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The official first day of summer isn’t until June 21st, but it has been pretty warm off and on where I live. I even broke out the shorts! Is your wardrobe summer ready? I briefly shared my 10 essential pieces on my Tumblr, but wanted to share a few more examples of these key items. Wherever you live, I think these essentials will all come in handy, and what’s best about them is how you can mix and match them, and dress them up or down. Happy almost summer!!
1. DENIM: Whether you prefer a dark skinny jean, a lighter wash “boyfriend”, or a pieced and patched look, choose the pair you’re most comfortable with. If you feel like the sexiest you in a pair of jeans, then it’s probably a great pair! If you’re not sure what works best for you, there are denim experts out there at labels like J Brand, Acne, or even Gap.
2. A WHITE TOP: Make sure your closet is filled with an abundance of white tees, tanks, and button-ups (as seen here at Chloé) to play with and layer. T by Alexander Wang makes some of the best t-shirts and tank tops, hence the T.
3. WHITE DRESSES: A great white dress is maybe the most key piece I can think of. Wear it during the day with a denim jacket or vest (another essential), and for night dress it up with a statement necklace and metallic heels.
4. A CROPPED TOP: It’s time to work those abs, because cropped tops are a big trend! I’m not talking vulgar halter tops and cut-off rocker tees, but more sophisticated versions like the ones at Balenciaga and the holographic striped ones at Jonathan Saunders.
5. A BOMBER JACKET: For cooler summer nights where a light jacket is a necessity, look no further than the bomber jacket. From sheer ones at Stella McCartney and Reed Krakoff, to cropped metallic versions at Burberry Prorsum, there are so many great ones to choose!
6. A PATTERNED SKIRT: Whether subtle or bold, a great patterned skirt will enliven your other summer essentials like the white top. A-line, pencil, circle…whatever shape you love works!
7. A VEST: You can’t go wrong with the American staple of a denim vest, but the boys at Proenza Schouler gave us some food for thought. How about a snakeskin version? So chic over a basic t-shirt or tank!
If an earcuff isn’t for you, wearing classic jewelry pieces with jeans and t-shirts (or bathrobe) is a modern way to wear even the fanciest of jewels.
9. SUNGLASSES: Pick your perfect frame, because once that sun is out for good you’re going to want shades on almost 24/7, so they have to look good! Linda Farrow has great collaborations with The Row, Prabal Gurung, and others, and Thierry Lasry simply makes chic shades.
10. WHITE ACCESSORIES: I know I’ve been saying a lot of “what works for you best” today, but I truly mean that. I am offering my suggestions, but you are the one that has to be comfortable, so make sure you are. Try new things though and maybe you’ll find options you never thought possible. So I’ll say it again in regards to the white shoes and bags I’m suggesting for summer. If flats are your thing, stick with that, or a small heel, or a clutch over a satchel, there are plenty of great options! I love the mesh details at Junya Watanabe and 3.1 Phillip Lim, and the glow-in-the-dark sandals at Alexander Wang.
Now get shopping!!
With the premier this past Friday, I wanted to share some inspiration from The Great Gatsby, with amazing costumes and Deco-inspired sets to drool over! First of all, you have a film by Baz Luhrmann. Secondly, you have set designs by his wife Catherine Martin, and costumes also by Martin, in collaboration with Miuccia Prada, jewelry by Tiffany & Co., and the men’s suits by Brooks Brothers. Thirdly, you have the gorgeous Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and dapper Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby himself. I have yet to see the film and know it is receiving mixed reviews, but regardless of that, there is plenty to love! Just thinking about it inspires a lot of thoughts, which are a bit random, and I will explain, so be patient with me…
Miuccia Prada brought a touch of collections past to the 20′s flapper-style costumes she and Martin created for Gatsby.
If you loved the Deco jewels that Mulligan/Buchanan wore, they can be yours! Get yourself to Tiffany’s!!
Carey Mulligan wears Oscar de la Renta (top), and Miu Miu (above) in the May 2013 issue of Vogue, photographed by Mario Testino.
An event in NYC this month showed the onscreen costumes off-screen!
The sketches are just as magical!
Gatsby and Daisy have a moment alone in this scene from the film.
How pretty is Carey as Daisy?!
Mulligan recently attended a Tiffany & Co. event in Rockefeller Center in NYC, which is perfect considering her character Daisy was dripping in their jewels. I love that she wore this modern tuxedo by Victoria Beckham, instead of continuing Daisy’s Deco look.
I’m feeling like the stars have aligned in many ways with the debut of Gatsby. Stay with me as I explain. First, Tiffany & Co. collaborated on the jewelry for The Great Gatsby. My idol Billy Baldwin supposedly did some design work with Tiffany’s and designed for Mrs. Harding Lawrence, who collaborated with Tiffany’s as well. Baldwin and Lawrence used Bielecky Brothers cane furniture that was made famous by Baldwin and Van Day Truex in their own spaces. Bielecky Brothers continues to make beautiful cane furniture that I’ve envisioned for many spaces. Tiffany & Co. is one of my dream projects, in which I would bring this furniture back among other pieces and materials, like terrazzo floors, and Chinese pewter-leaf wallpaper. Make sense?
I absolutely covet the cane furniture by Bielecky Brothers! It was gorgeous in the mid-20th-century, and it is still fresh and modern today.
