Designer Profile: Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada

Brand designer Hillary Taymour.

Brand designer Hillary Taymour at Milk Studios. Photo: Katie McCurdy.

Ahead of the upcoming Collina Strada trunk show at Goldyn, I had the chance to chat with the brand’s New York-transplanted designer Hillary Taymour about her smartly designed lines of edgy-feminine clothing and quietly sophisticated handbags.

The clothing’s blending of tough leather and delicately sheer fabrics creates an aesthetic as three-dimensional as the woman who wears it, and both it and the functionality-centric handbags speak of a wearer who’s modern and practical, yet still knows the power of telling a story with how she dresses. Here are Hillary’s thoughts on those women, her interpretation of juxtaposition, and setting Collina Strada apart with label-free bags.

Where did the name of the line, Collina Strada, come from?

Collina Strada is just a name that I liked. “Collina” means “hill” in Italian, and “strada” means “road”, but it doesn’t translate. I just didn’t want [the line] to be named after me; it’s my first line, and I thought it would be better that way.

How has the timeline of your line unfolded?

I designed menswear for a brand while I was in fashion school [at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in LA], and also was an assistant designer until 2009. Then I started the Collina Strada bags; the clothes didn’t come into play until the Spring/Summer 2012 season. I launched my new homeware line Social + Studies (www.andsocialstudies.com) this Autumn/Winter 2015 season.

The first bag Hillary designed for Collina Strada, the "Ferra".

The first bag Hillary designed for Collina Strada, the “Ferra”.

Since your handbag line came before the clothing, what prompted you to start designing bags?

I never really went after designing handbags. I made a bag for myself while I was working in the industry, and then everyone kind of just wanted one. So I decided to make a line off of that.

Can you describe how your aesthetic as a designer has evolved from your first collection to your most recent?

With the bags, the pleats have always been very consistent throughout the collection. I like to change up the shapes and placement of them on bags, but they have really given the brand a strong identity. With the clothing, the line has always felt very print- and leather-oriented. I try to mix up basic, non-leather-type clothing [by making them] in leather which has been working really well. i-D has said we are known for “a new kind of stripped-back leather and silk look.”

Speaking of which, in your most recent clothing collections, I really like how ethereal details like sheer layers are made edgy with tough elements like leather and dark colors. What inspires these types of pairings?

It’s kind of a lingerie-outerwear idea. I really like to play with layering and making a look to soften up the leather, but almost wearing the sheer layers on top of leather makes a more interesting approach.

Are there any influences on your line from the style you saw while in LA, or does it more translate from coast to coast? Do you notice differences in what people prefer in LA versus New York?

Yeah, of course. We do a lot of canvas prints with leather; we sell a lot more canvas bags on the West Coast, versus on the East Coast, where we basically only sell all-leather bags. I’ve gotten to a good balance of offering to both aesthetics and letting buyers customize based around that.

What did you feel was missing from handbag lines already out there that you aim to fulfill with your line?

[When I started the line] in 2009, contemporary bags were all branded…I was one of the first designers in that whole capsule show movement to do handbags that were trendy but not branded. I wanted to create an aesthetic where you could see the brand identity but you didn’t necessarily know how much you paid for the bag or know what designer made it, and you could make it your own style. Now there’s a ton of handbag lines out there that are like that, but in 2009 there actually weren’t any.

The girl who carries [the handbags] is somebody who creates her own style, and is very comfortable in her own skin in the sense that she doesn’t need a massive luxury label behind her to feel cool and good about herself. People who wear them say they get a ton of compliments…because they’re unique but still understated.

Describe the ideal woman who wears Collina Strada.

She’s more of a daring-conscious shopper. An adventurous traveler who lives in a metropolitan area.

[The handbag customer base] is very broad. I have 60-year-olds carry them, and then I have 20-year-olds carry them. I really just focus on functionality of design, and create a brand around a handbag shape that might be trending, or something that I find necessary; if there’s a gap in the market for the shape. I just really want them to be functional and easy.

