Nov 14

2013

Life on the Farm: Mourning Murphy

There is so much life on this farm that makes me happy. Every morning the hens are lined up on the bench outside the kitchen window, waiting for our leftover toast from breakfast. Then there are our twin black kittens. I still call them kittens, but they are now full-sized at 18 months old. They are so deferential to my kids’ treatment of them – last night Coco built Dizzy a hammock and made him spend the night in it and he obliged her – but then they go outside and they are both badass hunters...


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. ..


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...


Jul 24

2013

Audrey Hepburn consistently surprises me. Just when I think I’ve seen every chic photo of her there is to see, more arise. I first found the amazing picture of her on the horse, and as I widened my search I found the ones with her pet fawn Pippin, with her beloved puppy Mr Famous, and many more. Being on the farm, I sometimes feel that I live in a zoo – I’ll be doing dishes at the kitchen sink with one of the kittens on the counter next to me, the dog laying at my feet, the chickens staring at me from the outdoor dining table, my daughter riding by on a horse and the donkeys braying from the stables across the driveway. So these pictures of Audrey have special meaning to me as they contain two of the things I love most: style and animals.

 


Jul 18

2013

Life in England: Stately Rides, part 2

So at the end of our first full day of riding, we arrived ready for a rest and a cup of tea at the home of Christopher and Marian Houghton near Broadway. To me, this quintessentially British couple and their home epitomised the best of English country life. Christopher has been the secretary and then chairman of the North Cotswold hunt for 25 years, and his family’s affection for the sport is evidenced as soon as you walk in their door with an impressive and worn collection of hunting coats, boots, hats and whips in the front hall...


Jul 17

2013

Life in England: Stately Rides, part 1

About a year ago, my husband mentioned a company that a childhood friend had started. It’s called Stately Rides, and it gathers a small group of people together and gives you on a horse riding tour of some of the most beautiful countryside in Gloucestershire while staying in a beautiful private home each night. I knew immediately that I would have to go on this trip and I knew when and with whom. Each summer our family friend Regena comes to stay with us with the simple goal of riding horses incessantly with my daughter Coco and me...


Apr 11

2013

On the Road: Spring Break at The Pig Hotel

I’m laughing to myself while putting “Spring” in the title of this post because there is nothing Spring-like about England in the last few weeks. Yes, the weather has finally gotten me down. I made it through the winter just fine with the right outdoor clothes and a constant roaring fire in the living room. But now I am just over it. The kids have a three and a half week end-of-term break, and we thought we’d stay here so that our daughter Coco could catch up with her riding having been away in France for 12 weeks...


Jan 30

2013

Life on the Farm: SNOW!

When we first came back to England in January, I felt that the gloomy weather might finally get to me. It was grey, wet, and dark for the good part of every day. There had been so much novelty in the fall leading up to Christmas – blackberry season, apple season, the changing of the leaves, the first frost, the first hard frost – and now I just felt like everything was dead, and that it would be a while until new life emerged...


Nov 28

2012

Life on the Farm: The Fog

In England, the fog is one of the the first signs that autumn is coming. This year it started in the beginning of September, so early in the morning that you could easily miss it if you slept in. The first time I saw it, while looking out my bedroom window at the crack of dawn, it took my eyes a minute to adjust to the fact that it wasn’t water flooding the valley below us. Now that I’ve seen the fog on quite a few mornings, I have noticed that it starts as a thick, flat blanket deep in the valley with the hills rising up through it like the humps of a sea monster...


Nov 05

2012

Life on the Farm: Catching the Sun

Here’s the thing about the dreaded English weather. It’s not that bad. Really. You just have to get the hang of it, which entails dropping everything (no matter how important) to run outside when the sun is shining. As long as I get my hour or so of outdoor time each day, or even just most days, I am fine. The trouble is, you don’t know when that is going to be. Take last Friday for example. The kids were home on their half-term break so I planned to ride with them in the morning when the sun was even just hinting at coming out...