New York Fall 2016: Jason Wu

jason wu fall 2016, look 34 | simple pretty

look 34

Completely besotted with the wispy textures at Jason Wu for fall. He really knows how to marry clean shapes to a bit of romance, and the blush nudes and citrons were a dreamy foil to always-classic black. See the complete collection at

jason wu fall 2016, look 31 | simple pretty

look 31

jason wu fall 2016, look 14 | simple pretty

look 14 (seems like a bit of wardrobe malfunction?)

yannis vlamos / photos for

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New York Fall 2016: Brock Collection

brock collection fall 2016, look 4 | simple pretty

look 4

Here we go … the fall collections! In a season where designers are starting to move toward a business model of “show now, buy now”, I say bring it: I wouldn’t mind having this ensemble in my closet to wear this weekend! It’s minimalist utilitarian luxe® to be sure. See the complete show — including new to the lineup shoes in a gorgeous range of colors and textures — at

alessandro garofalo / photo for

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Vintage French Bullion Boxes

lassco french bullion boxes | simple pretty

Filed under: instant obsession. Discovered during weekend wandering at Lassco Ropewalk (Maltby Market), these vintage Banque de Paris gold bullion boxes caught my eye. The pressed-cardboard boxes are utilitarian-sturdy, but are visually upgraded thanks to the rivet details. I’ve already designated one for Paris souvenir storage — bien sûr — and though I bought a set of boxes in red and black, I think I’m headed back to pick up one in navy, too.

lassco gold bullion boxes | simple pretty

color options*

lassco gold bullion boxes | simple pretty

some of the boxes are numbered

lassco gold bullion boxes | simple pretty

close-up of the rivet detailing (red box)

Available online for the geographically challenged

* photo from, all other photos by jane potrykus

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Paris In Winter

paris in winter // david coggins (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

Sometimes, it seems that the universe aligns to deliver the book you need at the exact moment you need it. This January, Paris In Winter was that book.*

'walking the dogs' by david coggins for paris in winter (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

‘walking the dogs’

Written and gloriously illustrated in watercolor by Minnesota-based artist David Coggins, Paris In Winter (powerHouse Books $24.95) serves as a memoir/journal of his family’s annual trips to Paris, a tradition that spans more than 30 years. Though their initial visits were in warmer months, eventually they discovered that winter’s slower pace suited their schedule perfectly. (It is worth noting that, as Coggins spends most of the year in Minneapolis, a January getaway to Paris will usually be a favorable trade in the weather department, too.) Coggins, his wife and two adult children spend their days living the Parisian good life, which means lots of leisurely meals, chats with restauranteurs and shop owners, and plenty of afternoons spent wandering Paris’s many museums, galleries, and parks, all of which appeals to me immensely. I found myself constantly stopping to jot notes as I worked my way through the book, not only to remember a new place to explore but also to stop and do a quick bit of research into Paris history (including shoring up my art history knowledge, which is woefully lacking).**

'notre dame with christmas tree' by david coggins for paris in winter (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

‘notre dame with christmas tree’

The book’s tone lures you in: it feels a bit like reading missives from a dear friend — — so much so that I was constantly imagining myself into the scene — and the illustrations whimsically and endearingly capture snippets of their adventures.

'boy in scarf' by david coggins for paris in winter (powerhouse books) | simple pretty

‘boy in scarf’

The closer I get to empty-nest status, the more time I spend thinking about “what’s next”, and I’m hoping that it will include an annual getaway like this. Travel is not only for inspiration, but restoration, and Paris is the perfect location to find both.

*  Though, as usual, when you dig a bit deeper you discover there were forces guiding you towards discovery all along. My road to Paris In Winter started with some of my savvy Internet friends who recommended the book last fall. Then, a January weekend trip to Paris sparked a love for the city in winter. I bought the book as an early birthday gift to myself. And per usual, now that I’ve been introduced, I’ve started to notice David Coggins’s influence everywhere, including this article for Paddle8 where his son discusses art with Andy Spade. (updated as I incorrectly assumed it was the elder David Coggins when I read it)

** A short list of places I’ve added to my “must-sees” includes Galerie Vero Dodat, Maille, and Librairie Galignani.

images courtesy of powerHouse books: Paris in Winter is currently available at Barnes&Noble stores and online: the reprint will hit Amazon late March (I told you it was good!)

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superfolk 'kombu kelp' print | simple pretty

kombu kelp (irish moss)

I continue to envelop myself in January’s quiet, poring over gardening magazines and taking lots of walks. A recent addition to my magazine habit is the English publication Gardens Illustrated — which oddly enough, I came across while at the Chicago Botanic Garden over the holidays.

While flipping through the latest issue, dreaming of my future garden, the work of Irish designers Superfolk caught my eye.* Based on Ireland’s west coast, Superfolk artists Jo Anne Butler and Gearóid Muldowney designed a range of botanical prints, block printed on Japanese washi paper, that capture the beauty of the wild foraged edible seaweeds found along their country’s coastline.

Mesmerizing in their simplicity, the prints reflect my desire for art that encourages pause and reflection. (Introspection is the essence of the late winter brain.)

superfolk 'sea spaghetti' print | simple pretty

sea spaghetti

superfolk 'atlantic wakame' print | simple pretty

atlantic wakame

images from : follow them at Instagram and Twitter

the magazine featured superfolk’s more-colorful but still quite simple dandelion print, available through makers&brothers

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