Nov 13

2013

Life on the Farm: J. Crew Comes to Visit

This past weekend I returned home from a busy month filled with travel. Waiting for me on the kitchen table upon my arrival was the November J.Crew style guide with Christopher and Coco on the cover! I just couldn’t believe it. I knew they’d be in it, and that most of the pictures had been shot at the farm, but on the cover? Holy shit.

Here’s how it happened: Last June, Jenna Lyons – who is my friend as well as J. Crew president and creative director – wrote to me saying how much she loved my instagrams of life on our farm, and she wanted to know if J.Crew could shoot their autumn catalogue here. There would be lots of models, and she also hoped to casually include my family and me in a few shots. Sounded good to me. But then I got the dates. Zach and I would be in New York – I had a week full of publisher’s meetings lined up in the hope of selling my book, and Zach was signed up for camp. He had been looking forward to this time in our home city for months. I thought for just a minute and then decided I wouldn’t torture either one of us with a tough decision. We had made a commitment. We were going. I couldn’t imagine asking Zach to stay home for a photo shoot. So off we went. And what a time we had. ..


Nov 11

2013

I ♥ Your Style: Gucci Westman

photo by The Coveteur

Gucci Westman is a rockstar. As the Creative Director of Revlon, as Grace Coddington’s first choice for making up the girls in Vogue, and for Cameron Diaz’s go-to girl for red carpet glamour, Gucci is one of the most talented and well-know makeup artists in the world. But that’s not it. She is the mother of two gorgeous children, and she’s married to super handsome David Neville, co-designer of Rag and Bone. She also has great style. She mostly wears slightly tomboy classics like Olatz piped silk shirts, Rag and Bone jeans and t’s, and Isabel Marant tweed jackets. Occasionally she branches out with a Celine or Balenciaga statement piece while still staying true to her own look. I also love Gucci’s jewellery – a gold link necklace and gold watch by Cartier, a monogrammed signet ring, and her diamond wedding bands. Simple, classic chic. ..


Nov 05

2013

Life on the Farm: Kitchen Garden Abundance

Last year I just kind of passively watched as the abundance of farm produce came and went with the summer and autumn seasons. I was too distracted by the move, settling the kids into school, finding a routine for myself, and updating our home to engage in any significant way with the vegetable garden or any of the trees – pear, apple, quince, elderflower, fig, blackberries – that the farm offered up. Granted, we didn’t actually have our own vegetable garden last year but on the farm there are two large ones maintained by other family members that I am always welcome to take from...



Sep 26

2013

Life on the Farm: Another September

In June of 2012, I announced to the world, or at least the fashion world, that I was taking a year off to go live on a farm in rural England. So here we are at the end of September 2013, and here I am. Still. People ask me from time to time when I am coming back or what my future plans are, and so I thought I’d let you all know what I’m up to.

For starters, I love it here. For more reasons than I can explain. But the main ones are the following: I have never been more clear about who I am and what is important to me...


Sep 19

2013

We all have this idea that fashion is ephemeral. And in some regards it absolutely is. We buy something that catches our eye in a magazine, in a store, on style.com, we wear it a few times, and then it goes into fashion purgatory never to be worn again. Or never to be worn until it gains some vintage cred or stages a comeback a decade later.

But when I was working at Barneys I knew I would be spending a large proportion of my disposable income on clothes, and I wanted to be smart about it. If I was going to splurge, it had to be on things I would wear for a long time, not just a season. And so I trained my eyes to look for classic pieces. And suddenly I saw them everywhere – a perfect army green safari jacket at Givenchy, a navy crew neck sweater at Celine, a black wool a-line skirt at Alaia, brown leather jodhpur boots at Balenciaga. Eighteen months later, I still wear nearly every single piece of clothing I bought during that time, despite living on a farm in the middle of the English countryside.

In fact, this method of buying great quality classic pieces made by the world’s best designers has stuck with me. When I look at runway shows, or fashion magazines, or racks of clothes in boutiques now, my eye starts scanning right away for the timeless pieces in the collection. I tend to skip right over the prints and the ruffles, and look for that perfectly simple piece that will last a lifetime.


Sep 16

2013

On the Road: Adirondacks, part 3

For our last weekend in the Adirondacks we went camping. Sort of. Our version of camping involves reaching a remote cabin on a remote lake accessible only via an old school bus, a guideboat, a footpath,  and a canoe. It’s about a three hour journey, and we carry everything – food, clothes, linens, towels, gear, kids’ stuff – all the way in and all the way out. When we get there, there isn’t a road or a car or a telephone in sight...

Sep 13

2013

On the Road: Adirondacks, part 2

Coco and Zinnia waiting for suppertime. Love Boat. Tennis in the mountains. Christopher had the brilliant idea of buying at badminton net at Sports Authority on our way up to Keene Valley. Coco became particularly obsessed. 

Coco and Zach crossing the Ausable River. When I was a kid the bridges only had a railing on one side,  and one time my stepfather turned around to tell us to hold the railing and he walked right off the bridge...

Sep 12

2013

On the Road: Adirondacks, Part 1

Hi, hi. I’m back in England, the kids are off at school, and I finally have settled back into my routine. Have you been following the shows at New York fashion week? I have a bit. After years of going to as many shows I could fit on my calendar, it’s a luxury for me now just to look at the ones I really, really love. Of course it’s better to be there in person, but looking at them on style.com is enough fashion for me at the moment...


Aug 12

2013

On the Road: The North Fork of Long Island

I’ve been in and around New York since the 15th of July. It feels good to be home, except that I miss Ginger terribly. I even had a dream that Christopher surprised me and flew her in from England to visit all her favorite New York places with us. Wishful dreaming. Anyway, I was in the city for two weeks taking care of business, and then we spent a heavenly ten days in Southold, on the North Fork of Long Island. We have a beach house there and we are always debating selling it, because we don’t get to use it enough to justify the expenses involved. When we left for England, some friends asked if they could rent it year round, except for the 10 days they go to Maine, when we could have the house back. Pretty good deal, right? So we happily agreed and now get to be there for a good long dose right at the height of the summer, no doubt the house’s peak season. ..