Q&A with Peter Bellerby of Bellerby & Co

I’ve always been drawn to nostalgic things. Hand-written notes sealed with wax, Venetian intaglios carved in glass, and 18th century botanical posters of flowers, berries, and trees… these are a few things that stir my soul and remind me of another time. A well-loved globe is another nostalgic treasure, particularly in our age of GPS and Google Maps. Interestingly, there are very few traditional globe makers still working today. Peter Bellerby and his team of painters, engravers, woodworkers, and cartographers at Bellerby & Co in London are one of the last remaining globe makers in the world to make globes by hand in the traditional style. Since the 1400s, globes were made by etching the map onto copper plates, gore by gore, and sending them through a printing press. (Gores are the surfboard shapes that cover the surface.) The fragile paper gores would then be taken, wetted, and stretched across the shape so they conjoined precisely so. This process takes the utmost care as the paper can easily rip, tear, or bubble. Bellerby uses modern printers but the rest of their process remains the same, unchanged over centuries. Every Bellerby globe is also hand painted using hand-mixed pigments, so no two are ever alike. Most interesting are the bespoke globes that Peter and his team make for clients all over the world, colored with special symbols and messages that tell the owner’s story. The company just released their first Moon Globe with the lunar landing sites along with a Silk Road Globe illustrated with spices, landmarks, animals, and people. I had the pleasure of working on two stories about this company, one for American Way (American Airlines in-flight magazine) and the other for The WSJ Magazine. This year Bellerby is collaborating with Mr. Porter on a line of Mini Desk Globes. While their bespoke globes have a lengthy wait list, these globes are ready to ship, each made with love and care. Below, you will find my interview with Peter Bellerby. I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.

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Q&A with Sylvie Corbelin

A few years ago, I went on a magical mother-daughter trip to Paris. Together, we spent a week walking beneath the chestnut trees, feasting on French food, and time traveling in museums. One of the most memorable moments of the trip came on a weekend visit to the Paul Bert flea market. This market is a must-visit for its maze of galleries selling gilded antiques, sterling tableware, oil paintings, and vintage clothing, from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent. That day, we stumbled upon the ivy-covered atelier of Sylvie Corbelin. Stepping through the doorway, we entered a tiny magenta jewel box filled with gold mermaid necklaces, bejeweled butterfly earrings, and diamond rats affixed to coiled rings. There, we befriended the beautiful lady behind this one-of-a-kind collection. In 2019, I returned to Paris and met Sylvie at her home in the Marais. She served tea and shortbread as I took in her whimsical home filled with assorted collections like Murano glass jars and Fornasetti umbrella stands. That afternoon, we visited about life, her line of work, and how she is designing on her own terms. Sylvie has an amazing eye and a strong point of view. Her work is heirloom quality and each design evokes something about the human experience, be it spirituality, protection, or nature. Everything is thoughtfully considered, including the backs and undersides of earrings, pendants, and rings, which are inlaid with jewels, inscribed with poetic passages, and etched with symbolism. What a gift to know such a talented soul and how lucky I feel to call her my friend. I hope you enjoy this Q&A with the one and only Sylvie Corbelin.

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Posted In: Interviews

Q&A with Yolanda Edwards

Growing up, my idea of a fun afternoon meant staying in my bedroom surrounded by magazines. With scissors in hand, I’d cut out stories of people and places that spoke to me and tuck the clippings away into big accordion binders. Today, I still have these files filled with my early inspirations and I still get the same thrill from sitting down with a magazine. Knowing this, you can imagine my excitement when Yolanda Edwards, previously the Creative Director of Conde Nast Traveler, started a new travel quarterly called Yolo Journal.  Read on to learn about her passion project and more, such as her most over the top hotel experience and travel items she doesn’t leave home without.

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Q&A with Tug Rice

This year, I wrote a story for VIE Magazine on The Carlyle in New York City. Along the way, I stumbled upon Tug Rice, the talented illustrator behind the hotel’s 2019 calendar. I quickly fell for his nostalgic interpretations of classic Carlyle moments. Since our first Instagram correspondence, I’ve learned — much to my delight — that Tug and I are kindred spirits, sharing a love of Hotel Sacher, cafe culture, Poulenc… and Bemelmans Bar. The answers below are insightful and charming, comedic and fun. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Tug Rice.

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Posted In: Inspiration, Interviews

