Hello, helloooooooooo. We've officially reached the end of summer. I'm not exactly sure how I'm feeling about it. How about you? Without children heading back to school, I've been treating September like a bonus summer month, but now that it has come to its inevitable end, it's time to turn my focus towards my favorite season of the year. The light is changing and the days are becoming shorter already, so I'm inspired to think about making the seasonal shifts that feel right.
I'm thrilled that the evenings are now cool enough to wear one of our newest pieces, the Isobel blouse. In a stunning combination of two Liberty of London floral prints in 100% silk charmeuse, this decidedly feminine blouse feels perfect for the season. The attached scarf can be tied in a myriad of ways, from a big bow to hanging completely loose, or even wrapped behind the body and tied at the waist for a different silhouette entirely. As much as I love that aspect, the sleeve itself might be my most favorite part. It is generously long with the perfect drape, and a bit of drama at the cuff with a double ruffle. The last bit is heaven peeking out from underneath a jacket. This particular blouse is a combination of two of my favorite Liberty silks, Stately Bouquet and Floral Edit. We don't have it up on the website yet, but you can find it here in our boutique. Come visit for a closer look.
I find myself dreaming about fall jackets lately, and in particular the one that I have coming as part of a suit from Husbands in Paris. If you saw me more than once over the last several months, you most definitely caught me in my beautiful corduroy suit. I wore it so much and so often, that when we were in Paris at the end of June I had to order another. Instead of corduroy, this time I chose a sublime wool, linen, and silk blend from Loro Piana that kind of looks like denim. Ironically it was my husband who introduced me to Husbands and its founder Nicolas Gabard at their chic boutique on Rue de Richelieu, and I quickly became obsessed. I'm not alone in this, of course. I think it's rather easy to see why. The way that Nicolas combines his obvious love of a 1970's silhouette with a modern French sensibility feels exactly right, and yes... it looks great with the silk Isobel blouse from our Wardrobe collection, or with one of our silk camisoles. I love the contrast of the men's tailoring with the softness of the silk and the femininity of the ruffle.
On the topic of femininity and ruffles, our Golden Violet earrings are perfect for the season. I worked on these earlier in the summer, took home a prototype to wear during our summer travels, and have basically worn it everyday since. Violets are full of symbolic meaning, one being love and the other being good fortune. In the Victorian era, it was thought that one could keep the evil spirits away by carrying a bouquet of violets. They appear in ancient and religious art, both as a symbol of spiritual wisdom and mystical awareness. The undulating, striated petals and life sized scale make these both dramatic and very fun. They are also very light on the ear, but make quite an impact for either day or nighttime wear. There is even an article extolling the virtues of this style of earring in this month's Town and Country, which you can read here. The luxury button earring appears to be having a moment.
For those of you who collect our vintage and recycled glass bead necklaces, you'll be pleased to hear that I went on a bit of a bender last week, and made quite a few new pieces to set the tone for the new season using some of the beads that I've been collecting for decades. They are patiently awaiting our gold bead inventory refresh, so will be completed and ready for you sometime next week. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek... I'm especially fond of the green beads in my collection, and have pulled out some very special pieces to share. Many of these are one-of, or a few-of-a-kind, so if you see something you like you shouldn't hesitate. These also make such wonderful gifts, and before you know it, that season will be here too.
When we came home from late summer travels a week ago, I felt like keeping dinnertime really simple. Do you know of Julia Turshen? She's a wonderful chef, cookbook author, activist, and podcast host who comes up with truly simple, healthy, and delicious recipes. One of my favorites is her take on Kimchi Fried Rice. She always offers ideas for tweaking her recipes, so I feel really comfortable riffing on what she does. This time I used black rice, and added spinach for more green. We had the best spring onions and cucumbers from the Sunday farmer's market, so the result was even better than I had remembered.
Kimchi Fried Rice, adapted from Small Victories by Julia Turshen
one 16 oz jar of kimchi (I love Dave's, which I buy at the farmer's market on Sundays) chopped and all juices preserved
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach
4 cups day old, cooked rice (I used Forbidden Rice from Lundberg Farms)
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt or soy sauce, whichever you prefer
4 scallion stalks, sliced thinly into 4 inch vertical strips
1 Japanese cucumber, sliced thinly into strips
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp furikake
optional, one or two poached eggs per person
First make the scallion and cucumber salad, combining the scallions, cucumber, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and furikake. Set aside to marinate, adjusting amounts of oil and vinegar to taste.
Heat oil in a large pan, saute the diced onion and garlic until translucent and soft. Turn up the heat and add the chopped kimchi and cook until the kimchi becomes a bit sticky, then add the cooked rice and any juice from the kimchi, along with a few handfuls of baby spinach. Combine thoroughly and cook for about five more minutes before turning off the heat and adding a splash or two of soy sauce, or a sprinkle of sea salt, whichever you prefer.
I then plate the fried rice and top with a poached egg or two, then top with the scallion and cucumber salad, and maybe a few extra shakes of the furikake.