Tara Matthews? extensive world travels are reflected in her clamored-for swimwear line, with vibrant color palettes and intricate details revealing inspiration from exotic destinations across the globe. With a true understanding of the jet set lifestyle, Tara?s collection is made for the woman who wants both fashionable luxury and functional, flattering comfort ? a balance she herself has perfected in her own life of style and travel. With her eponymous label designed and produced in India and Brazil, Tara is a go-to source on some of the hottest locales.
1. What creative ventures are you working on at the moment?
I have just launched a new line called TM by Tara Matthews that is the diffusion line to my main collection. Also, I have been working on new shapes and styles to add to my main collection that are not embellished but still maintain the same great fabric and cut. I am also working on a line of fashion sports-wear that I plan to launch soon.
This bikini is a product of Tara's new line, TM by Tara Matthews.
2. What are your three favorite off-the-beaten track stores in the world?
It is very tough to answer that because I have so many, as I am constantly travelling! ? Empires in Ajaccio, and in Corsica, Valerie Santarelli uses Napoleon and Josephine as her theme and creates fantastic chic t-shirts, jewelry and various other things and has a cult following. Olivia H in Brussels has amazing costume jewelry. She has one of a kind pieces and also does incredible cut out leather shawls and gillets- super talented!
According to Tara, Corsica's beautiful beaches make it an ideal vacation spot.
3. How would you describe the signature style of the modern Indian woman?
I think the modern Indian woman combines traditional heritage pieces with Western trendy pieces. She is very fashion forward; globalization means she can buy similar on-trend pieces in India. At the same time, color plays a big part and she is not afraid of wearing bright colors and also mixing Indian and Western aesthetics.
Tara loves visiting Bhutan, describing it as an "amazing destination."
4. What is your favorite vacation destination? Where do you stay when there?
Impossible to pick one as I am always travelling, but, as I live half the year in Corsica, I would have to say I think that is the best place to vacation, for a beach holiday. It has some of the best beaches I have ever been to with the clearest water, and I have been to a lot of beaches! Bhutan is another amazing destination. I lived there for five years from the age of 10-15 and it is truly the most beautiful country I have seen. The Himalayas are breathtaking! Lastly Rio de Janeiro is another great place. For me, I go to Rio for work but most people go for vacation and what a fab place. I am lucky that, having grown up all over the world, I can go to many countries and stay with friends. Even in Rio I have a ?home away from home? and now my friends have opened an exclusive luxury 3-suite boutique hotel called Villa Corcovado that I highly recommend!
Tara frequently travels to Rio de Janeiro to work, shop and relax.
5. How would you describe your personal style?
Very laid back and casual. I buy what I like and what looks good on me rather than what is trendy! I tend to spend most of my time in warmer climates so I usually wear a lot of my own designs. Most often I wear my MIH jeans, t-shirts, cashmere cardigans and flip flops or my Osklen sneakers I buy in Rio. I love accessorizing with jewelry and bags to dress up my look and I am a huge vintage fan. I do a lot of vintage shopping for inspiration and all my great dresses and bags are from vintage shops. I also mix a lot of my vintage finds with new clothing to mix things up a bit.
Tara never travels without a bikini. Her beachwear collection has been featured on the cover of Vogue, India.
6. Do you have any tricks or secrets for traveling in style?
Comfort is the most important thing for me, especially when on 11- or 12- hour flights. I try to pack the French way, which is to mix and match pieces so they are recycled to give a different look each day. It also means I can often travel with hand luggage - I hate suitcases! Also, carry shawls as they are stylish and keep you warm because planes are always freezing, oh, and cashmere socks!
Tara swears that silk shawls are a travelling must. L-atitude does too! Check out our favorites here.
7. What are three things you have to bring every time you travel (aside from necessities like phone, wallet, passport, etc.)?
Besides my travelling office Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, my three things are very random?
1) A silk sheet: When I lived in Cambodia I made a silk duvet cover and since then I always sleep with a silk sheet or duvet cover. When I travel I carry my sheet with me, that way I always feel at home!
2) A bikini: You never know if there is a pool somewhere and I love swimming!
3) A shawl: Again, I line one side of a pashmina with silk and it makes the perfect travel blanket - I hate being cold!
From her experience, Tara says that our very own New York has the best nightlife in the world.
8. What city has the best nightlife? What is your favorite spot to visit when there?
I am not a big nightclub person; I prefer dinner and drinks with friends! I would say New York has the best nightlife as it really is the city that never sleeps! Although I love going out in Rio, as I love Brazilian culture and Samba music. I am not a big drinker but I love fresh passion fruit Caipirinhas, and have too many when I am there! My favorite place in Rio is called Trapiche Gamboa (Rua Sacadura Cabral, 155). It?s in the old port area where they have live samba bands and it is just a chilled great place!
When in Rio, Tara indulges in Brazilian culture. Her favorites? The live samba music and fruity Caipirinhas.
9. What are three things every woman should have in her wardrobe?
1) Great fitting and beautiful lingerie, as without that no clothes fit well!
2) Great swimwear, as it is the most exposed a woman is without being in her lingerie!
3) Amazing jeans, as you can do so much with a perfect pair of jeans, by dressing either up or down!
Halle Berry is a fan of Tara's beachwear collections.
10. What are your top three picks from L-atitude.com?
1) The Leslie Dress by Miguelina. I am a huge fan of her line!
2) The Yildiz Star Studded Earrings from Kismet by Milka, as I collect star jewelry.
3) The scarves from Kashmir Loom because the quality is amazing and they made some pieces for my line too.
11. What is the best shopping find you've ever made while traveling?
Delvaux, the ?Hermes of Belgium,? is the oldest leather goods company in the world (est. 1829) and is considered the ?Hermes of Belgium.? I found one of their Temp?te bags from 1967 in great condition at a vintage shop in Brussels for 125 euros. Delvaux just re-launched the Temp?te last year and the new bags are being sold for 2000 euros!
A 1967 Temp?te bag by Delveaux, like the one Tara found in a vintage store in Brussels.
12. What is your favorite market bazaar to shop at?
I like the Shopping de Gavia vintage market in Rio on Sundays. It is very small, not touristy and often there is a treasure to be bought!
Colombia is next up on Tara's travel wish list!
13. What is one destination you've never been to that you're dying to visit?
I am very spoiled and have been to so many amazing places in the world. I went to three continents by the age of six weeks old. I am lucky because I have been to a lot of places that I have been dying to visit, but need to re-visit a lot and want to do that! Next time my work schedule allows it, I have my sights set on Colombia.