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My Favorite Things

For Melissa Ventosa Martin, there’s something especially maddening about an overstuffed closet. A master of the art of elimination, Ventosa Martin has spent the past two decades as a fashion editor and consultant—most recently for Departures and Travel + Leisure. Now she has launched Old Stone Trade, an online marketplace, where she shares her handmade essentials, sourced from all over the world. Here, she shares her favorite pieces of the moment

Herend

$225

Rothschild Bird Plate

“I was first introduced to Herend by my mother-in-law when my husband and I were choosing china for our wedding. Their china is hand-painted in Hungary, and each one is a bit different. I love the naturalistic garden scene—it looks equally at home set on white linen as it does on wicker.”

Kashmir Loom

$2,195

Embroidered Cashmere Shawl

“Remember embroidered cashmere pashminas, those shawls that everyone had to have in the mid-1990s? Well, we’ve seen countless imitations, but the Lena cashmere shawls by Kashmir Loom are the real deal. Their skilled artisans spin and weave each shawl entirely by hand. This one, in particular, is incredibly special because it’s also hand-embroidered with paisley trim, reminding me of the Kashmiri shawls painted by John Singer Sargent.”

Del Toro

$425

Women’s Black Velvet Slipper II

“In my opinion, there is nothing more elegant than wearing a velvet slipper in the evening. These, by Del Toro, have the added value of being handcrafted in Milan and Naples.”

Silver Lining Opticians

$245

M21 Eyeglasses

“As a nearsighted follower of fashion since age 10, I’m only now trying to embrace my four-eyes status. I’m partial to a 90s tortoise frame—not too thick or oversize or trendy. I like my glasses to look as normal as possible, no statements—similar to what I wore in fourth grade.”

Cartier

$4,650

Pre-Owned Panthère Watch

“What can I say? I love a timeless classic, and the Cartier Panthère is for life. Luckily, a watch is one of the best investments you can make, and the pre-owned-watch market is only growing.”

Anderson & Sheppard

$360

Brushed Geelong Crew Neck Sweater

“My daily uniform is a navy or gray crewneck—my collection started in high school, and I still wear each one. This year, I’m branching out into browns, and this slightly heathered mushroom offers the same classic neutrality of a gray. Destined to be a new classic for me.”

Emma Pettway

$11,500

Gee’s Bend Tapestry Quilt

“Emma Pettway is one of the talented artisans we offer at Old Stone Trade, and she has her own Etsy shop. She is a third-generation Gee’s Bend quilter, and her use of color is so joyful and unexpected. This quilt features one of her favorite patterns, the housetop, and would look beautiful on a bed or hanging on a wall as an art piece.”

Henry Handwork

From $50

Doppio Estate Table Linens

“I love white table linens and have quite a collection, all passed down from relatives over the years. These are hand-embroidered in Portland, Oregon, and I hope they cover my own daughters’ tabletops in future years.”

Dario Alfonsi

$4,120

Leopard Tripolina Armchair

“My husband and I are self-proclaimed chair addicts, and over the years we’ve inadvertently accumulated a collection of campaign-style chairs ranging from vintage Arne Norell to simple canvas-and-wood from the local flea market. I love this take on a traditional Berber folding chair by leathersmith Dario Alfonsi, and the leopard print would not be out of place in Napoleon’s own tent. Alfonsi handcrafts his pieces upon order at his atelier, in Rome.”

Atelier Bomba

$1,900

The Apron Dress

“This is the dress that launched Old Stone Trade. I met Michele Am Russo and Julia Frommel on a trip to Rome and was enchanted by their aesthetic and craftsmanship. Their navy Apron Dress, designed with a square neck for O.S.T., is a uniform of sorts—perfect for all seasons and occasions.”

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