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Looking for a unique holiday gift that’s thoughtful, stylish, and useful? I was excited to learn about the new calendars from one of my favorite artists - Sally King Benedict.  Benedict’s art is whimsical and inviting.  And, on those days at your desk when you wish you could just escape to the beach, her images are sure to take you there.  The artist’s first-ever calendar includes 12 of her all-time favorite paintings. The calendar + cards combination is perfect for your desktop or bulletin board and it’s just $38.

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So, after a month has past, each art piece tears off in a 5 1/2 x 7 mailable postcard – genius.  Be sure to check out her new website and shop while you’re at it and shop the calendar here.

 

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1. goop

a peek at the GOOP Interior designed by Michelle Nussbaumer

The last month has been an absolute whirlwind.  I honestly can’t believe we are nearing upon mid-December and I haven’t yet purchased a single gift! But, in the past few weeks, I’ve had some wonderful experiences that I’m sure to cherish for my entire life.  From meeting the fabulous Trina Turk at her Dallas boutique, to attending the GOOP Pop-Up shop opening in Dallas, interviewing fashion designer David Neville from Rag & Bone, making it home for Thanksgiving for a long weekend with family, and attending my favorite holiday performance – The Nutcracker with a good friend, it’s been an incredible few weeks!

1. Haley Schultheis Gwyneth Paltrow

with Gwyneth!

With its closing date upon us, I wanted to be sure and recap the GOOP store opening and pop up shop.  The interior of the store was styled by world renowned designer Michelle Nussbaumer. It was absolutely perfect. The black and white floral panels are to die for!  I attended the GOOP store opening party and had the pleasure of meeting Gwyneth Paltrow and Monique Lhuillier to celebrate the launch of their new collaborative collection. It’s absolutely stunning! From cookbooks, to makeup, clothing, candles, and a custom menu from Number One (who’s cooking recipes of Gwyneth’s this month), it’s the perfect stop to find a unique gift this Christmas.

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GOOP x Monique Lhuillier

7. Haley Schultheis Monique Lhuillier

With Monique Lhuillier

I asked Gwyneth about a few of her favorite items at the pop up shop.  She said that the secret to luminescence on the red carpet is PRTTY PEAUSHUN skin tight body lotion created by celebrity makeup artist, Bethany Karlyn. The lotion’s subtle light reflecting particles in a natural emollient base give the body a gorgeous, flattering glow! The product’s radiance conceals minor imperfections and enhances definition to create a sexy, slimmer silhouette.  Paltrow made it clear this is an absolute must-have for her.  A few of her other favorite items?  She loves the Flash Facial product from Sonya Dakar. She said you can literally see the dead skin peeling from your face.  And, though they are difficult to find in the US, she loves anything from the UK’s ILA Spa – particularly the bath salts, body cream, and candles. I purchased the ILA Spa candle from GOOP in the Orange Blossom fragrance and absolutely love it. It’s fresh, clean, and inviting.

Please enjoy some of the photos I snapped on my visits!

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flowers by @TTHBlooms

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Looking for a gift that’s out of the ordinary this holiday season? Try OuiPlease! OuiPlease is a new lifestyle concept that was founded by Parisian-born Jessica Barouche. It shares her love and knowledge of all things French. Barouche’s company delivers the finest in apparel, beauty, jewelry home and epicure.  Each box has an approximate value of $400 USD (over double the retail price PLUS it includes full-size products).  Each delivery has been carefully selected by Barouche and her team of French influencers and researches.  Bring a bit of France to your doorstep each month!

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Jessica Barouche

After receiving a few popular subscription box services the past few years, I never really opt for more than one delivery.  This has mostly been a consequence of tiny sample size bottles or things that I just wouldn’t use. I ended up having to giveaway mini lotions, skin care products, or a lip color that wasn’t the right shade.  I received my OuiPlease box earlier this month and it’s entirely different from all of the rest. I can genuinely say that I am interested in the products – they are all different, full size, and smell wonderful!  On top of that, it includes a magazine that was an absolute treat.  It’s very nicely done, informative, and inspiring. This is a box that would make an excellent gift and stands apart from other subscriptions and memberships in the market. It’s chic and unique.

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Whether you choose a single delivery, month to month, or a yearly subscription, you are sure to find the perfect fit for every circumstance.  With the holidays around the corner, they’d make an excellent present! Learn more here.

 

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By George 5

On Him: Lanvin “Attitude” suit, Alden long wing bluchers, Sander shirt + tie.
On Her: The Row “Retvers” fox fur vest, Lanvin dress.

