Happy 4th of July July 04th 2013
To all my American family and friends, to my American nephew Joe, to my (very much younger) American brother Jim, currently on tour with Maroon Five, to my American daughter-in-law, the acclaimed author Jennifer L Scott and her lovely family, including my adored American granddaughters, my (almost) American son Ben who owns and runs our sister brand throughout the USA, London Sole and his overweight American chihuahua dog “Gatsby” and to my many American friends everywhere, both here in London and in the United States and of course last but by no means least - my dearest, wonderful and loyal staff at London Sole including Maggie, Jackie and Jae and my truly best American girlfriend - Eileen - the greatest realtor on the planet!
For this Fourth of July I began to think about the clothes I often wear by famous American designers who are amazing and enduring - famous globally for their incredible classic style and wear-ability. I have put together a few of my personal and favourite outfits all from my collection and although I cannot include everything, these form the basis of my personal USA style.
I have photographed all the outfits on my bed in the style of my friend the brilliant designer Amanda Wakeley who does a great piece on her website called “On the Bed”.
This is my outfit for today, Independence Day. I have teamed a pair of traditional denim JBrand 811 jeans with a soft pale blue striped classic shirt from JCrew and topped it with a St John navy blue cashmere jacket with pearl trimmed collar and cuffs. Shoes are London Sole gold woven leather “Riviera” flats (Other London Sole Metallic styles can be found here) The bangle is from Kenneth J Lane and was a gift from my daughter-in-law last Christmas.
This simple denim jacket by JCrew is a classic “Biker” style and I dress it up with a variety of jewellery - here shown with my all time favourite Trifari vintage costume jewellery, depicting an amazing peacock in full plumage display. I usually wear this with one of my Oscar de la Renta dresses or something similar.
Black and white - a bold clash but I like to make a statement! My two favourite US designers combined together - a beautiful Marc Jacobs cashmere coat with a simple printed silk Diane Von Furstenburg dress (similar found here) I wear this outfit to gallery openings, exhibitions and lunch parties teamed with my exquisite handmade black bespoke French Sole flats with jet beaded adornments. (My similar, Penelope style is available from French Sole) The yellow leather clutch bag is a great foil for the black and white pairing and is part of my Christmas bag collection for 2014. The gold bangle is by Oscar de la Renta and the brooch (see on the right hand side of the picture) is a piece from my vintage collection by “Dynasty” jewellery designer, Nolan Miller. I have quite a few items from both these designers and together with Donna Karan, Jason Wu (a favourite of Michelle Obama) and Thakoon, they all sit together happily in my closet.
Although I am an old lady - I can still Rock It Up! This outfit is great fun when I am out with the grandchildren as it is comfortable, stylish, chic and modern. The black butter soft leather Biker jacket is by Proenza Schouler and was a big investment, but I love it! The dress is a black Catherine Mallandrino silk crochet knit, sleeveless mid-calf classic dress, bought in California (a style that is coming back for Fall 2013) which I wear with London Sole Moochers - the latest and total “sell out” new sneakers trimmed with studs and a Tiffany diamond brooch (inherited!) on the jacket, just to add a little sparkle.
I wear a huge amount of black, as everyone in the industry does - but this is my all time favourite outfit for travelling . Not shown is the James Perse black classic tee (a spare one in my “carry-on”) made from the softest Californian supima cotton, grown by Californian cotton farmers. James Perse and Michael Stars make the world’s greatest tees and I stock up at their stores in Malibu and Montana Avenue every trip. My trousers are by Michael Kors and are the perfect cigarette shape - made from a wool mix with 2% elastin, they are breathable with the perfect amount of stretch - perfect for a thirteen hour flight to Los Angeles. Over this I wear a Prairie Underground black lightweight travel mac. Prairie Underground are a brilliant company based in Seattle and I urge anyone who likes a slight edge to their classics to try this fun American brand.
I like to mix it up a bit for semi-formal, so this is my traditional early evening, out to supper “look”. My favourite Hudson jeans which I bought ten years ago on South Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles (similar style here), teamed with a Ralph Lauren Black Label lace blouse under a black St John silk evening jacket with satin lapels. St John is a great American label and they have a wonderful store in Beverley Hills where even window shoppers get offered champagne! This jacket that I bought about four years ago from their store has the most beautiful jet buttons. Angelina Jolie was the original “Face” and brand ambassador for St John and she really gave this very “old school” label the boost it needed. Again I have teamed the jacket up with vintage brooch, this time from Trifari - which I found in a vintage store on a trip to West Hollywood.
This is a great casual evening outfit that I bought from Alice and Olivia in Malibu. I have teamed with a bespoke necklace by the Malin Smallcombe in Santa Monica. The jacket is pure Hollywood and is made from pearl coloured sequins with a satin lining and the pants are cropped cream sailcloth with a drawstring crossover fastening. The shoes give some real extra pizazz and they are from my Diamond Jubilee Collection at French Sole. My trusty Georgio Armani wristwatch and Michael Kors leather envelope clutch (similar here) complete the look. (My little Jack Russell, Tuxia is not included!)
Lastly, my weekend chill-out gear, super relaxing and my favourite outfit for a walk on the beach in Santa Monica or on Carbon Beach in Malibu - classic dark blue denim JBrand jeans, my adored Ralph Lauren tangerine striped cotton classic shirt, a super-soft JCrew Breton tee with vintage Ralph Lauren tortoiseshell shades and a vintage Ralph Lauren woven leather belt with French Sole raffia “slip-ons” which are perfect for a beach walk.
What will I be reading as I sit down on the warm sand for a rest and a little sunbathing as I contemplate my next season’s collection….well Truman Capote of course, need you ask!