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...
Hello mes amis! C'est moi, Daphne! Or should I say buongiorno principessa?!
Inslee wrote that wistful blog post about that ONE TIME she went to Amalfi. #ROFL I swear she's been this dramatic since we were two.
Anyway, I'm back. I'm spending yet another long, lazy summer in Positano. Holed up in the quaint little Le Sireneuse. Isn't it so nice when a hotel is both affordable and luxurious?
My dear dearest, Martha, has joined me for the weekend. But because she isn't entirely sure when the weekend begins/ends, she arrived today. We're lunching on the balcony on a first course of prosecco, to be followed by a crisp Ligurian white and all washed down with a quick limoncello before it's time to jump in the ocean.
When in Posi, Marth and I are all about sun safety. So we're wisely sheltered beneath Eugenia Kim feather-rimmed fedoras. We're also all about channeling our inner Italian Goddess. Which means, bearing as much shoulder/clavicle as possible. I think we've nailed that between the tunic-du-jour from Tibi and the daring maxi by Adriana Degreas. And of course, a ferocious Zimmerman gladiator sandal really takes you right back to those super sexy fights to the death in the Roman Forum, n'est pas?
Where's Doxie today?, you ask... why she's already down sun baithing on the rocks, of course. Doxie takes to Positano like parmigiano to an orecchiette, like pomodoro to bruschetta. She just fits right in with her shiny black fur already looking like she's been drenched in lemony olive oil, ready to luxuriate under that delicious tuscan sun.
She has a bit of a boyfriend these days too. Don't tell her I told you, but she met the most charming long haired standard named Fabrizio outside the fish market yesterday. They were both licking bits of fish gut off the cobblestones when their noses met. Thank goodness I have Martha here to entertain me because all I've heard out of Doxie since is "Fabrizio this, Fabrizio that..."
Cheers dears, we're off to search for gelato!
Oh August! A month that, for me, always inspires a confusing mix of wanderlust and also laziness. The victory lap of summer. The final hurrah of doing nothing and being bored and barefoot, but with the potential for magical and unexpected adventure. The last moments of "school's out" mentality before the rhythm of "real life" starts all over again in the fall.
I chose to toast this month with a scene from the coast of Italy - a place where being barefoot and bored is a lifestyle that seems to me to be maintained with great conviction. No one else does lazy quite as beautifully as the Italians.
This is a painting from a memory I have of visiting Camogli, a little town in northern Italy two years ago in August. (Of course, I gave this girl a better outfit than I had on) Camogli for me is the perfect town to embody both the wanderlust and also the stillness that August is for me. It's a walking town - there aren't really any cars, and you enter by first standing, looking down from the vantage point I've painted above - poised atop a hill - and then slowly winding down a meandering path of stone steps dotted with old ladies drying clothes on lines, haphazardly parked vespas and many cats. This descent on foot is an easy, gracefully transition down into this village out of reality. Once you're in the little harbor, it is still, and slow, and peaceful. You can sit and enjoy pasta overlooking the sea for hours while debating where to get gelato later.
There is such beauty in this Augusty mix of the freedom to do anything and the choice to do nothing. It is a month when I have always felt a great wealth of time. How nice it is to feel very rich at least once a year and in a currency we often feel we have so little of.
So, rejoice, Augustonians, sit back, relax and watch the entire glory of the sun captured in a single shimmering drop of olive oil falling from a perfectly twirled forkful of mid-day pasta. September is is waiting just around the corner and there will be much, much less time.
Were you honestly hoping there'd be a list? I knew it!
Lists are the number 1 trendiest thing right now! Lists of trends are a trend in and of themselves. A prominent trend among a potpourri of trends this summer that seem to be mutating and escalating and imploding in on themselves all around us. TRENDS.
Is it just me or is this the trendiest summer of all time?
From Swan Floats to Rosé to the english language devolving to a place where we either communicate entirely in List Form or we just don't finish sentences, we just add the first part of a sentence to pictures that embody an emotion, i.e. the ever popular "this float shaped like a bottle of rosé has us like.... (insert GIF of happy animal)"
IT HAD YOU LIKE WHAT? WHAT DID IT HAVE?
I admit it, I may be getting too old for the internet. Daphne is loving it. Trends are her native tongue.
Thursday night had Daphne like...
I'm telling you, the more you think about it, the more you realize how much pop culture has enhanced and abbreviated it's gestation period. Trends are happening faster and more furiously than ever before and everyone is eating it up.
If you're looking for me you'll find me beneath a "Do Not Disturb" embroidered beach hat, drinking White Girl Rosé, covered in FlashTats, re-gramming someone else's joke about how they had "A salad for dinner, mostly just croutons and tomatoes, mostly just one big crouton covered in tomatoes. And cheese. Ok a pizza. I had a pizza for dinner" Don't lie. You know you saw that same joke ten times this week floating around the internet and loved it all ten times too.
