Monument Valley & The Mittens / by Alyssa Risley

Yay! The infamous southwest icons of the Utah desert!!! The place that every wandering gypsy writes down in her dream road trip itinerary. I've always been a Southwest girl at heart, forever favoring cactus shaped accessories and navajo printed blankets, and an obvious desire to travel to all places stereotypical of the west. Especially since the release of the Harper's Bazaar 2013 Issue featuring Candice Swanepoel appearing humbly in the foreground of the blazing red valley, (one of my top favorite fashion mag covers of all time btw), I've been itching to take pictures of this place in real life... And finally, mitten dreams realized!

This is a level 1 visit, so even the most anti-wilderness of fashion divas can make it here without even needing to step a single stiletto in the dirt. **Note: Vehicle entry is $20.. But that's the biggest downfall.

Below is my Monument Valley Swag Pack List of most of what I wore for the day, and my additional recommendations for visiting the park:

1. Black wide brim hat, one of my desert gypsy staples, I wear this thing everywhere, but it actually does get super bight and sunny in the desert, so having face shade is kind of a nice thing. 2. Sunglasses!! Bejeweled or not, seriously a desert adventure essential. I prefer the low-tint effect (less chance of tan lines.) 3. Floral bralette from Free People, awesomely lightweight and barely there. 4. Dior Addict 013 Shimmer, the ultimate summer gloss and the only lip gloss I buy. 5. Black Havaianas, summer = flip flops. 6. Lace Up Tripp NYC Shorts, best low-key goth shorty shorts. 7. Genesh Slub Tank by Sinns Art, purchased from an arts fair in Vegas a few years back,a bit cliche, but I love it. 8. Gold Antler Tip Necklace, another Alyssa staple, purchased in Honolulu.

**Gypsy Tip #27: Clothing/accessory items in a single outfit must be purchased from at least 3 different states/countries to maintain authentic gypsy-ness.

When visiting the park, make sure to drink some water, and bring someone who likes to explore. On my next return to the valley, I really want to go on an excursion on the dirt path around the mittens as I wasn't able to this time. And, for my ultimate dream return trip, I'd like to execute a high scale fashion shoot in monument valley, mittens in golden hour glory, 15 person crew, the works. Also, mayyyyybe not wear SO MUCH black... Haha

XOXO - Happy Deserting!