What’s your personal style like? Is there any overlap between it and your designs?

I have a pretty chill sense of style. I would say I design what ideally I would like to wear if I had somewhere to go.

Any factoids or vignettes about being a designer you’d like to share? Anything most people wouldn’t know guess?

I designed a bag for Target my first season, for a Daily Candy shelf, before I had even shipped to stores. It was a wild ride and taught me so much; I couldn’t have asked for a better intro into the business.

Shop Collina Strada handbags at Goldyn here. To view the full collection, click here.

I AM / Ann Cooper

For today’s I AM profile, we visited the beautiful, magnetic, wildly spirited Ann Cooper.  Ann is a successful realtor in Boulder, whose face can be seen across magazine articles, ads, and around town in various boards and non profit groups.  Ann goes above and beyond the call of her job, getting deeply involved in the community in which she works – particularly around issues of poverty and race relations.  Ann has also been a customer and supporter of Goldyn since the beginning, but most importantly I am honored to say that she’s been a long time family friend and role model in my own life.  Read on below for Ann’s words about her childhood, how she developed her sense of style, and the woman she is now.

Ann wears a blouse by Uzi, necklaces and bracelets by The Woods, and handbag by Building Block.

Ann at her Re/Max office in Boulder

Ann at her Re/Max office in Boulder.  Photos by Sara Ford.

Goldyn:  You grew up in the South in the late 1950s – early 1970s, which seems quite different from your life in Boulder now.  Can you speak a little bit about what life was like for a young girl then?

Ann:  It was very different from my life in Boulder now.  I grew up in public housing in rural Georgia.   Public housing was great, though.   It was an upgrade from our former house.  We had running water and a bathroom!!  My grandmother came over every Friday for a nice bath.  We had fabulous neighbors –  98% single moms, and we were one big family.  Life felt like a big ‘ol party.   It was the epitome of “it takes a village.”   Neighbors were allowed to discipline us and you were disciplined again when your mom came home.   Children really respected their elders and you were expected to always help when you could.   It was a great way to grow up.  We were close knit and didn’t realize that we were poor, or that we were experiencing the true meaning of “community.”

Ann in her Uzi top, Woods jewelry and Building Block bag

Ann in her Uzi top, Woods jewelry and Building Block bag

Goldyn:  Do you think your child self could have envisioned the woman you became?  In what ways do you think you carry your upbringing with you now – i.e. how did growing up in the segregated South influence the woman you are now?

Ann:  Absolutely.   I’ve always been a dreamer.   My child self envisioned even more for me.   I think the way that I grew up instilled in me a real sense of community, for which I shall always be grateful.   I love where I live and care deeply about my community.  My limited sense of philanthropy came from my childhood, where we always tithed to the church.   Even though we were segregated, my mother taught us to love others, regardless of social status, race, or anything else.   I carried that with me into adulthood.

Goldyn:  Were you interested in fashion or style growing up?  How were you able to express that style, given the environment you were in?

Ann:  I like to think that black people, in general, have always had incredible style!  My aunt was a seamstress and made me a few unique pieces.   I remember a maroon tunic with zippers on each sleeve – soooo cool!   We didn’t have a lot of clothes.  I wore a lot of hand-me-downs, but I was choosy about them. We also made a lot of garments in home economics – midi and maxi vests, big leg trousers, hip huggers and short boots.  My style now is somewhat bohemian, which I developed later in life, partially because I have serious kankles and am always trying to hide them with long skirts!   I love scarves!  They can change the mood and style of any outfit.  I can even tie them around my head.  I’ve recently gone afro natural with my hair and I’m loving it.   Though I find it work to make my hair look like it hasn’t been combed.   Not sure if my fellow Boulderites get it lol.  My mother and her friends only dressed on Sundays with pencil skirts and big hats.   Black women still wear big hats.

Ann beaming

Ann beaming

Goldyn:  What do you do for a living now?  How does that influence your style?

