I had so much fun on a recent trip to Napa Valley (for the first time) to visit my friend Brittany Hawkins. We went all around Napa Valley testing out her newSwirl It! app, which I wrote about several months ago.I am definitely going to write about this trip in a few separate parts because there is not a chance I will be able to choose which images to share otherwise. With this trip, it’s impossible to be a successful editor!
One of my favorite stops, was the Martin Showroom in downtown St. Helena. The showroom of Erin Martin Design is filled with an amazing amount of extraordinary objects. According to the Martin Showroom, they are a “balance of art, engineering aesthetics, and personality.” Within the showroom, you find one-of-a-kind objects designed to bring life and experience into any space.
My senior year of college, I had the opportunity to intern at Lovelace Interiors and assist the fabulous interior designers Glenda Weatherbee and Linda Holman in Destin, Florida on the beautiful Gulf Coast. I learned so much during my brief time there and the entire Lovelace Team was always a pleasure to work with each and every day. Lovelace Interiors is owned by interior designer Susan Lovelace. It is a nationally award winning design firm which has been featured in publications including Veranda, Coastal Living, Southern Living, Architectural Digest, and Florida Design. On a recent trip to the Emerald Coast, I stopped by the interior design firm to see the recently remodeled showroom floor. Lindsay Miller and Cassidy Pickens were so kind to allow me to take pictures!
I absolutely loved the recently renovated showroom. It displayed the perfect combination of contemporary beach chic. The living and bedroom set-ups quietly allude to life by the sea in an understated and elegant style. With clean and sleek furniture shapes and beautiful palettes, the Lovelace Interior showroom makes decorating a home or abode with an ocean flair a breeze. With such inspirational displays and an incredibly talented team, the interior design firm is certainly displaying their fine eye and wisdom when it comes to keeping current with fashioning interiors with a signature seaside twist.
Lovelace Interiors offers the Drexel, LaneVenture, Lee Industries, Maitland Smith, John Richard, Stanley, Lexington, Henredon, Hooker, Arteriors, Global Views, Ralph Lauren, Barbara Barry, Carter, Shermag, and Century furniture lines. And, their to-die-for fabric line-up includes: Kravet, Duralee, Schumacher, Robert Allen, Vervain, Stroheim, Scalamandre, Osborne & Little, and Romo- to name a few. I know that when I build my own dream home by the ocean someday, Lovelace Interiors will certainly be on my speed dial! Until then, I have wonderful memories of their gorgeous new showroom and the lovely individuals that work there, to get me through the times between my trips to the beach.
“We are recreating our own history and embracing the darkness that comes with it,” Eva Haberg.
I recently purchased the book Dark Nostalgia by Eva Haberg after perusing design bookshelves for something of the sorts for quite some time. I was so happy to find exactly what I was looking for with this new coffee table tome. Though Wallpaper magazine does deem his a trend, I feel it is one that is relatively timeless and we should see stick around for quite a bit. Or, at least, that is my personal hope! According to Wallpaper, the book cover “everything from the vintage laden, low-fi stylings of Standefer & Alesch’s Noho Lofts and Roman & Williams’s Ace Hotel – through to glossier interpretations at Adam Tihany’s Joule and Munge Leung’s The Foshay – Dark Nostalgia is set to be the perfect addition to any adapted apothecary cabinet coffee table.” I love the “gritty” and “glamorous” labels applied to this type of style. And, it is currently celebrated in the worlds of both decor and fashion. I’ve incorporated some of my favorite new pieces (shown above) that I feel go hand in hand with the style of Dark Nostalgia.
No, I’m not a single man, but to say I adore every aspect of the interior style of Tom Ford‘s 2009 film is indeed a truth. From the first time I saw A Single Man, I knew I had to replicate the Hollywood Regency style and softly glamorous feel in my own living room as soon as possible! Because the decor in the film spoke to me on so many levels, I knew the look and the feel was absolutely “me” and my style. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect living room than that of the character played by Julianne Moore in the film. I love a great cocktail party, old world elegance, vintage pieces, a mix of textures, sixties fashion, and all-around glamour.
For me, a living room should be a haven in which conversation is effortless. It should be comfortable and inviting – yet, still exciting. It needs to hold an individual’s interest and be appealing to the eye. While the bedroom should be serene, a living room should be welcoming and calming, yet still a pleasant and lively space infused with a few exceptional conversation pieces.
