Style

La Dolce Vita (1960)

Tabloid journalist Marcello passes through the symbolic worlds of his three love interests in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960).

The heiress Maddalena (played by Anouk Aimée) is tired of Rome. When she’s not at home lounging on her patio chaise, she can be found in the company of aristocrats who, like her, have experienced everything Rome has to offer. The castle: ball gowns, elegant evening capes, silk, diamonds, tiaras, shiny new cars, sunglasses for sake of mystery.

On her visit to the Eternal City, Italian men vie for the attention of Swedish American actress Sylvia (played by Anita Ekberg). She is charming, flirtatious, and skilled at making sure people have fun at parties. Her abusive fiancé Robert often interrupts her nonstop parade with unkind words and an abusive hand. The limelight: airplanes, cameras, flashing bulbs, music, eyeliner, fountain water.

Emma (played by Yvonne Furneaux) is Marcello’s emotionally fragile girlfriend. Her identity is intertwined with his existence; she loves him more than she loves herself. Emma dreams of married life and children with her boyfriend, but the feeling isn’t mutual. She often waits up for him at night, but when she’s kept waiting too long, her mind travels to a dark place. Purgatory: shadows on the walls of a still apartment, newspapers, telephone, remote dirt road, hospital bed, bed head, basic black dress.

Works Sighted

sequin curtain // sunglasses // tiara // umbrella

silk scarf // dress with sheer sleeves // gown // pearl earrings // scoop-neck dress // mosquito net // olive tree

balloons // Valpolicella // heels // heels // heels // bow tie

ash tray // phone // camera // candles // tape recorder // candelabra

The Search for the Perfect Trench

As I pulled my trench coat from the closet (the first time since winter), I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend about finding the perfect one. As is generally the case with clothing these days, the search for a trench coat requires work. This means ordering viable options online and returning what doesn’t suit. It is important to remember to mail your returns back to the retailer(s) from whence they came. The process is even more convenient if the brand(s) accept returns at a nearby brick-and-mortar store. I find it especially efficient to make all my returns in one day. You may find your perfect trench on the first attempt, but if you don’t, you will eventually. What matters most is that you do not compromise on size, fit, or color. If you have time, expand your search to thrift stores and flea markets, especially when in Europe. When you visit Paris, I recommend thrifting with Mariana. Bon courage ! These things can take time.

Works Sighted

Banana Republic Factory classic twill trench (sanded khaki) // J.Crew new icon trench (vintage khaki) // A.P.C. greta trench coat (beige) // Hobbs trench (navy)

J.Crew Factory trench (light khaki) // Lauren Ralph Lauren cotton blend trench (sand) // Barbour trench (light fawn) // Mango classic trench (medium brown)

Mango classic trench (dark navy) // H&M short trench (light beige) // London Fog (British khaki) // Everlane modern trench (beech)

Roman Holiday (1953): Princess Off Duty

Princess Ann (played by Audrey Hepburn) travels to Rome on a goodwill tour in Roman Holiday (1953). Her life is governed by tradition, responsibility, and an itinerary full of engagements related to her duty as a royal. Ann’s schedule doesn’t allow for activities that aren’t related to the official tour. But, for 24 hours, the princess makes time for the things she’s always wanted to do. She doesn’t ask for permission. With American journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) by her side, she experiences the Eternal City and a love that is equally enduring.

Works Sighted

1. chandelier 2. nap dress 3. slippers 4. tiara 5. dress 6. heels

7. gelato 8. shirt 9. skirt and belt 10. sandals 11. Italian lire

12. fairy lights 13. pajamas 14. epaulettes 15. camera

16. scarf 17. comb 18. postcards 19. tray 20. Vespa

21. Champagne 22. phone 23. guitar

The Classic Editrix on Etsy

I spent Labor Day weekend launching The Classic Editrix Etsy shop. It features minimalist T-shirts and totes inspired by France, Italy, England, the US, and academia. True to my style philosophy, I designed everything in a neutral color palette. I’ve worn the “en français s’il vous plaît” T to the pool, to class, and to work; it’s highly versatile and a vision, especially when styled with a knot and rolled-up sleeves.

Works Sighted

“en français s’il vous plaît” T-shirt // Sunbody Hats fedora // Summersalt sidestroke

Muji Basics

I made my first purchase from the Japanese brand Muji in 2014: a card holder, pen case, and mesh pouch. In 2016, I got all three items stolen at a holiday party. The event was at the bar of a restaurant near my job. My group of colleagues and I were separated from other restaurant-goers by a rope…easily crossable.

I sat the tote containing my belongings under the bar and didn’t pay much attention to it throughout the evening. The card holder and pen case were inside the mesh pouch along with my ID and credit cards and pass for public transportation.

Nothing suspicious was charged to my credit card. Maybe the thief valued free bus and subway rides above all else. I replaced my pen collection and mesh pouch but never bought a new card holder or pen case. Was the thief enjoying them?

On my last field trip to the Muji store in Chelsea, I made a mental list of all my needs. Then, in classic editrix style, I expressed them in a collage—card holder and pen case included.

Works Sighted

socks // fan // jute bag // sweatshirt

soup // atomizer // top // sketchbook // bag hanger

top // black pen // blue-black pen  // blue pen // card holder // pen case // open-flat notebook

The Standard Baggu

Baggu launched in 2007 with one product: a reusable nylon bag. The standard Baggu is spacious, holds up to 50lbs, and folds into a 5″ × 5″ matching pouch. I bought my first one in the middle of my long-gone color era. It was neon pink, and I loved it so much that I carried it daily as my primary bag.

The brand has since expanded with other styles, but the original is the most unique and practical. I bought one in blue-and-white sailor stripe last month from a boutique in Cape May to haul bottles of spring water across the sand. Post-shore, I carry the Baggu in its pouch at the bottom of my Boat and Tote for unplanned visits to the grocery store. (They’ve banned plastic bags in Philadelphia, and I refuse to pay for a paper ones.)

On a recent excursion to see Blackpink at MetLife Stadium, I carried the Baggu inside my compulsory PVC concert bag. Before and after the show, I reversed the arrangement with the PVC bag inside the nylon one, a few bottles of chilled water added for good measure.

Work Sighted

Standard Baggu (sailor stripe)