My Fall Obsession: Burgundy and Camo Shoes

Classiq-My Fall Obsession-Burgundy and Camo Shoes 
I’m not quite done with Dree Hemingway and Cole Haan yet. Burgundy has always been one of my favourite colours for autumn, and the camouflage pattern, especially in shoes, makes for the perfect military detail for the season – I could easily name these Bradshaw shoes the accessory for this fall. And the two paired together (I love the idea of a burgundy shirt worn with camo pumps and black jeans) form such a beautiful symphony of colours, which seems to want to make the best of liveliness and vitality of nature before winter greys take over.

photo: collage by me / top left photo: Glen Luchford | Dree Hemingway in a behind the scenes shot, via Cole Haan / Cole Haan Bradshaw shoes

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Dree Hemingway for Cole Haan

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Dree Hemingway for Cole Haan Fall Autumn 2014 
Resonant with rural imagery, the Cole Haan autumn/winter campaign, my favourite this season, reconstructs a down-to-earth and down-on-the-farm feel that seems to appeal to more and more people who are looking for a simpler and more relaxed way of life, myself included. Dree Hemingway is the face of the campaign, the brand’s global ambassador and collaborator on their fall premium collection, Cole Haan for Dree Hemingway.

It would be difficult to find someone better than Dree, given not only her lineage, but also her sense of style – feminine with a hint of masculine touch, simple but with an adventurous feel – to represent the essence of classic American style. The story captured here takes place in Sun Valley, in the mountains of Idaho, Dree’s home, “somewhere where you can really breathe”, she says. The collection features a beautiful fall wardrobe in neutral, coordinating tones, evoking the natural colour palette of the great outdoors and autumnal mountain escapes.
Dree Hemingway for Cole Haan Fall 2014

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photos: Glen Luchford, via Cole Haan | Dree Hemingway styled by Melanie Ward | Click on images to enlarge

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Sunset Boulevard

by guest writer

Sunset Boulevard-1950 
Sunset Boulevard (1950) is probably one of the best known films noir in the American cinema. An unusual mixture of melodrama, Gothic horror and pure film noir, the movie gets hold of you from the very first shot. A monologue made by Joe Gillis (William Holden) gives way to the flashback of events that will unfold throughout the film. Joe’s bad luck has made him grow hungry lately until he is offered to write a screenplay for a former silent star, Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), dissolved into obscurity. I need to remind you that this is Swanson’s first appearance in a talking movie, as her career declined soon after the sound was introduced in the late ’20s. Her part and talent don’t seem gone at all, in fact it reminds me of Bette Davis’ best films.

Billy Wilder chooses to pay tribute to the birth of modern cinema by including cameos of Cecil B. DeMille and Buster Keaton. His way of paying respect to this era includes the wonderful part played by Erich Von Stroheim as Norma’s chauffeur, Max Von Mayerling. A typical noir item, the usual femme fatale character, is replaced by an old cinema star in Sunset Boulevard, thus giving way to a deep psychological analysis of the fading woman into madness. The bleak black & white photography by John F. Seitz and the chiaroscuro lighting transform this movie into a real visual treat that won’t be forgotten soon.

photo: still from the film | Paramount Pictures

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Common Era Knits

Common Era Knits-Mercer St. Blanket Scarf 
Common Era Knits is a newly launched brand based in New York City. Made-by-hand knitwear, of the finest fair trade materials: 100% Peruvian highland wool, 100% American grown cotton, Alpaca/Merino blend softer than cashmere. Transparency and sustainability are the core values of Common Era Knits and beautiful, minimalist, comfortable, basic items (aren’t these always the hardest to find, especially in knitwear?) are what they make. I am thrilled at the though of a brand that puts so much price on quality and so much care and personal touch into every piece in their collection. Something (still) rare, something to be appreciated more often, and the kind of clothing to be cherished because it makes you feel loved in it.