Tom Ford’s A Single Man (2009) – the mix of prints in this film is so inspiring!
pillows from West Elm
I began bringing the style of this movie to life in my own townhouse bit by bit. I found the fabulous 1961 crescent sofa at Again and Again in Dallas. I may recover it someday, but for now, I find the soft peach velvet to be pleasant and warm. I mixed the sofa against a modern contemporary graphic rug from Calypso Home in a beautiful charcoal gray. And, the sofa and rug mixed perfectly with the white marble top brass side tables I found last fall at the The White Elephant Antique store in Dallas.
my favorite baroque frames from Stella Dallas- a lucite vintage “S” lamp from “Lost & Found”
And, the mannequin leg lamp? I purchased it at the Missing Q Press holiday party last year in Dallas. I thought I was just going to be leaving with stationary and somehow managed to exit with a letterpress calendar AND a lamp made with 1930s mannequin legs. I can assure you it is one of a kind. The lamp was designed by Pocket Full of Heirlooms. It’s beautifully done and even lovelier when lit. One of my favorite movies growing up was Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. I feel like this is my grown up Alice in Wonderland piece! The lamp certainly sparks many a conversation and adds an extraordinary dose of whimsy to the space. I love it.
antique gold French mirror from Again & Again Dallas
antique marble top claw footed brass side tables from The White Elephant – Dallas, TX
some of the wall art in my living room
I think the most important thing about decorating is not to purchase everything at once. If you want a room to truly speak to you, then you should be sure you are surrounded by things you truly love. Can’t find that perfect coffee table? Then store your books on a side table or away in a closet until you find the one you can’t live without. If you purchase things here and there and always keep your eye out for that must-have piece, you will never forget the moment you first saw it and you will be glad you waited! Often, the ideal piece will find you at an unexpected time. I’ve purchased a piece of artwork from a local post office shop before. The owner of the shop made it herself out of antique house numbers- so I knew there wasn’t another one in the entire world quite like mine!
Lastly, inspiration is incredibly important when it comes to creating a space that speaks to you and that you adore more with each and very use. I would keep an inspiration binder and when you see a photograph or a picture in a magazine that grabs your attention- tear it from spread and store it in your binder. You will be amazed at how many images you compile! Whether it’s a chair, a small desk tray, a mirror, a light fixture, or even a door knob- it’s all about the details when it comes to interiors. And, until you find that perfect picture frame for the mantelpiece – a gorgeous bunch of your favorite fresh flowers will do just fine!
Quick Tips: 1.) The ‘Wow’ Piece: Purchase one statement piece to serve as the focus of the room (be it a great sofa, ottoman, chair, etc.). This could be your investment piece.
2.) Color: Paint your palette beforehand – pick at least 3 colors you are going to stick with. For my living room, they are: charcoal, peach, and gold
3.) Unique: Add something meaningful to the space- be it a piece of artwork or a curious dish on a side table that simply begs for a second glance!
4.) Accessorize! This is basically dressing up your room- pick out fun rugs and pillows that you adore! I purchase mine at a moderate price point (like West Elm) – that way I can change them out with the seasons.. and my moods!
NEWS: You can now find Nonsense & Sensibility on – TAIGAN Finds! I have been keeping up with this fabulous luxury shopping website for years and I am so excited to be contributing articles each week on fashion, style, and decor (a perfect fit I know)! Please take a peek at my latest post, “The Warmth of Fall” and look for more Nonsense and Sensibility weekly on Taigan Finds! Find Taigan on Facebook and Twitter.
“This season, my woman is powerful and in control of her beauty, her life, and her destiny,” – Karen Erickson
Karen Erickson, a founder of Erickson Beamon jewelry along with Vicki Beamon, insists that her brand’s success rests on the strength of its ability to change while continuing to support the underlying brand aesthetic. “I’m an Aquarius. Aquarius is the zodiac sign for change,” said Karen, “Conformity is the greatest punishment for an Aquarian. Uniqueness is in my DNA. My mind is filled with ideas waiting to be born. We never lack for new and unusual designs, because I literally cannot create new pieces fast enough. I never slow down.” I asked Karen, to her, what is Erickson Beamon – what does it represent? “We pioneered statement jewelry in the 80s,” she said, “We’ve been in business for over 28 years, and we’ve dressed everyone from Madonna to Lady Gaga, from Lady Gaga to Beyonce, from Beyonce to Michelle Obama, and from Michelle Obama to Michael Jackson. The UK prime minister’s wife is a collector, as is the first lady of Russia. Gwyneth Paltrow, Daphne Guinness, Sarah Jessica Parker are all fans.”
