Art of the sketch

I had one delicious hour free last night before Mad Men (can we please discuss Sally's contagious Beatles scream and Trudy's GLORIOUS maternity wear?) and I spent every minute of it poring over the pages of September's British Vogue (which, by the way, haven't they been killing it lately with their covers?! This one has Kate Moss looking impossibly cool, as she's wont to do, in a navy peacoat, and then gorgeous colors on October's, heralding the "return of 60s glamour" - sign me up!). Anyway, tearing on through, I came across this one tiny article by Charlotte Sinclair, reviewing David Downton's new book, Masters of Fashion Illustration. It sounds ahh-mazing. In the book, Downton - himself a highly acclaimed fashion illustrator - has included the work of several artists who have influenced his development (Erté, René Bouché, and Andy Warhol among them), as well as some of his own "sinuously elegant drawings". There's something about a sketch - any sort of sketch - that inspires more in me than photographs ever seem to, and in this regard I suspect I'm not alone (I'm thinking now of Garance - fashion illustrator du jour and the one I most admire - whose fans are legion). Even now as I Google around "fashion illustration" I'm driven to distraction by some of the stuff I'm finding. Just amazing. Expect many follow up posts here! But I digress - I'll let Sinclair sum things up: "In the age of iPads and live-stream catwalk shows, fashion illustration is a dying art. Hence the joy of [Downton's book]." Joy indeed, and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

P.S. After all that, I had to use one of my favorite Garance drawings to illustrate this post. Citron and leopard strewn about a rather quite pretty chair upholstered in stripes - how could I resist? XO


American women


Just look at these photos. Thirty prints of each are on sale now at Net-A-Porter. Hand picked by Anna Wintour from the Vogue archive, no words of praise are really necessary. Have you ever seen Grace Kelly look so ethereal? And my two other favorites - Babe Paley, looking every bit an early Blair Waldorf (or is it that Blair's every bit a modern Babe?), and a one Miss Jacqueline Bouvier, pre-Kennedy years. Classic.

(Photos: Jean Howard, 1954; Horst P. Horst, 1946; Richard Rutledge, 1951)


All in the details


I am la-la-loving the colors Paul Smith sent down the runway Monday in London, and perhaps none more than the green on these pants and the camel on this shoe. Let's talk about these cap toes, shall we? Hamish Bowles wrote in his review for that all the girls "came out in riffs on classic men’s looks—more Don than Betty Draper" (liking it, liking it...)  and wore "playful shoes that transformed a classic gentleman’s brogue into a dainty sling-back (keeping merely the toe cap and fashioning the rest in clear plastic)." Genius. And now I'm dyyying for this exact pair.


The Eddie Ross Touch

I had the great good fortune of scouring the D.C. Big Flea with Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar on Saturday and was it ever a treat. They came on my radar last October when Lonny published photos of their 1760s farmhouse in Millerton, NY. Before I even read the story I printed this shot of their mud room - everything I love about fall on one coat rack! Plus that tote bag and those horsebits, which in fact I love all year round. 

As you might imagine, Eddie is just brimming with brilliant ideas, and he shares them in such an exciting and practical way. Stopping at a stand full of what was, to my eyes, stodgy turkey china, Eddie zeroed in on a particular piece with pretty lime green and rosy pink details, saying well of course he'd do something to pull out that green, gingham napkins in the same shade perhaps? And we can't ignore the pink. Anchored then with something crisp and white and maybe brown, too - and voila, a perfectly and at once modern and traditional Thanksgiving table. Mom, if you're reading, brace yourself - I'm reeling with ideas for the holidays!

Turning the corner to a table chock full of old silver, Eddie picked up a few little olive forks - rather than showing up at a soiree with a bottle of wine for the hostess, why not go bearing vodka? Tied up with olives and a beautiful silver olive fork? I know I'd love it.

The afternoon went on just like this, at every stop, bargains, ideas, and new ways of seeing. It was all so joyful and contagious. I left the market with two prizes - a 1940s book of Georgetown homes (the old photos are priceless), and my own pretty olive fork (which, I might add, is the first piece of silver I've purchased myself - a milestone). And of course too I left with Eddie's many pearls of wisdom. To Eddie and Jaithan, thanks a million for the fun afternoon. You're both such inspirations! XO

Photos: Patrick Cline for Lonny, styled by Michelle Adams


Archie Grand notebooks

These colorful little sketchbooks caught my eye this morning on J.Crew's website, so I googled "Archie Grand" and I'm completely 110% head over heels in love. Look at these things! So smart and funny. Says the website: "Archie Grand produces high quality notebooks for shopaholics, artists, fashionistas and 55 other breeds of charlatans, scoundrels and luminaries." While I decide which one I'm going to order (there are so many good ones!), I'm off to try to inject some of this creativity and wit into my old brown bag Moleskine. Perhaps I'll consider certain types I've met and liked for inspiration? Happy Sunday!