Ann:  I am a realtor at Re/Max of Boulder.  I love my profession, especially in the Republic.  Anything goes, as long as you’re clean!

Goldyn:  How would you define your style in a nutshell?

Ann:  BOHEMIAN!  I wear sandals year round, long skirts, scarves, big tops, large earrings!

Ann, always making me laugh

Ann, always making me laugh

Goldyn:  What would you say are your wardrobe essentials?

Ann:  Black skirt, black wrap, black duster, 5 printed skirts, basic tops in white, black and red and all the animal prints I can find.

Goldyn:  If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be (famous or just made up!) and what would she be doing?

Ann:  I would be Barack Obama.  He is brilliant, he is fit, he is healthy, he is generous, kind, humorous, concerned about others and almost ego-less.  He looks at the greater good and moves towards making things work in that way.  His life has been tough, adventuresome and he has reached incredible heights. He is an amazing individual.

Ann, welcoming us into her office

Ann, welcoming us into her office

Goldyn:  Any words for girls growing up today about style and being who they are?

Ann:  Sounds like a cliché, but my advice would be to just “do you.”   People look good in clothes they are comfortable in.  Be individualistic.  Create your own style.  In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”  And Dr. Seuss says, “Today you are You, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

Spring Playlist: Mellow Mood

Image from Tame Impala

Image from Tame Impala

Maybe it’s just the mood we’ve been vibing with recently, but all of a sudden we found ourselves jamming out to a lot of mellow, atmospheric tunes in the store.  After compiling a few favorite new albums, like newer releases from Lower Dens, D’Angelo, Hundred Waters and Modest Mouse, and sprinkling in some older gems (hello, who doesn’t love The Beach Boys’ iconic Pet Sounds album?!), we came up with the perfect Mellow Mood playlist.  You can follow it on Spotify by clicking below.  Enjoy!

I AM / Laura Krudener

This week our I AM project leads us to fine artist, textile designer, and newly-minted blogger Laura Krudener.  Laura’s incredible paintings use giant swaths of color to invoke feelings of movement and energy, and yet at the same time also demonstrate a suspended stillness.  This June will also see the launch of Laura’s new blog, fittingly titled Among the Colors, which we’re highly anticipating.  Among the Colors will take Laura’s artist perspective to an interactive level as readers can see Laura’s inspirations and try her creative ideas around style, food, the home, and more for themselves.  Read below to hear what Laura had to say about her new blog endeavor, her artwork, and her personal style.

Laura wears a blouse by Helmut Lang, leather biker jacket and jeans by Iro, and necklace by Native and Nomad.

Laura Krudener in her studio, photos by Sara Ford

Laura Krudener in her studio.  Photos by Sara Ford.

Goldyn:  Tell me a bit more about the blog you’re starting and where the inspiration came from.

Laura:  Among the Colors is a storytelling platform created specifically to empower the creative female. As an artist, I am often asked, “What inspires you?” I took this question and created a multi-faceted, multi-media project to answer that question for myself, as well as create a dialogue with others about inspiration, creativity and self-expression.  Among the Colors will feature artist interviews, fashion profiles on creative women and guides for inspired living. I see Among the Colors as a blog-meets-artist/design-studio-meets-artist-workshop. I want to create a space that starts digital, but offers an invitation to participate in a hands-on experience. Maybe that’s trying a new recipe, experimenting with gardening, redesigning your living room or buying a piece of art. This conversation between digital and analog is crucial for me. After all, I am a hands-on, get-covered-in-paint artist. I love the act of holding and reading a book, listening to vinyl, and I grow my own food in the garden. I spend too much time on Instagram and my phone, just like the rest of us, but I think we are all craving a way to participate in the creative conversation of life in a more tactile sort of way. Among the Colors will offer access points for creativity and inspiration in an artistic and poetic way. I want to invite others to participate in the creative lifestyle, and hopefully for women to realize that you don’t have to be an “artist” to appreciate art and be creative, just like you don’t have to be an amazing singer or musician, for music to have a powerful effect in your life.

