17/05/2013 § Leave a Comment
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
Yes, Charm School marches on!
Because, really, why limit ourselves to one month a year?
Day 17: Re-read Your Classics
While I can understand the allure of e-readers, and experience a slight tinge of device-envy when I see people pull them out on planes or the subway, I will probably always prefer the concreteness of books. Owing to my move cross-country a few years ago, my library today is definitely not as large as it would have been, had I not chosen to travel light. And on the whole, I don’t regret making that decision, but I do have moments where I remember a favorite book and simultaneously realize that I have no idea where it might be. I’m going to prefer to assume that they’re all buried at my parents’ home somewhere, but it is quite possible that they’re gone forever.
Today, I want you to meander over to your bookshelf and revisit some of your old friends. Reread those important, era-defining books that you held in your hand when you were 7 or 17 or 27. I guarantee two things: first, you’ll be instantly transported back to that point in your life. You’ll remember who gave you the book, or why you picked it up in the first place. You’ll remember how it affected you. But second, and perhaps more importantly, you’ll have the luxury of hindsight to reflect on how you’ve changed since your initial reading. You’ll notice new things you might have missed the first time around. Other things will resonate differently.
It is in repeat readings that I discover the living quality of books. I recently revisited To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, after viewing a documentary on the author’s life. As I read, I realized that I really half-assed my way through the book in middle school. Had I left it on the shelf, checked off as “read,” I would have missed the opportunity to more fully appreciate Lee’s work as an adult. Similarly, I frequently re-read The Lover by Marguerite Duras – perhaps partially because of the slimness of the tome, but also because it is such a sparse, beautiful and exotic work. I love the way my mind fills in all that is left unsaid, and the way it makes me feel. It’s different every single time.
What books do you return to?
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
09/05/2013 § 1 Comment
I’m just back from Nashville, so it seems fitting that on my immediate list of things to do is to see Scenes from the South, a collection of photographs curated by Susan Sherrick, featuring eight Polaroids taken by my exceptionally talented friend Mikael Kennedy, originally for his Passport to Trespass series. I had the pleasure of recently catching up with Mikael where we talked about artistic process, inspiration, vocational callings and the Waffle House (aka my newest obsession, as a result of my roadtrip). Lofty subjects, all. If you are in New York, be sure to drop by the opening reception tonight at the Howard Greenberg Gallery on East 57th!
02/05/2013 § Leave a Comment
Photo via the US National Archives.
The original caption is so great: “A group of Nashville newsies. In middle of group is 7 year old Sam. Smart and profane. He sells nights also. Nashville, Tenn, November 1910″
For TBT, you’re getting this gem partially because of the guy at far left and the fact that my grandfather worked as a newsie, but mostly because it was taken in Nashville, the city that I am bound for this morning! We have stops planned in both Virginia and West Virginia, as well as a visit to Northern Grade, which is making a stop in Music City this weekend. Anything I must do or see? I demand you tell me! And give me a shout if you’ll be around, as well!
While I’m rambling about, the best way to keep up with me will be on Instagram and Tumblr. I’m hoping to attempt a bit of Tumbl-vlogging from the road, but no promises. I’m not sure 1) how to do it, and 2) if my traveling partner will humor me trying to figure it out (I mean, how fun is THAT?!).
29/04/2013 § Leave a Comment
Étoile Isabel Marant Kiliann cotton-blend cardigan
T by Alexander Wang Classic jersey racer-back tank
Isabel Marant Bady scarf
Equipment Signature washed-silk shirt in white
K. Jacques Barigoule sandal
J.Crew Perfect Shirt in suckered gingham
Current/Elliott The High Waist distressed denim shorts
Levi’s Made & Crafted Flecked cotton-jersey sweatshirt
T by Alexander Wang Classic Muscle jersey T-shirt
Mrs. P. Hicks Honey Chukka Moccasin
Clare Vivier La Tropezienne 5″ tote
Billykirk No. 205 Double Wrap Cuff in tan
What a busy few days I’ve had! Between moving apartments, my computer deciding to go on strike and…well, just life, I’ve been a little quiet as of late. My sincerest apologies! I’ve got a terrifically full week this week, but I will be doing my best to keep up with you. I’m most excited about settling into my new place (!!) and a road trip to Nashville (!!!), but we can talk more about all that later.
In the meantime, I’ve been overtaken with a restless spirit that seems to have been brought on by the slow procession of spring and my recent trip to Los Angeles. I’m dreaming of wide open spaces and the wind in my hair, which is reflected in my spring kit that you see above, as well as my Tumblr (which you can see below).
While I’ve been in the wind (and at times without a computer and/or internet — imagine that!), I’ve found that I can at least keep up with Tumblr with my phone, so if ever you wonder where I’ve gotten off to, it’s a good place to check in with me.
Hope all is well with you!
17/04/2013 § 1 Comment
Well since I’m already talking about cars, and I haven’t made you look at any old photographs in awhile — not sure what’s wrong with me, but I will definitely investigate — I thought you might enjoy these photos taken by Francis Miller for Life Magazine of an all-girls hot rod club called “The Dragettes” in what appears to be 1950s Kansas City. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much information on these ladies — which is frustrating because they seem pretty awesome. I don’t think these pictures were used in the magazine (or at least I couldn’t find the article they correspond to), and the interwebs has not been very forthcoming either. In any event, I still wanted to share — they’re just so great, from the matching jackets to kissing babies on the dragstrip.
Via the Life Archive.
