Katie Ermilio

katie ermilio

Dear Wonderlusters, I’m so excited to bring you this interview with the darling designer Katie Ermilio. I first came across Katie when her apartment was featured in Rue Magazine (the shot above, left, was the cover- isn’t she adorable??), and I instantly fell in love with her style.

As it often happens, when you love someone’s taste in interiors, you’ll probably love their taste in clothes, and vice versa, and that’s definitely true of Katie. Love her apartment, love her collections.

I was not surprised at all to learn that she cited Funny Face in the interview below– her designs clearly channel classic Audrey-esque ladylike inspirations, with their crisp tailoring and bold solids. But one glance at the collection proves she’s not stuck in the past– the fun silhouettes and details reflect the figures, and more daring sensibilities, of a modern girl. (The image above is too small to tell, but that navy dress has a very sheer top that I love!)

Katie has a heritage in fashion as well– her father has a bespoke menswear shop in Philadelphia, and her grandfather was couturier to Grace Kelly! You can read more about her here, but I’m going to skip over some of the details so we can get to this fun interview… I love how her cool New York City girl vibe comes through…

(And thank you Katie for doing this interview!!)

Where do you go when you need to experience wonder? I’m in love the Rizzoli Book Store on 57th Street in New York. Every time I go I usually end up sitting there for hours flipping through books.

What blogs/sites do you visit when you need to experience wonder? Net-A Porter, The Coveteur, Jak & Jill, and Intothegloss

Source of wonder in your daily life? My job – because I never know where it’s going to take me each day.

Best gift you ever received? My little sister Megan gave me a scrapbook one year for Christmas. She was so young when she made it and worked so hard putting it together. I look at it often and it’s something I’ll keep forever.

What music do you listen to when you want to feel inspired? I’m feel like I’m constantly switching up my playlists – but recently there’s been a bunch of Andrew Murray remixes, jj, Tim & Jean and Robyn in rotation.

A film or person whose style made an impact on you? Funny Face

Essential item(s) you will buy over and over? Love, Chloé Parfum – I’ll wear it forever. I love it so much I spray it on my pillow at night.

A visual memory you will relish forever? My first trip to Italy, riding on a water taxi into Venice.

Ideal picnic? A warm day at Sheep Meadow in Central Park with all of my girlfriends, a big blanket, and my friend Caroline’s famous cheese plate.

Ideal vacation? Hmm, right now? Anywhere warm sounds ideal!

Go-to outfit or must-have accessory or beauty item? My go-to outfit is always a blazer with a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and my Chanel ballet flats.

Must have beauty items are Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and Chanel Blush in Orchid Rose. I’m a total beauty junkie, but these two products I’ve remained extremely loyal to.

One surprising thing about you? People always seem surprised to learn that until I started working on my line fulltime I’d never really considered a career in design.

All-time favorite shoe? So hard! So I’ll go with my Chanel ballet flats and Stubbs & Wootton velvet slippers, because they’re two shoes I’ll always own and wear.

Guilty pleasure? Heath Bar Cookies from Hope’s

Item you will always splurge on? Nail polish and Shoes

Always in your handbag? iPod, plenty of Muji pencils, a notebook, some sort of snack and my Blackberry.



L’Amour Fou


Really looking forward to the new documentary on Yves Saint Laurent, L’Amour Fou.

The NYT did a great review of the film that convinced me that L’Amour Fou is about precisely the parts of Saint Laurent’s life I am most intrigued by — his love (and collection) of art and homes and his relationship with his partner in business and life, Pierre Berge.


Previous documentaries have focused on the fashion (which is, of course, amazing), but I really became intrigued by Saint Laurent during the time of the Christie’s auction of his estate when photos of his homes and art collections began to surface, and this documentary centers around that event.

Oh, btw, the auction netted $484 MILLION. See what I mean? He had one hell of a collection.

For more images from his estate, check out this Vanity Fair article and the beautiful black and white photos by Hedi Slimane.


Could I Have That?


I’m excited to introduce y’all to Samantha Hutchinson, who blogs about style and other fun stuff at Could I Have That! Sam and I met in Santa Barbara, where she writes for Santa Barbara Magazine, amongst other fun freelance gigs, and I love her style (that is her on the above left!), so I asked her to share with us a bunch of her favorite things and inspirations. You know, one of those “my essentials” kinda things I’m strangely addicted to… So here’s our Q&A!

Where do you go when you need to experience wonder? The desert. There’s something about the dry heat and vast open spaces. I love going to The Parker or La Quinta Resort & Spa for a weekend of R&R. [elc: I've been obsessed with the idea of a dessert vacation ever since hearing this from Sam...]

