Jan 29

2016

I ♥ Your Style: Isabella Cawdor

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Isabella with her daughter, her husband, and the gamekeepers all in Cawdor tweed.

I first met Isabella Cawdor when she was a guest at my wedding. Her husband Colin was an old friend of Christopher’s and they flew over from Scotland to celebrate with us. I noticed Isabella because of her romantic, dark purple velvet dress with floral cutouts, and she had a fuchsia rose tucked behind her ear. She was the very first one out on the dance floor, twirled around by Christian Louboutin, and I thought “Who is that gorgeous girl?” We didn’t get to know each other properly until a year a half later when Christopher and I were invited, along with one year old Coco, to visit them at their shooting lodge in the highlands of Scotland. That’s when I was really taken with Isabella. Everything about her life – her house, her kids, her clothes, her posture – was beautiful, but done natural ease and warmth. These days, the Cawdors are perhaps best known for their supermodel daughter Jean Campbell – who stars in the current Louis Vuitton and Burberry ads – but it is Isabella’s down to earth, chic country style that has me reeling every time I see her. ..


Dec 16

2015

I ♥ Your Style: Beatrix Ost

 

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These colours are irresitible. And I love the mixture of formality in the architectural details and individual expression in her hair colour and shoe choice.

“I had to have the taste of city in order to appreciate the country.” – Beatrix Ost

Naturally I am drawn to any woman who leaves a thriving life in New York City to raise her children on a farm in the countryside. Artist Beatrix Ost (along with her husband) did just that in 1982, decamping from her creative and eccentric city lifestyle and re-creating the rural version of it in a 19th century Edwardian home on 500 acres just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. What I personally respond to most is how little her style – both in fashion and interiors – has changed in her evolution from city to country life. The turban remains in place, the leopard is ever present, and she wears skirts and dresses like she is on her way to a perpetual cocktail party. Her home has many elements of country life – a relaxed coziness, depictions of farm animals, and a kitchen right at the heart of the house – but also it is infused in each room with her signature color palette and evidence of an artful life throughout. ..


Nov 10

2015

While I’m a fan of men in tweed jackets virtually anywhere I see them, as a woman I always felt that wearing tweed in the city was just too rustic a look for me. I indulged my attraction to them once or twice – I remember picking up a brown and cream herringbone one at the flea market about ten years ago, but it just sat there in my closet untouched until I admitted defeat and gave it away. Now that I live in the countryside however, I am free to move full steam ahead in my enthusiasm for tweed. For my 40th birthday last year, Christopher gave me a custom-made hacking jacking. Slightly intimidated by the expense, I went fully classic – a black and grey Harris tweed in a slightly feminized version of a traditionally masculine style. She is a thing of beauty – my jacket, that is – beautiful shape, perfect fit, well-considered details. But I am now craving something less conventional to add to the mix – maybe an oversized mens-style jacket with the sleeves rolled up? Or perhaps something even more fitted and feminine and stylised? When I’m on the farm I’d like something roomy enough that I can throw on over a sweater and drive in comfortably. But then when I join my husband to go on the occasional shooting weekend, I love the thought of channelling the more retro girly shapes from the 1930’s – matching jacket and skirt with maybe a bit of a hairstyle and some makeup. You get the look, right? As I want something authentic and non-fashion-y I’m determined to find something at a vintage shop. We’ll see what I come up with.


Oct 09

2015

I did a little collaboration with Anthropologie the other day. I have always loved their home things – I recently bought the Italian Campaign canopy bed for my daughter’s room – and then discovered that their clothes also suit my life on the farm so well. So in celebration of my London launch of Always Pack a Party Dress with Anthropologie, I chose my favourite things from their store and worked them into my life here at Fairgreen. Since then, I’ve found myself checking their website regularly so I don’t miss good things that come up and then go quickly – like a set of copper colanders I bought last week. I’m into it!


Sep 28

2015

Snapshot: The Girl Who Won Fashion Month

The endless parade of street style looks isn’t even over yet (Paris is still to come!), but I’m going to jump the gun here and crown model Emma Oak the winner. I love everything about this look – the combination of rich burgundy and red are so unexpected but work so well; and the overt sexiness of the unbuttoned shirt combined with the nerdiness of the flared high-water trouser and the school girl charm of the penny loafers; the anonymous tote bag that says I’m cool enough that I don’t have to carry a brand new Céline bag...


Sep 17

2015

Not too long ago I was sitting in the American Embassy in London of all places, and I noticed two women sitting in front of me wearing the chicest bonnets. Who on earth are these ladies?, I thought to myself. So I googled “white pleated bonnet,” and an entire world of Amish-inspired fashion popped up on my phone. Looking at all the Amish-style photos I’ve now collected, I realise that while I might have my tomboy farm style down pat for the most part – functional trousers (usually from J Crew), my Grenson boots, my old Balmain military pea coat, and an Isabel Marant plaid flannel shirt – I haven’t quite figured out my way to look feminine on the farm yet. I’d like to wear more dresses and skirts. I’d like to wear a blouse. I like how the clean black and white looks against such a decorative, romantic landscape. I like the mix of girl style and boy style.  The braids work too. Now, if only I could make my life as simple and focused as the Amish have done, then we’d really be talking.


Sep 08

2015

Snapshot: Back to School

Don’t we all feel like we’re going back to school today? Whether it’s a job, an actual school, or even just returning to a daily routine, it’s that back to real-life feeling. I will be getting back into my regular writing days at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, and when I go to the town most famous for it’s esteemed university, I love to dress the part. For me that means corduroy trousers, Grenson lace up boots, a cozy sweater and my trusty canvas backpack (which I bought at a surf shop in Brooklyn) that holds my laptop and notebooks...


Aug 26

2015

I ♥ Your Riding Style: Jackie O

I know. As chic as she is you probably feel you don’t ever have to see another style icon pic of Jackie O as long as you live. I’m with you on that. But now that I have gotten so into riding, and what to wear when riding, Jackie O’s style on a horse has rekindled my awe of her chicness. These days, riding gear has gotten very technical and branded. I am constantly cutting off visible tags, blackening out logos with sharpies, and trying to find the most classic and pared down jackets, jodhpurs and boots while still keeping an eye towards practicality...


Mar 21

2014

There is nothing Christopher loves to do more than an outdoor chore. Whether it’s spraying stinging nettles, strimming the edge of the garden, planting trees, removing a hedge, mowing the grass, tending to the compost heap, moving a large animal or even just weeding, he’s in total heaven. He equally loves having the right gear for the chore. He spends hours in the farm supply shop and in the hardware store staring in awe and desire just like I do when I’m in Isabel Marant. Sometimes I walk outside, or round the corner towards home on my walk, and when I catch sight of him, I just can’t help but burst out in laughter. His look often reminds me of a HAZ MAT inspector or Mr. Green Jeans from Captain Kangaroo or even, sometimes, when he gets overheated and unzips his white jumpsuit, of Elvis. Despite the hilarity, I thoroughly enjoy witnessing the pleasure Christopher takes in wearing and doing what he loves.

Mar 14

2014

I ♥ Your Country Style: Amanda Harlech

 

We’ve all seen and admired Amanda Harlech in her Chanel. As Karl Lagerfeld’s muse, we see her at every Chanel event wearing the most enviable dress with her hair just messy enough to be cool but still look chic. For the most part, this is her Paris life where she spends her professional time. But what really intrigues me is her England life, her private world that she has graciously shared with us through Vogue, Vogue Living, etc over the years...