Laura's studio

Laura’s studio

Goldyn:  How does your work as an artist and now blogger influence your style?

Laura:  As a painter, line is my language, and color is my poetry. I always pay attention to the material, volume and texture of an item. And of course, color. A good Pantone will get me every time. Tibi is a great influence of mine. Amy Simlovic started out as a painter, and her intimacy with line and shape is always evident in her stunning runway shows.

As a designer, I grew up in the textile industry in North Carolina. My father, grandfather and great grandfather all worked in textiles, and my great grandmother was an amazing painter. Creativity and design were always encouraged. I started drawing patterns and design ideas on sticky notes for my dad when I would go with him to the office as a child. I started working as a textile designer, as well as trend forecasting and storyboarding at the end of high school and have been in the industry ever since. As a textile designer, I have always been obsessed with the language of textiles and pattern to tell a story, to share a history, and to evoke an emotion. Much as the way line and color can transform the space of a canvas, a vibrant pattern laid to silk provides an experience all of its on. I am drawn to designers that focus on pattern and print as part of their collections.

As a blogger and creative director of Among the Colors, I am excited to share my style stories and the stories of other women in a way that will create a conversation about what style means to each of us.

Among the colors

Among the colors

Goldyn:  How would you define your style in a nutshell?

Laura:  Contemporary Bohemian. I love effortless, modern looks, but there is always a little dash of my inner hippie in everything I wear.

The artfully-designed seating area

The artfully-designed seating area

Goldyn:  What’s your favorite decade and why?

Laura:  If I could time travel, musically I would go back to the early 70s. I would have loved to have seen the greats in their prime. The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead. Yes please. Sign me up.

Goldyn:  If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be (famous or just made up!) and what would she be doing?

Laura:  Beyonce. Always be Beyonce.

Laura talks inspiration in front of her shelf full of beautiful books

Laura talks inspiration in front of her shelf full of beautiful books

Goldyn:  What do you love about your space?

Laura:  I love the light in my studio in the mornings. I love that I have a space that begs for me to be creative. To think, contemplate, experiment, and play. And I love that my husband has a ridiculously extensive vinyl collection there and we spend our weekends digging through crates, and being creative together.

Laura with her artwork

Laura with her artwork

Goldyn:  Any words for girls growing up today about style and being who they are?

Laura:  Authenticity is magnetic. Discovering who you are and sharing that expression with the world. That’s what style is all about.

I AM / Santi Devi

Our I AM project continues this week as we speak with healer, mentor, writer and spiritual thought leader Santi Devi.  On a personal note, I’ve been extremely blessed to have known this powerful woman since I was about 15 years old, and she has been a guiding force in my life ever since.  So it was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to interview her for I AM, and be able to introduce her to all of our Goldyn friends and family.  Read on for a glimpse at her thoughts and wisdom as it relates to her calling, background, grace and style.

Santi wears a striped tee by Iro, leather jacket by Helmut Lang, bracelets and beaded necklace by The Woods, and quartz point necklace with opals by Reliquiae

Santi in her home, shot by Sara Ford

Santi in her home.  Photography by Sara Ford

Goldyn:  What do you do for a living?  How does that influence your style?

Santi:  I am a ‘change agent.’  I act as a catalyst for those who are wanting to experience a greater level of congruency and connection with their True Self.  My work is a dynamic and organic process that deepens awareness, awakens potential and inspires authenticity. There is simply nothing more profound than seeing someone realize their essential nature. With that realization comes a burning desire to express who they are, their innate gifts and abilities, in a meaningful way in the world. How beautiful is that? It is an unparalleled ADVENTURE that I absolutely love!

Above all else it is important to me to be as comfortable in my clothing as I am in my skin, to be genuine. I have to feel good in it or I won’t wear it. I prefer natural fabrics to synthetics, and clothes that move and breathe easily.  In general I rebel against artificial restrictions of any kind so the more my clothing allows me to interface spontaneously with the world the happier I am! I always wear talismans as tangible ‘touchstones’ that keep me ever mindful of what is real.