This New York City breakfast room by Jeffrey Bilhuber illustrates a lot of my thoughts for my version of the iconic Tiffany & Co. boutiques. Pewter-leaf wallpaper is lustrous and would reflect the jewelry of designers like Elsa Peretti and Jean Schlumberger, as well as Tiffany classics. I would easily use the modern light by Modulighter for its simple yet sculptural quality. The klismos chairs are upholstered, just by chance, in a ‘Tiffany blue’ leather.
Designer Miles Redd appears as if he lived in the Gatsby-era, and his chic interiors also speak to a time where glamour, and the speakeasy, reigned supreme. His mirror-clad bathroom is a perfect example.
The palette of this space by Redd is especially ideal for a Tiffany & Co. boutique, with celadon vases filling a wall, and blue silk with a ruffled edge billowing at the window. A teal blue leather screen has been studded with nailheads in the adjoining room. That would make for a great design detail in “my” Tiffany’s boutique…doors perhaps??
The Tiffany’s shop in Soho is a stunning space, with all the sophistication of the original Tiffany & Co. boutique in New York City. Art Deco details are prevalent, yet kept modern. The famous Tiffany blue has also been well dispersed and used in various shades.
Glamourous lighting and stone-clad walls are right up to par with the chicness of Tiffany & Co., their jewelry, and Mr. Gatsby himself!
Treat yourself to a movie (Gatsby, of course), and perhaps something in a blue box with white ribbon!
It’s May, and with a new month comes new things to celebrate! The weather getting increasingly nicer, those April showers paying off (you know the saying), and most importantly, recognizing that amazing woman in our lives that raised us, whoever that may be. I certainly look forward to paying my mom a little special attention come May 12th, from a distance since we’re in different cities. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing or buying for her, but I have plenty of ideas! Try and be creative this year, but at the same time it doesn’t hurt to keep it simple. Just put a little extra thought into it, and she’ll be thrilled!
1. FASHION MEETS FINANCE: I love the idea of buying a great wallet, like this holographic one by Proenza Schouler, and filling it with a little (or a lot) of cash, movie tickets, and/or gift cards to her favorite shops and restaurants.
2. THE PERFECT SHIRT: Whether your mom is a fashionista like mine is or not, clothing is always appreciated, and a great basic is fail proof. The ‘Signature’ shirt by Equipment is one of my favorite staples for women, and it comes in so many beautiful shades and prints.
3. SPRING IN HER STEP: My mom definitely deserves a medal for raising me and my 5 older siblings, and even though they would all be gold medals, I would certainly give her these bronze, silver, and gold sandals by Loeffler Randall, just in time for summer!
4. DESIGNER COSMETICS: Perfume is a classic Mother’s Day gift, and is still great, although I tend to only buy fragrance as a gift when I know what that person wears, because scent is a very personal thing really. A colorful nail polish or lipstick on the other hand is a great idea for color lovers that like to experiment, or those you want to try to get to be more playful with makeup. There are so many great designer collaborations right now, like Lanvin‘s Alber Elbaz x Lancôme, and accessory designer Pierre Hardy with NARS.
5. TIE ONE ON: Along with some summer-ready sandals, a lightweight scarf is another great accessory idea for mom. Make sure it’s in a great print and maybe even a bright color(s). I love this one based on patterns used in Stella McCartney‘s spring 2013 collection.
6. OBJECTS OF DESIRE: A pretty little object or decorative box like this amethyst one from Barney’s is lovely all by itself, but what a great surprise it would be to hide something else inside!
7. BOLD JEWELRY: Here’s a suggestion for something to hide in a pretty jewelry box…a great piece of jewelry! Classic pearls, gems, and gold are always great, but think about giving her something by one of the fresh names in jewelry, like Eddie Borgo, or Holst + Lee.
8. TEA TIME: If you can’t sit down for tea with your mum, then at least you can give her something delicious to sip on by herself. Bellocq has an amazing atelier in Brooklyn, and I’m in love with their yellow tins. Get her an enamel teapot with a bentwood handle from West Elm Market to go along with her favorite tea variety.
9. INSPIRING BOOKS: I love a great new coffee table book as a gift for myself, so I in turn love to give them as gifts. The Flower Recipe is a favorite of the books fresh off the press and is also available soon at West Elm. This book has tons of great ideas and techniques for perfect and effortless flower arrangements.
10. FABULOUS FLOWERS: If you’re going to give flowers as a gift, keep some things in mind. NO mixed arrangements with Baby’s Breath from the grocery store, and no dyed carnations. I would first suggest going to a skilled florist for a beautiful seasonal mixed arrangement, or if you’re doing things on your own, you can’t go wrong with a bouquet of one type of flower and one shade, like white or lavender roses, or something more springy like tulips. I know my mother would be so excited to receive this hand-selected arrangement of organic spring blooms from Marigold and Mint.
Whatever you choose, make sure it represents your mom and genuinely captures your love for her. If all else fails, a handwritten note speaks volumes more than any gift. Happy Mother’s Day!!
Let me start with a little moment of honesty. I have a terrible time being consistent, and may even have a little self-diagnosed ADD. If you’ve paid any attention to my 3 years of blogging you’ve noticed that what was once a daily blog is now almost weekly, and things like my interview series and 10 Things I Loved This Week (replaced by 10 Things I Loved This Month) have disappeared. Well, it’s not laziness but really just me having so much to talk about that I sometimes don’t talk at all. I do share daily obsessions on my Facebook page, Twitter, and Tumblr, but this blog is all about my fully thought out ideas, like setting the perfect holiday table. With that being said and the lovely month of April wrapping up soon, I thought I would TRY and bring an old series back, 10 Things…and here’s to me (metaphorical glass raised) keeping it going, and either way I hope you enjoy what I do say among all that I may not get a chance to.
