I have been desperately trying to figure out how to describe my good friend, Kristina O’Neill, a former colleague and editor of the WSJ. magazine. My best? She is very much like Jo in Little Women. Kristina is one of the most authentic women in fashion I know. Enthusiastic, completely lacking in pretense (a feat in itself when it comes to fashion), hard-working, and glamorous without really realizing so. Kristina is a working mother with a gorgeous daughter and adorable husband.
Despite her hectic schedule, she was happy to answer my extensive questionnaire. Of course, so am I….
Current Uniform: Black, black, and more black. I am making a real effort to pull myself together more, and black seems to be the easiest route. That means I’m mixing all my shades and textures, so a typical outfit is my thick linen Alexander Wang jacket with an ankle-length Zero dress, Uniqlo heat-tech tights, and my suede Burberry wedges from last winter. I bought a pair of Celine tuxedo pants with a satin cummerbund that I love wearing with a white T-shirt, my Rick Owens motorcycle jacket, and my Michael Kors Mongolian vest. I am not precious about my clothes, and the more push-pull in an outfit the better. I am STILL rocking my Balmain fringe boots from a few years back—those are going to be hard to retire. I’ve also been wearing red lipstick morning, noon, and night.
Weekend Uniform: I wish I could say that it’s a huge departure from my workweek uniform, but it’s not: more black! Current/Elliot dark-gray jeans, Alexander Wang sweatshirts and T-shirts. It’s been so cold, I broke down and bought a Patagonia vest to layer under everything—my puffer, my furs. I haven’t felt the real motivation to put on proper footwear, just my trusty L.L. Bean boots.
What are you obsessed with for spring? I just bought my first Zero Maria Cornejo dress, and boy do I feel late to the party. Not sure how I’ve gone this long without her in my closet. I also loved all the denim on the runways, especially at Celine. I will probably splurge on the denim tunic when I’m in Paris.
Current favorite bag and shoes: A navy-blue quilted Chanel 2.55. It’s a bit oversize and feels so right against all the black. I’ve been on the hunt for a red jersey 2.55, but I haven’t had any luck. (Karl, if you are reading this, please reissue!) I wish I could say there’s some new footwear in my wardrobe, but I’ve been pretty uninspired lately. So back to the Burberry and Balmain boots!
You can never have too many… Striped T-shirts. My friends are ready to have a stripe-rvention!
Women whose style inspires you: Duh, Kate Moss! But also Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo, and Sofia Coppola.
Carrying her Papier + notebooks and wearing K. Jacques sandals
Five essentials: couldn’t help myself, I did 10!
1. Quelques Fleurs perfume, so granny but so right!
2. Cartier stationery with my name engraved in hot pink
3. Papier + clothbound notebooks in gray
4. My stack of gold rings. I wear five on my ring finger—a superthin Jennifer Meyer with a teeny-tiny diamond, a superthin Caitlin Mociun band, my grandmother’s engagement ring from 1946 engraved with my grandfather’s name, a Cartier Entrelacés ring, and an organic Dean Harris ring my husband gave me as a “ring holder” when we got engaged and I couldn’t make up my mind about an engagement ring. The irony is that I only wear this ring now!
5. Falke tights
6. By Terry Baume de Rose
7. Klorane dry shampoo—non-areosol
8. Color with Reyed at Fekkai
9. Lancôme Red Haute lipstick
10. K. Jacques gladiator sandals. I always have three or four pairs in rotation when the weather warms up. I already bought my summer ones—red suede Fregate fringe gladiators and the classic Agopos in silver.
Hotel: The Lancaster in Paris
Favorite vacation spot: Bluefields Bay, Jamaica, and my parents’ house in Virginia. But I’m also very fond of the staycation.
Back issues of The New Yorker and current issues of Grazia, People and Us Weekly
Armand Diradourian cashmere blanket
Lots of water to balance out the wine!
Favorite sites: I’m a Net-a-Porter fiend. I very rarely set foot into brick-and mortar stores these days, so almost all of my purchases come from NAP. I also love jcrew.com and shopbird.com.
Being a WORKING mom means… There’s no such thing as quantity time; it’s all about quality.
Favorite non-work activity: QT with my husband and daughter
In the Spirit of Capri, Pamela Fiori’s first book with Assouline, is a must-own for anyone interested in fashion and style. Since the ’50s Capri has been a jetset destination infused with Italian old-world glamour. In the Spirit of St. Barths, Pamela’s new book to be released in April, surely will be filled with gorgeous images of the chic and fabulous at the beach and on their yachts enjoying this French West Indies Island.
