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Leontine Linens

I have always wanted beautiful monogrammed bed linens. So, when I got an invitation from Mark Badgley and James Mischka to meet Leontine Linens owner, Jane Scott Hodges, at interior designer (and KiC profile) Meg Braff’s shop, I went right over.  The quality and craftsmanship is extraordinary. And I confess that I am a bit of a monogram nut. Whether your taste is traditional or modern, I think these linens would personalize any home.

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THE ROW

Emma ruffled leather slides

CALVIN KLEIN 205W39NYC

Peak-lapel tie-waist coat

KHAITE

Alissa mid-rise slim-leg boyfriend jeans

DIOR

I-Dior leather point-toe bootie

AURELIE BIEDERMANN

Tangerine gold-plated necklace

SOLUDOS

Flor embroidered espadrille

ALTUZARRA

Campbell ribbed-knit cardigan

THE GREAT

The Army Nerd cropped stretch-twill skinny pants

ALTUZARRA

D'Orsay canvas espadrilles

ERDEM

Cordelia floral-print silk crepe de chine midi dress

BALENCIAGA

Button earrings

DIOR

J'Adior leather slingback flat

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Inspired By

Bianca Brondolini d’Adda

I am a big fan of Bianca Brandolini d’Adda’s style. Daughter of fashion insider, Georgina Brandolini, sister of boho-chic, Coco Brandolini and girlfriend of Fiat heir, Lapo Elkann, Bianca’s look is modern-classic, yet fresh and a little sexy. However, it is this gorgeous Italian’s constant smile that I find most endearing.

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Press

I ♥ Harper’s Bazaar

Most of my career has been spent behind the scenes casting magazine shoots and fashion shows. So it is both thrilling and astounding to be profiled in the August issue of Harper’s Bazaar. I am flattered and honored to say the least. Thank you Glenda and Kristina (one of our first Style Setters).

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Art

Art field trip

Rineke Dijkstra, Vondelpark, Amsterdam

Rineke Dijkstra, Vondelpark, Amsterdam

We have decided to take a fashion break (beware, we are writing our Fall wish lists and compiling the season’s must-haves and will share soon) and cleanse our palettes with an art field trip. First stop, Karen Kilimnik’s exhibition at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, CT. The solo show is open through September and features 60 of the artist’s paintings, drawings and installations–all from Peter Brant’s personal collection. Lunch at Méli-Mélo and a quick spin through Privet House down the street will make this part of the field trip complete.

With portraiture in mind, our other stop will be the Dutch photographer, Rineke Dijkstra’s first retrospective at the Guggenheim (through October 8th). Dijkstra is fascinated with photographing young people, mostly because their emotional vulnerabilities still show so close to the surface. A good bit of stop, think, and ponder on a hot summer day.

Karen Kilimnik's 'Prince Albrecht at Home'

Karen Kilimnik’s ‘Prince Albrecht at Home’

Books

Flight of fancy

I love birds. My grandmother was an avid birder and wrote books for children identifying the different species that live outside of Chicago. I now take her old binoculars on my walks and watch the hawks soaring overhead and the Snowy Egrets and Blue Heron feeding at low tide. There is a woodpecker out back, but I have not yet gotten a glimpse of him. I am hoping he is a Pileated. And our lawn is strewn with Robin’s egg shells that we keep in bowls on the coffee table.

I’ve had my eye on the book, above, “America’s Other Audubon”. The author, Joy M. Kiser, tells the story of Genevieve Jones, who in 1886 started a book of drawings of nests in her native Ohio. Miss Jones died three years into the project and her family finished it for her. The detailed drawings are captivating.

Recently, On My Plate, a great blog by Melissa Skoog Dunagan (an old Vogue friend), ran a post on the popularity of birds in fashion and homewares. Not sure I would wear a bird print, but my favorite fabric is by Brunschwig & fils and it depicts birds with thistles- I have pillows and lamp shades made out of it. My desk is covered with white ceramic birds my girls have collected for me and one day, I will paper a room in the fabulous Gracie wallpaper, below.

Gracie wallpaper

Tinker, Tailor…

Maybe it comes from my Puritan roots, but I am reluctant to throw clothing away. Unless something is truly unwearable, I will keep it forever. I still have and wear my LL Bean boots from boarding school and cashmere sweaters from who-knows-when. I have never consigned anything and my seamstress is practically on my payroll.

However, there is the rare occasion when I buy something and it sits in my closet unworn. If it doesn’t get retuned, it gets tinkered with. Case in point, the dress above. I bought it because it was “so me”. Easy shape, neutral color. I had the vents sewn closed on the sides and yet, it still had the tags on it.