1. TILDA SWINTON: May hasn’t even begun, but the editorials in my favorite magazines are making me really look forward to it! Surrealism has become a spring theme of sorts, from Dior’s spring campaign, to photographer Tim Walker’s photo shoot with Tilda Swinton in Mexico for W magazine. What also seems surreal is the sunshine I’ve been enjoying!
2. CAREY MULLIGAN: Playing Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s upcoming The Great Gatsby, it only made sense that she would be the May cover star of Vogue, photographed by Mario Testino, wearing amazing deco-inspired looks from today’s best designers in the spirit of the 20′s Gatsby-era.
3. DIOR JEWELRY: I fell in love instantly with Raf Simons’ vision of Christian Dior last fall when he showed his first Haute Couture collection for the house. A couple of months later he debuted the spring collection with more to love. What I fell for the most quite possibly was the jewelry. Rosegold-hued metal and acrylic necklaces and cuffs, with pink and blue crystals designed in collaboration with Camille Miceli, who has been designing for the house since 2009 and who I learned more about in the current T magazine. She has since created more pieces to covet for the pre-fall (see below) and fall 2013 collections, as well as the spring 2013 Haute Couture collection.
4. T MAGAZINE: 52-year-old and radiant red head Julianne Moore is the latest cover star of T magazine, photographed by Inez and Vinoodh. The entire shoot is simply stunning! I love what new Editor-in-Chief Deborah Needleman is doing with T, including the freshened logo.
5. TOMMY MITCHELL: From brass and copper to black enamel, Tommy Mitchell brings the old art of toleware to the 21st-century. I’m coveting it all, and if I could I would have a whole collection displayed in a modern way on floating shelves against high-gloss walls in a dining room perhaps…or anywhere for that matter!
6. BAT FOR LASHES: One of my favorite artists, Bat for Lashes, with its star and voice Natasha Khan, hit Seattle the middle of this month playing literally every song I wanted to hear! I snapped this photo while singing along with every word. I know I’m no Testino.
Almost exactly what Natasha Khan wore, designer unknown.
7. GREAT COLLABORATIONS: I love a great teaming up of creative minds, like the pairing of artist Nancy Lorenz and fashion house Bottega Veneta, and chic cosmetics brand NARS with accessories designer Pierre Hardy. Lorenz took her large-scale use of lacquer and materials like mother of pearl and down-sized them to a series of boxes for BV, while Pierre Hardy’s work inspired nail lacquer colors and his signature geometry (seen in the cuff below) influenced the collection of eye shadows.
Nancy Lorenz collaborated with interior designer Michael S. Smith on a gold-leaf dressing room etched with a spherical pattern. So gorgeous!
8. SPRING BLOOMS: Flowers are literally my favorite thing and they are all in bloom right now! I stumbled upon this photo via Terrain with some of the best that spring has to offer.
A. Dusty Miller
B. Maiden’s Blush Lilac
C. Frittillaria persica
D. Frittillaria meleagris
E. Burgundy Ranunculus
F. White Picotee Ranunculus
G. Tulip French Menton
H. Frittillaria hermonis amana
I. White Iris
J. Tulip Salmon Parrot
My favorite hellebores photographed here in Seattle for my Instagram. You can find me as Brian Edward Millett.
9. TOM SCHEERER: The May issue of House Beautiful features a Brooklyn Heights home designed by one of my favorite designers Tom Scheerer. It is a chic and spring-filled space. The suzani print banquette above and the decoupaged dresser (below) based on the botanical print chairs are two of my favorite elements of the space.
10. THE WEATHER: The second half of April has been a dream, with little rain, temperatures over 60, and the first day I was able to lounge in my neighborhood park. I hope it’s nice and sunny where you are!
Brian Edward Millett-The Man of Style
Let’s face it, we couldn’t be enjoying the spring blooms without a little help from our little buzzing friend the bee. I’m not going to go into vivid details on what they do, but we all learned in school how they help flowers out this time of year. I really started getting a buzzing in my mind when I first saw the Alexander McQueen spring 2013 collection last fall. Sarah Burton was unabashedly inspired by the insect, with each model wearing stylized beekeeper’s hats, and dotted with embroidered bees, or covered in honeycomb macramé and jacquard. The ad campaign continues the theme, with Raquel Zimmermann posing in the elaborate garments, and one shot with just a bee necklace and her face dripping with honey. This got me thinking about other collections that had touches of “bee” and how they have inspired us at home, from honeycomb shapes to decorating with the most golden of hues. I’m not suggesting a literal interpretation with your home covered in black and yellow stripes, but merely a nod to the trend. Happy Bee Season!
Besides the entire collection, I’m especially obsessed with the faux-tortoise accessories, from necklaces and cuffs, to belts, corsets, and even breast-plates.
I love local Seattle-based Ballard Bee Company (Ballard honey). The simple black and white label is a perfect complement to the simply sweet honey inside the bottle.
Modern separates at Gucci with a beautiful detail of honeycomb patterned mesh revealing the shoulders.
Kelly Wearstler often uses multiples of the same light fixture, as she did here in this fantastic kitchen with honeycomb-inspired pendants.
A marbleized version through Dering Hall.
Marios Schwab too was inspired by honeycomb shapes, not sure it was necessarily bees.
