Inslee By Design: You made it this far, you know who I am.
Society Social: My studio mate, Roxy is the founder of Society Social - a whimsical line of home goods and furniture. Roxy enjoys drinking wine with me while we complain about how hard our lives are. She's just one of those people who is always there for you (or in this case, for me). So if you have some emotional baggage you've been carrying around, I invite you to stop by #73SPRINGSHOP and take a load off while road testing one of her beautiful pieces of furniture and tell Roxy all about that job you're thinking of going out for, or that date that didn't go as planned, or those five pounds you just cannot lose.
Persifor: Alex, designer behind the perky and fresh clothing & accessories line, Persifor, will be joining us for the Pop Up shop again this year. Alex enjoys running the world with one hand tied behind her back. If there's anything I learned from #73SPRINGSHOP last year, it's that Alex is one cool, calm, collected cucumber that you totally want to emulate and grow up to become. But you can't, because you're a mess. It's ok, I'm a mess too. We can just lurk near Alex and try to absorb some of her powers together while telling Roxy all our problems.
Loren Hope: Omg yes, that Loren! Yes, her stuff is EVERYWHERE. AND IT IS SO CUTE. Loren is taking the world by storm, one piece of hand-crafted-in-Rhode-Island beautiful jewelry at a time. Loren is also a second time vendor at #73SPRINGSHOP and if you weren't her biggest shopper last year, I think i might have been. You know the classic story: Girl gets job at retail shop, girl gets pay check, girl spends pay check in same retail shop...? Yes. That was me and Loren's inventory last year.
Ashley Brooke Designs: Now THIS is a wild card. I have to admit, I don't know ABD and her sassy hand lettered accessories all that well yet. She's a first time vendor, new to the shop this year! Hurray for a newbie! My initial read is this: Ashely is essentially Buddy the Elf dressed in heels and a cardigan. Or in other words, we're going to get along very well. I anticipate we'll fall in love and maybe choreograph several synchronized dances together about the meaning of Christmas.
If you missed it last year, let me fill you in: #73SPRINGSHOP is a hashtag, but it is also so much more. It is a call-to-action to be said loud, and fast, and all as one word: SEVENTYTHREESPRINGSHOP!!! and to be emphasized by doing jazz hands while you say it. Try it and see if you don't feel suddenly energized by the need to buy adorable gifts.
#73SPRINGSHOP is a curated shopping experience featuring a selection of each of our products in a boutique-like atmosphere. We've worked together to design a beautiful space that amplifies each of our unique businesses and makes you feel warm and fuzzy when you step through the door.
There will be Christmas music. There will be puppies. There may also be face painting (TBD... have not asked the others about this yet, but who doesn't want to have their face painted like a sexy reindeer?)
Last year, #73SPRINGSHOP was a raging success. We opened the doors of our merry little studio for a week to the general public and met so many wonderful new friends and clients and sold lots and lots of beautiful gifts.
So this year, we decided to take it a step further and invite you in not just for one week but for the whole darn MONTH. Why not? The longer the merrier!
Yes, that is right. Starting December 3rd, we'll be open daily during the week from 4-8pm and on Saturdays from 12-6pm and on Sundays from 1-5pm. We'll ring the closing bell on December 20th. And really, if you haven't finished shopping by then, then shame on you GRINCH.
Now this is the tricky part...
The studio is in an office building, it's not exactly a traditional retail storefront experience. So put on your adventure pants, and get ready to do some hunting to find us up on the fourth floor of 73 Spring Street. It will be worth it.
If you arrive in the evening or on the weekend, you'll need to buzz #16 to be granted access to the magical party that is raging upstairs in our lair.
Once you're in the door, you'll be faced with a big decision: to opt for the ease and speed of the elevator to floor 4 or taking the stairs, because we know that Fitbit is always watching. Always judging.
Once you make it to floor 4, just follow the sounds of the cacophony of joy that will undoubtedly be spilling forth from Room 401, potentially getting us in trouble with our neighbors. And the rest will be pretty self explanatory... HAVE FUN!
We cannot wait to see you!
Do you remember the 21st night of September....
Rejoice! We have shifted through time to the best song-month of the year! Gone are the sandy, sun bleached idol hours of August set to the rhythm of a lapping tide. Here comes the crisp, espresso and Earth Wind and Fire fuled toe-tapping enthusiasm of this perkiest of months. It's time for newness and fashion shows!
This month's Calendar Girl is caught in a whirlwind moment between NYFW shows. One of those moments when everything is just on point and the paparazzi are loving it. Even Bill Cunningham slammed on his brakes to capture this radiant creature.
She invites you to channel her inner killing-it, this month. You too are a show-stopping nymph of sartorial magic who is in for a marvelous night for a moondance. You deserve lace up peep toed boots and off-the-shoulder-everything and Meg Ryan's very own bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. Go get 'em, tiger!