At the same time, I was looking for a blouse to create a summer version of my favorite spring run-around look, above left. The Céline sweater with jeans and Chloé flats was my uniform from February through May. Casual enough for the school run, but pulled together for meetings. Perfection.

So, back to the unworn dress. Off to the seamstress it went; she took off 17″ and voila!, it became the perfect blouse, above right, that I had been looking for.

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Books

Beautiful Ruins

Finally, a new book that we cannot wait to read! With great reviews in the NYT’s and on Tory Burch’s blog, Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter’s recently released novel, looks like a cannot-put-down story. Set in 1960’s Italy and Hollywood today (and many other locations), this is the beach book we have been waiting for.

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Gaby Basora of Tucker

When we met Gaby Basora, the designer behind the five-year-old line Tucker, we were a bit taken aback. Tucker, her line of printed silk separates, is feminine, breezy, full of pastel and saturated shades. Tucker is very upbeat in nature. When Gaby showed up for our meeting at her Soho boutique and showroom on her bicycle in heels, high-waisted jeans, a Tucker sailor top and oversize, very 70’s sunglasses which made her eyes look like saucers, we immediately decided she was one the coolest, über-downtown mother-of-three boys we’d ever met. She was not who we expected, and we loved her for it. Gaby is engaging and wickedly articulate, and her enthusiastic, grand-scale vision–of keeping her designs made in New York to help a dying business, of helping other business women, and the desire to teach young talent, is contagious. A truly modern and inspiring woman.

Why the name Tucker? I had an appointment to show my collection to Barneys in 2006 but had no name for it. I heard stories of designers losing control over their names and with the deadline looming, labels had to be ordered. I woke up from a dream with the name Tucker on my mind. I love the connotations of language, so I looked up the meaning in the dictionary. One definition: piece of cloth draped over the bosom. GULP!

What is the key to a successful print? Where do you find your inspiration? It varies and is often surprising. Whether a print is successful or not is never a sure thing, which I like. Inspiration comes from everywhere, from something as pedestrian as gum on the street to something as abstract as Marguerite Duras’ writing. A travel to Turkey brought back inspiration from tiles. And films. My mother built and ran an art house cinema at Seattle’s Pike Place Market. I like making film vignettes for Tucker–homages to the women who wear Tucker or have inspired me. We just finished a film with Kinga Burza, who directed the short film, Candy.

What do you want women to feel when they buy a piece from Tucker? Clothing and dressing is an opportunity for communication, to say something about yourself and to connect. The experience of feeling beautiful, special, daring, unexpected, manly or womanly is an opportunity for exploration. But now it is also essential to be comfortable and move easily. Tucker offers a chance for women to make the look their own. I love that in one week, Richard Branson’s mother was pictured in The Wall Street Journal wearing printed Tucker pants and then Tom Ford’s thirteen-year-old niece was in a Tucker blouse in French Vogue.

Summer essentials: My Dannijo cuff–my young son says it’s my Wonder Woman bracelet; sunglasses from Selima; bicycle from Bicycle Habitat; mixing up bikinis from Bantu and Giejo; and, of course, Tucker.

Fave family activities: An impromptu tea party, serving all flavors of Girl Scout cookies at Strawberry Fields in Central Park; walking over the Brooklyn Bridge for tacos at Gran Electrica; the Guggenheim Museum, because the staircase is frightening and gorgeous and gives me vertigo; lunch and dinner at Bar Pitti; frisee salad at Cafe Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie; playing ball in the park.

Fave downtown NYC spots: Left Bank Books; La Maison Supreme for vintage glassware; Face Place for facials with Tommy; and Olatz for linens.

Keeps me sane: Reading, walking and laughing.

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Films

To Rome with Love

We are hopefully on the final day of a blistering heat wave. The perfect time to go to the movies. Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” opens today, and if it’s even a fraction as good as “Midnight in Paris”, that is good enough for me. I also want to see Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom” while it’s still in theaters.

Father’s Day

My husband is such a great dad that we devote the entire weekend to celebrating Father’s Day. Yesterday was gorgeous, so I took Jennifer’s advice, packed the perfect picnic, and we went boating on Oyster Bay. Today we are off to Southampton for treats at Sant Ambroeus and a lazy stroll around town. I will pop into Tenet, my fave new shop, and my husband will hit J. McLaughlin’s men’s store. The amazing bakery, Tate’s, is based in Southampton and we always stock up on cookies and a pie on our way home.