Various patterns of tile cover the floors of artist Cy Twombly’s iconic Roman palazzo, including hexagons in two and tri-tone. I will also always love the tiny hexagon tiles once commonly used for bathroom floors. So classic!
The Hex table from West Elm, made of steel and white marble, is great because one can be an end table, or put as many together as you want for an interesting organic-shaped coffee table. Their Hive vases show the honeycomb pattern I’m loving too, and would add a great pop of color to your space, with or without flowers!
Thanks to designers like David Hicks, we have great patterns like his famous hexagon prints for fabric and rugs. Eric Cohler used a great version for a stair runner above.
Alber Elbaz of Lanvin must love bees, because he has created jewelry based on the creature at least twice, for Spring 2011 and Fall 2013
One way to be inspired in your decorating by the bee is to bring honey shades home. Rich silks in solids and stripes add sophistication to any space. Gilt frames on furniture and polished brass bring it to another level.
If you don’t quite feel like wearing a beekeeper’s hat, albeit Alexander McQueen, then a vibrant yellow look from Stella McCartney is the answer, or one of her golden hologram accessories.
One of the first and one of my favorite spring blooms is the bold Forsythia, seen here at Martha Stewart‘s home ‘Skylands’ in Maine. Bringing this flowering branch inside is a great temporary way to get in on the bee-inspired palette.
Amber-hued glassware feels like it could be made of golden honey, and is a simple thing to add to your home or even the table. Make sure and bring plenty of brass accents home this year as well. It’s one of the big home trends of 2013!
Spring is here everyone!! With a fresh season, one of renewal and awakening, it’s time to bring it into your life in every possible way. Depending where you live you’ve probably been wearing fewer layers, and perhaps even wearing shorts and tank tops (I wish!). Now that you have yourself covered, or uncovered I guess we can say, it’s time to focus on how to bring the beauty of spring home. This doesn’t call for an extreme home makeover by any stretch, but simply what you can do in small doses to bring your space out of its winter slumber. I’ve thought of 10 ways to do just that, with a few rooms to kick off the list just to inspire. Get inspired by these rooms and one or all of my suggestions, or find your own inspiration by just going outside and taking in this lovely season!
This fabulous room by Mr. Markham Roberts isn’t new to me, but I’m really feeling it right now. It’s the perfect spring room! All the white, with sagey green accents, and my latest obsession of granny floral chintz on the custom back-to-back sofa, are just the beginning of my favorite things in this room. The objects and accessories, and overall styling are spot on!
Spring and summer are the time to really bring color into your life, but amid all that vibrancy I always love a good dose of white. Anna Wintour’s Hamptons home by Carrier and Company comes to mind with its subtle palette of cool blues and greens with plenty of fresh white.
More cool blue is found in a space by Jeffrey Bilhuber. Plants brought indoors are such an easy way to bring life inside, and longer lasting than fresh-cut flowers, although I always strongly recommend a liberal dose of those! Now that you’re perhaps uncovering your outdoor furniture, bring it inside as well, like the wicker chair above.
Now for the official list…
1. FLOWERING BRANCHES: One of my favorite things in the winter, branches that have been forced to bloom, is made even easier this time of year, because guess what??…they bloom on their own and might be in your garden! Go outside with a good pair of pruning shears and cut off some perfect branches with a combination of open blooms and buds. Fill your tall vase of choice with water and a little bleach to keep the water clear, and casually arrange the branches after using a hammer to crack open the end of the branch (they’re thirsty). Quince, cherry, magnolia, and dogwood are some favorites.
The offices of AERIN, Aerin Lauder’s new(ish) namesake brand, are the prettiest of spaces, of course! White walls keep the vibe calm, and act as a canvas for art to pop, like the poppy print above. A Karl Springer console holds a stack of books, just like at Aerin’s own home, and joins vases of anemones and flowering branches.
2. ART: More large botanical prints are found in Aerin’s personal office, as a backdrop to mood boards and prototypes for her AERIN line of accessories, beauty, and home products.
GET THE LOOK: West Elm collaborated with photographer Clinton Friedman last spring for a botanical series of prints, but this year it’s all about succulents. I love the raw way in which he captured these plants with the roots exposed. Group the whole series together, or better yet get crazy and mix in some of your own photos and favorite art pieces.
3. PLANTS INDOORS: Bring real succulents out of the frame and home with you! They’re easy to care for, are available at your local garden center and shops like West Elm, and you can do so much with them, like create amazing terrariums.
Popular in the Victorian era, terrariums have modern appeal, and can be pretty modern themselves. You can pick up an actual terrarium at many shops these days, or create your own with anything from a cereal bowl to an old claw-foot tub (just a crazy thought). I even love simply covering one succulent or small Lady Slipper orchid with a glass cloche.
Large myrtle topiaries and ficus in baskets are another favorite way to bring spring green inside, year-round actually.
4. A FRESH TABLE: The everyday meal could use a good spring boost as well! This might be as easy as going to your kitchen cabinet or drawer, and getting out more colorful or pastel dinnerware, glassware, and table linens. I love to collect things, especially hemstitched napkins to add seasonal color to my table. Bring what’s blooming outside to your table too, like the daffodils, and grape hyacinths I’m seeing right now. I’m also lucky to live close to Pike Place Market here in Seattle to pick up the flowering branches I mentioned for the table. Do some research and find out what your city’s flower resources are…and there is always the grocery store!
