Plaid is having another moment this fall. Despite its ancient status (I won’t go into it now, but a brief history of it can be found on Smithsonian.com), or maybe because of it, plaid has had its ups and downs. Some years it’s wildly popular and other years it’s pushed aside as being too frumpy and that type of thing. But I’ve always been fond of plaid. Somewhere there is an old photograph of me wearing plaid hip hugger, bell bottom pants (which I adored). And there are several photographs of my brothers in plaid shorts. My mother did a kitchen in black and white windowpane plaid wallpaper. It’s in my blood, and right now plaid is everywhere I look: on the pages of fashion magazines, in shop windows, on tablescapes, and in our homes. Continue reading “how to add plaid this fall (and make it chic)”
I’m so happy that we are wearing wallpaper these days. Aren’t you?
H&M has collaborated with the British wallpaper and textile company, Morris & Co., and this fall released a clothing collection based on archived prints and new interpretations of designs by William Morris (1834-1896). So good.
Happy hump day!
I’ve never worn a rain hat (unless as a child my mother put one on me, which is how I used to think of rain hats, as something meant for children sloshing about in the rain, unable to and uninterested in holding onto an umbrella). Then, not long ago on a particularly gloomy Sunday in the pouring rain, I met a woman (we happened to be at the country estate of Harvey Ladew) wearing a charming, colorful rain hat. I remember thinking how useful it was for country life (she folded it and stuck it in her rain coat pocket), much more so than an umbrella. Since that day, I’ve misplaced or given away or left behind all of my umbrellas, and we have had record rainfall and what has seemed like endless days of rain and dreariness. So—the rain hat has stayed in my mind. Continue reading “rain hats (and why you need one)”
When I think of elegant country style, Ralph Lauren is certainly a tastemaker who comes to mind: the rich hues, the plaids, the equestrian theme, the florals, the hunting dogs, the paneled walls, the Range Rovers, the casual layering, the blue and white stripes. Effortless chic. Unstudied elegance. Rugged and refined. Continue reading “American style icon: 50 years of Ralph Lauren”
Say you have never been able to do much with the 4th of July decorating schemes that are readily available, or say you didn’t grow up celebrating this particular holiday (even though your mother celebrated every little thing, this was not something she took much notice of). But say you now live in a town that is known for two things, and one of them is the 4th of July. Why not embrace it all, and find a way to make it your own?
Here are a few things that have caught my eye over the years that I thought might be worth sharing with you in case you have had similar feelings. Or perhaps one might just strike a chord of creativity and get you in the spirit. Continue reading “4th of July in elegant country style: 5 favorite things”
I’ve said it often: You don’t need to live in the country or on a farm to embrace the elegant country style. But it sure doesn’t hurt when you actually do, and when the farm is in England in Cotswolds, the house is a quintessential English cottage, and your story is that you spent most of your adult life in the glamour of New York City but have taken to the countryside with your family and done it with impeccable style. Continue reading “on my bookshelf: “Farm from Home””
A coat of whitewashed handwoven Irish tweed designed in 1951 by Sybil Connelly, who looked to the craftspeople of rural Ireland for inspiration and collaboration. Her book Irish Hands: The Tradition of Beautiful Crafts is a tribute and a celebration of their artisanship.
Connolly (1921-1998) built one of the first Irish fashion houses with her exquisite ballroom dresses and skirts made of pleated handkerchief linen, hand-crafted in cottages along the Irish countryside. She became well known for her romantic style that reinterpreted traditional Irish textiles into haute couture for clients like Jacqueline Kennedy and Elizabeth Taylor.