What blogs/sites do you visit when you need to find inspiration? Garance Dore, Jak and Jil, We Live Young, P.S. I Made This, Smitten Kitchen, and Dress Design Decor [elc: these are some of my faves too!]

Favorite daydream?  I daydream a lot. But I have to say the one that pops up the most is playing the piano (or any instrument) really, really well.

Best gift you ever received?  My red hair. I have my parents (both gingers) to thank for that one.

What music do you listen to when you want to feel inspired?  Depending on my mood, I’ll turn on anything from Sigur Ros, Ray LaMontagne, La Roux, Rolling Stones, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Avett Brothers and Ryan Adams.

A film or person whose style made an impact on you?  Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. The clothes, the music, the setting and the story I just can’t get enough of. Kate Moss, Alexa Chung and Olivia Palermo are a few that always know how to look effortlessly chic. [elc: agree all around!]

Essential item(s) you will buy over and over?  J Brand Jeans, OPI’s Bubble Bath (it’s the perfect pink nail color), Moroccan Oil, YSL under eye concealer








A visual memory you will relish forever? I was a ballet dancer for 16 years and I’ll never forget the view from performing on stage.

Ideal picnic: location, food, company, etc.  The Figueroa Farmhouse in Santa Ynez is so beautiful especially during wildflower season. I’d set up my giant striped picnic blanket in the meadow overlooking the valley and pack tri-tip sandwiches from the Los Olivos Market, a bottle of wine and chocolate dipped strawberries.

Favorite words?  Electric, demure, stellar, amour, fringe

Ideal vacation?  Somewhere in Baja California with the beau in our own casita next to a deserted, white sandy beach. Days would be filled with catching some rays, reading (me), surfing (the beau), margaritas, carnitas tacos, swimming and exploring.

Go-to outfit?  I have a few go-to outfits that are in heavy rotation. But it usually goes something like this… skinny jeans or an oversized dress, short boots, an oversized mens oxford  shirt, a scarf or sweater and my aviators. Here’s a few favorites

Favorite house or room you’ve ever been in and why? Last summer we stayed at a house for a week on Martha’s Vineyard and I fell in love with it. Between the paint colors, cozy living rooms and quiet surroundings I felt like I could have moved in and lived there forever. Since we had all kinds of weather during our stay (rain, thunder, 80º and sunny) we took advantage of the pool, fireplace, beach access and beach cruisers parked in the barn. The design of the house was that of a simple country home with crazy cool antique pieces and custom wood work. I think my most favorite thing about this beach home was the amount of light inside. A few pics of the house and our trip[elc: I love these pics!]

One surprising thing about you?  I eat a lot! People are always so surprised by how much I can actually eat.

All-time favorite shoe? My Ash cutout platforms. I always wear these when I need to up the ante. Seen here.

Guilty pleasure? Junior Mints

Item you will always splurge on? Handbags. I love good quality leather that will last and get better with age.

Always in your handbag? Tom Ford’s Blush Nude Lipstick, my Moleskin notebook, hair pins, aquaphor, an antique silver mirror compact, Girl Meets Pearl by Benefit, usually some sort of candy, cash and a sharpie or two.

Check out more of Sam’s style and favorites over at her blog!



Style Crush: Billy Reid

billy reid comp

Billy Reid, winner of the 2010 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award, has an aesthetic at once so warm, authentic, classic, tailored, and rustic that I wish I could bottle it.

His clothes are so well-designed that they don’t seem new– they’re just so right that you assume they must be vintage classics from another era. It’s just as if they always were, they’ve always existed, and you just happened to find them now.  It’s like when you can say about a decorator that their houses don’t seem “decorated”– it means they feel lived in, that they tell a story and have a past, and that someone didn’t just come in and buy everything at once– and it’s a feat to accomplish.

That’s they way both his clothes and his interior spaces feel. Nothing strikes the eye as trying too hard, they’re just perfectly executed classics with personality.  They’re inspired by a rich history, but not stuck in the past.

And to make you love him even more, he lives and works in Florence, Alabama, where he also opened his flagship store (he’s a native Southerner– born in Amite, LA).  Above and in the gallery, images from his Florence store, as well as the Bond St. store, his office/design space in Florence, and his wares.

Photos from Robbie Caponetto, nyt, selectism.


Marc Jacobs (before & after)

I’ve had a bunch of images of Marc Jacob’s apartment saved for a while, and when I went to create this post, I realized that they didn’t all look like they came from the same apartment… and then I realized that the shots that show Marc himself showed two very different Marcs.  Interestingly, they are of his first and second Paris apartments, before and after his transformation into a tan, fit, and meticulously groomed version of himself.  Here, his first apartment.