Speaking of pizza for dinner, and thus of gluten, the Lord Voldemort of 2015, let's take a moment with everyone's favorite trend. Hating Gluten. Do you hate gluten or do you hate gluten!? It was ruining your life, right???
Although, to be honest, Daphne and I will never really embrace this trend. If you could somehow make a truffle fry out of bread/cheese, we'd be interested in knowing more about that...
You know what else is trendy?
Pockets. Pockets are having a moment. Pockets may be the next rosé. Rosé called Pocket Square Rosé could potentially break western civilization by next summer. How much do you wish I knew how to produce t-shirts with botanical pockets?
If you're a t-shirt production company looking for new business, call me!
Seriously, walk outside. If you don't see a man with his surprisingly luscious hair swept up into a Man Bun, while wearing a t-shirt with a different pattern/color pocket sewn on the front, go back inside immediately because this means something is drastically wrong with wherever you are. Trendsters are like animals, they are the first to sense when something is over/about to become catastrophically dangerous. Mainly just when things are over, but still. Be extra careful.
I'm not kidding. Go look for pockets. You'll see them everywhere.
And for good measure, before I leave you. Here's a list of current trends. please feel free to help me make it an even longer list. Because what's better than a list? A Long List.
We already know the essentials:
Margo By The Water, Portrait of a Young Woman circa 2015 - watercolor on paper, artist unknown
A painting that has long been called the iconic image of a time in American history and culture known as "Summering Out East"
What we see here is somewhat of a mystery, art historically speaking. Margo, a mythical "land mermaid" known only by a small faction of elite Hamptons Natives, has been referenced often throughout history and various artistic mediums but few solid details are known about her origins or family lines. While the details of her lineage are blurred by the veil of time, the significance of her image as a Siren of Summer and an icon of Elitism has only grown with the passing centuries.
Shown here, in what would have been understood as a traditional environment, she is depicted as shy, and coquettish, her reticence recalls Bottecelli's Birth of Venus in it's conscious naiveté paired with a direct eye contact with the viewer. Margo's role in society was to be admired, a beautiful, presumably wealthy Hamptonite, she would have been familiar with often being looked at directly by the peasant class while she feigned disinterest. However, here the artist turns this scenario on it's head, showing her looking back, engaging, acknowledging that she is seen.
She is perched almost birdlike on the end of a diving board - an instrument that wealthy landowners often installed above their large man-made bodies of water (pools) which they then used for launching off of into said water, only after consuming a great deal of gin - a botanical, fragrant liquor often paired with lime juice and tonic water.
A lot can be interpreted by Margo's positioning above the water - she is aloof, detached, elevated above the water source. Raised up as though above the fray. Her toe, grazing the surface can be seen as a tentative connection - a small olive branch of kindness - much like the tepid smile someone of her stature in society might have offered the foreign gardner who was undoubtedly hired to care for the opulent display of hydrangea bushes depicted in the background.
Much has also been said about the color choices the artist used. The stark white of the sky captures the clean white haze that almanac records show existed in the weather patterns forming over the furthest points of New York's Long Island and Eastern townships.
The density, the energy, the overgrown exuberance of the flora in the background as exhibited by the painter's hasty use of excessive prussian blue mixed with cadmium yellow are surely a nod to the riotous and lush growth of all plant life between East Hampton and Montauk.
These towns were known for an abundance of expertly maintained Hedges - or walls made of bush, designed specifically by the upper class to keep peasants from peddling past on rusted beach bikes to leer at the unapologetic displays of Real Estate Porn sprawling across the lawns of Long Island.
Hedges were a fundamental part of Hamptons society in this time - a symbol for the stark devision between the Haves and the Have Nots. The people who summered consistently from Memorial Day to Labor Day "out east" and the weekend warriors who could only afford to enjoy life "out east" two out of every seven summer days, crammed like refugees into rented Share Houses - a form of primitive brothel, often housing up to 45 people in three or four bedrooms.
Margo would certainly have not been of the class of people subjected to Share Houses. She would have been of the class who referred to their Out East destinations as Second Homes, or perhaps, in some rare cases, Third Homes.
The inclusion of the black and white striped umbrella is a symbol of added wealth and power. Black and white stripes used in this context almost always denoted a connection to famed Interior Decorator, Miles Redd, or one of his lesser contemporaries. The Upper Class were slavishly devoted to his vision for their lifestyle and utterly captivated by his Slim Aarons-esque approach to use of black and white banner striping and Martinique Prints on almost everything.
The artist's choice to include this umbrella is surely not accidental, it is a clear message to the viewer in that time period that this was an image of Margo, that this was an image of a Summer Home. Not a Share House.
Many essays have been written purely on the topic of Margo's dress in the image. Her scalloped maillot is believed to have been designed by one of the premier swim designers of the era, Marysia Swim. A designer remembered for charging dearly for approximately 11 inches of unstructured microfiber preferred by the Upper Class and Bloggers alike. Bloggers - or rich white women who documented their #bliss - were a phenomenon of the time period. To own such a suit was again a symbol of Elitism, awareness of Cultural Hierarchy and possibly, even of Blogging. Although no records are found of Margo operating a blog, it is said that her likeness was replicated and seen often throughout blog records of the time period.
