Summer is suddenly here, with a proper heatwave to introduce itself in a strident way. Truth be told, we are sheltered from it quite a bit here in Venice, with the marine layer otherwise known as "June Gloom" hanging overhead like a protective shield. I hope that wherever you are on the planet, you are staying comfortably well and enjoying the shift to what should hopefully be a more carefree time of year. There is certainly a maelstrom of issues that feel anything but carefree at the moment, yet there are always more festive topics to associate with this early part of summer; the graduation festivities, wedding celebrations, and of course Father's Day, which is only days away. Our Janus Robe is a perfect gift for that, and we have several to choose from, including this windowpane plaid.
We have beautiful options for summer celebrations, and I can tell you from personal experience that our Ava slip dress is perfect for wearing to either a graduation or a wedding. Our daughter wore one in a lovely Liberty of London floral print last month to her college graduation and looked absolutely gorgeous. We also dressed a client in another Ava for their graduation last weekend, and they were thrilled. It's one of those indispensable dresses, the kind you can roll up in your weekend bag and wear to really anything, no matter the occasion or the dress code. It is the kind of dress that not only looks great, but feels really special to wear. As with everything we make, the details are what really stand out. The adjustable straps ensure a perfect fit, while the bias cut silk charmeuse drapes beautifully over your body and feels incredible on your skin. I will be packing one for my upcoming trip to London, the only difficult decision being which print to take.
With all of the milestone celebrations of the season, we've had the opportunity to make several incredibly meaningful custom pieces. A few favorites include a double puma head bracelet for a thirtieth wedding anniversary, an emerald and platinum brooch to celebrate a twentieth, and an engagement ring using a family heirloom stone for someone very dear to me. I find it quite inspirational to work on these substantive and sentimental pieces, and consider it quite an honor whenever I am asked. Luckily for me, we are always working on something bespoke, which adds considerable joy to my working life.
We have recently designed a few bespoke cross pendants, which inspired the emerald one we recently added to our inventory. You can have a closer look here. It is available on leather, but of course we can add a gold chain if you prefer. We also have similarly cut rubies, sapphires, and diamonds...all of which would make an equally beautiful composition.
If you have upcoming travel plans, we have easy cotton slips and sundresses that roll up like a dream in a carry-on, and go from beach to sightseeing to dinner, etc. We also have little cotton jackets that fold up into nothingness, and make everything look pulled together. We think of them as little tailored cardigans and wear them over dresses, or with camisoles and trousers. They aren't up on the website yet, but we have a selection of them in the boutique if you are close. We are happy to send images if you are not. One of my favorites is in crisp Italian cotton plaid men's shirting fabric. It is shown here over one of our cotton Lilia sundresses, which I feel is the perfect summer frock for almost any occasion.
One perfect salad that I've been rather obsessed with lately is Joan Didion's recipe for Parsley Salad. I fully realize that it sounds ridiculous if you weren't already aware of Joan's reputation as an intrepid home cook and hostess. Parsley on its own doesn't exactly sound like a recipe for anything, I suppose. I take a couple of liberties with the original, as I cannot ever help myself from doing, but I'm giving you both my version and her original recipe. I've never followed hers exactly, as lugging out the vitamix is reserved only for occasions when nothing else will do, although I do remain curious about the blending of parsley and vinaigrette. I may have to give it try one of these days when I am feeling slightly less lazy and pinched for time in the kitchen. Let me know if you give it a go.
My version, which serves 4-6:
two bunches flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped semi-finely
two-three handfuls of the best imported parmigiano reggiano you can find (if you're in Los Angeles it's worth a drive over to Guidi Marcello for their imported and delicious offerings)
two spring onions, sliced thinly
juice of half of a lemon
the most aged organic balsamic vinegar you can find + the best extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt and pepper to taste
Just before serving, place parsley, spring onions, and parmigiano into a generously sized salad bowl. Drizzle over the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and gently toss. Taste, and add more acid or oil if the salad seems too dry, or more seasoning via another sprinkle of parmigiano or salt, if need be.
PARSLEY SALAD (serves 35-40)
8 bunches Italian parsley
Blend 16 T olive oil with one head parsley until smooth
Blend in 4 T balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper
When ready to serve place parsley in 1 1/3 C grated parmesan in bowl, toss with dressing