Nothing in the cupboard? At $8 each, these ikat bowls from West Elm would be a colorful treat to see at each place setting. Simple white bowls would also be pretty down the center of the table with some floating flowers, or even blossoms that may have fallen off your flowering branches!
The sunniest of dinnerware!
5. A FRESH COAT: Now that we can almost say goodbye to winter coats, let’s think about a coat for our homes, a coat of paint that is! I’m not suggesting you repaint your whole place, but how about adding a bold stroke to a small powder room, dark hall, or even the back of built-in bookshelves?
6. PILLOWS AND PRINT: I love the idea of having small things like pillows for each season that you rotate, like the art and objects in your home, to completely freshen and change the mood of a room. right now I’m thinking ikats and floral. I’m loving the soft mauve and cream ikat Nick Olsen used in the New York apartment above, but a bold blue, violet, or citron print would be amazing as well!
Madeline Weinrib makes some of the best ikat fabrics and ready to decorate with (RTDW) pillows in these energy-filled prints.
West Elm has some great answers to the quest for ikat, from soft to a little bolder.
7. ROLL OUT SPRING: I like an uncovered floor in the summer, but transitioning from cold to warmish spring weather calls for a little something still underfoot. A heavier wool rug can be replaced by a lighter cotton or just pump up the color volume. Even just adding small 3×5 rugs is a great way to layer in some spring freshness, no need to invest in large rugs necessarily.
8. A FRESH BED: Put away the heavy quilts and faux fur blankets I loved for fall and winter, and break out the fresh white sheets, and fun patterns! Keep it simple with your layers, but go wild with your mix of color and print, or all white is totally acceptable.
Always a favorite are white bed linens trimmed with color. Olatz makes some of my favorites. This gorgeous room by Katie Ridder is in full bloom with that print on the walls and windows, so the color-trimmed white bedding is the perfect complement.
9. OBJECTS OF DESIRE: As I mentioned before, I love having pillows, art and objects to rotate each season to give my space a fresh vibe (have I said fresh enough?). For spring I’ve been obsessed with blue and white porcelain, as seen above in this super chic space by David Netto. All white pottery would be pretty too, or something with more of a bold pop of color. It’s all up to you! Whatever you collect can feel new again when packed away and brought back out, even if just a couple of times a year.
10. A BOLD ACCENT: I always recommend investing in solid neutral furniture pieces, unless you have the pocket-book to afford redecorating every six months. Besides pillows on the sofa, another way to bring in a colorful print, without breaking the bank, is by finding a small accent piece like a chair or small bench or stool. If you’re crafty enough, you could even find a neglected piece of furniture at a consignment shop or flea market, and spruce it up yourself with fresh paint, and a fabulous scrap of fabric you’ve been holding on to.
I hope you have an inspiring spring!
Brian Edward Millett-The Man of Style
Some posts I plan out with a calendar, figuring out when fashion week is or where a certain award show lands, but other posts just happen from sheer random inspiration. This is one of those posts, all about ‘Toile de Jouy’, a fabric with a grand pedigree, brought into the modern-day with a youthful sensibility, but nonetheless classic. I might say the spark that started the fire to this post was Carven‘s spring 2013 show, with a handful of looks conceived in red and white, and black and white toile. Guillaume Henry, the Creative Director at Carven, is maybe best known for his modern silhouettes often featuring cutouts. This combined with an old French fabric made for an interesting presentation. This got me thinking about some favorite interiors using the fabric, and with the fall 2013 shows still fresh in my head, a few looks at Oscar de la Renta came to mind.
This fabric is easily defined as a two-tone “busy” fabric with scenery depicting people, animals, etc. in everyday life, usually the upper class, and was used most often to cover everything in a room, from the bed coverings, walls, windows, and furniture. This treatment somehow makes the fabric less busy, and I’m a huge fan of using one great fabric all over a room, toile or not. I think you’ll agree that this fabric definitely has a place in the 21st century. I would use it in both traditional and modern situations, and would even think about wearing it, although I think you ladies look better in it!
It’s spring…time to be joyful!!
What better place to use toile than a Parisian bedroom?! American designer Tom Scheerer thought so.
Jeffrey Bilhuber covered walls in a tile-like toile print, adding even more energy to the fun mix of color and pattern.
Another very Parisian space, complete with classic herringbone floors, feels fresh even with what could be considered fussy French furniture. It’s kept light with the palette, objects and lighting, and the toile that greets you through the carved doorway doesn’t feel overbearing.
For a smaller dose like an upholstered chair or even a headboard, I’m loving this heavier velvet version of a traditional toile by Brunschwig & Fils, with a bit more of a Far East influence to it.
In creating this post I discovered artist Richard Saja, who takes traditional toile fabric and adds his witty spin to it by embroidering right over the existing scenes, creating a new story of sorts. I love his fabrics for small accents like pillows in a formal room that needs a little humor.
Saja collaborated with super hip Opening Ceremony and Keds for some of the coolest kicks around (I never say kicks!).
Even with its French heritage, with a simple change in the scenery, toile can feel very American thanks to some Revolutionaries and an American flag!
It’s not a toile, but the energetic chinoiserie fabric Jeffrey Bilhuber chose to cover windows and upholstery in his lime green Long Island living room exudes the same feeling.
A traditional toile would cover the headboard, bed skirt, and bed hangings just like this fabric is, but this is a more subtle toile in a way, with scenes minimized to small “frames” on a small geometric print.
The ever-stylish Lee Radziwill took the idea of covering everything with the same print and ran with it in her Paris apartment, with super chic results.