Santi, reclining

Santi, reclining

Goldyn:  At what point in your life did you realize what your calling was?

Santi:  My ‘calling’ was shown to me as a very young child through my own direct experience. I felt a mysterious and powerful force within me, it was an energy, a ‘presence.’ This presence was intriguing to me, invisible, magical, and omnipresent. This planted the first fertile seed of inquiry, of ‘Who Am I,’ for clearly I was more than my small self.  Thus began my quest to discover the unknown, to venture and explore my own human nature, capacity and potential.  I am ever grateful that my work, my life and my path are intrinsically woven.

Intentions

Intentions

Goldyn:  How would you define your style in a nutshell?

Santi:  I am a Bohemian.  I have always dressed to appease the muse in me!  So whatever is a true expression of me in the moment, spontaneously playful and alive.

Goldyn:  What’s your favorite decade and why?

Santi:  I was born in 1960, and it’s my favorite fashion decade. It was a time of growing consciousness, and peace and freedom on every level was revealed as a human need and right. It was a revolutionary time, where convention lost its grasp.  People were experimenting on every level, and a reconnection with a more natural, authentic Self was being birthed.  Inhibition gave way to greater self-expression as a new paradigm emerged.  No coincidence that this is when I arrived!

Santi speaking some profound wisdom

Santi speaking some profound wisdom

Goldyn:  If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?

Santi:  I would go on a walking tour with the poet David Whyte in Connemara.  I’ve explored Western Ireland but not from his vantage, and I would love to have a week there to write!  Not to mention I love traditional Irish music and musicians, hello Declan!

Goldyn:  If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be (famous or just made up!) and what would she be doing?

Santi:  If I could be anyone at anytime I would be my Self. I would be LOVE.  I would be doing all that I am doing now, but I would be traveling, speaking and writing more.  I would be serving a greater number of people, and be sharing all that I know and all that I am in an ever expansive way.

IMG_2301_finalGoldyn:  What do you love about your space?

Santi:  I am a gypsy and have moved more times than I can count!  For me moving into a new space is so freeing, everything is new to me.  I have to figure out where all my things want to live :)  Every space I’ve ever lived has been in one way or another magical.  My real HOME is where ever I AM, it really is.  I am currently however imagining a Midcentury Modern find!

Goldyn:  Any words for girls growing up today about style and being themselves?

Santi:  Yes, I want to say… BE YOU!  Be utterly, unapologetically, courageously, YOU!  There is no one else in this world who can be who you are – it’s your assignment so get on with it.  You can find out who you are by being present, by listening deeply to what lives within you, be honest about it and then honor it at all costs!  You will never regret not compromising yourself, or being someone you’re not.  Your work is to be YOU.  Dress to please yourself, experiment, wear what you feel good in, and above all else…. Don’t ever worry about someone else ‘thinks’ about it!  Life will always support you being exactly who you are. xoxo

If you’re interested in working with Santi, you can reach out at santidevi.com or call 303-777-7570

IMG_2225_final

I AM / Macky Bennett

This week’s installment of our I AM project finds us talking to Macky Bennett, a neighbor in our Lower Highlands community here at Goldyn.  Macky is an incredibly talented interior designer who also happens to have some pretty amazing personal style.  She is a customer, friend, fellow board member in our neighborhood association, and just a generally active community member and all-around wonderful human being.  Her bright energy is clear immediately upon meeting her and is absolutely contagious.  Read on to learn a little bit more about what Macky had to say on style, as well as her background and interests.

Macky wears a very unique tulle and knit top by Lauren Nevada, metallic leather skirt by Tibi, and jewelry by Andrea Li.  Photography by Sara Ford.

I AM Macky Bennett

I AM Macky Bennett, photographed by Sara Ford

Goldyn:  What do you do for a living?  How does that influence your style?

