Downtown Nashville

I just did a little travel write-up on Nashville in a magazine called The Simple Things, and got the chance to play tourist in my town all over again. We’ve lived here for half a year, so sometimes we still feel like tourists—especially when we walk down Broadway, where most of the people are in cowboy boots and where live music plays in the honky-tonks at any time of day.

I wrote about some other places in the article—historic sites like Belle Meade and hipster meccas like Imogene + Willie and the Pinewood Social—but if I had to narrow down my must-visit list to one spot I’d choose Lower Broadway. There is history (Ernest Tubb’s record shop has been there since the ’40s, but mostly I remember it from the movie Coal Miner’s Daughter), lots of music (sometimes played in smoky hole-in-the-wall bars that seem to have been there forever), and an earnest, completely un-ironic hokeyness that I kind of love. It’s very Nashville and it’s refreshing.

You can see the article in the March issue of The Simple Things . . .

Photos by Drew

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Elizabeth Suzann SS 2014

Elizabeth Suzann’s spring line was released yesterday, and it’s all so good: lots of silk and linen, jumpsuits and kimono style jackets and deceivingly simple dresses. And the new lookbook is out too, which I was really excited about seeing. Last month I got the chance to go down to St. Augustine to work with Elizabeth’s team and style for the shoot. Anna Tucker shot the photos and Madison Bosworth modeled, and the sun was out the whole day, and it really couldn’t have been any better. We drank sangria and walked around the old part of town, dodging tourists and scouting out quiet photo spots.

Elizabeth’s collection reminded me a lot of French beach clothes from the ’20s and ’30s. The long dusters and wide-legged silk pants gave me Seeberger vibes, so I knew I had to steer the styling in that direction somewhat. Using pieces like Elizabeth’s pretty amazing Gamma Folk necklace above helped modern it all up.

A few days after getting back, I was reading a biography on Diana Vreeland and came across a story about how she, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and a young Lauren Bacall all traveled to St. Augustine to shoot an editorial for Harper’s Bazaar. They took beautiful photos, some of them in the exact spots Anna and Elizabeth chose to shoot at. But in the end it rained and it was wartime, the trains were full, and all Diana Vreeland wanted was to get out of St. Augustine. For us it was the opposite. We didn’t want to leave the warm sunshine to head back north to Nashville.

Here are just a few photos from the lookbook. You can check out the rest—plus all the pieces in Elizabeth’s new collection—at her site . . .

Clothes: Elizabeth Suzann . . . Photos: Anna Tucker . . . Model: Madison Bosworth . . . Styling: Rhiannon Leifheit.

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Weekend in Chicago

We were in Chicago for only two days, but we filled them up, walking around town, touristing on Michigan Avenue, eating some of the best vegan food I’ve ever had, and ending up in the emergency room. (those last two aren’t related)

Drew had some pieces in Typeforce, an art show in Bridgeport, so we decided to get out of town and make a weekend out of it. The trip to Chicago from Nashville isn’t that bad—around 6 or 7 hours—and it’s easy enough to bring Rufus along, although I had to knit him a sweater really quickly before we left. He’s not used to midwest winters, and neither am I. But it wasn’t bad. We bundled up, I wore my sensible gardening/rain/work boots and I used the cold as an excuse to buy a scarf at Madewell. We walked around during the day and took the CTA and taxis (when we got lost) at night.

We went to the Museum of Contemporary Art for the first time (where I also used Groupon for the first time), walked around Michigan Avenue, stopping in stores to warm up. We ate at a place called LYFE Kitchen because it was close to our hotel, but got really excited about going to Native Foods again. We went there the last time we were in Chicago and couldn’t get over how good the food was—all vegan, with so much flavor. I just wish they could bring a restaurant to Nashville.

The art show was fun, and I loved seeing Drew’s new pieces on the wall  (the photo here is pretty small, but you can check out better photos of it on his site). I got to meet some Chicago friends of his, who were all super nice. But the room was loud, and my vision started to blur, and I fainted before I could go find somewhere to sit. All I can remember is waking up and being conscious of where I was (and being really embarrassed) and then fainting away again. I didn’t want an ambulance to come, but when I couldn’t stand up without passing out I knew it was probably a good idea. So the paramedics came, and as soon as I could lie down I felt much better, but they took me to the emergency room just to be on the safe side.

Well, I was fine. I think it was just a combination of a lot of things: low blood pressure, not drinking enough water, drinking a few coffees and a few drinks. Mostly I was just embarrassed for the dramatic exit and sorry for taking Drew away from his show so soon. But it did make our Chicago trip more exciting.

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Dietrich on Vacation

When I was in college I was absolutely obsessed with Marlene Dietrich and hero-worshiped her all the way, covering my dorm room walls with photos of her, reading every biography I could get my hands on, re-watching DVDs of her films over and over again. I loved the dramatic 1930s stuff best: Morocco with Gary Cooper, Blonde Venus with Cary Grant, Shanghai Express, in which Marlene basically vogues and poses the whole time, tossing off lines like “It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily.”

I loved her Travis Banton costumes, her perfectly lit face, her aloof 1930s movie star glamour. But right now I’m more into the candids, especially those taken on her travels. Marlene wears beach pajamas and hardly any makeup at all, and yet still comes off as glamorous as she is on-screen.

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