17/04/2013 § 1 Comment
Sometimes when you’re driving around in Los Angeles, you discover amazing things. Most times you can’t stop to investigate and have to make a mental note to return, as you have to hurry onto this or that appointment or to finish the day’s errands — but this wasn’t one of those times. As soon as I spied ASC Auto Repair (1816 Lincoln Blvd., Venice CA 90291, (310) 396-6341), I knew I would be stopping. I mean, it isn’t every day that you get to go to classic Ford Bronco heaven.
After a chat with the owner, David, in which I tried to force him to pick a favorite model year to no avail — “I mean, they’re all nice, it just depends on what is on the inside!” — I was given free rein to poke around and take a few pictures. For the most part, the technicians ignored me — much too busy, of course – but every now and then I would catch a proud look as I appreciated their handiwork.
Sidenote: if you’re feeling generous, I’ll take that pretty ’72 with the white stripes.
16/04/2013 § 6 Comments
Just a quick note to let you know that I was featured by Curb Appeal as part of their “Style Dossier” series. Please head here to check it out. Many thanks to photographer Shanita Sims for a lovely day!
16/04/2013 § Leave a Comment
Officially back on the east coast after my trip to Los Angeles! If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have already seen my bajillion and three beach and car and Mexican food pictures, so I will spare you. But you’d like to see my recap of Northern Grade, the American-made men’s pop-up shop, you can find it on the BKLYN Dry Goods blog here. I’ve also still got plenty of other stuff to share from my trip, so please be on the lookout for future posts.
Of course, no trip home is complete without a few stowaways. In fact, because it is one of my personal rules to never ever EVER check a bag, it’s become something of a ritual to leave behind an item or two that won’t fit in my carry-on, with instructions to ship it to me (sorry, Mom). This time around was no exception.
Shown above, from top left:
Vintage Guam t-shirt* from BKLYN Dry Goods
T-shirt* from Deus Ex Machina
T-shirt* from General Quarters (call to order)
Personalized postcards from Black Sheep Postal Service
Veg tan belt from Cause and Effect (that I helped make at Northern Grade!)
Juniper Ridge incense from General Store
*I’m designating summer 2013 “The Summer of the T-shirt,” evidently
Shown below, my magnificent vintage Ralph Lauren blanket coat from BKLYN Dry Goods. If you want one of your own, they’ve still got a beautiful aztec-y pink and greenish one — but act fast and contact them directly, as it isn’t on the site just yet.
I do hope all is well with you. Yesterday’s devastating events at the Boston Marathon left me more than a little shell-shocked and my thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected. For more information on how you can help, please visit the American Red Cross.
Be safe. xo.
04/04/2013 § Leave a Comment
Hello from 10,000 feet somewhere above Pennsylvania! Skyblogging! As I mentioned earlier, I’m heading out to visit my hometown of Los Angeles this weekend for a pretty awesome two-fer. My twin nieces just turned ten (oof! double digits!) and Northern Grade, the travelling men’s pop-up, is in town. I’m actually willing to consider this a three-fer, if the weather manages to stay in the 70s, as expected.
I’m really looking forward to catching up with some familiar faces and meeting a few new ones. I’ll probably be rambling around in my sweet rental car everywhere from Simi Valley to Manhattan Beach, so do let me know if there’s anything you think I shouldn’t miss. Over the weekend I’ll be on hand with BKLYN Dry Goods at Northern Grade, which you should definitely check out. It’s a pretty rare opportunity in Los Angeles to find such an excellent assortment of quality, American-made menswear, accessories and collectibles all in one place and the folks at Pierrepont Hicks always put together an awesome event. If you see me, please say hello!
03/04/2013 § 1 Comment
A weekend for west coasting…
Boy. by Band of Outsiders sailboat printed silk crepe de chine shirt
Mih Jeans Paris cropped mid-rise straight-leg jeans
La Perla Donna Eleonora molded underwire bra
J.Crew wool twill schoolboy blazer
The Hill-side selvedge ticking stripe twill pocket square
Clare Vivier Besace embossed bag
Charles Philip Sheila chambray flats
Nothing like a pair of white jeans to get you in the mood for warmer climates. With my upcoming trip to Los Angeles this weekend (a bit more on that later), I’m definitely breaking that old “no white pants before Memorial Day” rule. Just you wait and see.
On the docket:
Trying to remember why I booked a 7am flight. Seriously?
Finishing up Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Quite Continental Breakfast:
bits and bobs for your weekend wander
- My article this week for the BKLYN Dry Goods blog: visiting the largest vintage poster collection in the world at Philip Williams Posters
- A discussion of the evolution and masters of the “lifestyle brand” — namely Ralph, Sir Paul, and Jeremy (as in Lauren, Smith and Hackett) — in light of the upcoming release of Charles Vallance’s and David Hopper’s The Branded Gentry: How a New Era of Entrepreneurs Made Their Names (Elliott & Thompson), via the FT.
- A profile of Dame Margaret Barbour and a look at her remarkably successful guidance of the iconic brand that bears her last name, via Telegraph.
- An entirely new school of etiquette has sprung forth to help you deal with those novel situations that Emily Post didn’t ponder, such as how to conduct yourself at a nude beach or if emoticons are appropriate in business emails, via The New York Times.
- Evidently the real reason I listen to Ke$ha when I’m working out is because she maintains an optimal number of beats per minute, or so the Wall Street Journal tells me. (Please note: this is a workout jams judgement free zone)
Have a lovely weekend!