Bosphorus."
"The dinner table at Blue Topaz."
"Excited to meet the extraordinarily talented jeweler, Sevan Biçakçi!"
"Beautiful tea service at Sevan Biçakçi's studio. Right: A crazy, one-of-a-kind octopus ring that was made for the designer’s daughter."
"Taking in all of the sounds, smells, and offerings at the Spice Bazaar."
"Loving the abundance of choices."
"Always remember to look up inside the Hagia Sophia Museum—otherwise you might miss something!"
"A family picture in the lobby at the Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul, before dinner."