What with sweatpants and sneakers and such, I fear we have been neglecting the Grande Dame. She does not like neglect. So let’s take a look at two recently discovered shopping venues.
First, I bring you Halsbrook, perfect for the more conservative Dame. I found them on Linkshare and RewardStyle, and then began to notice ads on blogs I frequent. From a marketing perspective, I found it interesting that a luxury fashion company would go straight to blog ads, vs. a more traditional PR launch, but the Dame doesn’t want to hear about commerce, thank you very much.
By way of introduction, for the Grande do not buy from strangers, Halsbrook was founded in 2012 by a young woman named Halsey Schroeder, of Millbrook, New Jersey. Halsey was inspired by her mother’s ability to pull together stylish, non-trendy outfits. Say no more.
This site makes me feel like I’m with my own mother, or great-aunts of yore, in a good way. We purr in well-upholstered armchairs, at the Palm Court, or the museum cafe for lunch. Cossetted. Sleek. A garment for every occasion. No plain white button front for the Dame, except on the island of course. She wears tunics (this one by Anya Cole) with her skinny jeans and Roger Viviers.A camel cashmere poncho from Scotland’s venerable Johnston’s of Elgin would suit nicely. My mother wears ponchos. And capes, of the non-witchy variety.
If we imagine summer in the city, the Grande rhyme kitty over gritty. Our bags are sherbet. We’ll call this Cloudberry, shall we? Even though Annabel Ingall, the designer, says it’s Blue Bell?
And, since the Grande Dame does endorse trends as long as they involve a wave of appreciation for classics that have been with us for decades, she’d love a lace dress by Lynn Devon. Thank you very much.
For the more adventurous Dame – she who grandly verges on Artsy – I love Forward by Elyse Walker. I found the site, you may remember, when I auditioned a pair of Valentino Rockstuds for my wedding shoes. Elyse Walker, a stylist, opened Forward in Pacific Palisades in 1999, and launched her site in January of 2012.
I suspect all Grande Dames in Los Angeles are Artsy, one way or another.
But look. How’s this for a decidedly non-horrible holiday sweater? Future-proofing the traditional Fair Isle knit? By Kenzo, a designer from my past. Oh the 1980s. Oh Broadway above Lincoln Center. By the way, in a wonderful coincidence, both Fair Isle and Kenzo are having a moment this season.
Or If you want a taste, just a taste of the cultural juggernaut Alexander McQueen’s skull motif became, how about a cotton scarf? It’s navy, so it’s OK.
The Grande will even consider Helmut Lang, in a dressy incarnation.
And finally, the ultimate designer for the Grande Dame who dares, Isabel Marant. These may be the best pair of leather pants I’ve ever seen. Those ankle zippers. Moto-a-gogo.
All right, Madame, are you happy now? And yes, I will change for dinner, I promise. I know leather pants are only appropriate for city nightlife. And of course I’ll put that Cloudberry bag on your Christmas list. I love you too.
Disclosure: Links above may generate commissions to be donated to the non-profit Dress for Success