Each piece of Erickson Beamon jewelry is handmade in the company’s Manhattan atelier and crafted to last. Karen said that her company’s greatest accomplishment thus far was their latest fashion week presentation at Milk Studios. “Fashion is such a fast paced industry and we continually reinvent ourselves with designs and strive for the highest quality production,” said Vicki Beamon. And, it doesn’t stop with just fashion – Erickson Beamon takes creativity to an entirely different level. “Erickson Beamon The Redemption of Eve: Return to the Garden was a multi media fashion, art, dance extravaganza,” said Karen. It was yet another show for the books. And, in fact, the jewelry label is credited with creating the timeless chandelier earring. How exactly did this particular design that was celebrated by Vogue and widely copied come to be? “I coined the phrase `chandelier earring’ in the 1980s when I designed a tiny dollhouse chandelier earring, a piece which has been housed in the permanent collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum for two decades,” said Karen, “My first life-sized chandelier, made at the request of Simon Doonan for the windows of Barneys, commemorated Erickson Beamon’s 20th Anniversary.”
The designer said she draws inspiration for her collections from all aspects of life. “The world is my inspiration,” she said, “Nothing is off limits to spark my creative flame. Something as simple as a word or an image, or a general theme for an upcoming photo shoot, can lead to the production of an entire collection. I strive to create memorable, fashion-forward pieces that push boundaries within the design world.” Clearly, Karen’s inspirations have left their mark on the brand – creating unique pieces that are celebrated around the globe. “I’m not inspired by a particular person, place, or thing,” she said, “I am inspired by life, art, culture, politics. I love the concept of Occupy Wall Street: Power to the People Right Now.” And, what does the design pair feel truly differentiates their collections from others? “Our style is beautifully crafted and uniquely designed,” said Vicki, “It is the appreciation of these qualities that I think distinguishes us from other brands and makes our customers so diverse.”
Karen’s daughter, Monique Erickson, also has a strong role in the family business. “Boy, are we a family business,” said Monique, “My mother, Karen is our founder and creative director. My father Eric is our CFO. My older sister Mandie is our PR Director. I manage the brand and act, as it were, as the face. We all study Kabbalah, so we know we are part of each other’s spiritual journey. We are fundamentally more potent as a group.” Another case of like mother like daughter, Monique said that they both work closely together. “We compliment each other and push each other’s buttons,” she said, “As far as taste is concerned, our aesthetics are very similar. At an exhibition we would gravitate towards similar artworks. The same is true with fashion and literature, and life too.”
Monique’s favorite Erickson Beamon piece is her Ice Age headpiece (top image). “I wear it every day, to fashion parties or burger joints (except when I wear my glasses),” she said, “On those days I wear my favorite ‘frostbite’ necklace.’” And, for whom do both she and her mother find themselves designing for in mind? “Every woman with style and a sense of humor, from all ages from thirteen to ninety is our girl,” said Karen, “Our work is timeless. Fashion is global and taste is universal.” As for collaborations, Erickson Beamon doesn’t shy away from pairing up their limitless creativity with that of other leading designer labels. “I love a research project,” said Karen, “I dig deep into the designer’s mind to make their dreams and vision a reality. Collaborating for the runway is one of the most rewarding aspects of my design process.”
Does it get difficult to multi-task? Focusing both on their own collection and their collaborations and projects with other designers? Karen shared that maintaining structure can be the greatest challenge within their family business. “We’re an independently owned fashion company,” she said, “Every piece of Erickson Beamon is custom made by hand in our atelier in Chelsea, New York. When I started in 1983 and people referred to offshore production, I thought they meant New Jersey. So what we do, foremost, is a labor of love.” And, while speaking of structure – Erickson Beamon incorporated the strong architecture-inspired look into their fall line. “We didn’t want anything too girly or overly feminine,” she said, “This season, my woman is powerful and in control of her beauty, her life, and her destiny.” When it comes to the company’s own destiny, Erickson Beamon hopes to start a handbag line in the future. “I want to make shoes and bags, open shops, grow, grow, grow,” said Karen.
With so much success and celebrities wearing their pieces left and right – when exactly did they know they’d made it? “The minute you think you’ve made it you’ve lost the game,” said Monique, “A designer always needs to run, and run fast, because someone is always behind you, waiting for you to slow down.” So, what exactly keeps them going and at an extremely fast pace? It seems that the energy of Erickson Beamon comes from not just limiting themselves to one particular area or person- Erickson Beamon infuses their style into all that is inspiring, creative, and alive. “We like to think that we cover the fashion map,” said Karen, “Our jewelry has graced the runways of Givenchy, Dior, Donna Karan, Alexander McQueen etcetera. We hope to add you to our fan club.” And, with that answer, Erickson Beamon immediately gained a new fan on Facebook – me.