Macky:  I have an interior design business, Re-Arrangements. I try to look professional and stylish when I meet clients to inspire their trust in my taste.

Goldyn:  How would you define your style in a nutshell?

Macky:  I started reading Vogue in my mother’s womb. Fashion makes me happy and I choose clothes based on what sparks joy.  My style consists of wearing what flatters my assets and camouflages my flaws. I love black and white, gray and orange. My life is pretty casual so I live in jeans and pants, tops and sweaters. I adore coats and jackets. I buy necklaces and hats but never wear them. Bracelets and watches are my passion. Oh, and of course, shoes, boots and purses!

Macky in front of her own painting that sits in her entryway

Macky in front of her own painting that sits in her entryway

Goldyn:  What’s your favorite decade and why?

Macky:  When I look at Impressionist’s paintings I think that the costumes of that era were so graceful and beautiful. Now we dress for comfort and practicality but they were so lovely and romantic.

Goldyn:  Was there a favorite piece from your wardrobe in the past that you wish you still had?

Macky:  I wore a dress to my 1st formal dance that had a silk flowered top and a pink bell shaped burlap skirt. It sounds weird but it was so original and I think it was when I started to express my style.

Goldyn:  If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be (famous or just made up!) and what would she be doing?

Macky:  I’d be Michelle Obama. She looks so comfortable in her skin, rocks fashion, loves to dance and exercise and lets the world know what she stands for. She is my ideal of a woman who exudes joy.

Macky wears a top by Lauren Nevada and necklace by Andrea LiGoldyn:  What do you love about your space?

Macky:  Everything! I live in a townhouse with a rooftop deck. We downsized and got rid of everything but the dining room table when we moved here. Choosing all new furniture and designing the space was great fun. I feel happy every time I come home and I adore living in the Lohi Community.

Goldyn:  Any words for girls growing up today about style and being who they are?

Macky:  Style is the ultimate form of non-verbal communication. When people don’t know anything else about you they use their eyes to make an appraisal. Have fun with fashion and dress to express your uniqueness. In the words of Oscar Wilde “You might as well be yourself, everyone else is already taken!”

Macky waxing poetic

It’s (Alternative) Wedding Season

As times change, so do weddings. More and more couples are opting out of big, traditional soirees in favor of escaping to exotic destinations or just hosting simpler affairs to solidify their love. Many brides are turning to an alternative wedding dress to fit their alternative wedding. We love this Mara Hoffman dress as the non-conventional bride’s choice – perfect for a little beach wedding or back yard nuptials. This linen dress is light, simple, and super stylish.

PS – Tara Pattie, modeling the Mara Hoffman dress of our dreams below, also runs Impromptu Company, the go-to planners for your neo-nuptials ;)

Tara models Mara Hoffman's Linen Cutout Maxi Dress, perfect for alternative brides

Tara models Mara Hoffman’s Linen Cutout Maxi Dress, perfect for alternative brides

I AM: Mary Ann Hogan / A Goldyn Project

Mary Ann Hogan let's us in on a little peek of her life

I AM:  Mary Ann Hogan

Every day I feel so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by the amazing women who are tied to Goldyn – whether they be our customers, employees, friends, family, designers or partners.  That’s why, for Goldyn’s Spring Project, we wanted to do something a little different.  Instead of using the usual tall, skinny models to showcase the latest Goldyn arrivals, we thought we’d turn the lens onto the women who really inspire us.  They’re the reason why we do what we do, after all…. I AM is a celebration all of the distinctive, extraordinary women around us who embrace their true self and their individual style.  Each week this Spring we will be rolling out a different profile, featuring some of our favorite women dressed in items from Goldyn’s Spring collections that our subjects picked out for themselves.

To kick off our I AM series, we talked to the wonderful, wild and beautiful Mary Ann Hogan.  Mary Ann is a hairstylist and makeup artist who I’ve had the pleasure of working with backstage at runway shows in the past.  The first time I saw her, I was immediately taken by her presence, and of course her striking coif of red hair.  I think one of the most amazing things about Mary Ann, however, is the fact that this incredible personality doesn’t just end at her exterior appearance; once you get to know her just a tiny bit more, you realize it really glows from within.  Below are Mary Ann’s answers to a few questions I had for her in an attempt to find out more.  I hope you find her as inspiring as I do!