Today I had the delightful pleasure of visiting the Jack Rogers team in their gorgeous new headquarters to see some of my art installed all around the new space.
It is so exciting to see my work framed and displayed in a beautiful space like this one - shiny navy walls spotted with an eclectic mix of old black and white lifestyle shots of the Kennedy Family, aerial beach photography and a few watercolors by yours truly lead you into a sparkling white showroom filled floor to ceiling with every sandal imaginable.
White orchids, brushed gold-flecked linen couches, and chinoiserie accents abound. And when I arrived, the team was all gathered in an airy and bright corner conference room eating cupcakes.
I'm telling you, you can't make this stuff up. Prepsters, it really was all you could dream of and more.
This large 4x5' piece is the first thing you see when you walk into the reception area...
And this, the team favorite, hangs in the designated cupcake eating area...
Where to begin!? May has been such an exciting month so far. First of all, did you notice how I just happened to don my favorite old pale pink taffeta Oscar de la Renta party frock on the evening of Friday, May 1 and post that cryptic toast-post on my instagram account?
WELLLL...... if you must know the whole story, that was no coincidence that the next morning the world awoke to the glorious, earth shattering news that Princess Charlotte had been born. No coincidence at all, my friends.
Of course, Doxie and I had been in London for several days prior, planning to be at dear old Kate's side through the last days of her pregnancy. (A pact we swore to one another as girls at sailing camp, to help each other through life toughest moments). And of course, we all knew it was a girl.
You should have seen the beautiful top secret baby shower I threw for her, attended by primarily myself, doxie, the Delevigne sisters and a few other equally beautiful heiresses whose fortunes are handled so discretely that their names would mean nothing to you, adoring public.
On Friday night, Kate was in such a state. It was not, shall we say, Royal.
In hopes of cheering her up, I threw on this beloved old pink number and suggested we have a champagne and sushi party - these used to be her favorite kind of parties - but this only made her cry more. Apparently pregnant people cannot drink or eat raw fish? And it hurts their feelings when their best friends trot around in size zero runway samples of Oscar gowns on the eve of the impending massacre of there bodies?
Anyway, it turned into a champagne and ice cream party. Champagne for me, ice cream for her (and Doxie) (and the Queen). Did I mention HRH was there too?
Since I was the only one drinking I ended up drunk and leaked that instagram hint to the world that Kate was in labor and that Charlotte was in fact a Charlotte, not a Charlie. But you silly sallies were too dense to pick up on it! Gosh we were so worried it was too obvious! But it seemed my drunk-insta did not ruin the royal surprise and Kate pulled herself together, rose to the occasion and awoke Saturday morning, had some tea and then had an all-in-all very Royal Delivery with full make up and hair perfect through the entire 90 minute ordeal.
During the delivery, Doxie and I showed the Queen some yoga poses to help with her advancing osteoarthritis while Will and that mousey father of his watched a bit perv-ishly if you must know.
Bravo, Kate dear, Charlotte is a marvel. I can't wait to give her all my old clothes and teach her how to open champagne bottles with a stiletto. Isn't she lucky to be a princess AND to have a crazy aunt Daphne!?
Like I said, May has been a whirlwind of excitement. By mid afternoon on Saturday, Doxie and I were back stateside and positioned to enjoy juleps at the derby.
I threw on this gorgeous little white dress from one of my favorites, Alexis and of course, The Daphne hat from Gladys Tamez. The derby is such a perfect occasion for pairing white and navy. I'll never understand why so many people miss that and show up in floraly pinks. Hasn't everyone studied My Fair Lady as closely as I have? All horse race attendees should wear strict palates of white and darkest of navy....
I wonder who won the race? I suppose it takes some time for them to tally the votes. I hope it's a woman horse. It seems like it's always the male horses who win.
By Monday I was back in the city, recovered from the exciting weekend and ready to throw a little Cinco de Mayo fete. There I was in Dean & Deluca buying $7 limes, trying to decide if I should do classic Margaritas or hibiscus infused ones, or both and also wondering if Astier de Villatte made margarita glasses when it hit me, I should just throw the party in Akumal!
I tossed the limes back into the citrus display, called my guests, (and of course, my florist and told her to gather her entire reserve of blooms) and instructed them meet me at six pm sharp for departure by chopper to Mexico. We spent the rest of the week wearing all white clothing, floral crowns, and dining on hibiscus infused everything. I'm not entirely sure if this is the traditional interpretation of how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but it is the only way I know how observe the holiday.
I've just returned this afternoon to my sunny little corner of manhattan. After all this galavanting, I'm craving a weekend of relaxing with friends and family. Spring is in full crescendo, the days are long and warm, the farmers markets are bursting with ramps, life is good.
