Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life on the Farm: SNOW!

When we first came back to England in January, I felt that the gloomy weather might finally get to me. It was grey, wet, and dark for the good part of every day. There had been so much novelty in the fall leading up to Christmas - blackberry season, apple season, the changing of the leaves, the first frost, the first hard frost - and now I just felt like everything was dead, and that it would be a while until new life emerged.

But I was wrong. Right at the beginning of January, I noticed white blossoms on one of the trees in the garden. At first I thought it was just another Old Man's Beard - a wintery eruption of white cotton-like plumes on many of our bushes. But no. These were actual flowers. In January! Then I noticed it at school too - there were yellow blossoms on the branches covering the headmistresses house. And then I saw pink blossoms at a friend's house. Could it be that in England Spring starts in January?

Wrong again. A week later, the entire countryside was covered in a thick white blanket of heavy snow. It snowed hard all day long for three days within a week. School was called off, and Zach and I made snow angels, had a snowball fight, took the dog out for long walks and somehow managed to get to the pub for a cozy festive lunch with all the other school free kids in our village. It was a week of pure magic. It only took one 50 degree day and a rainstorm to wash it all away. But just the morning I noticed the blossoms are out again.

I don't usually have the outside lights on at dawn, but I wanted Zach to see the snow when he woke up in the dark.

Gingy always does a crazy dance when the first snow falls - she scoots around in circles with her tail tucked between her legs. I tried to photograph it but it just came out as a big blur, so here she is once she'd calmed down.

The snow was perfect for angels, but sadly too dry for a snowman.

Petra, coming into the barn to dry off.

The drive to our neighbors' house where we picked up friends on the way to the pub. The car was ice skating all over the road. In fact when leaving the farm I couldn't even see the drive so I just drove straight across the snow covered fields.

The Saturday hunt was on foot, and children were invited to bring toboggans. It was an excellent workout for the parents.

My hunting-on-foot-in-deep-snow look.

Sledding wasn't just for kids.

Our girl Ketchup, knee deep in the snowy mud. 

I make our whole family go on a big walk every Sunday to earn our right to pig out at lunch and then watch a movie in the afternoon.

Gingy having a romp in the snow.

Winter is by far Zach's favorite season. He loves the snow so much. On his day off from school he spent 5 hours outside in the freezing cold just eating snow, following Ginger around and throwing snowballs at the house.

Jack Bauer taking in the winter action.

Petra stretching her legs. When it's really cold "the girls" (our 2 chestnut mares) stay in the barn most of the day, only venturing outside briefly to have a look around.

Eartha's very first day in the snow. When she stepped outside the door she paused, and then carried on with her morning bird stalking.

I photograph the garden shed nearly every day, but this has a good chance of ending up as my favorite.

I hope the honeysuckle survives under there.

Dizzy's first steps into the snow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Celine ad obsession

While we're on the subject of Juergen Teller, I have been ripping out every S/S'13 Celine ad I see in a magazine and pinning it on my inspiration wall. I love all the Celine ads, but this season's especially resonated with me. I love how Daria's hair is styled like a modern day Slim Keith, and I love the softer more feminine take on minimalism - the leather knot, the spaghetti straps, the draped silk blouses, the loose men's tailored trouser all give me food for sartorial thought. That said, I'm not going to lie to you and say that I loved the fur-lined sandals. They're just not my thing - they remind me of those Adidas pool shoes that serious swimmers wear. But even they, too, work in this inspired context.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Juergen Teller's Kate Moss

You didn't think I was done with Kate Moss, did you? Not even close.

Today Christopher and I are in London for a dinner in honor of Leo Villareal's Light Show at the Hayward Gallery. But first, we decided to have a little afternoon date at the ICA to see Juergen Teller's retrospective. We had lunch at Rose's Bakery on the top floor of Dover Street Market, and then I stopped by Acne to buy a dark grey version of my favorite jeans. After that, we walked down past St James' Palace and along the Mall, and finally reached the ICA to find it closed. It's a freaking Monday!! I should have known better.

