It is that time of year again, when fashion week takes over some of the world’s most enchanting cities, one by one. Laetitia and I (Selina), the sisters behind the young accessories brand ROARKE New York, (here on Taigan!) find ourselves attending Paris Fashion Week each season in order to show our pieces at the exclusive trade show Premiere Classe. This show provides a space for about 200 up-and-coming accessories brands to show their new collections during fashion week, and every year we are thrilled to be part of the excitement!
This week is the time when all of the design work we have been doing for the past six months comes to life! And it is a huge effort, especially as a small brand with a very small yet dedicated team.
We wanted to give Taigan shoppers a little behind the scenes look at how Paris Fashion Week works for a young brand like us…
For our Fall ’14 collection, we first started with a point of inspiration, a trip we took to Marrakech, Morroco. We wanted to create a collection with a bohemian elegance and an air of the exotic. We chose to mix earthy tones with pops of colors we saw everywhere in the souk and landscape: cobalt, mint green, canary yellow and bright rust. Here is a collage of photos from our Morrocan inspiration trip:
Next up, we designed the collection. Our Fall ’14 line is particularly special because it marks the first set of ROARKE prints on silk, that are made in Italy. For more on that trip, feel free to take a look at the post on our blog! You can see some sketches and ideas of the collection as it began to take shape below…
Finally, once all of the pieces are produced, we photograph everything and pack it up for the trans-Atlantic trip to Paris. We will spend four days showcasing the collection to buyers, press and photographers from all over the world! After that, it is time to celebrate with some great friends and chic parties in the city of light. We’ll be writing another update for Taigan shoppers about our time at Paris Fashion Week, and how it all is going, on March 5th…stay tuned!
Selina and Laetitia
The sisters of ROARKE New York
Every now and then we stumble upon a blog where we feel like the author really “gets us.” Such was the case with Jennifer Boles’ “The Peak of Chic,” which we at Taigan have been following for years now. Jennifer Boles started “The Peak of Chic” in the Fall of 2006 and focuses on design trends, historical homes, history of design and all things design related. She was recently named “blogosphere darling” by Departures magazine, is a contributing editor to House Beautiful, and recently published her second book, In with the Old: Classic Décor from A to Z. When she’s not writing, reading or thinking about design, Jennifer spends her time traveling, collecting antique and vintage ceramics and buying far too many books. Enjoy some of Jennifer’s favorite finds on Taigan, which of course focus on the classics.
“Trends may come and go, but classic style and design can always be relied upon for their timeless good looks and their everlasting charm.”
Cabbageware - I have a weakness for cabbage and lettuceware china. I think that it might be the only thing I have in common with C.Z. Guest and Brooke Astor, both of whom collected it as well.
“The English Dog at Home” - Man’s best friend and English country houses. Could there be a more classic pairing?
Correspondence Cards - Good manners and a handwritten note never go out of style. (Are you noticing a dog theme here?)
Basket Ice Bucket - As a child, I was fascinated by my mother’s Nantucket bag with its scrimshaw whale emblem. This ice bucket reminds me of her bag, although it’s a lot more practical at cocktail time.
Vintage YSL Necklace - Who says the 1980s didn’t have style? Some of my very favorite fashion jewelry is from this era.
Monogrammed Handkerchief - Call me old-fashioned, but I think that every lady should carry a handkerchief in her handbag.
Pepper Jelly - The quintessential Southern appetizer: pour a jar of pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese and serve with Triscuits. Heaven on a cracker.
Mottahedeh Nodders - I love to decorate with anything in the Chinoiserie style: fabrics, wall coverings, furniture and ceramics. These vintage Mottahedeh nodders are such a charming-looking couple.
Caftan dress - I just returned from a trip to Lyford Cay, where all of the chic women wore breezy caftans. I now want a closet-full of them to wear during Atlanta’s muggy summers.
Porcelain Parrot Tulip - Pamela Tidwell’s porcelain floral masterpieces are true works of art. I already own one and am ready for more.
Sharyn Blond Cocktail Napkins - These embroidered linen and organdy cocktail napkins remind me of the good old days when cocktails were an excuse for evening dress and witty conversation.
Billy Baldwin Decorates - One of the all-time great interior design books is made even more special thanks to author Billy Baldwin’s inscription to Halston.
Patricia Lamp by Christopher Spitzmiller - Christopher’s lamps are highly coveted and with good reason. Not only are they incredibly well-made, they are incredibly chic, too.
Nest Diffusers - I love Nest Diffusers because their fragrant oils make your house smell divine.
Silk Tunic - I have yet to meet a tunic that I don’t love, and I especially love this silk version that comes in so many vibrant colors.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a logo on one of Kendall Conrad’s accessories. Instead, gorgeous, durable leather and artisanal details are the hallmarks of her eponymous line, which is quickly gaining cult-like status among those in search of label-less, cool pieces. A hobo bag in buttery leather is a timeless shape, yet its subtle stitching and brass hardware give it a bit of an edge. Gold-studded wrap sandals are delicate and earthy all at once. Not to mention the sophisticated color palette – rich browns, a just-so shade of bone, subdued animal prints, and naturally, classic black. And all are made in California with super-luxe leather that’s meant to last – and even get better with age.