The designer behind the brand and who makes everything herself in her NYC studio (every garment is named after a New York street) is a talented young lady with a beautiful mind, Justine, who I am pleased to say that has graced the pages of my blog before, as my guest on my Chic Files series. Justine says she quit her day job “to dedicate my time to living with intention”, and so she started Common Era Knits. I had to ask her a few questions and you can read her answers below.
Common Era Knits_Mulberry St. ScarfCommon Era Knits-Orchard St. HatCommon Era Knits-1Common Era Knits-Eldridge St. Sweater
What is the story behind your knitwear collection?
I wanted to create a knitwear brand for women who value both elegance and comfort. I really like the “old fashioned” idea of fashion: women used to go to a design house and choose designs that would then be made just for them. I value the time and care that goes into making a garment by hand. A sweater, for example, can take up to 12 hours to make. Those 12 hours include knitting the pieces, sewing them by hand together, blocking and then shaping them before sewing on tags. But most women today aren’t used to wearing clothes that are not made in a factory, even if they buy from luxury brands. So I created a brand with a minimalist aesthetic using luxury yarns. This way I know the items are quality and not made in a factory, because they’re made by me. The collection has New York City at its heart, but I hope to design a wanderlust collection soon.

What are the challenges of creating a socially conscious collection/fashion brand?
So many challenges! Originally I just wanted to knit clothes and scarves for people. Then, for my day job, I did a lot of research on the garment industry in India and China. I read a lot of accounts from factory workers who make the clothes for fast fashion labels like H&M. So the idea of making unique knitwear – and clothing made ethically by my own hand – just fell into place with me. The biggest challenge so far has been getting people to trust the quality and pricing of handmade things. So many people still buy clothing haphazardly because they’re cheap and “the thing of the moment.” A lot of people really like the idea of unique handmade things, but at the end of the day they don’t trust them or don’t want to spend a little more. Ultimately, I’d like to see more bespoke clothing houses so that we don’t have to label clothes as “ethically made” or not. People will be more involved in the production of the clothes they wear.

Do you think people are embracing more and more a “fewer, better things” philosophy?
Yes, I do! That’s Cuyana’s tagline. So there’s hope! Cuyana and Everlane are some of my favourite brands right now. They’re transparent about production costs, factory conditions, and they make really quality basics. The idea of fewer, better doesn’t happen overnight though. It’s not just a change in the way you buy your clothes – it kind of has to be accompanied by being a more conscious human in general. For some people that’s a radical change in the way they consume, and for others it’s finding a little more time for gratitude. Every step towards being a more compassionate person is positive. With Common Era Knits I hope to offer people something they know never hurt anyone to produce, and also something they love to wear. It’s a very personal process for me.

Describe Common Era Knits in three words.
Elegant, minimalist, cosy.

photos: Common Era | 1-Mercer St. Blanket Scarf | 2-Mulberry St. Scarf | 3-Orchard St. Hat | 4-Greene St. Sweater | 5-Eldridge St. Sweater

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Notebook pages

Here are my latest finds and news from fashion, style, film, photography and beautiful living.

Kara Rosenlund photography 
There is a quaint quality about the space above. I find it very autumnal and soothing for the soul, but I also think its beauty stems from the framed photograph of the two horses, by Kara Rosenlund. I would love to have it on my wall. Maybe one day I will tell you where my vicarious fascination with horses and equestrian motifs hails from. Here is more from the photographer’s portfolio.
• Tomas Maier, Bottega Veneta’s creative director: “I never design on the computer. I use the computer for research, but I draw sketches. [...] I think you build a collection on a collection that you have done previously. I never would do something completely different. I find that doesn’t work for my thought process, and it doesn’t work for my client. I like when everything is coherent and makes sense together. I think it’s very important.” Read the entire interview by following the link above.

• Kirsten Dunst is not a fan of the self-photography phenomenon that’s taking over our social media obsessed society and this short film of hers is a selfie parody that just shows the ridicule and artificiality so many people, not only teenagers, indulge in.

• Timeless pieces in the new Totême Fall/Winter collection.

• Another jean story I loved, featuring a young classic American girl.

• I’m currently reading Lauren Bacall’s autobiography, By Myself and Then Some (so good!) and this one is the next one on my list.

photo: Kara Rosenlund

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Michael Kors’ Perfect Little Black Dress Look

Michael Kors Spring 2015 
Where should I start? I like everything about this look. The dress – simple, with an elegant and flattering silhouette (fitted above the waist and perfectly full-skirted below, with pockets and mid-calf length), but bearing that perfect touch of je ne sais quoi (the low neckline) to make it stand out, without losing a seam of refinement. The shoes – flat, pointy-toed and ankle strapped – playful and chic. The hair – “earthy and dishevelled”. The make-up – natural, with a golden, sun-kissed tone – it’s the Michael Kors all-American girl after all, who loves the outdoors and the sporting life. I can’t think of a better example for modern understated glamour.

photo: | Michael Kors Spring 2015

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