Images from In the Sprit of Capri
Interior Designer Katie Ridder
I’ve known Katie for a few years—she is the sister in law of my dear friend Helen Pennoyer. Before founding her own firm Katie Ridder Interior Design and Decoration in 1995, Katie was an editor at House & Garden and House Beautiful and in the early 1990’s she had a great home furnishings store on the Upper East Side.
Katie Ridder Interiors
Katie’s work has been featured in all the top shelter magazines and she (herself) has been featured on the cover of House Beautiful and Elle Decor. Not surprisingly, Katie is on the list of “Top 100 designers” in New York Magazine, Elle Decor and House Beautiful.
I love Katie’s design sensibility and especially her use of color. I also love that she was willing to answer so many of my questions!
Katie and jewelry designer Mish Tworkowski (upper right), Katie and her husband Peter Pennoyer (middle)
A page from Lauren’s scrapbook in T Mag
Like most editors, I have heaping piles of pages torn from magazines. I have created image (or mood) boards and a ridiculous number of scrapbooks with the tear sheets. As a lover of fashion and shelter titles, by months end I must go through the stacks of magazines or my homes would start to resemble those of hoarders.
The story In Good Paste in T Magazine is a must read for anyone who rips, tears, pastes and collages their hours away.
Who knew scrapbooking was so chic??
Manolo Blahnik pumps in satin
A friend was over last weekend and I showed her these Manolo Blahnik pumps that I was about to return. I love the heel height and I want to wear pumps again after a long hiatus but we agreed that I would probably not wear them a lot since they are satin. But now I am not so sure.
I don’t like the shine on Carine’s leather pumps.
My beloved Prada satin shoes
I pulled out the satin shoes that I already own and realized that I wear them all the time and mostly for day.
So I think I am going to keep the Manolo pumps, but should I take back the suede boots?…
But I am not tossing out the old. 2010 was a good year because ideas turned into projects and hopes were fulfilled.
To Find Balance
This is the year I am going to turn a hobby into a business and I also want to start casting again.
Four years ago I was in Qatar speaking on fashion show casting when I decided to pause my career and spend more time with my girls. Without my work I threw myself into family life with gusto, possibly to a fault. Even though my children’s accomplishments became a substitute for my own I felt I was doing the right thing. But now I am not so sure and at times I feel I am doing more harm than good. Granted I was traveling a lot for shows and castings, but not working at all is not good for me (and especially my patient family) either. Balance is the key and my main pursuit in 2011.
The bad news is that we got snowed in/ the good news is that we did not lose our power. Besides the miraculous fact that we still have heat and lights, we also have the treadmill.
This is not a post-Christmas musing about over-indulgence but rather thoughts on the best time to workout. A recent article in the New York Times talks about the benefits of exercising before breakfast and Isaac Mizrahi in a fun profile also in the New York Times says that he swims pre-breakfast. In the same piece Isaac tackles snacking, sleeping, Xanax, TV watching and shares all sorts of crazy Isaac-isms.
So, first thing in the morning may not be the optimum time for me to hit the treadmill, but I am going to give it a try.
I am not a foodie and even less of a cook but Eataly sends me! On the corner of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, it is a phenomenal emporium of Italian food. Although it can be insanely crowded, Eataly is worth the trip.
I am very fortunate to have the Printery, the century-old bespoke stationery company owned by my friends Bill and Mary Miller, in my back yard. Tucked away in Oyster Bay, NY, and housed in an 18th century building with sloping floors, the shop is jam packed with gorgeous papers and cards. Granted you can find their products in numerous stores and online, but the experience of sitting with Bill and choosing the perfect card or scratch pad is memorable. The Printery is my first stop for hostess gifts which I need in abundance this time of the year.
The perfect holiday note card
Gorgeous bespoke stationery
Great hostess gift
Katrin Sigurdardottir installation at the Met
My favorite permanent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC is the 18th century French period rooms from the Hotel de Crillon and the Hotel de Cabris. I love the gilt and panelling and snugness of the Crillon room especially (below). Last week the Met unveiled a new exhibition entitled Boiseries by the Iclandic artist Katrin Sigurdardottir. Boiseries is comprised of two site-specific full-scale installations based on the French period rooms I so love.
Hotel de Crillon period room at the Metropolitan Museum
Katrin Sigurdardottir at the Met
October 19, 2010–March 6, 2011
Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, Mezzanine Galleries