I’ve learnt a new word this week: heliophilia. It’s a desire to stay in the sun; the love of sunlight.
I think it’s partly to do with having married a daylight consultant, who constantly reminds me of the benefits of being exposed to natural light (fact), and also down to my Italian roots. Growing up in Italy, as a child I pretty much lived by the sea from the moment school finished in June until late September. Have you ever tried doing business in Italy in August? I didn’t think so – we’re at the beach. Some of my fondest memories are those summers spent at my grandparents’ house in Forte dei Marmi, cycling to the beach and eating warm schiacciatine (mini focaccias). Augusts were castaway with my sailing-fanatic dad, cruising the Mediterranean on our cosy sailing boat, Horizon. Those days were the best… and perhaps explain why I am still at my happiest by the sea, on a beach, in the warm sun. Editing our annual beach issue is always a highlight of my (professional) year.
In more recent years I’ve had many happy holidays in Sicily. This past half-term I packed a suitcase of MATCHESFASHION’s ‘Grand Tour’ and roamed the streets of Scicli, Modica and Ortigia in some of my favourite dresses, ra-ra skirts and basket bags for our Shopping List shoot. I have to thank our family holiday companions Brooke Le Poer Trench, her daughter Ruby and my very own Greta for stepping in as photographers! Coincidentally J.J. Martin (founder of La DoubleJ) is also a Sicily lover. When I shot her in Milan last year I couldn’t believe that we both regularly spent time in Scicli of all places, a small town in the south of the island. In this issue we shine the spotlight on La DoubleJ – if you love print, don’t miss it.
Speaking of beautiful islands, we commissioned our friend, writer and travel photographer Lucy Williams, to write her Holiday Diaries on a recent trip to Ibiza. What I love about Lucy is her adventurous spirit, and that she loves good food and knows a stylish buy, so I was really excited to get her viewpoint on the northern shores of the island (and the wardrobe that went with it). The brief was simple: make a note on anything you love and tell us all about it. I hope you’ll enjoy reading her insights and earmark the page for your next trip to this laidback Spanish island.
The rest of the issue is filled to the brim with all the beachy stuff you want to know about. Our swimwear guide has something for everyone: from Petro’s go-to one pieces and my preferred big-brief bikinis to skimpier styles for the minimal-tan-line lovers among us. Plus, we reviewed the best SPFs to pack in your suitcase, the prettiest skirts for covering up at the beach and shell jewellery to go with them.