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.
Now on sale
Charlotte cotton-gabardine trench coat
Eyelet-embellished intarsia merino wool turtleneck sweater
Kuiper two-tone crepe blouse
Contrast-panel crepe wrap skirt
Huntley shearling and suede double-breasted blazer
Striped ribbed-knit turtleneck sweater
Le Crop mini boot raw edge
Joaquin double-breasted pleated cashmere coat
Avery oversized belted two-tone cotton twill trench coat
Knotted sleeve-waist wool sweater
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.
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.
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.
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.