I love these extra long ponchos that were featured the other day on Vogue Daily. From the evening ponchos to daywear – Vogue pulled a beautiful array of ponchos in a variety of styles. My verdict: LOVE!
Photographer Mark Shawis most famous for the images he captured of the Kennedy’s. He originally shot many of these images during his time as a photographer for Life magazine and then later as the unofficial White House family photographer during the Kennedy years. He also worked as a leading fashion photographer for Life magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and Mademoiselle - to name a few. He was one of the first fashion photographers to use color on the runways and and behind the stage at couture shows. Shaw has photographed artists, models, and celebrities including: Pablo Picasso, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Yves St. Laurent, Audrey Hepburn, Nico of the Velvet Underground and Coco Chanel.
I chose to feature the photographs above because I love the simplicity of them. They present a beautiful soft palette and the surroundings are just as exquisite, chic, and feminine as the models themselves. I love how you can simply drink up the thought of Paris fashion in the 1950s and 1960s with these photos just like a glass of champagne! Their simple sophistication is quite alluring and the models entirely mysterious.
These photographs from Mark Shaw of Deauville and St. Tropez in the 50s and 60s incredible as well. I love the styles of the swimwear and the positioning of the bold colors against the sand. These models are entirely glamorous and sexy without being at all provocative. They give a true meaning to beach style and elegance. Don’t you want to wear a red cape to the beach?
I chose to feature these two final images because they capture such private moments. Though the model and Christian Dior certainly have onlookers, it almost seems that the lens of the camera is giving us a view that no one else can see. As for the model in the salon of Balenciaga, again, we are given the view of the model gazing upon herself- which is quite the intimate experience.
“To me, New York was an intoxicating cocktail of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Interview magazine and Liz Tilberis’s Harpers Bazaar. It was Brodovitch typography, Helmut Lang, Linda Evangelista and sophisticated GLAMOUR and I fell head over heels in love with it.”
- Annabel Tollman
New York fashion stylist and journalist, Annabel Tollman has loved fashion for as long as she can remember. “I have always dreamed in clothes,” she said, “Even as a 5-year-old, I costumed all my stories and fairytales. I suppose it always just seemed so intrinsic to the character and part of the story. What good is a Princess without a beautiful dress?” Annabel is the former fashion editor of Interview magazine and has styled the likes of celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Keira Knightley, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Liv Tyler, Selma Blair, Anne Hathaway, Shakira, and Jessica Simpson to name a few. She was born in Brussels and raised in both London and New York.
Has Annabel always worked in fashion? “My first ever job was waitressing at a hotel in the country near where my mother lives,” she shared, “I was terrible – I would spill food and hit people on the head with the serving tray – but they were oddly enough always very nice about my clumsiness.” All clumsiness aside, where and when is this celebrity stylist happiest? “When I am being creative,” she said, “In the country on a long walk in beautiful scenery. With friends – ultimately it is our relationships that make us happiest.”
“Oh dear. PETA here we come. I actually only buy vintage fur – somehow it seems less awful. The silver fox is a cape from the 30′s – it‘s absolutely huge on and makes me look like one of the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz and entirely terrifying. The white monkey fur jacket (which is actually goat – they just call it monkey fur – I can’t imagine anything more terrible than wearing monkey) was an Alessandro dell’Acqua sample.” - Annabel from The Coveteur
So, what brought Annabel from London to New York? Why Manhattan? “I always loved the idea of New York, before I had ever been here,” she said, “To me, New York was an intoxicating cocktail of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Interview magazine and Liz Tilberis’s Harpers Bazaar. It was Brodovitch typography, Helmut Lang, Linda Evangelista and sophisticated GLAMOUR and I fell head over heels in love with it.” What are her favorite places in New York City? “I love Jeffrey’s Grocery, The Waverly Inn, Niko, Tavern on Jane, and ABC Kitchen,” she said, “Favorite place in New York city is the West Village.” And, besides the city, does she have her own style inspirations? “Oh too many to mention,” she said, “I am inspired a lot by my imagination and by literary heroines. Dominique Francon from The Fountainhead, Cathy from Wuthering Heights. I also love Paris, that frenchy lady style, but done a bit dark. Love Nina Ricci at the moment, as well as Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and Jason Wu.”