Well it’s that time of year again…spring (well kind of). I know it’s officially the spring season, but it isn’t totally feeling like it in my part of the country. How about for you? Well I guess we’ll have to create our own springtime! In creating this post I realized I missed last year, since I had an “Easter’s Best” for both 2010 and 2011. I guess I have some making up to do! This post is quite different from those said posts. They both had a very thought out and descriptive plan of how I would set an Easter table, or a table for any spring event really. This year I wanted to share some current obsessions as well as get some thoughts out relating to fall fashion month that just concluded a couple of weeks ago. If you read my last couple posts about the SPRING FASHION TRENDS BROUGHT HOME, I hope you enjoyed and were inspired. I wanted to combine those trends into this post as well, so you can set a holiday table with style! Happy Passover, Easter, and spring!!
This year I’m really feeling shades of purple, well I always am really, but more than normal. I photographed this arrangement at local Seattle florist Marigold and Mint‘s pop-up shop at West Elm last spring. Tulips, hydrangeas, hyacinth, hellebores, grape hyacinth, and poppy pods create an amazing textural mix! Marigold and Mint specializes in local organic flowers and edibles, with a Washington state farm and a shop in Capitol Hill, Seattle.
A color combination I’m also loving more than normal is blue and white. For Valentino’s fall collection, Delft porcelain was a big inspiration, and would be an amazing addition to your spring table.
For their post-show dinner, and for the grand re-opening of the Maison Valentino shop in Paris, tables were filled with blue and white porcelain, candlelight, and a liberal amount of various purple flowers.
See more on the Valentino store at www.brianedwardmillett.tumblr.com
I’m obsessed with the scalloped details on a few of the looks, and this Delft blue and lilac color combination.
This dessert table at the Valentino dinner looks good enough to eat! Pun intended!!
Spring 2013 Trend: FAR EAST INFLUENCES
The design team at Valentino was inspired by Dutch blue and white porcelain, but I love all types of blue and white, from Scandinavia to China. A recent visit to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) let me enjoy the permanent porcelain room featuring porcelain from all over the world. They are displayed on a background color of an interesting mauvey plum. Chinese export porcelain is a great way to bring the Far East trend from the spring runways to your home and spring table!
Anemones and grape hyacinths by Marigold and Mint in a vase by Elephant Ceramics for West Elm.
Color Crush: AMETHYST
My favorite color purple was a happy surprise to see on the runway of one of my absolute favorite designers, Stella McCartney, in her fall 2013 show in Paris.
More anemones (my favorite flower) from Marigold and Mint, in mercury glass from West Elm.
Model Karlie Kloss walked the Stella McCartney runway, and especially caught my eye in this over-sized amethyst coat.
Bring my color crush for amethyst home with a table set in all shades of purple. This would be a fantastic spring table, although since the peonies aren’t quite in season yet, I would suggest a low arrangement of hyacinths here.
Spring 2013 Trend: FLOUNCE
I’ve mentioned designer Miles Redd‘s beautiful ruffle-trimmed curtains before when talking about the spring flounce trend in fashion. Here’s one more lovely example in a room full of pattern and color, including a purple chair.
For fall 2013, the flounce in fashion isn’t quite as exuberant as it is this spring, as seen in this clean and pretty look at Celine, with just a little swing at the hem.
Spring 2013 Trend: NEON
Think bright, not necessarily neon when setting your spring table. This is as easy as fresh flowers from the market, and/or vibrant table linens.
I couldn’t choose just one, so here are three bright arrangements by one of my favorite florists, Michael George, in New York.
You have 101 colors to choose from, so you can’t go wrong with hem-stitched linens by Sferra!
Spring 2013 Trend: BLACK AND WHITE
A huge trend on the spring runways, black and white, may not be your first thought when conceiving a springtime table. How can it work? Keep it subtle with one element, say a tablecloth in black and white, and layer upon it white dinnerware, and colorful glassware and flowers. The Franz Kline-inspired linens from West Elm could really work. I especially like the napkins with a solid Sferra tablecloth in a great color (I’d go with amethyst this year), and an arrangement of deep purple anemones, hellebores, and tulips.
The boys at Proenza Schouler are known for their cool downtown style, but they also know chic! This modern yet classic black and white pairing was a favorite.
Two favorite combinations of the season, blue and white, and black and white. Great pattern too!
Two favorite looks from the fall 2013 runway at Christian Dior, show an easy transition from spring and summer into fall. Flowers and color still bloom!
Spring 2013 Trend: SHEER
Speaking of blooms, look at the flowers on the table at the Dior dinner during Paris Fashion Week. Gorgeous!! Among the flowers and silver was plenty of clear glass, including candlesticks, which don’t hinder your view of all the fresh cut flowers.
In my post SPRING FASHION TRENDS BROUGHT HOME, I translated the sheer trend from fashion into clear elements at home, like glass and lucite. For your spring table, keep it simple with your glassware and vases, to really let everything else shine. Nouvel Studios makes my favorite tumblers.
Sheer looks, although not as prevalent, were seen on fall runways. Vera Wang and Erdem‘s Erdem Moralioglu were still feeling a little spring in their step with blooms bedecking some of their fall looks, but much moodier ones indeed.
I love a formal table, and every great table involves layers. Start with great linens, add your favorite china, chargers, glassware, silver, salt and pepper shakers or cellars, candle holders, and vases of flowers. The china above is especially appropriate to capture the Far East trend in fashion this season.