Mary Ann wears a blouse by UZI, shell coat by OAK, and necklaces by The Woods

Mary Ann wears a blouse by UZI, shell coat by OAK, and necklaces by The Woods

Goldyn:  What do you do for a living?

Mary Ann:  I do makeup, hair and styling mostly for commercials and corporate films with the occasional ESPN event or feature film thrown in.

Goldyn:  How does that influence your style?

Mary Ann:  The best thing about it is I figure I can do whatever I feel like with my clothes, hair and makeup! I like to surprise myself with slight or major changes to my style!  If it feels indigenous to who I am and I like it, it stays. On the other hand I wear the same jewelry and basic uniform every day. For a few years I wore large men’s pants rolled up with suspenders and a high necked t-shirt every day. In the summer it was men’s shorts and short sleeved t-shirts and in winter it was long sleeves and pants. Mostly black. Now I’m enjoying wearing oversized dresses with big pockets and either boots or sandals almost always with my crystal pendants on a tiny carabiner I found at REI. I’ve even sewn in some tiny holes in the neck of the dresses so the carabiner can hang from the neck like a dangly brooch slash no-chain necklace.

Goldyn:  How would you define your style in a nutshell?

Mary Ann:  Classic-style that’s having a psychedelic experience!

Goldyn:  What’s your favorite decade and why?

Mary Ann:  This one! Now! Because any nostalgia for bygone years immediately runs up against the sexism, racism, genderism that the past was filled with. There’s shockingly terrible amounts of it in today’s world but at least people are becoming aware of it and working to change things. ‘There’s no change without conflict’ is a favorite saying of mine. We’re having more conflict about it these days but we’re setting the conditions for change. Possibilities abound!

Goldyn:  Was there a favorite piece from your wardrobe in the past that you wish you still had?

Mary Ann:  In the sixties my mother made me whatever I wanted to wear. I got to choose the material and patterns-and there were mad amounts of patterns back then! Basically I got to design my own wardrobe in junior high and high school. I also was co-owner of a vintage store in Boulder in 1972 called Hot Stuff. I saved some of my favorites from those days. I love to see some of these very items in my grown daughters’ closets. One jacket in particular my daughter who lives in London wears for special events. It’s still making a splash across the pond! Specifically, there was a beautiful sleek, oversized men’s duster in a sharkskin bronze and light brown that I sold in a yard sale in 1988 for 5 dollars. I miss it to this day.

Mary Ann in 1972 wearing the vintage jacket that her daughter still wears

Mary Ann in 1972 wearing the vintage jacket that her daughter still wears

Goldyn:  If you could be anyone at any time, who would your fantasy self be (famous or just made up!) and what would she be doing?

Mary Ann:  I’d be the older woman version of Lena Dunham – exploring older womanhood in writing, directing and acting! I also love the stage so I’d be a stage actor on Broadway or the West End in London playing roles that break apart, expand and reveal what and who women are. So far the surface of *that* truth has barely begun to be scratched!

Goldyn:  What do you love about your space?

Mary Ann:  I love the total vibe of my house. It was built in 1886 only ten years after Colorado became a state! Though a humble small space it must have been home to many happy people. I feel it every moment I’m home. I moved back from Manhattan to buy this small space so I could rent it out (I knew I couldn’t afford to buy anything in NYC!) planning to move back to Manhattan after a few months. 8 1/2 years later I’m still in love with this sweet space and I’m still here. Lots of nights I do *dream* I have moved back to NYC. I still mull that possibility in waking life but this happy space in Baker has fully won my heart for now.

Mary Ann’s business partner Michael McCowen in front of their vintage store, Hot Stuff, in Boulder in the 1970s

Goldyn:  Any words for girls growing up today about style and being who they are?