Spending so much time in both New York and London, Annabel has a keen eye for the fashions of women in both cities and how their distinctly different styles are set apart by how they shop. “Fashion-wise, the two cities are worlds apart,” she said, “New York women are glossy, manicured glories who will wear a catwalk look head-to-toe. They will spend money on their look but put it together with no imagination – better to look sleekly rich than take a risk. Londoners wouldn’t dream of spending the kind of money that their American cousins do on clothing, or of wearing it head-to-toe. They would rather mix one piece inventively with their existing pieces. The whole look is generally less DONE, but a whole lot more FUN.” Growing up between the two cities, how would she describe her own personal style? “Retro, girly, fairytale, bewitching, pretty, darkly romantic, glamorous,” she said.
The Olsen twins – as styled by Annabel Tollman
editorial styled by Annabel Tollman
editorial styled by Annabel Tollman
Annabel Tollman as the Eiffel Tower for Halloween
Annabel Tollman as the Eiffel Tower for Halloween
Working in such a glamorous industry, could this fashion stylist possibly have a favorite memory? “Oh there have been MANY memorable experiences,” she shared, “My first week at Interview I went to a dinner for Liza Minelli at the Carlyle, where the speaker fluffed the pronunciation of her name. She got up and said (in that famous Liza voice) ‘That’s ok, honey, I can hardly say it myself some days.’ Going to Tokyo with Karl Lagerfeld and the Interview gang to shoot a special issue, shooting at the Warhol Estate in Montauk with Bruce Weber…the list goes on.” Annabel said that for her, every job is a challenge and if it isn’t – she finds it boring. “Every single time I think that I’m not going to pull it off, I always do,” she said. From dressing a curvy body like Scartlett Johansson‘s to the petite figure of Mary-Kate Olsen - how does she automatically know how to work with the different shapes? “Experience, I suppose,” she said, “You sort of pick it up like a sixth sense. Not that I’m always 100 percent right, sometimes you are surprised by what ends up being right.”
And, is there a particular look or outfit she is most proud of piecing together? “It’s always changing,” she said, “What I want to wear evolves constantly. It’s a representation of your ideas and inspirations and if it stays still then, well, I think you probably die.” And, what seems to be inspiring her at the moment? “I’m currently enjoying Victorian and Edwardian clothing,” she said, “Especially anything to do with mourning – jewelry, capes etc. I also love the 20s and 30s – panne velvet, chiffon, lame, beading, glamour. Vintage is my main love. I love anything that tells a story…something that is tattered and falling apart can be very romantic.” Annabel lists the most difficult aspect of her job to be doing something she hasn’t done before and isn’t sure if she can accomplish. Currently, Annabel is working on a reality tv show, The Annabel Tollman Project, with Bravo. “For me, that’s not styling or shooting any more,” she shared, “Coming up with the concept for the TV show and writing the pilot was a challenge. The first time I wrote a piece for a newspaper on deadline was a challenge.”
Keira Knightley as styled by Annabel Tollman
Selma Blair – styled by Annabel Tollman
Scarlett Johansson – styled by Annabel Tollman
So, though her new television show will assuredly share some of her behind-the-scenes style secrets- does she have any tried and true advice for achieving a great look? “I don’t think that LOOKING like you were dressed by a stylist is the end goal to aim for, even if you were,” she said, “I think you should look incredible, effervescent, yet effortless.” She said that the role of a stylist isn’t just to simply outfit a client. “I think that a stylist does several things – gives an honest opinion, challenges you to try new things, knows more about fashion than you do, and gets everything organized,” she said, “You can essentially do this for yourself at home (but it’s a lot of work). The thing that I always tell people is to try on their looks in advance. When we do a fitting for an event or a press tour, we spend a good few hours trying on looks and photographing them, deciding what works and what doesn’t and trying new things. You can’t expect to pull together your best look if you’re running out the door 10 minutes late, you’ll always resort to something that you know works. We all wear a very small percentage of our wardrobe.”
Recently attending the spring 2012 fashion shows, Annabel certainly has some collections she is looking forward to next year. “Paris is always my favorite,” she said, “I loved McQueen. Vuitton was beautiful too. I always love Meadham Kirchoff in London. Jason Wu and Prabal were very pretty in NY, and Calvin Klein was heaven.” With so many exciting projects going on and meeting some of the fashion world’s most incredible individuals and style icons on a daily basis, what does Annabel find to be the most rewarding aspect of her career? “I think that we’re all in this business because we love beauty, creativity and expression,” she said, “Seeing something wonderful and enchanting gratifies the soul.”