Oct 03

2012

There is that constant current of melancholy in most photographs of Joan Didion that sometimes makes me question why I am such of fan of them. At best she looks subdued, while in the most extreme she looks tortured and hopelessly sad. In her older years it’s as if that sadness within her came to express itself physically in the lines on her face and the thinness of her body. Yet because she has so honestly shared her sorrows with us, I feel protective and empathetic towards her.

And then there is her style, which is restrained and unselfconscious, but so elegant nonetheless. It looks easy to dress that simply, but it actually takes a lot of discipline to so precisely narrow down what works for you and even more discipline to stick with it. To me she represents the very best of intelligent, courageous and chic American women.


Oct 02

2012

Life in England: So Far

It’s been more than three months since we arrived to live in England for our “creative sabbatical” and to be honest I feel like things are just starting to get creative. The summer was filled up with house guests and travel and family time, but now that the kids are settling back into school, I have had some time to find a routine and get a sense of what “real life” will be like for me here. Even though I am really just at the beginning, I already know I am incredibly happy here...


Sep 28

2012

I ♥ Your Style: Charlotte Rampling

Usually on Fridays I post something about life here on the farm in England, but the next post I want to write on that subject requires a bit more time, and I am just back from London. SO – I will do that post on Monday, and today I will leave you with three photos of Charlotte Rampling that demonstrate that she is quite possibly the most beautiful woman that ever lived. ..


Sep 26

2012

Snapshot: Babe Paley and Truman Capote

Can you believe this photo? I can’t think of anything more chic than Babe Paley’s simple overcoat (let’s just imagine – for ecstasy’s sake – it’s double face cashmere like those incredible ones Raf Simons showed in his final Jil Sander collection) with her matching white Gucci bamboo-handled bag and horse bit loafers. I wouldn’t turn down Truman Capote as an accessory either...

Sep 21

2012

So far the thing I love most about England is how easy it is to clear my head when I need a break. Sure I get caught up in my emailing, or distracted by my kids, or overwhelmed by the prospect of starting from scratch on a new book just like I would in my life in New York. But here it is so easy to clear the decks and start again by walking the dog, going out on a ride, or collecting the chicken eggs. My favorite way, however, is to arrange flowers from our garden. I always get a twinge of anxiety when I start because its never obvious which flowers I am going to pick or how I am going to arrange them. Often one variety is in bloom, but there is not enough to make a whole bouquet with. So I have to figure something else that will look pretty with it. This is a challenge for me. For many years I have been a flower minimalist – I like a handful of all the same flower tightly and tidily arranged in a neat little uptight city-girl bouquet. But the country has made me relax. A little. My arrangements are looser and I have learned to mix and match when necessary. I have also come to like the uneasiness I feel as I figure out what I am going to do. I realize that subtle tension is a natural by-product of creativity. It makes the process more engaging and ultimately more satisfying.


Sep 20

2012

I ♥ Your Style: Nancy Cunard

I rarely look back much beyond the 60’s for style icons. On the whole, the clothes just get too costume-y for my taste and the lifestyle they exude is just too antiquated to relate to. Of course there are exceptions, the biggest one being heiress and muse Diana Cunard whose heyday was in the 20’s. When I first saw these pictures I just couldn’t believe how completely relevant she would look today.

Does she remind you of anyone?..


Sep 19

2012

I absolutely love the Hollywood sign. It’s so iconic, it’s like a celebrity unto itself. It satisfies all the yearning for glamour and excitement you expect to feel when you go to Hollywood. Years ago, I took my son Zach to LA. For weeks he told all his friend’s he was “Going to Hollywood!!!!!!!” like they say in American Idol. The trouble was, when we got there, there weren’t celebrities lining the streets, no one was offering us a recording contract, and there weren’t any movies being shot within public view. So I decided on a dime that the best way to feel like we were in Hollywood was to go to the Hollywood sign. On our drive there, we ignored many posts saying “public traffic is forbidden beyond this point,” illegally parked our car, and scrambled up over a hill until we arrived at a clear unobstructed view. It was so spectacular that I couldn’t figure out why we had so few fellow trespassers. We took our requisite photos and went on home, thoroughly satisfied. The next time I came to LA, I returned to the Hollywood sign with my daughter Coco. Within the first few minutes of scrambling up the same path, again accessed from our illegal parking spot, multiple police lights started flashing from the top of the hill, with a stern voice booming over a loudspeaker “YOU ARE NOW TRESPASSING. THIS IS ILLEGAL AND PUNISHABLE BY JAIL. YOU MUST LEAVE AT ONCE!” We froze, wide eyed, looked at each other and ran down the hill. Coco cried when we got in the car. I couldn’t stop laughing, which made her furious at me. I guess we won’t be going to the Hollywood sign again anytime soon, but it certainly made for a memorable visit.


Sep 17

2012

On the Road: Inspired by Crests

This summer as I was traveling around Europe I noticed the abundance of crests – royal crests, family crests, decorative crests – nearly everywhere I went. It started in a medieval village in the Dordogne region of France called Monpazier. I brought my kids there because the town is famous for making beautiful wooden toys. But what caught my eye were the giant crest-shape flags decorated with charming animal figures in rich colors that were hanging around the village...


Sep 17

2012

I ♥ Your Style: Princess Diana, part 4

Chances are you’ve all seen these photos many times, as have I. But in the context of looking at Diana’s style over her lifetime, they are a very important conclusion. The way I see it, these photos, taken just 5 months before she passed away, were a hint of what we would have seen next in Diana’s life: a happier, independent and grown up woman who was finally free from the life that so rigidly defined her. It’s as if in the photos from the decade before she was playing a role, and in these pictures she is finally able to just be herself...


Sep 13

2012

I ♥ Your Style: Princess Diana, part 3

So the third significant phase of Diana’s fashion legacy is definitely questionable to some. But this is how I see it: Everyone has a very personal relationship to personal style. We all have our own tastes, experiences, physical features, ambitions and life circumstances that heavily impact the way we present ourselves to the world. Would I ever want to dress the way Princess Diana did in the 80’s. NO WAY!! Do I think she created a signature look that worked for her life as a princess and entertained the rest of us all at once...