Mary Ann:  Girls today are so much smarter than I was at their age! My biggest revelation that I wish I had had decades ago, was only a few years ago when I realized how I’d been dressing my entire life to please men – as much or more than even pleasing myself! I was shocked and a little horrified! I was brought up in the fifties and sixties and for some reason I was still styling myself in that limited way. As I delved deeper into that fascinating realization I began to see, in my mind’s eye, two versions of myself: one was how I’d been – fashionable but always highly considering what men would like. The other was a cloudy murky image of what I *might* like because I’d never considered what would purely, decadently, please me! *That* version took some thought and it’s been slowly evolving over the past several years as I give myself more and more permission to play and have fun with my look. Little by little I find that the more I please myself the more fun I have. The more fun I have the more fun people seem to have around me. It’s like that old saying that the most important thing if you’re hosting a party is to be comfortable and have fun yourself – then the party takes care of itself. So, basically, every day when I wake up and leave the house I’m already having fun and am comfortable in my style- then everyone I meet all day is part of my party!

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Mary Ann selected a Shell Coat by Oak, Tie Die Kimono Blouse by Uzi (shop in store/coming soon to Goldyn’s website), and Diamond Lips Necklace and Indian Bead Necklace by The Woods for our shoot.

Mary Ann

Mary Ann

A Showstopper Coat

For the final installment of our styling how-to collab with bloggers The Middle Closet, we brought out the big guns – a stunning, oversize fur coat that is both incredibly warming and chic for these winter months, paired with Helmut Lang’s leather leggings, a pared-down striped tee for contrast, some kitschy jewelry from The Woods and Reliquiae for whimsy, and a minimalist tote from Ampersand as Apostrophe to top it off.  See what The Middle Closet ladies had to say about the look below!

Good morning, happy Friday!

We’ve rounded out the week with a final styling of these leather leggings, alongside Denver-based boutique, Goldyn, and owner Vanessa.

This last outfit is the most statement-worthy of all three this week. This Helmut Lang coat is a total showstopper, and exudes a 60’s chic vibe that we love. The formality of the jacket is downplayed by a simple striped tee, and some casual jewels. And yet again, the leather pants are the perfect streamlined piece that pulls the ensemble together.

We hope you enjoyed this series. Goldyn Boutique is located both online (here) and in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver at 2040 W 30th Ave (right next to Linger). Thank you to Vanessa, Courtney and Goldyn for allowing us to borrow your amazing clothing!

{Helmut Lang coat (other options here and here), Helmut Lang leather pants (vegan options here and here), Ampersand as Apostrophe tote, Esarsi booties, The Woods lips necklace

Another Goldyn Moment with The Middle Closet

Our how-to styling collab with The Middle Closet blog continues, today with another way to style our favorite Helmut Lang leather leggings – this black-on-black-on-black look works when we add different textures, creating depth and warmth.  Check out what the ladies at The Middle Closet had to say below.

The groundhog saw his shadow on Monday, so despite my readiness to ditch the cozy sweaters and embrace lighter clothing, it’s not happening just yet :) Not that I trust a rodent weatherman… but that’s beside the point. Let us, along with Goldyn Boutique, show you the perfect way to layer for a super chic look.

When you’re working with an all-black ensemble, the devil (or should I say angel?) is in the details. As promised, this look begins with leather leggings that are expressing their versatility yet again. The nubbed pullover adds some awesome texture, especially when paired with a contrasting textile like silk. The dress lends movement and femininity to the outfit, and the dress length balances out the crop of the sweater. A couple of edgy details and voila! Perfect outfit if you ask me.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Monday’s post featuring these same leather pants. And check back Friday for a third look! Thank you, as always, for reading! Have a wonderful day!

{Helmut Lang sweater, Oak dress, Helmut Lang leather pants (additional sizes here), Esarsi booties, Clare Vivier clutch (in rose gold here), The Woods necklace and ring}