One might as well be describing Conrad herself, who gives off an air of laid-back elegance emblematic of her native Santa Barbara. Conrad’s specific brand of quiet luxury has struck a chord – Vogue, Town & Country, and C magazine (where she also serves as a contributing editor) are among her fans, and in January Conrad opened her third stand-alone shop in the Montecito Country Mart, joining the Abbott Kinney flagship in Venice and an outpost in Brentwood. And there’s a new brass jewelry line, too, which launched last year. Think organic stacking rings and hammered hoop earrings, the kind of pieces you want to wear everyday.
Good taste seems to be second nature to Conrad. As the daughter of an interior designer mother and a bullfighting/artist/author father, she draws inspiration from artists as varied as Jean Cocteau, Franz Kline, and Matisse (check out her refreshingly well-edited blog), along with nurturing a lifelong passion for travel, decorating, and horseback riding. And Conrad is an avid entertainer, too, often hosting at her Montecito house – a Spanish-Mediterranean spread filled with gorgeous textiles, rugged antiques, and collections of ceramics and black-and-white art.
But perhaps it’s the perpetual equestrienne in Conrad that continues to inspire her most. A seasoned rider, she grew up on the hunter/jumper circuit in northern California with summers spent herding cattle at the family dude ranch in Montana. It’s a constant theme in the collection ever since the launch, in which she partnered with a local saddle maker for her first handbag prototype, until today as she continues to use details like hand-stitched whips and a girth-turned-cuff bracelet that’s borrowed straight from the stables. Here on Taigan, Conrad shares some of her favorite picks:
Barbour Utility Jacket - The perfect jacket for a colder day here in California – it does get cold, and this is lightweight but warm. I like that it has pockets, too, to hold more things since you don’t want to put everything on your saddle.
Charcuterie Trio - Sometimes I go on trails and take a delicious picnic, especially when friends visit from out of town. This charcuterie kit is perfect for it – it doesn’t need refrigeration, it’s easy to pack and delicious!
Cheese Gift Box - More delicious things for the picnic!
Mustard and Cornichons - Great to go with the charcuterie.
Pocket Knife - You never know when you will need a knife out in nature. This one looks just right and can fit in my pocket.
Foutas- These are good looking and work as a picnic blanket or double as a scarf if the weather drops.
Towelettes - Always need to clean my hands when I am riding.
Sunblock - I won’t go out in the sun ever without sunblock on my face.
Chapstick - Great all-weather chapstick for extreme conditions and for being out in the sun all day.
Ouchy Boo Boo Gel - It’s nice to have this on hand in case my horse or I get a cut.
Skinny Active Wear Pants - These could function as a good substitute for riding breeches.
Military Green T-shirt - This is a great looking t-shirt and good to ride in – it’s nice to have layers, especially in northern California.
Leather Journal - I take a journal with me everywhere, I get notions or ideas or thoughts in my head, always want to keep it handy. And maybe it would fit into the Barbour jacket pocket.
Boots- Equestrian-inspired boots, not for riding, but I would wear them with jeans and skinny cords and a cashmere sweater in the winter.
We’re thrilled to have Michele Probst as today’s Style Icon. Michele is an internationally known makeup artist with over 25 years of experience in the television film and print world. Her clients range from Barack Obama to Kid Rock. She is the President and Founder of the all-natural skincare and cosmetic system, Menaji Skincare. After an “ahha” moment she realized there was nothing available on the market that was all natural, easy and undetectable for her male clients. So with the guidance of the best dermatologists and chemists, Menaji skincare was born into a relatively untapped market.
Michele has picked her favorite gifts for your sweetheart because, hey, sometimes guys need a little love too!
L.E.N. Italian Calf Belt in Cognac- Simple, clean and easy look!
Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods Filson Tote Briefcase- We love those pockets!
CJ Lang Olive Martini Belt- Fun in the sun!
Heritage Handcrafted Whiskey Shaving Kit- Keep it old school!
Bird Dog Bay Sporting Boxer, Dug Dogs Coral- Have fun with under gear!
Billy Reid Lyonstate Bomber Jacket- Love the luxury of ease with this jacket!
Menaji Men’s Survival Kit- Exclusive to Taigan- For every man that wants to stay young looking!
Peter Elliot Blue Canvasback Winter Boots – Stay Dry and Warm!
Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods Merino Cashmere Tartan Scarf – Keep it fashionable!
Woo Skincare and Cosmetics: Creed Green Irish Tweed 2.5 oz- Love a good smelling man.
Waltzing Matilda Handmade Leather iPad Case- Keep your tech looking good!
Berti Knives Insieme: Utility Knife with Magnetized Wood Block- Keep it sharp and simple.
Menaji Men’s 911 Eye Gel- It is an emergency and it will change your life!
Cicada for Him- Hook + Albert Socks- It always starts with a good looking sock.
Indivijual Custom Eyewear- Custom Tortoiseshell Sunglasses- Reminds me of my daddy!