Jan 22

2014

On the Road: JAPAN , part 1

Last summer when we confirmed that J Crew was going to shoot it’s catalogue on our farm, we had a friend Regena, who is a life coach, staying with us at the time. Just after we had finished negotiating the location rental fee, Regena turned to Christopher and asked, “How are you going to spend the money?” “Well it will certainly make the school fees less painful for a while,” he replied. She looked across the table at me, smiled, then turned back to Christopher and said, “Well, what if you use the money to go on a once-in-a lifetime family vacation?” I love it when a girlfriend advocates on your behalf, don’t you?..


Dec 03

2013

I am a huge fan of all that Todd Selby does – his photographs, his watercolors, his sense of design, the people and places he is attracted to, and his so-goofy-it’s-cool personality. He is creative and talented, and his style – as well as that of the people he photographs – is highly personal. A few years ago, after religiously reading his blog and combing every page of his first book, I found a business excuse to cold call Todd.  But what I was really hoping when I called him was that we’d chat on the phone and become friends. Which is exactly what has happened. Towards the end of our long phone call, he said. “Hey, what’s your house like?” I told him that I was moving to England and that I would send him some photos. Six months later, in July of 2012, a month after we had settled into our cottage, Todd was here on the farm paying us a visit. So here he was, running around the farm with a camera taking pictures of the barns, the garden, the treehouse, the cottage, the kids, us and all the animals. I was fascinated to watch him work. As a lover of photography myself I was amazed to see how shooting style differs so much from my own. He is spontaneous, quick, unselfconscious with his camera whereas I am always looking for the right angle and calculating in my composition. We have since kept in touch, calling each other occasionally for ideas or advice, and I am so glad to have such an inspiring new friend.


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.


Feb 16

2013

Snapshot: My Monogrammed Jeans

While everyone is talking about monograms, I thought I’d show you my favourite personalized piece – my jeans. Yes, that’s right – I have monogrammed jeans. When I was writing I Love Your Style in 2007, I wanted to include a section on monograms in my Classic chapter. I was trying to think of an unconventional way to wear one, and so I went to see my friend Eleanor Lembo, who worked at Earnest Sewn at the time, and asked if there was any way they’d sew my initials on the back right pocket of my jeans for me...


Jan 16

2013

On the Road: New Year’s, New York

Before moving on from the holidays, I can’t not also share with you our first family visit back to New York for New Year’s. I wasn’t sure about choosing New York as our vacation at first. I really wanted to relax after the bustle of a full on English Christmas, and I knew NYC would be loads of fun, but would it be relaxing?? My answer came when our friend Miranda asked us to house sit in Brooklyn while she and her family went off to Colorado...


Nov 20

2012

My Style: Coming Full Circle

As Oprah would say, and I do love her (still), I recently had a “full circle moment.”

When I was working for Patrick Demarchelier in my late teens and early 20’s, I was never not completely in awe of the people we photographed. There were the obvious ones – like Madonna, Janet Jackson, Warren Beatty and every single supermodel under the sun, but even the lesser known ones – whether it be a 90-year-old sculptor, a newly crowned basketball star, or an aboriginal child – captured my interest...


Nov 19

2012

On the Road: Roman Holiday

Apart from a manic work trip here and there, I haven’t been to Rome as a tourist since I was 22 years old. Back then, I went with my friend Alex, and it was so hot that our cassette tapes melted on our windshield and our budget was so tight that we could only afford a youth hostel with shared bathrooms and no air conditioning. We literally ran through all the cultural destinations so we could spend time drooling in the more climatically desirable Prada shop and licking gelato near the Trevi fountain...


Oct 05

2012

Farm Food: Finding My Way

Food is a really big thing for me here in England. First of all, there is no take out or delivery service nearby so you have to cook. This was a problem for me when I first started coming here age 23 because I hadn’t yet progressed much beyond college cooking. With my future husband unable to prepare anything other than eggs, baked beans and toast I had no choice but to go down to the local bookshop and get inspired. That first summer I cooked my way through The River Cafe cookbook, and then onto Nigella Lawson the second summer, Tamasin Day Lewis the third, Jamie Oliver the 4th, and so on...


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...