While art historians maintain that the legend of Margo is purely that - a legend - many will continue to search for her origins and be captivated by her significance in the rich tapestry of recalled life of the North Eastern Elite.
We salute this image as a touchstone with a romanticized era, as a symbol of American life, as a beacon of summer.
The trouble with creating a fabulous alter ego is just that - she's fabulous.
Daphne is always making me resent the mundane, day-to-day struggles of being Inslee. While I was cleaning up our office after throwing a party in here, she was galavanting around Cannes. Daphne is a regular invitee to all the major film debuts at the festival.
I am a regular at Duane Reade, where I am often spotted shopping for more swiffer wet mops.
This is what my desk looked like the morning after our party...
What did Daphne's desk look like the night after walking the red carpet in vintage Dior?
Are you kidding? Daphne does not have a desk.
She spent the day in this darling Esther Boutique playsuit romping around Cannes. Also, disclaimer, Daphne does not need a map of Cannes. She knows the city like the back of her hand. But a map is a great prop for an instagram composition, don't you think? She also hates technology, did you know that? And if she did need directions, would definitely consult a map/a handsome man with a map before she'd dig through a bag for the gps on her phone.
Where do you find a handsome man with a map in 2015? Daphne would find one, I bet...
The following week the June gloom descended upon New York City. Rain and wind and cold, very unseasonable. I suffered through, wearing jeans and sweaters and loading up on comfort foods. Where was Daphne?
Somewhere sunny, wearing a plunging back one piece and cat eye sunglasses. She posted this cheeky little reminder that every day is a constant opportunity for thin-spiration on "National Cheeseburger Day"... Daphne feels that a cheeseburger is something that belongs in one world, and plunging back one pieces belong in another world. She chooses to live in the latter. She hopes you enjoyed your burger though, respectfully.
Have you ever tried on a plunging back one piece? Inspired by Daphne, I ordered three online. Let me tell you... I then promptly returned all three to the mystical return center of Shopbop as fast as my prepaid USPS label would carry them. Plunging back solid color one-pieces are not flattering unless you are Daphne.
I looked like a member of the 1920 Men's Olympic Diving Team. Or perhaps an extra from Foxcatcher.
To continue the laundry list of disparity between Daphne's truth and my own... let's play the old magazine editor favorite game: What's In Her Bag...
While walking home the other day I found myself caught in such and epic downpour that my paper grocery bag completely disintegrated into pulp. (cosmic retribution for not bringing my own bag?!) I was forced to shovel my groceries loose into my purse before they fell onto the flooded sidewalk. I arrived home with a fascinating purse-soup... loose thyme and shallots were marinating my supply of Puppy-Poop-Bags and seventeen different half used tubes of Aquaphor ointment.
Daphne opens her adorable handwoven rattan clutch from artisans in the South of France to find a set of maracas and a Cuban cigar when she's fishing for her black card. Why did she have maracas in her purse? Because, of course, she was invited to Stella McCartney's Cuban-themed garden party celebrating her Spring 2016 collection.
While I was scooping up Ophelia's droppings on an evening walk on Elizabeth Street (with thyme marinated baggies) I glimpsed Daphne in the garden party through the chainlink fence that protects the beautiful setting for the party - The Elizabeth Street Sculpture Garden. She'd somehow convinced one of the models to trade outfits with her and was parading around in a billowing yellow gown like one of Bacchus's nymphs.
If you haven't visited The Elizabeth Street Garden and you live in or come to New York, you must change that! It is one of my (and Daphne's) favorite haunts. A whole chunk of city block is carved out of the otherwise over-populated Nolita neighborhood for luscious green grass, flowering plants and a meandering collection of very nobel stone statues that look like they wandered straight out of the halls of a Roman sculpture museum.
It's chained off by a very threatening looking barbed wire and chainlink fence that is almost always locked - adding to the garden's allure - but on sunny days it magically opens and you can go in and sit in the grass and watch your puppy go nuts over REAL grass in the city.
It was a perfect spot for a party, and the perfect metaphor for Daphne v. Inslee.
Here she was amidst this fairy land of a garden party and here I was on the other side of the fence with a handful of thyme-poop.
Well, my friends. Do you feel sorry for me yet?
Don't. Because every once in a while, the lines between Daphne and Inslee blur, just the tiniest bit.
What is that saying? If you dream it, you'll become it... Did I make that up? It seems I daydreamed about Daphne's exotic adventures enough that the heavens finally opened with a direct flight to Saint Martin for a long weekend.
Consider this my Out-Of-Office email alert. I wonder if I'll spot Daphne in Saint Martin, or if she'll be in Saint Barth's this weekend...