‘A collision between the travel stories & the pieces we travel with’ – this is the mantra for a blog like The Tourist Mag. It is about stories and the details we discover from our travels. The tailors, the men who sell fruits, the artisans, the textile shops and the places where we eat.
With this, Tabitha Karp has created a small collection of clothing pieces, with the artisans that she’s met from her travels in Turkey. Each piece is meant to be traveled with. Each piece is tailored. Each is unique.
The Tourist is simply a name coined for the fact that we are all tourists. We caught up with her to discuss everything.
Logan City, Australia.
Between Istanbul & Paris.
What do you do?
Photography, travel, creative direction… & the boss of The Tourist.
Your latest Project?
The Tourist. The spiel & crux of the story? A rolodex of tourist addresses by myself & other women who are becoming the new creative vanguards in art, design & fashion. Second to this, I wanted The Tourist to consist of a collection of iconic pieces to travel with, made by the high-end craftsmen that I’ve met upon my travels in Istanbul. The first pieces are about the patent leather trench coat.
How does traveling relate to your work?
I studied French as Paris was always somewhere I wanted to move to.. so I sort of planned it that way. This led to a stint as an assistant at LV, whilst working in the Arab food market on weekends (love mentioning this fact). Then I had this idea, after 6 years in Paris, to move to Istanbul and work for this creative platform, Istanbul74.
It was such a crazy experience, & I had the chance to meet so many well-regarded artists & creatives from all over the world. This ultimately led to a stint heading up a new arts/fashion magazine in Istanbul, & that was totally another frantic experience. In terms of lifestyle, I was traveling so much within Europe & to Australia – I knew it was time to move into a new phase of my own life, & this is how I came up with The Tourist.
Do you keep a journal from your travels?
I keep a photo journal, of which I get printed every so often, and then I keep a small red diary, of which I just write down anything that I want to remember later on……
Do you have a specific tailor to go to in Istanbul?
Yeah I do. She is based at the top of this old fishing village of Istanbul in a suburb called Tarabya…..she is amazing and I’ve started to get various pieces made by her.
Any other secret fashion addresses?
I love this store in Istanbul called FEY. She was the former editor of Marie Claire here in Istanbul, and she created this small bohemia like boutique with pieces that she tailor makes for her customers. She finds the most incredible vintage textiles……and she makes these great leopard print winter shoes, using the same style each winter.
Always my laptop, and then like 3 different cameras…..an old 35mm film Samsung, my Canon 5d, and then usually some other analog camera. It becomes a little insane. Otherwise, I’m pretty light on the beauty products..paw paw balm, and Ski-ll serum.
The one trip that you have taken that speaks most to your aesthetic?
I’d definitely say Morocco. It just never seems to change, and the Arabs are just so cool and chill. They would do anything for you….although come to think of it, they’d even try to steal your camera, but that’s only if you step into black markets…
Do you have one particular memorable textile that you collected from your travels?
I am constantly buying textiles in Istanbul. I recently bought this black and white hand woven raw cotton piece that is made in Antalya, in the South of Turkey. It is such a beautiful piece. I’m getting my tailor to make a cute dress out of it, of which I will probably add to The Tourist collection.
Definitely Ports of Call by Amin Maalouf. It is such a beautiful tale of one man and his love of Beirut before and during the subsequent wars, and his love of one woman whom he sets out to find again in Paris.
Your favourite restaurant in Istanbul?
Well, it is actually a Russian restaurant, as I’m half Russian and grew up with the food. Ayaspaşa Rus Lokantası. Address: Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi, İnönü Cd. Ankara Palas Apt. D:59/A, 34437 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
The hotel that made you run for the hills?
I was traveling to South of Turkey with my mum to catch a week-long yacht to sail around the coast. Anyway, we had to spend one night inland before getting on, and I accidentally booked this terrible pension. I will not go further, but my mother asked what the hell had I done.
The best thing about living in Istanbul?
It is constantly aesthetically stimulating…and the Bosphorus.
One place to go for drinks in Istanbul?
Drinks is not a big thing here alone. The Turks like to take their time with mezes and raki. It’s very Mediterranean … anyway, there is one place where you can have a drink, wine or whatever, at the bar, and then take a table to continue with the mezes… Münferit. Address: Yeni Carsi Cad. No:19, Galatasaray, 34425