I popped into this springy little shirt dress from dear old friend Kiki Lynn for a trip to pick up ramps this afternoon. Aren't shirt dresses and wicker bags everything? Really, though, what would spring 2015 be without shirt dresses?
Naked. It would be naked. Everyone must have a shirt dress on or else!
And can we talk about this wicker basket? You love it right? I know. I'm sorry, you can't have it. It's one of a kind, hand woven in the Philippines. I used to live there. Did you know that?
Anyway... let's talk about ramps. Ramps, for those of you who don't know, are the pungent, luxuriously bulbous little cousin of a spring onion and they're a hot commodity in the NYC food scene. Springtime is a season for manhattan chefs to showoff their ramp-cooking skills left and right. And as a result, NYC-ers pay dearly for these onions.
Ramps go for $14 a pound, even at discount grocery shops like Wholefoods Markets. (LMFAO who goes to Wholefoods!?) And at normal grocery stores like Dean & Deluca, they're $47 a pound. Even for me that seems a bit steep! Especially when you're making a dish that require quite a few ramps, which I am.
Luckily, my sweet friend Loretta is a professional vegan forager. She travels the eastern seaboard in search of naturally occurring, sustainable produce and farms it delicately after praying over it and then flies it back to the city in her small private plane which runs on naturally derived corn-based fuel, to sell at the Union Square Farmers Market.
Loretta's Loot, which is the name of her brand, is an insiders source for the most harm-free, cage-free, ridiculously fresh produce around. I'm often elbow to elbow with the Blue Hill staff fighting over radishes at her stand. (They're usually wearing prop mustaches when this happens. They have to shop under cover. They'd never admit they sometimes turn to outsourcing to Loretta for produce, but if you must know, her ingredients are the inspiration behind some of their most impressive dishes).
Tonight, Loretta was arranging a fresh batch of foraged ramps when Doxie and I arrived. It is always so inspiring to see her at work, her eyes alight with love of pesticide free produce. She told me how she found these in the foothills of Virginia in a grassy clearing in a forest. A sea of ramps, was how she described it. Can you imagine how lovely that must have been? Discovering a vegetable, growing in season, in a quite, un-marred little piece of forest - offering up the sweetness of the season in Mother Earth's most simple, yet perfect suggestion for what to cook for dinner tonight?
I grabbed as many as would fit in my wicker tote and headed home to whip up this lovely little dish...
Lorettas Ramp Pesto
I plan to serve at sunset on our roof terrace, perhaps with a crisp vermentino and some rustic bread. And for desert we have a lemon meringue pavlova with fresh lemon curd. When did I have time to make that, you ask? Why you've forgotten who you're talking to, my dear. Always remember, Daphne can do it.
Hello! Spring has FINALLY sprung in Manhattan. Are there leaves on the trees? No. Is it warm enough to walk around without a coat? Not exactly. But, I didn't say spring has sprung in Acapulco? No, I said Manhattan. And I don't need a hat/earmuffs/gloves to go get a cup of coffee so we're all celebrating!
Especially Daphne. She is loving tax day. She's not exactly sure what tax day is. But she's loving it all the same. She's pretty sure it's similar to Boxing Day, or maybe to Bastille Day. Both are occasions she celebrates with rosé and paté eaten en plein air.
"But wait..." you're thinking, "isn't boxing day in December? Rosé outside, Daphne? Really"
Remember, Daphne probably IS in Acapulco on December 26th.
Today she and Doxie are trotting out in a light and airy Maison Kitsune shirt dress and a Belgian Bag to see what there is to see. They've decided to spend the afternoon in Central Park. She's barefoot today because, why not, right? But usually, her favorite motto of spring shopping is to invest in a great pair of new nude shoes/nude bag. The Belgian bag is the perfect neutral. Compact and ladylike, goes with everything from white jeans to cocktail dresses.
She's had a busy few weeks back in the city after her visit to Paris and her ashram (undisclosed location). Flitting from events to openings, seen several times in her new favorite nude heels from Alexandre Birman and an extra fluffy Prabal Gurung coat. She's just like the rest of us, if something fits just perfectly she wears it twice, or sometimes even a third time. This picture was snapped by paparazzi as she stepped into Gato on Lafayette where she's said to have ordered two gin martinis and an order of the harissa burrata with a friend. (Doxie joined and sipped ginger tea at their feet)
Another go-to look she's been rocking is the classic spring combination of a trench paired with white jeans and her OTHER new favorite shoes from Vince. She's thrilled circle sunglasses are back too. Of course, as far as she's concerned, they were never out. But The Row has done a fabulous job at celebrating them this season.
This is her outfit for stopping by to drop off last season's dresses for consignment - an activity the rest of us do about as regularly, and with as much joy, as going to the dry cleaners. It isn't fun, but it's the best way to care for beautiful things. By giving them to someone who can't buy them full price. Right? This trip she dropped off six pairs of Valentino Rock Stud heels and a Celine bag. She's feeling very put-off by brand names this week. Wants to only wear emerging designers with clean lines and no visible branding.
