Let's not resign ourselves to autumn just yet. Instead let's look forward to summer months. Again, you just have to choose your inspiration, and imagine you're there. When I was little, I had this book, Linnea in Monet's Garden. It's about a young girl called Linnea and her friend Mr. Bloom, who takes her on a magical journey to visit Monet's Gardens at Giverny. Growing up, Monet was my absolute favorite artist--I was obsessed--and I used to fantasize about this story at length, down to the last detail: entering tiny pink brick house with its clos normand, seeing the Japanese bridge; lunching on goat cheese and crusty bread on the bank of a river; traveling by train through rolling french countryside... I even loved Linnea's outfit: white pinafore over black sleeves, chinese slippers, and a wide-brimmed sunhat. I ask you: what better way to temper the severity of stark black-and-white than a flat, golden straw hat? Such the perfect outfit for a curious and sophisticated young girl--and so french! If I were given the chance to live the tale now, I know exactly what I would wear: joie, spring 2014, of course.
Apparently designer Serge Azria's main influence here was a recent trip to Ponza, off the Amalfi coast, where "all the houses where white and all the doors were blue" hence the little touches of azure in this otherwise entirely white collection. How magical! I always think white and blue make for the purest and most transcendent combination of all the colors, so mysterious and divine. Ponza isn't exactly northern France, of course, but in my estimation, these clothes are universal.