Had you forgotten that he used to look like this??  I had!  He looks like a baby!  Would you ever see him  in this outfit or with hair like this today?  Never!  Pretty crazy transformation.

Click through for shots from his current Paris apartment.  Apparently after the personal-image transformation he also went on an absolute contemporary-art-buying bender, as his previous apartment had almost none and his current apartment his practically overflowing with Ruschas, Currins, etc.

The man as he is today.  Yes, that’s an Ed Ruscha painting behind him.  Pretty intense image, no?  Shot for W Magazine.

I like the two shots above, they look homey and warm, but other than that, I like the old apartment better… for example, I like the room below about 0%.

???  Is this even in the same apartment?  Where is all the Parisian architectural charm???

Same question here… why is this so not charming and very, like, Hyatt Regency Chicago?  (Although I will point out that Richard Prince above the bed.  Having a Richard Prince above your bed is kind of, um, absurd.  Those things hang in museums.  And apparently over Marc Jacob’s bed.

Conclusion: he drastically improved his own appearance and his art collection, but somehow took a downgrade in the taste in interiors department.  Do you agree?


Tastemakers >> Badgley Mischka

Still seriously loving the Kentucky home of Mark Badgley and James Mischka, as photographed for Elle Decor.
This photo above always gets me, I like pretty much every element… the color-coordinated cookbooks + hanging pots and pans + white subway tile + high-contrast countertop + brass drawer hardware.

Lots of my favorite things for a dining room– built-in bookshelves, cozy size, dark walls… Interesting that the books on the bookshelves provide almost the only color throughout the house.

Notice that the house has almost no color (other than the books on the bookshelves)– they make great use of contrasting whites and black and warm it up with lots of wood tones and shades of leather.  Also no patterns other than plaid!  Sounds like it would be severe but it’s not!
Love this bedroom.
The walls of most of the rooms Sherwin Williams Modern Gray, according to the article in Elle Decor.
Badgley is actually a serious horse-person, so they fully refurbished the barn and riding ring for his two show-horses, Brando and Cooper, so named “because they are so good-looking.” Ha!

[original Elle Decor article online here]


Partners & Spade


…And so my fascination with the Spades continues.

Just stumbled across Partners & Spade, apparently another company of Andy and Kate Spade, though it’s difficult to figure out exactly what it is/does or the exact structure.  There’s a storefront, which as far as I can gather is a collection of things Andy Spade thinks is cool, with a sort of cheeky twist.  Given the credibility the Spades’ taste has achieved, I’d say that’s probably a viable business model.  And, given the profitability that has resulted from this credibility, I’d say he’s got room to risk the cheeky twist.

Best Made Co.’s handmade-in-New York axes.  Apparently, nice axes are becoming a thing.  The point is lost on me, but I will say I like the paint job on this number.

Maybe the most humorous item in the range, a burglary kit– everything one needs to burgle, all in a cool rucksack.

I approve, Andy, I think cartography is cool too.

Here’s what I really like… Apparently they host events and “exhibits” at the store, like this one:

And this one…

And this one…

Cheeky is the perfect word, right?  Love the idea of having events like this at the store.  Seems like Andy has a lot of fun with this project…

What I didn’t realize, was that Partners & Spade’s “studio,” which seems to be an outlet for co-branding on outside projects, collaborated on the design J. Crew’s Men’s Store.  By which I mean, I didn’t realize the Spades were in any way involved with J. Crew, or more specifically the Men’s Store, until I discovered the existence of Partners & Spade.  The coming together of two major tastemakers…

And so the Spades continue to conquer the world…


Tastemakers >> I DIE >> EmersonMade's (ie, Emerson and Ryan's) Home

File this one under >> extreme jealousy.  I die over this whole thing.

The couple behind EmersonMade (seen previously in one of the Valentine’s posts) might have the cutest life ever.  Not to mention they might be the cutest couple ever.

I discovered this on design*sponge, who got the photos and interview, so all the copy in brackets is from there.  
[Ryan and Emerson moved from new york city to a seaside town in new hampshire two years ago. what was once a one-woman operation has grown into a full-scale business run out of a nearby historic mill.]

[We purchased the house about 2 years ago when we moved from NYC and we had to completely renovate it - it was a shambles when we got it! We wanted it to feel open, relaxing and inviting. The type of place that immediately puts guests at ease ... The floor was initially covered in a non-slip paint with sand bits in it. We had them stripped and found this old heart pine.]

