Challenging the old and embracing the new

Kate Moss by Irving Penn for American Vogue 1996. I asked Kate to do this nude portrait with Mr. Penn and she had no reservations.

I love the days before New Year’s Eve. As the holiday madness winds down, I stop and reflect. Last year I strove to find more balance in my life and I feel that I succeeded. This year I am going to scrutinize some of my routines and update them. Top of my list is skin care. This reaches beyond the products I have been devoted to that now seem to do little. I need to reevaluate what I eat, how I exercise and yes, the crazily overpriced creams and serums that make no significant difference. By focusing on the pieces, I intend to address the whole.

Like Kate, I would like to feel good in my skin.

 

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SHOP

what's new

J.W. ANDERSON

Pierce Hobo large suede shoulder bag

J.W. ANDERSON

High-neck pleated crepe de Chine jacket

AURÉLIE BIDERMANN

Set of two gold-plated rings

JOSEPH

Cotton-Polio wrap midi skirt

AURÉLIE BIDERMANN

Gold-plated chunky cuff

VANESSA BRUNO

One-shoulder crepe top

DELPOZO

A-line linen mini skirt

LOEWE

Hammock small leather and raffia tote

FRAME

Le Cuffed mid-rise stretch-cotton shorts

MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION

Poplin midi dress

BOTTEGA VENETA

The City Knot shoulder bag

BOTTEGA VENETA

Belted voile midi dress

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A Merry and Happy to you

Love      Peace     Joy

Merry Christmas!

Preston

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Gift Guide by Christiane Mack

Christiane, the director of Vogue’s editorial project development and KiC Style Setter,  gave us so many  great gift ideas when we recently profiled her, I thought it best to save them for a holiday post. Her Danish heritage really shines through this time of year and her gift choices reflect a clean, yet somewhat whimsical, Nordic sensibility.  “I love modern design (must be the Danish blood), but can do without the cold aesthetic often associated with it.  I also hate unnecessary items around the house.  If I find something that combines good design, historical context, and function, I’m in heaven. In my opinion, the Miller House and Garden in Indianapolis is the ultimate inspiration and my dream residence.  Now that it’s a museum, I hope to visit next year.”

A great tip from Christiane “my mother kept a gift drawer where she stored little items for last-minute events, so I learned from her.”


Christiane Mack Hostess Gifts

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The 12 days of Christmas

Presents on my daughters’ lists

Years ago I came up with the idea to give each of my girls 12 presents for Christmas. I told them one for each of the 12 Days of Christmas. The real reason was to manage their expectations and not have them want an enormous haul every December 25th. The presents range from a few significant items to books and small things. But the number has stuck and is now a family tradition.

For the first time, I was focused on stockings this holiday. I usually make a last minute (too often Christmas eve) dash to grab “stuff” as filler. Not this year. I am going to look for fun stuffers and will wrap them too.

Geode kit, Hydrogen powered remote control car and ColorKu game from Mindeware Toys

Rock Tumbler and Moshi Moshi handset for iPhone at Amazon

Butet Saddle at Beval Saddlery

Marc Jacobs earrings at Net-a-Porter

Sperry Topsiders

Men’s gift guide by Ridgely Brode

We asked fellow industry insider, mother of 2 boys and new blogger Ridgely Brode to guest edit a men’s gift guide for KiC. At work, Ridgely is a partner and co founder of the p.r. powerhouse Paul Wilmot Communications. But off duty, this working mother is all about her family. I spied a guy’s gift post on her blog Ridgely’s Radar and begged her to do one for us too.

Let’s face it, shopping for the men/boys in our lives can be difficult. Ties and sweaters are a big yawn and our men don’t want fancy doodads either. A chain saw? Hot Sauce? You bet! My husband wants everything on this list.

Thank you Ridgely!

Ridgley's Gift Guide for men

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The extra effort

Lee Radziwill

The Saturday after Thanksgiving our dear friends hosted a casual dinner that boasted no turkey. The group invited consisted of couples, singles, partners- some we have known forever and a few just met. The food was delicious, the wine plentiful and everyone was relieved the holiday was over.

The conversation flitted from funny survival stories of visiting relatives to how to navigate the upcoming Art Basel Miami. I looked around the table at the relaxed group and was impressed by one woman in particular. Most of us were in jeans and sweaters or a nice blouse but my friend had put in a little extra effort. It really struck me that even just lipstick can be a game changer. My friend shone compared to the rest of us. She was not in leopard Louboutins or a statement piece. Her hair was not “done” but it looked tended. She looked put together.

