The end of the year is fast approaching, with December offering an endless array of gifts to buy and parties to attend. And while there is always something I have my eye on and a handful of festive soirées to attend, the days I look forward to the most at the end of the year are those that allow for quiet downtime to reflect (a whole decade to reminisce on!), read, and rest. But before the year and month comes to a close, I want to share a list of some of the podcasts, articles, music, textiles, and shoes (of course) that have given me a solid dose of inspiration.
The Jungle Prince of Delhi: About three weeks while I was on a sourcing trip in San Miguel de Allende, I was lying in bed reading emails and was intrigued by a NYT story titled, The Jungle Prince of Delhi, written by Ellen Barry. I had no idea that I would be swept away into a world that was equally fascinating as it was heartbreaking. Barry brilliantly tells the story of The Royal Family of Oudh, who were known as aristocrats for over 40 years as they manipulated a system and its people through mental illness and displacement caused by the British. As one NYT commenter so perfectly put it, “This is journalism of the highest order; so high, it’s art.” I couldn’t agree more. It is truly one of the greatest human-interest pieces I have ever read.
Dolly Parton’s America: My friend Heather recommended I listen to the new Dolly Parton podcast, Dolly Parton’s America, right before I was about to hop in the car and make my new morning commute to the office. As I listened to the first episode, I laughed and I cried and I marveled at Dolly’s whole-hearted persona as she chronicled her musical career and life. And that was just episode 1! Hosted by Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, it is laden with history and feminism (even though Dolly doesn’t like that word), and love. There’s a reason why she has a universal appeal.
William de Morgan for Loewe: As a tile designer for the Arts & Crafts Movement, William de Morgan had a penchant for creating orientalist patterns combined with creatures living in nature. The Spanish fashion house, Loewe, was inspired by his work and created a capsule collection for both men and women that has an elegant, Medieval decadence that makes each piece feel like a collector’s item. It is so inspired and carefully thought out, and I have my eyes on a jacquard wrap skirt with a blue animal motif.
French Vanilla: My friend Allison Wolfe celebrated a big birthday in LA and had one of her favorite bands, French Vanilla, perform in her honor. I rarely make it out to see shows like I used to, but I’m so glad I had the chance to witness an energetic and eccentric performance by this no-wave band that has one of the most courageous, raw vocalists I’ve seen in a while along with an A+ sax player. It reminded me of why I love music so much, inspiring me to buy their album on vinyl.
Roger Vivier Shoes: I often talk about my hopes of aging like a glamorous Italian woman wearing her Ferragamo Vara Bow Pumps. I am all about a classic ballet flat or a pump, and for me it doesn’t get better than Ferragamo; Gucci; or Roger Vivier. Lately, I’ve been dreaming about the updated Roger Vivier pumps and they are the shoe that I can’t get enough of. A touch of sixties and a touch of ladylike chic make them a versatile shoe that works with jeans as well as my vintage Indian dresses. I’m officially addicted, and am completely on board with aging like a glamorous French woman in her Belle Vivier Pumps.