One of my favorite boutiques, Austin’s By George, has recently launched ecommerce – right in time for the holidays!  The new website brings the distinctive boutique to life online for a stylishly unique online experience.  Customers around the world may now shop the unique collections and unusual finds. A sampling of featured on the site include Lanvin, Maiyet, SUNO, Band of Outsiders, Golden Goose, in addition to many other globally-recognized brands and local designers. Eventually the site will also include additional apothecary items as well as web-exclusive pieces.

 

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On Her: Isabel Marant “Milroy” jacket, Marni skirt, Coclico “Sage” boots, Organic by John Patrick sweater.

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On Him: Lardini coat, Aspesi cashmere sweater, Dries Van Noten scarf.

The new site allows By George owners Matt and Katy Culmo to showcase lines their customers have come to know and love, in real time, while allowing those around the globe who love the store to shop new pieces and to reach out to a new customer base. “We have noticed through the years that many of our loyal customers, whether from Austin or out-of-town, were shopping with By George not only because of our collections, but the way we buy,” says Matt Culmo. “It’s in how we assemble collections that’s new and different. It’s a skill set we joyfully exploit on ByGeorgeAustin.com, now for a wider audience,” he concludes.   By George 4

On Her: Rick Owens biker shearling jacketJason Wu skirt, Givenchy top, Balenciaga boots, Lanvin “Private” quilted clutch.

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On Him: Officine Generale peacoat, Golden Goose shirt, Aspesi cashmere cardigan3, Jil Sander tie, APC Petite New Standard Jean, Lanvin suede sneakers.

  Are you ready to add to your holiday wish list?  Check it out here! By George 1

On Her: The Row “Nima” pants + “Neshman” jacket, Lanvin heels.
On Him: Dries Van Noten “Brent” jacket, Alden long wing bluchers, Jil Sander shirt, Dries Van Noten tie

Photo Credit: By George and Jackie Young

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Veronica Beard Jacket

 

For the holiday season, Veronica Beard has released a limited edition patchwork jacket.  The Navy Seasonless Suiting classic jacket has a removable French Terry Hoodie Dickey. The patches are locally sourced and hand-embroidered patches.  The jacket has a single-button closure with double vent details at the back and front pockets.  This jacket will pair well with your holiday-ready tartan plaid, velvet, and of course, your favorite pair of jeans. This will add just the perfect amount of personality and character to your holiday season this year. And, of course, add it to your wish list!

Shop it here.

 

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1. Ann Mashburn

 “My personal style is… my own…”

- Ann Mashburn

I have to admit that it was my mother who first directed me to Ann Mashburn. It was just last year when she stumbled upon the most gorgeous tartan plaid dress in a magazine. She directly sent it my way.  Ever since, I’ve browsed the Ann Mashburn website at least once weekly and am beginning my own small collection of her pieces.

In three words, Mashburn describes her company as classic, simple, and cool. This company fills a void in the market for women’s clothing. It provides those classically feminine and southern pieces that can remain in your closet year after year.  The fabrics are luxurious, the seasonal colors stunning and always on mark, and the cuts – flattering, sophisticated, but never too suggestive. In a world where in-your-face is the norm, the bright collection from Ann Mashburn is a breath of fresh air.

After opening her first store in Atlanta and then another in Houston, it was wonderful to finally catch up with one of my new favorite designers and ask her a little bit about her plans for her company and what’s to come in 2015. And, I can’t forget to mention the dashing line for men – Sid Mashburn (named after her husband whom she co-designs with).  If you are looking for the perfect holiday attire to twirl you through the upcoming season of cocktail parties – you’ve come to the right place.  You can’t go wrong with the Mashburns.

 

enjoy! xx

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A Q&A with fashion designer Ann Mashburn.

 

How did Ann Mashburn, the company, come to be?  Can you share a little about the company’s history and its story?

Well, I have been in fashion one way or another my entire career. My very first job was at Vogue working as an assistant for Fashion Editor and Stylist Polly Mellon. It was an incredible experience working alongside Polly and collaboratively with visionary greats like Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Steven Meisel. I then continued at Condé Nast as an editor/stylist at Glamour, and later as an in-house stylist for J.Crew.

Sid and I met in NYC in our early twenties – he himself working as a menswear designer for J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and finally Lands’ End. Sid always knew he wanted to branch out and do his own thing, so after 25+ years in the business, we decided to go for it- opening first the Sid Mashburn men’s shop in Atlanta in 2007- the idea being old-school English men’s club meets Italian tailoring shop, but with a very fun, easy American spirit. We both always had this sort of mental, analog Pinterest board brewing in our heads of all the things we loved and wanted to put together in one place. The very personal mix of passion, product, and that Italian tradition of thoughtful shopping and a certain dependance on the shopkeeper to guide and teach you. It was missing in the men’s market in the US… so we just… went for it…! And then organically, after a few years we made the decision to expand in 2010 and open a women’s counterpart, Ann Mashburn, with a bit of a playful, but sophisticated French flair. I’m a mother of 5 daughters (!!) so it was very important for me to create collections for women of timeless classics and essentials mixed with a curation of cheerful things I’ve found along the way…

 

Would you consider your company to be a lifestyle brand?

