My Favorite...White Silk Skirt

Art director and stylist Nicole Fasolino shares the story of a very special silk skirt she got in Thailand a decade ago.

Source: Nicole Fasolino, Art by Tanya Leigh Washington

Art director and stylist Nicole Fasolino loves to travel, bring those special pieces she finds around the world back home and integrate them into her wardrobe. Here, she shares the story of a special silk skirt she got in Thailand a decade ago.

How did this beautiful skirt come into your life? "I got it in a market in Chang Mai, Thailand, in 2002 or 2003. It was a long time ago, and I had actually been stalking this girl I had seen when I was traveling, who had a long turquoise one that I was obsessed with. She told me she got it at the markets so I was literally dragging my boyfriend from market to market looking for this one turquoise skirt. I came upon a white version of it and I've been wearing it nonstop for ten years. It's a gorgeous, thick silk. And I probably paid $10 for it."

What do you love about it? "I love everything about it. It's one of those pieces that, I put it on, and I immediately feel sexy. It's super low on my hips, the way it falls is perfect. And it's long and easy—when I go on flights it keeps me warm, when I wear it to the beach, it's just easy—pull on, pull off. I wore it throughout my pregnancy, I wore it as a dress, I wore it as a skirt…it's just one of the pieces in my wardrobe that has taken me all over the world, and I can wear it with anything, any time of year. And it's gorgeous. It's a long, loose, easy piece."

My Favorite...White Silk Skirt
Source: Nicole Fasolino

I love collecting pieces when I travel. When we bring them home, every time we put them on it reminds us of that place and those experiences. "Absolutely. It's funny, I always think that I remember my life by the bikinis I wore, and by the size of the moon where I was. Another thing I love about this skirt is that it's always with me on these crazy journeys, whether it's a weekend in Shelter Island or in Europe or wherever. Especially a piece like that, I never thought that it would take me through the next ten years of my life, and I'm sure the next ten years. Whenever I travel, I always try to pick up an amazing piece that I'll wear forever. My mom and I always traveled when I was super young and she always told me to buy one thing no matter where you were."

Do you remember the experience of buying it in the market? "Yeah, it was actually a night market, and there were all these little girls around me selling these gorgeous dolls. They're puppets, I actually bought one as well. But there were all these little girls around me, and I was talking with the girls when I spotted the skirt, and I was like, 'Come with me,' and they all came running with me, trying to sell me the dolls as I was grabbing at the skirt. I remember pulling the skirt over my body from my head down to my waist––over the dress I was wearing––and standing over talking to these gorgeous little girls, and being like, 'Okay, I'll take all your dolls as long as I can have this skirt.' I remember thinking to myself that I wanted to leave the rest of the stuff that I had brought to Thailand on a street corner because all I'm going to do is wear this skirt for the rest of my life."

What are some memorable moments that happened to you while wearing it? "Actually, the picture of my son and I standing at the beach at my house, on that particular day––it's an awful story, but it's kind of funny––my son broke his leg that day. And when I was carrying him into the hospital through the emergency room doors my boyfriend stepped on the skirt and the skirt literally went down to my feet and we were coming from the beach, so I'd had on a wet bikini that I had taken off, so I had no underwear on, and I'm holding my 40-pound son in my arms with a broken leg, and my skirt was at my ankles and my bare ass was just sticking out and everyone was rushing to help me through the doors. I have so many stories about that skirt, so many memories of it."

My Favorite...White Silk Skirt
Source: Nicole Fasolino

What else? "I spend August on Shelter Island and basically every single night and every single lunch we have a minimum of ten people over, and that skirt is my go-to. I'm making lunch for a whole table full of people, or sitting on the beach, or sitting in our yard, it's that skirt. It's that skirt with a bikini, with a denim shirt, with a little cropped sweater."

It's so bohemian, it's cool how you style it in so many different ways. "Yeah, that's kind of what my whole style is. I like to wear things around. I live in New York, but still, I like to wear something with a sweater or a T-shirt, tights, without tights. My whole wardrobe consists of pieces that I wear throughout the year."

Do you have any tips for readers on how to wear some of these unique travel souvenir pieces back home? "I style not only models but real people. My whole thing is being able to wear things to multiple events. So it's wearing it to work, wearing it to the beach, wearing it to a cocktail party, and not being afraid to experiment with how you wear it, especially if you feel super confident in it. I mean, it is a white, long, silk skirt, so typically that's a summer piece. But I wear it with boots, sweaters, a cropped leather jacket. It's just experimenting with it, wearing other pieces that you love combined with it. When you go to these markets, you find the most amazing handcrafted items in the world, but [it's about] not being afraid to wear it when you're back home. Sometimes you go to these exotic places, and you're like, 'This is amazing,' then come back home and you're like, 'What was I doing buying this piece?' But you can't be afraid! I love that feeling of taking a culture home with you. It's that memory of that trip, bringing a little piece of that country home with you. And whenever you wear pieces like that, people notice. They're special."

Finally, when you see it hanging in your closet, is there a thought or feeling that comes to mind? "I'm always thinking, 'Can I wear it again today? Even though I wore it yesterday, and the day before?' I literally have it on all the time."

Follow Nicole on Instagram: @nicolefasolino