Monday, October 29, 2012

Headed to London for some fun and inspiration

Tomorrow I am going to London to help Todd Selby celebrate his new book "Edible Selby." I have been a huge fan of Todd's blog for a long time. He has a completely unique creative vision, and I am very jealous of his water coloring skills. I became an even bigger fan this summer when Todd came to the farm to take some pictures for a project he was working on. I was a little nervous to meet him - just because I think he is so cool - but as soon as we shook hands I could tell he was someone I could relax around. He is laid back and lovely and easy going.

I am also excited to go to the Imperial War Museum on Wednesday to see Cecil Beaton's Theatre of War show. I am also a big fan of his, and its funny that I am seeing both his work and Todd's in the same day because in my mind, they are very similar. They are both immensely talented photographers with artistic genius just oozing out of them. Cecil Beaton's scrapbooks inspire me to no end.

But Cecil Beaton's war pictures of women are of particular interest to me. Military gear was so obviously designed for men, and I find that a woman's beauty and vulnerability gave a softness to the war look that I find compelling and moving. I'm also fascinated to see how women adapted such a mass produced look to work for themselves individually. Isn't that what personal style is all about?

A 1942 portrait of Queen Elizabeth during WW2. Super duper chic.

A member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service equipped for gardening duties. I wish I had one of these jumpsuits to wear on the farm!

A WAAF cadet in training lines up on parade, RAF Bridgenorth, Shropshire, 1941. My favorite Rag and Bone jacket is definitely a take on this look.

A Maintenance Wren models the WRNS official issue boiler suit and turban, Portsmouth, 1942. Don't you love that they wore a turban?

A wren serving with the crew of a harbour launch in Portsmouth, 1941. Could the rope in the background be any more art directed?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Life on the farm: Shopping spree

When I left New York I cleaned out my closets and looked over all the things I had bought in the previous year at Barneys - sky high Alaia heels, a structured Celine bag in leopard printed pony, high heeled Isabel Marant sneakers  - that I would have absolutely no use for in my new life on the farm. Sure, I get glammed up to go to London every now and then, and I need something nice to wear for occasional meetings and consulting jobs, but the sheer volume of clothes I owned (many of which had gotten buried and been forgotten about) let me feeling like I do after a huge Thanksgiving meal - full to the point of feeling sick. While there are things I know I'll keep and wear over and over in the future, I was ashamed at how much money I had spent on all these things that suddenly seemed to have no relevance in my life.

When I packed my last bag (I took only three to England - for a whole year!), I made a quiet resolution not to buy any more clothes for a good while. Little did I know at the time however, that at the farm I would be 20 miles from the Celine outlet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went with a girl friend, who only had to pretend she begged me to take her, thinking I'd allow myself to buy just one or two things. Oh boy. It was two good to be true! They had all the everyday classic things that you never get to see on the runway but that sell out in minutes at the stores. The quality is excellent, the fit perfection, and better yet, you have no sense that they are from any particular season. I convinced myself to have a bit of a splurge by dramatically telling my girl friend that "I will wear these clothes for the rest of my life!"

Have a look. Don't you think I will?

This was my best find. Even at 70% off it was still 600 pounds, but it's the perfect coat to wear to London and I've been looking for a trench forever. Can't imagine finding a better one.

Remember these sandals that everyone had in electric blue suede but with a much higher heel? I really wanted them - loved the color and the simplicity of the shape - but I knew that that heel on a single sole was not going to work for me. I was over the moon to find this lower version and in black and white snake nonetheless. The other day, I wore them on the train to London, did my errands and had lunch with a friend before surrendering to my flats for the train journey home. No bad.

God I love this tweed jacket. As you can imagine it works perfectly for the English countryside, and I love how sharp the tailoring is and how 70's the pattern is.

The truth is, I hate carrying a handbag. I like to have my hands free and not be lugging around some heavy thing that weighs me down. This bag is really just three pouches sewn together - one for money and credit cards, one for my phone, and one for keys and chapstick - and the strap allows me to wear it cross-body. It also goes with everything. I carry it every single day here.

I love the tiger logo on this sweater. It's sporty in an old school way, and it makes the sweater different from every other navy cashmere one out there. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Printed Matter: Chanel Cocomaton

One of my most treasured finds on a recent trip to the Marche Aux Puces (flea market) in Paris was a full book of the Chanel "Cocomaton" ads. I loved these ads, styled by Carine Roitfeld and shot by Karl Lagerfeld, when they came out in the magazines in the fall of 2011. The photo booth idea is brilliant, the styling is so Chanel, yet seems so personal. This is Carine at her very best - super sexy but in a friendly, playful way. You can imagine how thrilled I was to find a book devoted to the whole series - a future collector's item for sure.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Snapshot: Marisa's turban

There are lots of amazing pictures of Marisa Berenson wearing a turban - you know the ones of her in the matching purple bikini, eyeshadow and turban, or the similar green version with the clear plastic bikini straps? Or maybe you know the Warhol photos of her with the hibiscus stuck into her turban? They are truly over-the-top fashion fabulous. But my favorite turban shot of her is this one. I probably like it because, well, I'm not saying I would ever wear a turban myself, but if I did.....this is how I could imagine wearing one: in a warm, resort location (say, on a boat) with casual clothes and classic accessories. Simple, chic and natural.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Life on the McCartney's farm

While we're on the subject of Stella McCartney, I was in the Taschen store in Paris the other day and discovered her mother Linda McCartney's book called "Life in Photographs." I was SO inspired by them, especially by the ones of her family in the countryside, for obvious reasons. They are natural but stylish, in the most unpretentious way. And they transcend celebrity - they would be intriguing even if they were of a family of people we didn't know. I'm going to attempt to recreate the family portrait with animals for our own family Christmas card. Do you think we can get all our animals to hold still for long enough? Or maybe its fine if they all wonder around us. That's what I loved about Linda's photos - she caught a natural moment. They are not posed, but they are perfectly composed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stellar Stella

I am interested in collage at the moment. As a part of my creative sabbatical, I promised myself that I would find the time to research books, photos, images, and artworks that I am inspired by, and then create something of my own. I don't know what that will be yet.

After posting a Stella McCartney ad (that has been on my inspiration board for months) in the paisley post last week I found myself looking at all the past Stella ads I could find. Of course I've seen them all before, one by one, season by season, but looking at them all together made me appreciate them more. I love the homemade quality some of them have, and the way others really begin to embrace kitsch, but in the chicest way. The beauty is natural and the sense of humor is strongly in tact. There isn't a bad one in the lot.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I ♥ Your Style: Henrietta Tiarks

With all the vintage photography out there on the internet, it's rare for me these days to discover a new style icon. So it's a real thrill when I do. The other day I stumbled across a picture of a very chic girl that I included in my paisley post. I hadn't heard of her before, so I did some more research, with exciting results. Her name was Henrietta Joan Tiarks and when she married, she received two grand titles - Marchioness of Tavistock and Duchess of Bedford. She was a real glamour girl in her day - admired both by society as a well known debutante and by the fashion world in her modeling and her portraits taken by Richard Avedon.

More recently, in the early 2000',s Henrietta appeared in the reality show Country House, a kind of real life Downton Abbey, detailing life as it is running a large formal house with historical relevance. I'm kind of curious to see it.

Nevertheless, I love Henrietta's style. She is unabashedly feminine and sexy, and yet there is a simplicity to her look that makes her style more relevant to today.