Minimalist and Sophisticated



 I roll my eyes when the fashion magazines use the word “lust” for fashion items–and they use it often–but I just might be in lust with Lan Jaenicke coats. 

From the moment I first saw this San Francisco designer’s work I loved it.  The silhouettes are clean and bold, and there is an attention to detail that is usually reserved for couture,  such as blind seams and handmade snap buttons.     But what  captures me most is the deliciously luxurious cashmere that they are made of, light enough to suit our mild Palo Alto and the Bay Area weather.  My particular favorite is this tomato colored number with a dramatic collar.  It is carried at both Leaf & Petal and Cassis.   

The Leather and Fabric Mix

I love this year’s trend of mixing leather and fabric on a garment.  The look is sharp and edgy and yet more restrained than an all leather outfit.  Yesterday I wore a sleeveless top with a leather front and a cotton knit back.  The day was hot, but I was cool in my top and yet looked, if I may say so, rather sharp.  As I often do, I spilled food, in this case a decadent concoction of ice cream and espresso, on my top. No problem. Wiped it right off.  Theory leather top dressBailey 44 leather top

The Thoughtful Dresser

The Thoughtful Dresser

A very long time ago I began my grown-up life as a high school  English teacher.  I loved literature  (I still do) and I believed it had a humanizing effect on people (I still do).  I was passionate about my work, but anybody who has  spent time in a high school English class knows that it falls somewhat short of the ideal, and so after a few years of teaching, I threw in the towel.

Eventually, by a circuitous route, I wound up creating and owning two fashion boutiques.  My younger self would have been astonished to see how gratifying I find this work.  She would have felt that there was something  shallow, indeed reprehensible, about catering to women’s love and need for fashion.  I have had some difficulty justifying it even to myself.  But then I happened on this  wonderful little book,  The Thoughtful Dresser, by Linda Grant, a prize-winning British novelist,  who deftly explores  the  meaning that fashion has in a woman’s life.  I could list here dozens of quotes from the book because I have highlighted at least that many, but let me address my younger self with this line that I found in the opening chapter,

“ is in the pleasure that we take in clothes that we are at our most elementally human….There are no known societies who do not adorn the human body, whether with clothing, jewelry, or tattoos. It’s a given about the human race.”

More: “I consider it to be absolutely normal to care deeply about what we wear, and detest the puritan moralists who affect to despise fashion and those who love it. “

~ Carol

Menlo-Atherton Fashion Show

As in so many years into the past, we participated in the Menlo-Atherton Fashion Show. It was a delight working with the MA students and their mothers. Here are Julia Sylvester, Sara Kline, Misha Schwarz, Francesca Milinovich and Alison Feldman in Bailey 44 dresses.