[The fantastic sink was found on craigslist for a bargain price, and we had the butcher block built. We use it for all our food prep.  Ryan bought Emerson some initial pieces of ironstone for their anniversary and the collection just took off from there.]

I love the beadboard-backed open shelving … and the butcher block .. and well, everything.

[photo above: We designed our pantry so that everything would be visible. We have mostly unrefined ingredients because we don’t eat sugar, flour and processed ingredients so we just line it all up in here and grab what we need.]
–I’m very impressed that they don’t eat flour or sugar!!   And isn’t that the most wonderful looking pantry you’ve ever seen??  I love everything organized into glass jars and no commercial labels in sight.

[photo above: This is where we eat! We wanted to be able to eat dinner next to the fire. It's open to the kitchen since that is where we spend most of our time. The table and chairs are from our collecting excursions. It sits 10-12 people comfortably.  We have those fold up chairs all over the house! if you want to have a party in the grass you can bring them outside! The chairs get around.]

[photo above: We built this fireplace with two things in mind, 1. That you could look straight into the fire, and 2. that you could have a place to sit next to the fire if you wanted. We incorporated all the original hardware from the previously non functioning fireplace so it looks like it did 130 year ago. The nautical map, on the mantle, charts the ocean from NYC to Maine - it traces our move from Manhattan to New Hampshire.]

[[photo above] This is our library. We have driven all over the Eastern seaboard picking stuff up. Everything in this picture, other than the sofa, are from our excursions.]

[photo above: Another view of the library! It is beautiful in there during the day because it is northern facing and gets no direct light. It glows with the reflection of the trees! The lamp is beaded chandelier with probably 30 little beautiful light bulbs.  when we turn
it on at night look like little full moons behind the beads!]

[photo above: Laundry room sink and folding table. That rooms got lots of light! We got the sink from an old man who collected beautiful sinks in his barn way out in the woods! Emerson covered the old farm table with linen and padding to make it an ironing table. We make those little flag banners at EmersonMade and we have them all over the place!]

[photo above: We had to tidy up that beside table! Usually it is piled sky high with too many books about health, gardening and new projects! The books covered in kraft paper are Emerson's sketch and scheduling books for the EmersonMade line.]

I am not kidding I found that exact bed about two weeks ago at a closeout sale for $600.  I am kicking myself for not getting it.  …and not just because I’ll do anything to have my life resemble theirs.  Haha..

[photo: This is our front door which leads directly into kitchen area. Ryan's brother made the beautiful Emerson Farm sign.]

I love her style!  And I love that Ryan models for the line too.

I think they actually have a pet duck.  Or multiples, really, but one in particular is in their house on their blog!

Photos from design*sponge and EmersonMade website and blog.


Tastemakers (In Repose) >> Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta at his home in Punta Cana
How awesome is this room?  It’s just cool.  I like when I can imagine various outfits that would look good in a room, and this room would be perfect for everything from all white linen (Oscar’s M.O. here), to a colorful Missoni weave, to just a bathing suit, to a long black dress.

I don’t know when it was designed, and I can’t even tell, which I think is awesome.  Like I can’t even tell what decade.  And it’s going to look good for so long. 

Pretty classy for a beach house, eh?

Love these shutters– they totally make this little space.


Tastemakers >> Monelle Totah

I always think it’s interesting to get a peak at the people behind the brands you love– Jenna Lyons from J. Crew, Deborah Lloyd from Kate Spade, the couple from Obedient Sons & Daughters, Alexander Wang– because for the more faceless brands, it’s cool to see that there’s a real live person behind the looks, and not just some kind of trend-tracking machine churning out the latest looks.  
Here, the Manhattan home of Monelle Totah, the Creative Director for William Sonoma Home. 
I personally think we are sort of in “The Era of the Creative Director.”  Of course there have always been Creative Directors, but at larger mass consumer brands, the product lines were, in the past, more driven by strict pricing and merchandising formulas, and today, the Creative Director-as-muse concept has trickled down from high-end design brands to mass market brands, and the CD is given more importance.
Anyway, there’s my little theory for the day, and I’ll continue this look-at-people-behind-brands as a series.
What do you think of her home?  Does it fit with what you would expect from the woman behind WSHome?  

Personally, I feel like the rooms don’t all totally jive with each other– it’s like each one has a slightly different personality.  

But I feel like that makes sense given her job and the fact that she is constantly thinking about new trends and collections, don’t you think?  I feel like that would make it hard to pick only one style for your home.
Images via Habitually Chic

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