Absolutely. We still have some product categories to get into for our own label, but we try to offer most everything you need except cars or food. In the sense that we are selling a brand & a concept & a look & a mindset much more than pieces of clothing.

 

A typical day in the life of Ann Mashburn looks like:

I am a mom first… so feed the animals and the children… carpool… quick jog then quick change and off to office. Meetings, meetings, and work, work (with a taco somewhere in between for lunch) then back to momdom to pick up my little basketball player and squeeze in dinner or a piano lesson first…. nothing too glamorous. I have to have a bath at the end of the night, pretty much no matter what… and a little juice glass of wine doesn’t hurt.

2. Ann Mashburn
Ann Mashburn, Houston, TX

5. Ann Mashburn 3. Ann Mashburn

What made you choose to start your company in Atlanta first? What brought you to Houston?

When Sid and I decided to take the plunge and do our own thing, we started with a list of 9 cities. Out of the blue, Atlanta came up & Sid jumped on it. We plucked it out of the sky… no connection to the city at all. But when we came down to visit, the crocuses were blooming, the people were so nice & everything just seemed to fall into place. I grew up all over the Midwest, but Sid and I met in New York, where we lived for ages. He is from Mississippi so perhaps we were thinking of the south? I have no idea, except that we visited so many cities, but this was the one that felt really special and right at the time.

Houston came to us in the same way last year – Texas is just so much its own world, and we knew we wanted to be there. One of our daughters went to school in Austin, Sid’s sister & her family lived in Houston so it felt a bit familiar. Again, the people & the feel just led us there. We had such a great customer base in Texas already from our online shops, and we fell in love with our location and the people we met —it just made sense to make it our first “away game.” It’s been an incredible market for us so far… we celebrate our first anniversary in Houston in December. That validation has been great for us, and now we’ve got more cities in the pipeline, so stay tuned.

All of our spots so far have been incredibly diverse, with great history, great people, and a real space in the market.

 

As we’re approaching your 1 year anniversary for Houston, any scoop on what’s next? 

More new product! Amazing new bags and shoes – the first of which hits the shops this week … but Sid and I are going on a design trip to Italy next week to develop more accessories and footwear.

 

Where do you source inspiration for your seasonal designs?

Besides the usual, one of the things we like to draw on is our experience. Also, we tend to design from the inside of our closet…so it’s what’s NOT in our closet that we’re kinda musing on. This sounds like such a repeat from everyone else in the industry, but it’s the usual suspects: travel, culture, music, literature, and pop culture from when we were growing up.

 

What are the most important characteristics the finished product must contain when crafting your designs from start to finish?

Quality of materials. It is just like cooking – if you start with the right ingredients, it makes a massive difference. The quality has to go through to the end –the colors, the fabrics , the trims & then of course the cut, sew, make,fit ,finish – and it all has to be the best. Simple and perfect is hard!

A lot of people look at expensive things and think “you can get that at the mall” and that is often true as far as the way it looks from a distance. But the construction isn’t as careful, the stitching is different, the fabric isn’t as nice, the buttons and thread and trim aren’t the same, and you’re left with something that just doesn’t fit the same or last as long… and ultimately costs so much more in the end when you replace it. We love cheap and cheerful, but we have to stand behind our own product a little more.

 

Where do you find such luxurious fabrics?

We have been in the business for so long that we’re really fortunate to have fantastic relationships with both established and under-the-radar mills and suppliers. We make it a point to work with the best so that we can be really proud of the finished product. Most of our fabric comes from Italy. Some of our men’s tailored fabric comes from England where they do fantastic wools and tweeds so well. And we love India for handwoven silks and selvedge chambrays.

 

4. Ann Mashburn

 

 

fabric swatch board for planning
ann mashburn inspiration board

 

Ann Mashburn – inspiration board

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the FIRST Ann Mashburn handbag – introducing the Merendina! 

 

What are a few of your bestsellers?

Our shirts are really our bread & butter – our boyfriend shirt and popovers and western shirts are a staple. We also have a fantastic line of sweaters which are can’t-live-withouts…

 

What can we expect to see from Ann and Sid Mashburn in Houston this coming holiday season?

All of our great fall things, plus a little sparkle for evening – super chic gold sweater – gold loafer – boyfriend sweaters – easy wraparound ball skirts in handwoven silk for evening… and Sid has the perfect tuxedo.

