Looks

My Five Fall Essentials

For the first time in a long time, I don’t need a fall staple- my grey Miu Miu coat is still perfect, ditto the beige Miu Miu boots from Spring and the Givenchy bottle-green tote will be better this year than last.  So, I am free to just cull out my favorite bits and bobs from the collections and add them to my wardrobe.

Many of the Fall shows were really strong and there are a lot of pieces I would wear forever. After my Valentino Rockstud binge (I now have 5 pairs), I am ready for a plainer shoe and the Valentino low heeled pump with an ankle strap is it. I love everything about this shoe and will buy it in every color except red.

With a simple shoe, I will wear more embellished dresses and tops. The Isabel Marant dress and Altuzarra sweater fit the bill perfectly. They have great texture and prints, but are still neutral.

I have been on the list for an Hermes Collier de Chien in Barenia and gold for longer than I care to admit. Last winter, I almost broke down and bought one in dark brown but I talked myself out of it-  I’m glad I did. When the barenia came in recently, I was happy I waited as the color is very me. This bracelet will most likely be welded to my wrist this fall…

Finally, it is no secret that I am obsessed with this Hoorsenbuhs ring. It’s clean lines will work nicely with my Cartier Trinity and signet ring. It should probably be top of my list.

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VANESSA SEWARD

Dorian double-breasted checked cotton-blend tweed coat

GUCCI

Embellished quilted leather gloves

GANNI

Camberwell leopard-print linen-blend canvas jacket

FRAME

Le High straight-leg jeans

GANNI

Ipanema shirred halterneck swimsuit

LOEWE

Hammock small leather tote

SIMON MILLER

W006 Enid mid-rise wide-leg jeans

BLAZÉ MILANO

Silk and linen-blend blazer

K JACQUES ST TROPEZ

Fusain leather sandals

CEFINN

Belted muslin dress

JENNIFER BEHR

Black velvet bow barrette

MAX MARA

Belted cotton-twill midi dress

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Beauty

Blue polish?

Marion Cotillard in Dior couture

Yesterday, my très chic French friend Anne asked me if I liked the robin’s-egg-blue nail color Marion Cotillard wore to the Dark Knight premiere (look closely at her fingers and toes). As a mother of a 12 year old daughter, I am well versed in the rainbow of polish options. I have not gone there myself and,  I’m not sure I would. However, I see lots of blues, greens and purples on other women (well past the age of 20), but I don’t think those colors would suit me. Actually, I rarely ever wear polish because a) I hate waiting for it to dry and b) chipped nails are hideous.

So I have to ask, are you wearing colors outside the red/pink spectrum this summer?

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Weekend in Vermont

I am off to Vermont to visit my daughter who is a camp counselor this summer. In my head I am already wandering through adorable towns and strolling on wooded paths. Hopefully this will happen, after we do a number of loads of laundry and make a pharmacy run…

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Home

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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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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