Spring 2013 Trend: LAYERS
A casual table can also be enlivened with layers via West Elm. A paper table runner brings things down to earth, and becomes a great foundation for simple stoneware, glass tumblers, and elements right from the garden. A pitcher of flowering branches pruned right off the tree, and grape hyacinths arranged casually in extra glass tumblers on hand. Kitchen towels replace linen napkins, and impromptu guests call for extra seating, causing a fun mix of chairs and stools.
Spring layering meant color-blocking and lighter layers of fine knits and jackets over tops. For fall, more subtle color blocking, like the tone-on-tone look above at Chloe, join great outerwear options for ultimate layering, as seen below at Celine.
Phoebe Philo concocted Geoffrey Beene-inspired pieces for her fall show for Celine, seen in the tied-sleeve coat and dress looks.
Spring 2013 Trend: SUITS
More Far East inspiration comes from the hand-painted wall coverings in this pretty office. If you are like me and live in a small space, your dining room might need to double as an office. Keep that in mind when decorating, choosing a nice sized table for dinner parties and a heavy work load, and buy chairs comfortable enough to sit in for hours of work. My translation of the spring suit trend was a great desk. This desk above could quickly do double duty for dinner. The flowers are ready, and I even like the idea of that Christopher Spitzmiller lamp staying and turned on a dimmer and joining some candlelight.
The suit trend of spring is an obvious trend to continue into fall, the main difference being the fabrics. Plaids, checks, and other Saville Row treatments were all over the runways. I love that Marc Jacobs used lace trim to soften a suit at Louis Vuitton.
Fashion images via STYLE.COM
It may not have been one of the top trends on Editors’ radars, but among all the bright neon, and bold patterns on the runways was a spring trend I love, army green. There are a couple of variations of it, from more of an olive-green to more on the sage side. I’m not a huge fan of cargo looks and camo, so what made this color work for me was the fact it was used on feminine silhouettes, like the pleated pieces at J. Mendel, and tailored separates at Stella McCartney. To make this shade feel right headed from spring to summer is to brighten it up with colorful accessories, and then it just naturally works going into autumn with more layers, camel coats, and animal print accessories. Army green is restrained chic, and I would highly recommend you try it on, and bring it into your home!
J. Mendel is known for their furs, so there is plenty of that each season, with fur hot pants replacing heavier fur coats for spring. Pleated dresses were mixed in to keep it light and spring-like. Brighter accessories were also combined, like the lime green bag above.
Martha painted rooms in her Hamptons home more somber shades after years of white and brighter tones. The home sits on Lily Pond Lane, and she took inspiration from the palette lily pads have to offer. The walls in her library are a taupey almost military khaki. A brighter pickle green was used for the ceiling to match a Venetian glass chandelier and picked up again on the leather of a chair.
More pleats and color-blocked fur at J. Mendel.
A natural leather trims this army green PS1 bag by Proenza Schouler.
Art can be used as a way to bring this earthy green home.
Since this color is not the most in your face color, and borderline murky, it appears a little more cheerful when used in a glossy form, and with enough white or brighter shades to balance it out. It’s such a beautifully interesting shade though.
This hue is an easy color to transition into fall with, and it can be as simple as picking up a great new bag, like this croc-embossed one by Reed Krakoff.
Stella McCartney created amazing tailored jackets, pants, and even a dress out of an army green fabric. I loved her layering of these military-inspired pieces over sheer skirts and dresses, and the combination of it with a brighter emerald-green. She also had some great army green accessories.
All greens really do work together, just like in nature!
Miles Redd painted walls in this sophisticated living room a sagey green to almost match the velvet sofas. Tiger print and ikat, along with floral chairs and a bold patterned rug keep the room interesting, and a blue used at the windows adds a freshness.
Just like Miles Redd added amber hurricanes to the room he designed above, Stella McCartney added transparent clutches to her spring collection among all the white, black, and green looks for a pop of color!
To catch you up on the spring trends covered in my last post Spring 2013 Fashion Trends Brought Home: Part I, we’ve talked about the classic pairing of black and white with a modern spin, the power of neon, the detail of grommets and studs, and the soft sexy of sheer. Oh, there’s more! Shall we continue?
Peplums still reign on the runways, as seen here at Peter Pilotto, and are a big player in the ruffle trend seen almost everywhere, even at some shows not usually into such frills.
My favorite Givenchy show since fall 2011′s “Panthers and Lilies” collection was full of softness, light, and flounce.
Miles Redd has a signature window treatment detail I would say, with luxurious curtains trimmed with pretty pleated ruffles. It adds a delightful touch to already beautiful windows. This whole room is stunning!
What Miles does for windows, Clare Waight Keller brought to the runway of Chloe, with the most feminine of looks featuring layers of pleated ruffles.
Back in a space by Redd, an insanely pretty dressing room gets a touch of ruffles on the table’s skirt. This room was already headed towards over-the-top pretty, so why not just go for that extra detail?
Nicolas Ghesquiere is perhaps one of the designers I was thinking about when I mentioned designers that normally wouldn’t gravitate to flounce and frills. When I think of his 15 years of work at Balenciaga, I more often think of architectural shapes, even boxy. His final collection for the French house combined a little bit of the boxy with a lot of the femininity of ruffles. It almost felt like a nod to the Spanish heritage of Cristobal Balenciaga. Truly a wonderful collection to remember as Ghesquiere’s last (for now).