I was reminded that it does not take much and often less is best. Groomed and pretty trumps overtly sexy and elevates every look this holiday season.

Karen Graham

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A run-around staple

J. Crew Downtown jacket

 I (and my daughter and many of my friends) own and love this jacket. It is a great and less expensive version of the Barbour.  I have both colors and it fits true to size even with a light sweater worn underneath.

Today only it is on sale.

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Lauren duPont

Lauren photographed at home for KiC by Marko MacPherson

We have known Lauren for years beginning when we were all at Vogue in the 90s. We love Lauren for her irreverence and devil-may-care attitude, her feminine, grown-up style (she loves fashion but is no slave), and her warmth and generosity. These days she juggles being a mother of three, wife of artist Richard duPont, serving as the Creative Director at Jack Rogers and a creative consultant to Aerin Lauder’s soon-to-launch line, AERIN.

We had such a laugh while shooting her picture, reminiscing about the (sometimes) good old days as struggling editors and discussing kids’ camps and other issues that are now forefront on our minds.

Lauren duPont's favorite things

4 Essential wardrobe items: A printed Dries Van Noten I bought at Barneys that I can wear for evening or during the day, a long printed Elizabeth & James skirt that is long and flowy and looks great with a boyish sweater, and two Comptoirs des Cottoniers dresses that look like sweaters with a skirt but are actually one piece–one is black sweater on top with polka-dot skirt, the other all plum. They are great and make getting dressed idiot-proof, great for weekends or work.

Rediscovered in my closet: A Pringle camel hair v-neck sweater that my Dad gave me when he was cleaning out his closet a few years ago. It’s big so it looks good with jeans and long skirts. I’ve also been pulling out my old fishermans sweaters that I used to wear back when I was a teenager. An Ann Demeulemeester black oversized boyfriend jacket that I bought in the late 90s (looks great with skinny pants and jeans). A Martin Margiela denim jacket with knit collar and denim skirt. Both timeless but until recently, shoved to the back of the closet.

What inspires you: Art, interiors, vintage fairs, estate sales and my crazy friends.

Home obsessions: William Morris wallpaper. I just wallpapered two bedrooms in my house in Connecticut in them. I could have done the whole house! I am obsessed with glass wear. I honestly can’t stop myself. The best finds are in Maine at the auction that comes to town and estate sales in Connecticut. Fabric is my other obsession, vintage and current. I buy bolts of things I love, even if I have nowhere to use it. One day I will use them, by then those fabrics will probably be discontinued.

Holiday hostess gift: Sweet Revolution caramels and the Alberto Pinto book on table settings. These are go-to gifts for people who have just about everything.

Holiday hostess outfit: To be honest, I am rarely a hostess. I have three children and entertaining makes me nervous.

Favorite holiday tradition you do with your kids: Opening boxes of ornaments and decorating the tree together. Last year every ornament and garland was felt (last year I went a little bonkers at the gift show).

Where will your next trip take you? Hopefully to the Mayflower Inn in Connecticut for a quiet weekend with my husband.

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I walked the talk

Photo by Marko MacPherson

In an earlier post I confessed that I love bottle green right now.  I don’t buy everything I love but this time I went outside my (neutrals only) comfort zone and bought the above tote. I cannot tell you how many people have stopped me to compliment the color of this bag.

If you are heading to the stores or shopping the sales online today, I recommend an accessory in a great color. When items are 50% off, this is the time to buy something fun.

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Food

Second time’s a charm (hopefully)

Ina Garten’s roasted turkey roulade

Once again it is the day before Thanksgiving and I am the designated cook. I am a terrible cook (no one will contradict me on this) and yet I alway end up shopping for and making Thanksgiving dinner.

Last year I was inspired to make Ina Garten’s stuffed turkey breast and made the mistake of buying the largest breast possible (leftovers anyone?). It looked hideous before it was cooked and was borderline inedible when it was done.

Last weekend my oldest daughter came home from boarding school and announced she is a vegetarian thanks to the film Food inc. and my younger one is a pasta-tarian at best. Not wanting to cook a full turkey where 80% will go to waste, I have bravely decided to try the above recipe again.

You would think Americans were all serving our last meal ever by the crowd at Whole Foods yesterday. But I made my way and bought 2 very small organic free-range boneless (ridiculously expensive) turkey breasts. And who knows, I may get it right this time.

 

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