It is such a season for formal dressing! I love my ball skirts with a t-shirt and fantastic heels… and closer to the holidays we will be in leggings and socks and heavy-gauge cashmere sweaters around the house. And, then I wear one of my plaid capes almost every day, because it’s like a blanket/coat hybrid, which makes it perfect for Texas winters.

On Sid’s side, he has the perfect tuxedo for all the black-tie events around the holidays. We are big on the navy sport jacket always, and like heavier, softer materials for colder weather like flannels, tweeds, and cashmere.

8. Ann Mashburn

Ann Mashburn Wraparound Ball Skirt

7. Ann Mashburn

Ann Mashburn Lucchese Classic Boot

9. Ann Mashburn

Ann Mashburn Plaid Wrap Cape

 

 

 

 

How do you hope to see your company grow?

We are opening stores in the next few years in key cities — as soon as spring 2015. Watch for us. Houston has been an incredible market for us. And, our online business is growing like crazy along with our brick-and-mortars, which is exciting because there are no geographic locations and the shop never closes.

 

What’s been the single greatest or happiest moment of the company’s journey thus far?

When you work so hard to design the interior of a store, before any of the product even gets there… you “see” it visually in your head… and then when it comes out even better… that is pretty great. When I have walked into each of the shops at that moment, before we get going I get so excited – and then seeing them filled with happy people.

 

When you aren’t working you are…

Hanging domestically… I love my home life and I love my husband Sid & my girls so I am usually just living amongst them and happy…

 

Find Ann Mashburn on the web, Twitter& Instagram.

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Young Hollywood 1  
 
My newest coffee table addition?  Photographer and stylist Claiborne Swanson Frank‘s new book of portraits: “Young Hollywood” from Assouline. I’ve been a long time fan of her work and this title certainly does not disappoint. “As a photographer, I set out to document American culture through large bodies of portrait work—and what’s more American than Hollywood? Hollywood has been a driving force in defining American culture—at home and abroad—for generations,” said Frank, “When I moved to Los Angeles two years ago, I felt there was an opportunity to tell a new story about Hollywood, about the actresses and insiders who are on the verge of defining the next generation of Hollywood influence.”
 
Each photograph brings out the personality and character of sixty actresses, directors, stylists, and more. “This is the first generation of actresses who are crossing industry lines and also working as directors, screenwriters, and producers in such considerable numbers,” she said, “‘Young Hollywood’ celebrates Old Hollywood, through the book’s styling and locations, while honoring this new generation ushering in the industry’s future. The photographs take you away and capture Hollywood over the decades – then and now with emotion, personality, settings, and of course- incredible style. With a wonderful foreword from designer Michael Kors, this book is a must-have for anyone who appreciates all things beautiful, creative, and chic. “The book is as much about recapturing something lost as it was documenting what’s happening in the moment. It was a honor to be behind the lens,” said Frank. Purchase your copy here.

 
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Glossier

 

 

As a long time fan of the beauty blog Into The Gloss, I was excited to hear about their new beauty line, Glossier.  “Over the past four years running Into The Gloss, I saw the need for a beauty brand that speaks to its consumers directly, offering them a chance to engage beyond the traditional touch points of purchase, use and mass marketing. That’s what we’ve created with Glossier—a beauty brand that we want to be friends with,” said Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO, Glossier. “We offer a uniquely immersive brand experience that culminates in our pre-curated collection of products developed for our customers by us, and delivered to them from us.”

Glossier products and the collection will continue to evolve based upon the two-way communication and consumer feedback they’ll continue to receive. The brand has launched with the Glossier Phase 1 Set, which is skincare as makeup. The Glossier Phase 1 Set includes: Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturizer, Perfecting Skin Tint and Balm Dotcom, all of which are designed to work together to perfect (not conceal!) skin.  The produce prices range from $12-26 and you can purchase the entire set for $80. Shop Glossier here and expect more to come soon!

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round top   Cabbages and Roses Pin Tuck Dress / Rag & Bone Leather Trimmed FedoraImogene and Willie Kantha Blanket / Hemsley and Hemsley Cookbook / J.Crew Downing Tote in Colorblock Stripe / Tan and Brown Vintage Cowboy Boots from Feather’s Vintage /  Shinola Run Well Watch in Rose Gold 

 

I’m super excited to head to Round Top, TX this weekend for the antique show with one of my best friends. I haven’t made it to the tents in a few years and it’s her first time – so it will certainly be an adventure.  I’m always inspired by new finds, the scenery, and the people I meet when visiting the area.  You can read about a few of my previous trips here and here. Weather wise, it looks like it’s going to be a gorgeous weekend! I will be packing light dresses, a tote, hat, a great book, and of course – vintage cowboy boots.  I hope you enjoy shopping my inspiration board for this trip!