Tag Archives: southern

HUSK

Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK.

Talk about COMFORT FOOD. Husk is Charleston’s perfect combination of modern day sophistication and down-home goodness. The second you walk onto the double-front porch and feel the coziness of being home, it’s like the whole experience has you wrapped in a cashmere blanket. The board on the foyer wall lists all the local farms, fishermen, growers who supply your food. It feels like one big Southern family here with roots that extend for generations. On the drink menu they serve things like cider made from the same recipe as its creation 100 years ago  or house-made soda concoctions and old classics like Cheerwine Soda from Salisbury, NC, the old soft drink company still run by the same family. With a menu that changes twice daily, it’s so hard to decide what to order! As far as the classics on the menu go, I’m always a sucker for southern catfish, which is outstanding here, but word has it they are the best burger in town. So add it to your must-eats list and feel free to take me with you when you go….

PS- the pig ear lettuce wraps are DELICIOUS, the selection of Madeira wine is fantastic, and their pimento cheese crostini haunt my dreams…

Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK. Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK. Charleston's newest popular resturant HUSK. Continue reading…

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Hampden Clothing

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Being in New York City, especially now that the studio is so close to SoHo, we are very aware of all the amazing boutiques the city has to offer…almost to the point of being overwhelmed!

I’d been putting off buying a garden wedding dress for months. I didn’t want to spend a day going from store to store, but I also wanted to have more of an experience buying such a special piece than sitting all alone in my PJ’s on a Saturday morning and ordering online. I think there is a time to buy something quickly online and then there is a time to make it an experience.

When I was down in Charleston with Tibi for their pre-fall runway show, we stopped in to the boutique Hampden Clothing where creator and owner Stacy Smallwood has turned an historic King Street storefront into a little curated slice of SoHo heaven. I walked in, I said I was looking for a garden party wedding dress, and in 15mins it was done. It felt like I was finding something insanely special without having to do all the work. They carried everything from Alexander Wang to Rag & Bone, Tibi to KENZO and more. It was fabulous.

So what’s the point of covering a store? The point is, Stacy brought New York fashion -avant garde silhouettes, crazy patterns and pieces so chic they look like something a princess would wear – into Charleston South Carolina, a town of 400,000 people, and never looked back. She doesn’t sell beach flip flops or mass-produced product that’s here today, gone tomorrow; she respects her customer’s intelligence, sophistication and style. She created a space where you can love fashion but not have to know anything about it and still be taken care of. She has wound back the clock to an era of shopping where the store was specially curated for you, where shopkeepers knew your name and what you liked, pulled for you from designers when she is on buying trips to New York or Paris, and makes sure you feel as good as you look. In a time where the Internet makes us all so anonymous, it’s a modern day luxury to have someone like Stacy who KNOWS you.

I sat down with Stacy in her store to hear how she created her own fashion universe in the middle of the South.

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How did you get into fashion?

I was recruited by Neiman Marcus at Vanderbilt to go straight into their buying program, and it was the best decision I ever made. I moved to Dallas and I was with Neiman Marcus for five years as an assistant buyer and designer in sportswear, and department manager in ladies shoes at the flagship store.

Why do you say it’s the best thing that ever happened to you?

It taught me a work ethic and gave me a bigger picture of the fashion industry that I wouldn’t have gotten. My buyer taught me to – she worked equally as hard if not harder, and she taught me to never ask anybody to do anything you wouldn’t do.

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Cumberland Island

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I remember that photograph. It was instantly synonymous with American style, American royalty, and that fairytale wedding to Prince Charming. I never forgot that image, the beauty of the moment, the elegance and intimacy of the chosen venue. Such an interesting choice to make for such a famous last name. Fast forward nearly 18 years later, and I’m standing on the steps of the First African Baptist Church on Cumberland Island thinking about all the dreams that one photograph gave me as a child. I remember reading about how the guests stayed at the Greyfield Inn where the reception was held but as time passed these little details faded away, now those faded details are a part of my very personal memories. Cumberland became more than a dream, but a cherished experience.

The day is full of delight with the kind of youthful energy and discovery you find in a F. Scott Fitzgerald book. We went on hour long hikes, took bike rides to old cemeteries and rode around horses grazing beneath the ruins of the Dungeness mansion. We rode for hours down the seashore without ever seeing another person, finding seashells and chasing horses. One of the most charming rituals of the Inn is how they make their guests picnic baskets for lunch everyday you can take with you on your private adventures.  On our second morning we rode with the house naturalist on a tour of the island where we visited that famous church, saw the house where President Jimmy Carter ate at multiple times, and discovered Plum Plantation which took my breath away. The history and nature, preservation and privateness is so far beyond anything I have ever experienced that I can only describe this stretch of land, twice the size of Manhattan, as magical.

If you ever need to find that corner of the world where things just are… where you can sit in the natural silence of the world alone and breathe in the sunlight, taste the salt of the sea and feel that life is just simply beautiful… then come to Cumberland Island. My heart will be there waiting for you.

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Greyfield Inn

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While we were in California last year, spending the day photographing Lake Tahoe with our friends, Adam Katseff and his wife Amy, they told us about the Greyfield Inn…the magical place they stayed on their honeymoon, one that they knew I would LOVE (turned out to be a major understatement). I knew the name sounded familiar, and once they mentioned it was on Cumberland Island, it all came back to me…an enchanting wedding, an all-American couple…but more on that tomorrow…

After hearing about it, I knew I had to see Greyfield Inn for myself and with the trip down to visit SCAD, it was the perfect opportunity. I’m an extremely visual person and I’m sure it comes to no surprise to you that I quite often dream about the way life looked “back then”. I think walking through the doors of Greyfield will be as close as I will ever get to knowing the way it might have actually looked…

You leave your car on Amelia Island and Mitti, one of the four owners and inheritors of Greyfield and the Carnegie property, takes you by boat to Cumberland Island. Walking up from the dock the giant, old live oaks seem to wave at you with their long fingers of Spanish moss, diffusing the afternoon sun into a sparkling haze underneath their centuries-old canopy. Then, from behind the trees you catch the first glimpse of the four story white mansion they call Greyfield. Built in 1900 as a wedding gift to the Carnegie’s daughter, Margaret, this home is still furnished with many of the original pieces of that era but with exceptional modern day comforts (ummm…air-conditioning). As you walk up the grand staircase to the second floor porch lined with rocking chairs and swinging daybeds, you regret how short your stay is. Now, up in the canopy of live oaks, you overlook the property of white picketed fences and fields of grazing wild horses and as they offer you organic rosemary lemonade, if you’re like me, you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

The house, grand as it is, still holds a very sweet intimacy. At night, sitting out by the waterway looking back on her, she stands a soft pearly white in the light of the moon, framed by Spanish moss draped trees with a golden light glowing out of every window, so warm and welcoming you would swear the evening was meant just for you. The charm extends to the inside with its historic clawfoot bathtubs, immaculate upkeep, full service bar, organic meals, classic high quality southern linens and L’Occitane toiletries. Every evening, men in dinner jackets and ladies in our sweet southern dresses snack on hors d’oeuvres and classic Southern cocktails (recipe for my favorite below!), awaiting a dinner bell around 7:30 where we all move into the formal dining room for that night’s seasonal meal which at times can harvest ingredients from Greyfield’s own impressive garden.

I know on busy New York days or times when I’m caught in a blizzard, I will think back on this memory and my soul will fill with the warmth of these sunny afternoons, lost on Cumberland Island in a dream called Greyfield

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