Design at altitude: Creating the perfect festival look | VailDaily.com

Design at altitude: Creating the perfect festival look

I kicked back, had a cold glass of bubbly and listened to the New York Philharmonic and once again realized I am so lucky to be living here. Where else are we surrounded by mountains, have birds soaring over head as a symphony roars in the background? As much as I love the music and the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, I love the people watching, too. Everyone has such a unique style — I like to imagine what their homes are like based on their concert-going outfits. Funky eyeglasses, skinny jeans, colorful sweaters and sparkly jewelry have been catching my eye this season.

'How to Festival'

Taking it a step further, I notice how my personal style affects my home design. I have found a few accessories that have become must-haves for when I go to the symphony, or watch the Vail International Dance Festival. This week, I want to share with you "how to festival." Yes, using festival as a verb. You can't show up disheveled and unprepared for the lawn seats — there is definite planning that takes place to bring the corner of your living room with you on the lawn seats.

I saw the most beautiful plate of food last night at the festival — summer fruits and vegetables were bursting off the plate. Feeling inspired, I created my own plate of appetizers – so I packed my Kate Spade cooler bag with summer goodies: Palisade peaches and tomatoes, grapes, a wedge of Brie and some nutty crackers. On my other shoulder, I had my waterproof blanket, unbreakable Go Vino wine glasses and a light raincoat, all tucked into my Lance woven tote. Feeling stylish and organized, I started to set out my picnic. I love that the lawn is dotted with umbrellas in the early evening — lately to shade the sun but earlier in the month we had to huddle under the umbrellas as the deluges hit, hit and hit again.

Best form of flattery

When the sun goes down, though, I'm always caught off guard by the chill. Sometimes I snuggle under a throw, but I sat with my friend who had a wrap tossed over her shoulders. She looked a little more put together and I loved the look. Imitation is the best flattery, right? Almost anything goes on the lawn as far as the dress code, so I paired a lime green cashmere wrap that worked with my jeans, keeping it sophisticated, cozy and low-key at once.

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My other go-to items? There seems to be a long list. I was laughing at a young man who updated his Facebook page, texted a few friends and I think Instagrammed the concert. I am not tied to my phone, but I like to have it accessible if I need it. Enter the cutest clutch that I can tuck into my larger bag, but that keeps it easy for me to find the phone. I vow to the musicians and dancers, though, I won't text during any performance!

Summer Style is Born

Part of the fun of having a designer background is helping curate the perfect look, whether strolling through the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, watching the ballet or enjoying views of the Gore. My best tip is to pick out a couple of favorite looks — and work them in to your every day, from concerts to cocktails. Voila! Your signature festival style is born.

Lisa Mikels is Slifer Designs' showroom manager. With a background in retail management and almost 10 years with Slifer, she loves to help find fabulous touches for your home and yourself.