April Gargiulo of Vintner’s Daughter

April Gargiulo, Founder of Vintner’s Daughter

In today’s saturated beauty market, false advertising has made it harder and harder to find genuine, quality products. As a beauty junkie myself, I’ve fallen pray countless times to brands who over promise and under deliver. In skincare, as in life, talk is cheap but when it comes to real quality, you know it when you see it. About two years ago, I began noticing some big changes in my skin. While I’ve always been fair complected, there was a sudden and palpable shift wrought with rosacea, hypersensitivity, and sporadic blemishes. To try and hide — and more importantly remedy — the aforementioned issues, I sampled a bunch of products hoping for the best. What I found at the end of the trial and error rainbow was quite literally a pot of skin-nourishing gold: The Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter. It is so special, in fact, that I felt compelled to reach out to the founder, ask a bunch of questions, and share her story with you. I’ve only been using the serum for about a month now but it’s already become my favorite step in my beauty routine. There are so many things I love about this product, from its golden hue to its nourishing efficacy and its all-natural ingredient menu. The moment you apply it (with the recommended push/press method) you feel time turn back a bit. I’m also enamored with its lovely fragrance. Photographer Jamie Beck likened it to “twilight in the garden in June when the fireflies come out and play” – the perfect sensory description, in my opinion. I’ve also recently realized that Vintner’s Daughter combines two of my favorite things in life: wine and stories. Founder April Gargiulo is the daughter of a vintner (hence the name) and has used her detail-oriented, grape growing heritage and love of wine-making to create a product that is quality at its core. In essence, the serum is also a rich and well-crafted story made up of 22 characters, each rife with its own history. Take for example the the marigold flower, which has been coveted for centuries for its healing powers, or the rose oil sourced from a generations-old family farm in Bulgaria’s Valley of the Roses. Luckily, when you buy your own bottle, a little black book gives sweet insight into these character-rich ingredients, their history, and their skin-beautifying benefit. Read on to learn more about this special serum called Vintner’s Daughter (and the brand’s second product, the Active Treatment Essence just came out in 2019!)  Without further ado, let’s meet April Gargiulo!

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Posted In: Interviews, Living

An Interview With Gul Hurgel

Those who know me best know that I favor dresses and skirts over tight jeans or any kind of pant for that matter. I’m always on the hunt for the next fun dress – and dress designer. Months back, I was delighted to stumble upon Turkish fashion designer, Gul Hurgel. I found her via two of my favorite street style ladies, Kate Foley and Pippa Vosper, both of whom I think have impeccable taste. I had an instant connection to her collection and knew I needed to save up in order to bring a dress or two home.

Gul’s dresses are made of lightweight linens and come in pretty patterns and refreshing colorways. I am drawn to their easy fit, whimsical details, and their classic, timeless silhouettes all of which evoke a sense of nostalgia. I splurged on two of her dresses this year and have gotten more use out of them than I thought possible, thanks in large part to the mild weather we get in San Antonio pretty much year round. Fresh off the release of her latest collection (think: lemons! strawberries! ruffles! flower prints!) I am honored to have chatted with this elegant young designer on her inspirations and artistic journey.

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Posted In: Interviews, Style

Wabi-Sabi Welcome + A Chat With Julie Pointer Adams

I’ve always found personal collections to be very intriguing things. What draws us to collect what we do? Piece by piece, our collections grow and change over the years, taking on new texture, depth, and personality. For many, the hobby itself lasts a lifetime, as we seek out those things that stir the soul in some intimate way.

What do you collect? For my mother, it’s coral sea fans and heart shaped rocks she’s picked up along her travels. For my mother-in-law, it is miniature silver sombreros that she’s sourced from markets and shops all over the world. On a trip to a private residence in the Dordogne Valley a few years ago, I was taken by the collection of walking sticks that belonged to our elder host. Each one was differently adorned, with fox heads, jeweled caps, and other fanciful curiosities. Over the years, I’ve built up a collection of coffee table books, and I’m proud of the little library it has become. Books have a way of binding people together and I love how revelatory they can be when compiled  in a room. Together, the assorted titles, genres, and subject matters make up a larger story about my interests in life. My collection ranges from the African Masai to the Virgin Mary, from Provence to party dresses, from WW2 history to Maharajas jewels. All of these tomes offer a glimmer of insight into the things that pique my curiosity and feed my daily appetite. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that I am always on the hunt for a new book to add to my collection.

Much to my delight, I recently found a new favorite in Julie Pointer Adams’ Wabi-Sabi Welcome. Julie is a Santa Barbara writer, photographer, and the proprietor of a floral studio called Olivetta. (what a dream, right?) In Wabi-Sabi Welcomeshe opens the door to a refreshing, simplified way of thinking about our lives.

Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy and a way of life that revolves around the acceptance of simplicity and imperfection. We live in an age where social media has bred a contrived culture of perfectionism, and this culture often has a negative impact on the way we live. Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or something in between, social media makes it easier than ever to compare ourselves to others, which in turn can make us feel less grateful and content with who we are and the things we have.  The wabi-sabi way is an antidote to this culture, and the book takes us through the ways we can incorporate its guiding principles into our own lives. From bringing nature indoors to bringing friends together, the book carves out a space in the soul that reminds us to slow down, to embrace gratitude, to be present in life, and to seek beauty in everything. As an avid and passionate entertainer, I especially enjoyed her take on how to entertain with a wabi-sabi sensibility. It’s not about the flowers or the china or the stress that comes with making everything perfect and orderly. Rather, it’s the easygoing and unpretentious occasions, those moments when we are truly present with our guests, nourishing one another through simple food and honest hospitality, that remain in memory.

The philosophy behind wabi-sabi is explained in more detail by the author below, yet one of the things that resonates with me most is the idea that everything is fleeting, that the things we own are temporary, and we ourselves are transient. Embracing this truth makes it easier to see the value of a wabi-sabi life founded on beauty, simplicity, humility, and grace. The book is divided into places — Denmark, Italy, California, France, and Japan — and we’re invited into people’s homes to learn first hand how wabi-sabi is at work around the world. These stories, typed alongside Julie’s own, understated photographs illustrate a simple, rewarding existence that we can all be a part of. Read my interview with Julie Pointer Adams at the jump – enjoy!

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Posted In: Interviews, Living