Julia Leach tucked Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem in her Chance event gift bags and after reading the first two stories, I went on a bit of a Didion binge and bought The Year of Magical Thinking, Play it as it Lays and The White Album.
Evening by Susan Minot. The movie did this wonderful book a great injustice and deserves a re-read.
Mohawk by Richard Russo. One of my favorite authors and I have read all of his books except his first. I will this summer.
Emma ruffled leather slides
Peak-lapel tie-waist coat
Alissa mid-rise slim-leg boyfriend jeans
I-Dior leather point-toe bootie
Tangerine gold-plated necklace
Flor embroidered espadrille
Campbell ribbed-knit cardigan
The Army Nerd cropped stretch-twill skinny pants
D'Orsay canvas espadrilles
Cordelia floral-print silk crepe de chine midi dress
J'Adior leather slingback flat
J. Crew deck-stripe board shorts, $68; Cara accessories striped bangles, $12 each; TKEES flip flops, $48;
Ray-Ban aviators;Parasol color-block swim shirt, $165. Image © Vogue.com
Each season we’re on the lookout for a good cover-up, a kurta, an over-sized linen shirt, the usual. But then I saw a woman in Palm Beach come to the pool wearing a different striped mariner T-shirt paired with a pair of printed board shorts every day. She was older, but she looked cool. Then Preston and I were introduced to Parasol, a line by KiC friend Alexandra Kotur, creative director of Town & Country magazine and partner, lawyer Tiffany Molder, of SPF fabric surf shirts and bottoms. Now, even J. Crew is in on the action with board shorts and rash-guard tops. The great thing is, not only do these pieces work as coverups, they are can be worn in and out of the water and offer an extra layer of protection. And the idea of mixing stripes and prints is fun. It feels modern and sexy.
As much as I am driven crazy by the erratic Resort show schedule, I always find clothes I love and it continues to be my favorite season. These two looks, by Theyskens’ Theory from Resort 2013 are really simple and beautiful.
Kate wearing Valentino in the June/July issue of Harper's Bazaar
Every once in a while I see an image and wish that I had produced the shoot. This story on Kate by Terry Richardson (always good for a laugh) and the uber sexy Andrew Richardson styling, would have been fun. Andrew would have spent hours in my office amusing me as we worked out the details for the trip to Jamaica, and Kate makes everything easy.
Bazaar’s new redesigned look is much more spare and really beautiful. It’s a nice change and certainly sets the magazine apart from the competition. Bravo!
Last weekend the Wall Street Journal ran an article on a couple who, at Mick Jagger’s urging, bought a grand house just outside of London. Gael and Francesco Boglione bought Petersham House in 1997 and a few years later purchased the nursery next door. What makes the story so inspiring is that the Boglione’s are not gardeners, yet they transformed the run-down nursery into an enchanting destination where you can buy plants, homewares, furniture and have lunch in the cafe or tea in the teahouse. The restaurant, which started in a shed, can now handle hundreds of diners.
As we move into summer and move our lives outdoors, I am drawn to places like Petersham Nurseries– places that encourage me to create a welcoming and stylishly bohemian outdoor living space. Forget the expensive furniture from the fancy garden center, found and reclaimed pieces with cushions in fun, all-weather fabrics are the way to go. And maybe a few chickens for good measure.
Here at KiC, we live for the summer. So when we had the opportunity to meet Julia Leach, designer of Chance, a line basically devoted to summer essentials (and everything striped), we were excited. Leach, who was executive vice president and creative director at Kate Spade before she launched her own line a year ago, embodies a laid-back coastal vibe with her long blond hair and equally long legs. She is thoughtful, incredibly easygoing, and her inspiration comes from a love of adventure, travel and simplicity in style. (Who doesn’t want to be sitting on a beach somewhere in a Chance striped tee?) Last week Chance opened their first pop-up shop in Barneys. While Leach received a lot of coverage about her collection, we wanted to find out more about the woman behind the brand.
What is it about a striped T-shirt? It’s that the striped T-shirt telegraphs a bigger idea beyond being a piece of clothing. Very few garments communicate a world or notion, but the striped T-shirt does. It conjures up a sense of adventure, design, simplicity and personal style, values that anchor Chance and my point of view on living and dressing. I’ve had so many people tell me stories about their favorite striped T-shirt since I launched the business–there’s an emotional attachment to it, a romance.
Your California beach attire vs. New York beach look. In California, I pull out my old Levi’s cut-off shorts and wear them with one of my boyfriend’s old Turnbull & Asser button-down shirts over a black Tomas Maier bikini. Flat leather sandals and a straw hat finish it off. In New York, I’m usually in a Chance henley (one of my favorite styles) and a pair of Theory shorts from a stack I’ve accumulated over the years. Again, the black bikini. I’m not a big collector of sunglasses, I have two in rotation, an Oliver Peoples silver frame aviator and Tom Ford aviators with a gold frame.
Five things you cannot travel without:
1. A pair of Manolo Blahnik dark brown leather flat sandals I’ve had for at least 10 years. They’re perfect and have stood the test of time. They go everywhere with me.
2. White jeans year-round. I like Madewell’s Skinny Skinny.
3. A beloved denim jacket from 45 rpm, great for dressing up and down, as well as dealing with the temperature changes that accompany travel.
