December 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.

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I love her colors, even the envelope. Photo courtesy of The Coveteur.

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Always an element of leopard mixed in. Photo courtesy of The Coveteur.

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Nothing is more country than fresh picked garden roses. Photo courtesy of The Coveteur.

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It’s the fox on the door frame that really gets me in this picture. Photo courtesy of The Coveteur.

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The kitchen is typically country in many ways, yet still oozing with personal style. Photo courtesy of andgeorge.com.

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Cozy country chaos. Photo courtesy of andgeorge.com.

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Farm and fashion – my favourite combo. Photo courtesy of Advanced Style.

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Beatrix in front of her 19th century home, personalised with her own sculptures. And her dogs. You can’t live in the country without dogs. Photo courtesy of Advanced Style.

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Just a country lady having tea in her kitchen. Plus a turban. Plus a gathered chinoiserie skirt. Plus red lips and sparkling jewels. She’s amazing. Photo courtesy of Advanced Style.

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A fashion moment amongst the apple trees. Is there any better place to have one?

In terms of clothes, I was the opposite when I moved to our farm. I immediately evolved my look from an Alaia-wearing fashion director into a J Crew-wearing country tomboy. Of course I still get decked out for the occasional shoot dinner or party in London, but on the whole I’m too scared of getting mud on my precious designer clothes to subject them to the muddy, windy, rainy elements of English life. I also like not spending so many of my waking hours thinking about what I am going to wear. But I do have a fantasy that I will find a more inspired way to combine my two opposing styles. That ultimately I’ll uncover a way to wear a skirt in my daily life and find a shade of lipstick that enhances my look without making too much of a statement on the school run. Even though Beatrix’s style is more noticeable than my own, I will keep her in my mind as my country style evolves. Or not.

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The Olsen sisters’ collection The Row is often inspired by the eccentric style of real women, so it’s no surprise to learn that she is an inspiration to them. God they all look so good together. Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.

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Somehow in the country it seems acceptable to have cute animals on display in your house. I recently shocked myself my ordering dinner plates with rabbits and foxes on them. Photo courtesy of andgeorge.com.

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Beatrix and her beloved husband. I’m pretty sure that to leave the city for the country you need a beloved husband, or wife, or girlfriend, or whatever. You need someone! Unless you’re a loner. But I am not. Photo courtesy of Advanced Style.

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I love Beatrix even more for being consistent. She’s obviously been at the leopard thing for a while now. Photo courtesy of Advanced Style.

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Bryony Angell
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Bryony Angell
1 year 9 months ago

Thank you for featuring these fabulous older ladies! Such aspiration, albeit at our own adaptation as you are planning. Thanks to them for paving the way. And to you for finding them.

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