6. FAR EAST INFLUENCES
I could write a million posts on my love of Asian textiles, arts, and design, but I won’t put you to sleep with that! Eastern influences were a big part of the spring runways, from China to Japan. One of the easiest ways to bring it into a space is through textiles and rugs, or my favorite De Gournay hand-painted wall coverings, as seen here in this space by Michael S. Smith. It sits behind a few of my favorite things; an ornately carved console, with a blue and white porcelain vase, and an Herve van der Straeten light hanging above a heavily carved gilt mirror.
Miuccia Prada turned to Japan as her main influence for her spring collection for Prada, with origami shapes, and kimono worthy fabrics. The leather socks with platform sandals separating toes like traditional Japanese shoes were the final element transporting us somewhere like Kyoto.
Karl Lagerfeld’s spring collection for Chanel was not exactly inspired by the Far East, but was more focused on a message of earth and energy, with a runway of solar panels and faux windmills. The spring campaign, however, featured models wearing the looks in a space with tatami mats, bamboo furniture, and an overall clean Japanese vibe. I wanted to move in!
Origami-like draping gives this animal bedecked look its Asian allure. I’m obsessed with the faux tortoise accessories as well, seen here at Mugler, and at Alexander McQueen.
This space by Michael S. Smith has all sorts of Far East treasures, from the patterned floor, Chinoiserie cabinet, ceramics, garden stool, and paintings. He always manages to keep it just the right amount, and always chic!
Although it’s the Year of the Snake, Peter Dundas at Pucci proclaimed it the dragon’s year, with amazing carved dragon wedges and bags, embroidered pants and more. He also used other Asian-inspired textiles that would be just as lovely as pillows, or to upholster a small chair.
You know I love Miles Redd’s work, and hardly a project of his is without something from the Far East. Here, a mirrored four-post bed gets a pagoda-like topper, and is backed by a gorgeous inlaid screen.
Haider Ackermann may have had a samurai warrior in mind when creating his spring collection, or just the strong and powerful woman he always designs for. He is known for his fabric manipulation and draping, and strong and powerful women like Tilda Swinton flock to him over and over again. That blue lip his models wore is worth a mention too!
7. THE NEW SUIT
So I couldn’t really land on a perfect equivalent to the suit trend for spring for the home. As far as that trend goes, we saw it on every runway. Well-tailored jackets with pants and skirts, bralettes under the jackets (maybe not office appropriate), and unexpected materials and shapes were what made the suit new this season. Jonathan Saunders and Preen were two designers to add some sex to the suit with a bra top replacing the blouse. How do you bring the suit home? Or to the office? A powerful woman needs a strong yet feminine suit, and an amazing desk to rule the world from!
This dining table through Ralph Pucci has been my longtime dream desk. I want a huge desk to keep stacks of books, a great lamp, a few special objects, and fresh flowers on.
Reed Krakoff is perhaps best known for his work at Coach, but I think of his clean and modern namesake clothing more often, and the flawless homes he creates with his interior designer wife Delphine. His office is no exception, with a gallery worthy collection of furniture, including a sculptural desk, lighting, and art.
A perfect example of how to personalize a desk, while still keeping it organized.
Stella McCartney always injects a little of her bespoke tailoring training into her collections, with a modern spin like the extreme shoulders.
You cannot go wrong with any furniture designed by Jean Michel Frank! This desk is still manufactured and features clean lines, and sides that expand for an extra heavy workload.
Shagreen covering this desk by R&Y Augousti is what put it on my list. So luxe, and so chic and modern!
Riccardo Tisci gave his suits at Givenchy a longer jacket with a rounded arm, keeping it soft, yet completely modern.
For a super sophisticated desk on a budget, look no further than West Elm’s series of Parsons desks, a staple since the brand’s founding, with new versions added every once in a while, like this grasscloth-covered version. I mentioned my love of over-sized desks, and I would also recommend if you feel the same way, buying WE’s Parsons dining table in white lacquer, and customizing it with a favorite wallpaper, vellum, or parchment. Cut pieces to fit each side and then cover with a few coats of shellac or other protective material, even just a glass top.
Can you get any chicer than Bill Blass?
Another classic still available through Baker. I love the brass detailing.
This breakfast room in designer Michael S. Smith’s own LA home is a great example of how to style an office. I love the ledge along the window with objects, a grand clock, books, and flowers. Your breakfast room may need to be an impromptu office.
This trend encompasses a couple of things, from looks featuring panels of different fabrics and colors, to literal layers, not quite as heavy as fall and winter, but nonetheless interesting.
Layering is key to an interior. This room by Jeffrey Bilhuber starts with a sea blue rug with a large Greek key pattern, and upon that you’ll find violet velvet, lamb’s wool, linen, and more. The non-upholstered furniture is layered in and made of a variety of materials, from ceramic, to wood, to mosaic tile. This is my favorite Bilhuber-designed space, the former New York apartment of actress Mariska Hargitay.
The designers at Preen used panels of various colored python and botanical prints, and mixes of embossed leather and other printed fabrics to get in on the layered trend.
Different prints on walls, windows, and floors all end up being complimentary in this space by Jean Louis Deniot because of the similar palette they all have. The living room’s graphic rug especially reflects the paneled trend in fashion.
Dries van Noten is no stranger to layering different patterns and textiles. His spring collection was mad for plaid (in a good way), as well as florals, and checks.
Another room by Steven Gambrel shows his natural skill of creating interest through different patterns and materials, as well as multiple seating areas. Isn’t that rug amazing?!