In honor of my mishap, I thought I'd have my own Juergen Teller retrospective right here. His portraits of Kate Moss are among my very favorite photos of her. I prefer Kate in minimal makeup, with naturally styled hair, and, as you know from the candids I posted last week, I like her in her own clothes. These pictures seem to capture an authenticity that I suspect gets pretty close to the real Kate. Do you agree?

Friday, January 25, 2013

I ♥ Your Office Style

I'm in the midst of decorating my office - a modest, but charming stone garden shed with a slate tile roof. Inside there is a wood burning stove and just enough room for a beautiful mid century rosewood desk that was a moving-to-England present from my husband, a credenza and a two-seater sofa. I'm going to hang all my old Hugo Guinness show announcements from John Derian on the walls, and I'll cover one whole wall with tear sheets, photos and other bits and pieces of creative fuel. I desperately need a rug and a colorful thing or two (a pillow, a lamp) as its all looking a bit too neutral so far. In my search for office inspiration I came up with some great pics. These are my favorites, and soon I'll show you the results.

I love Aerin Lauder's all white walls and cabinetry mixed with the graphic floral, the vintage-y looking lamp and all the bits of inspiration arranged in such an orderly way. While I love appreciating other people's creative chaos, I am girl who loves creative order.

Aerin's conference room reminds me of how color can come from stuff - flowers, books, postcards, photos - and how chic it all looks with a simple background. Also, it points out that when you are working in monochrome, texture is everything!

DVF's office from the 70's is amazing, but it doesn't like she got much work done on that immaculate desk. Don't you wish you could see the photos on her corkboard a little closer?

DVF's office today. I have spent many hours sitting in one of those chairs chatting to Diane while she types at her computer, illustrates a card or takes notes. My favorite part of her office is the column of photos of friends and family behind her desk. She also has incredible art, and I like how casually it's just leaning against the windows.

This is where Diane eats lunch. I think it's very civilized to have a place in your office to eat that is separate from your desk. Maybe I'll have a little table in front of my sofa to eat lunch on. I like to eat in my office but there's something depressing about eating in front of your computer screen.

Landscape designer Miranda Brooks recently moved her office to the carriage house behind her brownstone in Brooklyn - the same one I talked about in my recent post and that was also featured in January Vogue. This is Miranda's old office, shot for Heather Clawson's brilliant new book Creativity at Work. I love the French industrial furniture and lamps mixed with the cozy rug. Photo by Heather Clawson.

Miranda has a great knack for mixing warm (wicker, wood) with cold (metal, glass). Photo by Heather Clawson.

This is Miranda's new office. For me, the more an office feels like a home, the better. I like to be cozy and comfortable when I work.

Reed Krakoff has the most amazing collection of uber-sophisticated furniture, art and objects in his office. When I first visited him there, I never sat down. We just chatted while I wandered around the room inspecting all the things that were grabbing my attention. I love the contrasting informality of the piles of books just laying around on the floor. Have you ever noticed that books are chic no matter where they are or how they're arranged?

I have always loved Emanuele Della Valle's blue folders customized with his initials. This photo of his desk, posted by him on Instagram, put me over the edge. I have to get folders like his.

Anh Duong in her painting studio in East Hampton. Anh has amazing eye for creating great architecture (those windows!) and filling it with a brilliant combo of both simple (the rug above, the chair below) and over-the-top (the mirror below) things.

Jenna Lyon's office has been photographed a kajillion times. For real. Google "Jenna Lyons office" and you'll see what I mean. Of course there is a good reason - it's gorgeous! And so is Jenna. But this photo especially does it for me. It's so Juergen Teller - feminine yet subversive. Brilliant.

Jenna's office would be in almost too perfect mid-century good taste were it not for the inspired watermelon-colored desk and the mismatched chairs which make it personal, quirky and relatable. Photo by Heather Clawson.