And when she's not bound by doing errands, which is most of the time, she's stepping out in her OTHER new favorite pair of nude shoes from Aquazzura. Ok so maybe you need a few pairs of new nudes for spring. Here she's spotted leaving her brownstone with Doxie in Cynthia Rowley. They're off to visit a farmers market. It's radish season! And she just brought back some authentic, eye-wateringly powerful French mustard to pair them with.
"What's this!" you say, "Daphne cooks too!? This is all too much!"
Why yes. She grew up summering with Ina Garten herself at their compound in the Hamptons. She learned to cook along side her as the barefoot contessa whipped up roasted chickens with morels and lemon butter for Jeffrey on lazy Sunday afternoons. The smell of honeysuckle and hydrangeas at the open window mingling with the buttery roasting aromas from the kitchen, set to the meditative sound of crickets chirping beyond the pool, and the sea crashing in the distance.
Ina once taught her that being close to the ocean awakens the culinary spirit within your heart because the salt calls to you on a primal level, stirring appetites that wax and wane with the tide, with the moon, with the season. Ina is said to listen to the rhythmic repeat of waves on the shore for several hours each day before baking her daily batch of perfect brownies for Jeffrey.
Daphne often does the same before preparing her signature truffled bolognese. She'll be sure to share the recipe for whatever she cooks with her farmers market finds.
You'll love it of course, but you probably won't cook it quite as perfectly as she does.
Close your eyes.
Call on your darkened imagination to summon the remembered sounds of a spring rain.
The first elastic drops echoing off newly minted leaves and grass, the sounds gradually growing steadier - a more saturated soundscape and rhythm. Finally building to reach crescendo of downpour. Rain coming down in sheets.
Mother nature, beckoning in a new season with an opulent display of force, washing away the grey, dead grit of winter, making the world clean and new and smelling gloriously green.
How can the world smell like a color? Smell green? Walk outside after a spring rain and your heart will know what I am talking about. Spring is a season understood by the heart, not the head...
Cecile had been sitting in the window seat in her west village brownstone all morning, with the window flung open, letting the spring rain drown out the sound of her heart, which was beating like a hummingbirds wings trapped inside the birdcage of her chest. Her eyes were closed, her bare feet and legs tucked up beneath her. A white cashmere cropped sweater and pencil skirt covered her chilled skin.
In her hands she held the envelope. Thick, heavy, important stock. Brushed cotton that had taken on the weight of the cool misty spring moisture in the air. Elegantly textured so that the fingertip dragged just slightly across it when brushing the surface. Still sealed with dark crimson wax. Almost black. The color of very dark red wine. The letter M impressed into it.
She rolled fingers over the seal again and again tracing the M. Thinking of the gold stamp that had created it and where it rested in the drawer beside the row of dark red wine colored melting wax bars and the crystal match striker. How the drawer always smelled like sulfur mixed with something earthy but crisply fragrant, like paper whites, every time it opened.
Just then the rhythm of the falling ran eased, the storm had passed. Light began to filter through the dogwood blossoms beyond the window. Cecile inhaled sharply and slid a finger beneath the envelope flap. At that exact moment a bird chirped it’s cheerful announcement of the storms end. And she snapped the wax seal, the envelope sprang open.
The bird watched quizzically from it’s dogwood blossom adorned perch as the beautiful woman in the window seat read a letter, one hand pressed over her mouth, eyes scanning the pages, anxiously at first, but then filled with something else - a powerful emotion.
The woman sprang from the window seat and snapped the window closed, sending a shower of raindrops across the small yard below, crystalizing momentarily in midair, caught in the chards of spring light cast between the brownstones.
Several minutes later Cecile emerged from the front door, a mohair swing coat hung open over the white cashmere. She locked the door, pausing a moment to turn the key over in her hand and then tucked it expertly into a potted topiary beside the door and then clipped down the stairs as she opened her umbrella, shielding herself against the last drifting spray of the storm beneath it's bright coral expanse, painted with scrolling dragons.
The bird chirped again, one stark note. This time echoed by dozens of other birds in neighboring trees. A little spring chorus coming to life as Cecile slipped away, her white and blue stripped heels clipping the dampened pavement, her umbrella bobbing in and out from beneath the canopy of blossoming cherry and dogwood trees. A Chinese dragon, swinging its head in an exultant dance.
Did the song bird wonder where she was headed? Or what the letter said? Are song birds capable of such complex musings? Perhaps not. The mysterious stirrings on the windowsill in the rainstorm will go unexplained, unexamined. The start to a story, bloomed fresh, as new and unknown as spring itself.
WISH YOU OWNED SUCH A MARVELOUS SKETCH?... buy the print here!