4. A LaFCO Cucumber Thyme mini candle–it brings a touch of home to any hotel room.
5. A good book is essential. This summer it’s There & Then: The Travel Writing of James Salter, my favorite author.
6. I know this makes six, but music is so important to me. I’m constantly making playlists and they become associated with certain places and adventures.
A Chance fragrance would smell like….Honeysuckle and jasmine with a subtle note of lemon. The fragrance would be a collision of sensual/velvety, lightness/sunshine and West Coast/East Coast…like a walk through Beachwood Canyon in LA or along the beach on the North Fork in the evening when the flowers are in full bloom.
Summer means….Tan legs, Essie Imported Champagne on my toes, J. Crew tuxedo shirts from the boys department with black crepe shorts and strappy sandals. Watching nature TV and bike riding upstate, dinners on the terrace in LA, sharing crisp, cold Sancerre with friends, fresh corn on the cob with lots of lime, kiddie cones with a double-dip of butterscotch, a sense of freedom and possibility, and Chance.
Julia photographed by Andrew Paynter
This story ran 2 years ago and is still one of my favorites. As we head into Memorial Day weekend, I am bleaching my vast collection of white cotton skirts, shorts, khurtas and tees, pulling out my straw bags and dusting off my K. Jacques. The weather may not cooperate, but I will be ready when it does.
Straw bags at Anthropology used as shopping baskets
After years of carrying canvas totes, I am loving this light and earthy alternative! I keep my large straw bags in the car and use them for groceries instead of the reusable ones from Whole Foods. And needless to say, they are chic at the beach stuffed with towels, sun block and an iPad!
Lou Doillon in Capri
I’m not sure what it is about Lana Del Rey, I cannot put my finger on it. Her songs are okay. Maybe it’s her look- it takes me back to my early casting days when we started the super models. Lana would have fit right in.
I cast this story shot by Peter Lindbergh for Vogue (a long time ago…)
I did this one with Peter too- a miracle they all showed up…
Maybe I see a little Stephanie Seymour (far right) in Lana and that is her appeal for me.
Sometimes the story behind a design and how it is crafted is so intriguing it makes you appreciate the design that much more. Such is the case with Emily Satloff’s jewelry line, Larkspur & Hawk. What you don’t necessarily know when you try on a dazzling pair of Halley’s comet earrings, or shimmering white topaz necklace, is the jewelry’s brilliance is the result of a centuries old technique, called foiling, that was used during the Georgian period (early 1700s to early 1800s). Satloff, who also specializes in selling antique jewelry to private clients, decided to resurrect the art of foiling and use it to create her own line of jewelry. And it is this technique–mixing semi-precious stones with different colored foils–that allows her to create such intense and subtle colors, unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
To top it off, Satloff, is as intriguing as her jewels. We met her at her Upper East Side apartment (the rich, exotic interiors courtesy of Katie Ridder) and were immediately enamored with her elegance, old-world charm and down-to-earth demeanor. She is a woman with a unique and poetic vision; rare qualities in today’s world. (Satloff’s jewelry can be found at Barneys and Net-a-Porter.)
Before you started Larkspur & Hawk you specialized in antique jewelry. What draws you to jewelry? My foray into antique jewelry actually stemmed from my studies and work in decorative arts. I felt that jewelry mimicked the trends found throughout history (silver, ceramics, architecture). Each piece of jewelry was a visual piece of history.
Larkspur & Hawk is your modernized take on Georgian jewelry. Explain. In selling antique jewelry each piece allowed me to act as a conduit to the past. My new collection is similar in that I have focused on keeping a tradition and craftsmanship alive through my knowledge and expertise, yet adding a slightly modern sensibility. In reference to the craftsmanship, I have revived the art of foiling gemstones, which was an 18th century jewelry-making technique.
Why the name Larkspur & Hawk? As often as we can, our family travels to our home away from home in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The name derives from my favorite ski runs, birds and flowers there.
What do you want a woman to feel when she puts on your jewelry? I want women to feel that when they are wearing my jewelry, they are wearing something unique and personal. Each piece is carefully designed, with the combination of gemstones and foils to brighten the face.
What new designs are you most excited about? The Halley collection. Many jewelers over the centuries have drawn inspiration from celestial happenings, such as Halley’s comet, the only periodic comet visible to the naked eye. [An occurrence that happens approximately every 75 years, and influenced Georgian jewelers.] The luminous pieces from the collection, combining faceted circular stones with pronged foliate detailing is evocative of the ethereal beauty of a shooting comet.
Describe your personal style: My style is geared towards the jewelry I am wearing. I gravitate towards slightly more feminine and romantic pieces that reference the past, yet are modern. If I could wear ball gowns every day I would!
Designers in your closet: Dries Van Noten, Morgane Le Fey, Prada, Giuseppe Zanotti (his shoes are jewelry for your feet), and Catherine Malandrino.
China on your table: Bernardaud Bacchanale.
Favorite scent: Frederic Malle Iris Poudre.
If you weren’t a jewelry designer you would….Own a vineyard.
Illustration by Celine Loup for the New York Times Book Review
My sister and I love stories of Old World families with property and lots of familial politics. Probably doesn’t take a Freudian scholar to figure out the draw of these tales. So when the New York Times reviewed The Right-Hand Shore, Christopher Tilghman’s new novel set on a Chesapeake plantation named Mason’s Retreat, a property that has been held by one family since 1657, my interest was piqued. I will let you know if it’s a good read.