Last fall, our SVP of Design was re-watching the Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest, when he was struck by how absolutely beautiful Eva Marie Saint “rose dress” was. He loved it- so much so, that he searched vintage archives till he found a gorgeous velvet rose print, which our artists turned into a modern homage to the “rose dress.” It’s a vision in velveteen- glamorous and chic.
Below- Eva Marie Saint in the original “rose dress” in North by Northwest
Below, our modern version- perfect for holiday soirees, hosting or a night on the town.
Talbots Velveteen Rose Dress
//North by Northwest images courtesy Classiq film and fashion blog // original film production credits here//
There’s just something so cozy about plaid in the fall. A big blanket, maybe a borrowed shirt, a scarf to fight the chill. It’s a timeless pattern, and one of our favorites when cool weather comes knocking. So we did a round-up of the best fall plaids on Pinterest. It’s sure to get you jonesing for a tartan scarf or glen-plaid jacket.
Such lovely pins: // 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 //
Late this summer, members of our design and R&D teams travelled to Brimfield Massachusetts. Three times a year, Brimfield plays host to one of the nation’s largest flea markets and antiques fairs, stretching over a mile along Route 20. Designers, collectors, and vintage enthusiasts across the country flock here in search of inspiration and treasure. It’s a vintage lover’s paradise: antique slips mingle with vintage military jackets and Deco beaded dresses. Members of our team found inspiration everywhere, from hand-woven baskets to Bakelite baubles. So I asked three of our designers to share what inspired them most…
-Aileen, Associate Designer, especially loved the vintage botanical illustrations and delicate silk flowers pictured here.
-Alice, Designer- Knits, was drawn to bold color and vintage graphics, like this cherry-red mid-century typewriter.
-Jill, Designer- Sweaters, was inspired by the vintage buttons she found, as well as the bright, bold colors of 1950’s surfboards.
Our designers are having a very busy summer! They’ve criss-crossed the globe, taking some very well earned R&R, but also some design inspiration along the way. I asked a select few to take some photos along the way, and to jot down some of their inspirations and adventures to share with you. You never know where inspiration will come from, whether it’s in the textiles of India, or the colors of gelato in Italy, these ladies give us the scoop, starting today with India…stay tuned next week for more.
Laura, Senior Designer, took some great snaps on her recent trip, and tells us all about her inspiring visit…
(clockwise from top left)
1) Beautiful, bright chalk drawings- such great colors!
2) Look who comes to say hello as our bus is stuck in traffic on the way to Agra- it’s monkeys!
3) The street markets in Delhi are incredible. The colors, patterns, intricate embroideries and embellishments are amazing. I could spend days rummaging through the stalls.
4) The motorcycle is the perfect mode of transport in India- and the perfect outfit is a brightly colored sari. A POP of color on the crowded roads.
1) “Great India” on the side of a truck- this pretty much sums it up!
2) I feel so lucky to have visited the Taj Mahal. Words cannot describe the beauty of it. The entire structure is intricately carved and covered in gem-encrusted mosaics. So inspirational.
3) Some hand embroidery – created right in the middle of the busy street market.
4) I’m sharing with you my favorite photo of the whole trip. These lovely women gave me their blessing. They were so wonderful. I love all of their saris- each one is so unique. A lovely end to such an inspiring trip.
With all this heat and sunshine, we have all started to make our late summer getaway plans- some of us visit our families for a bbq, some take a trip to the shore or hop a plane to even more exotic locales. With so much talk of leisure time around the office, I instantly thought of artist Alex Katz. Considered part of the Pop-Art movement, the painter and printmaker is considered by many to be one of the foremost chroniclers of American leisure. The Guardian puts it well in their recent profile of the artist: his work takes “unapologetic delight in the pleasures of sun, sea and sociability.” His color palettes also remind me of our July collection: clean sea blues, sandy neutrals, fresh lawn greens and zesty yellows.
There is a retrospective of his printmaking through the end of July at The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, not too far from our corporate offices in Hingham, Mass. Below, a sampling of his wonderful leisurely ladies…perhaps an inspiration for your upcoming holiday plans.
Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Louise Dahl Wolfe is one of the most celebrated fashion photographers of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. She was well known for using natural light- studio photography was the norm at the time- and shooting outdoors in far-flung locales. At Bazaar, she and Diana Vreeland produced some of the most iconic images and portraits of the day. Her work was a great influence to Penn, Avedon and many more of the photography “greats” that would follow. I particularly love her summertime images- women at the beach, on the shores, at a park…We’ve often looked to her work for inspiration, so I though I would share a few of her best summertime shots.
Many of these images are available through the Conde Nast store as archival prints, so you can have a little piece of fashion history of your own!
//Image credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 // These photo blogs have lots more of her work too.
There is also a wonderful book of her work you can purchase here. We love ours!
Self described “plant-nerds,” Matti and Megan keep a wonderful, colorful blog about all their gardening adventures. It’s a great place to get inspired, even if your garden is a pot on a fire escape (mine). There’s color, texture, and some of the weirdest plants you’ve ever seen. It’s great- definitely worth a click. Here’s a peek below:
Even their motto is great: “If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener.”
Confession: I’m a little bit in love with hot pink and orange. In fact, we all love bright colors for summer around here- they’re fun, energetic and cheerful! And this June, we have plenty of prints that mix those fabulous shades…
These are three of our favorites, above. The one thing they all have in common? They are each a vivid FLORAL print. Floral prints are one of our favorite patterns to play with- especially in bright shades. And one of my favorite places to find floral inspiration is The Floral District, right here in NYC.
Hidden on 28th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues, is a veritable explosion of flowers, plants and trees. It’s one of the few active “wholesale” districts left in the city (the Garment district, the Diamond district, and the Bowery restaurant supply district are also a few of the remaining markets left). Floral dealers have been in this area more than a hundred years, and nearly every morning, flowers and foliage transform the sidewalks into a garden stroll. So when I heard our intern JooYeon had never strolled around down there, I sent her on a mission to capture some of the bright sights of the floral district, so you could have a peek too…
She really captured the spirit of the place: an urban oasis, right in the heart of NYC.
This month is all about COLOR! And what better place to find, citrus-y, saturated, summery color than Palm Springs, where our SVP of Design stopped off on his road-trip of Southern California. He was really taken by the lifestyle and aesthetic there, and came back brimming with ideas for our June collection. I’ll be posting a few Palm Springs insider tips this week, so stay tuned.
Slim Aarons made a name for himself as a photographer of the truly luxurious lifestyle. Starting in the 1950s, he began photographing celebrities, jet setters and socialites. He describes his career very simply:
”Photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.”
But unlike the paparazzi of today, he was welcomed by the rich and famous into their enclaves and parties around the globe to photograph their style, affluence and lives of luxury. He amassed an incredible body of work, and most of his books are still in print. Well worth the purchase, if only to escape for a few hours into a world and time gone by.
(That’s Bridget Bardot in the hammock, by the way.)
Color We Love: Mazarine Blue
When we sit down to name colors each season, we draw from a variety of sources. But more often than not, we look to the natural world for inspiration. Case in point: Mazarine Blue. I was actually unfamiliar with this little beauty, but our SVP of Design used to see these in the UK where he grew up.
Image: from Noel H. Humphries monograph ‘British Butterflies’ published in the 1850’s
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we love vintage! And once in a while, we come across a piece we love so much that we just have to share. Case in point, this fab orange silk shirtwaist dress we found early last spring. It had such a great, bold paisley print on it, that we took it to our CAD artists to do a modern reinterpretation for us. Photographed below: one of our intrepid designers digging for treasure; the original gem of a dress (just look at that great old tag!), and our finished product, straight from our Summer look-book….
Like our Hibiscus Paisley print as much as we do? You can get one of your own here.
We found these great vintage suitcases in bright shades. I like to imagine these now, amidst a sea of black and navy duffels and rolling suitcases, on the carousel at the airport. They would practically jump into your arms! (P.S.- the orange suitcase was part of a 3-piece luggage set. I’d love to know what fabulous lady once carried those!)
It’s cold and drizzly today here in NYC. Wishing I were here!
From Taschen’s Greece Style- a book just bursting with drool-worthy homes and locations in Greece.