Maybe it’s the change in season, maybe it’s the sense of excitement and possibility in the air that autumn always brings—but this issue, we’re all about escaping (in our minds, at least), to a life of ease and style, where the daily pressures simply melt away. Which is why we’re so excited about two new titles that just debuted in October. Carine Roitfeld: Irreverent celebrates the fashionable former Editor in Chief of French Vogue. (Could there ever, ever be a more chic job title?) It features 250 of her tear sheets and pivotal covers, as well as insight to her decision-making and collaboration with some of the heaviest hitters in the industry. A must-buy for the fashion-obsessed.
If French Vogue is all about the cutting-edge, now-now-now of fashion, there is no more mellow, timeless, and ageless style than the classic English country house—actually, it should probably be House with a capital “H,” because these are estates, folks. Jeremy Musson’s new title, English Country House Interiors, goes inside some of the country’s finest architectural gems, many of which are still in private hands. The book also documents several classic British designers who have helped to develop what we now think of as the signature country house style. A must-read before Season Two of Downton Abbey airs. —KA
There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than Hinsdale’s 46th annual Christmas Walk and Storybook Village, and its 2nd annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that will both take place on December 2 beginning at 5 p.m. Perfect for all ages, the streets of downtown Hinsdale and Burlington Park located on Chicago Avenue and Washington Street will come alive.
Downtown shops will be open all evening with goodies, giveaways, and original gift ideas. Stroll around town to follow the story of the Gingerbread Man presented in more than 40 giant storybooks created by local students on display in numerous businesses. Visit Santa at the Gingerbread House in Burlington Park, drop your child’s wish list at the North Pole, ooh and aah over ice sculptures, and reconnect with friends and neighbors as you embrace the festive season. Don’t miss the grand culmination of the evening when the village president flips the switch to light the enormous Colorado spruce on the south lawn of the village’s Memorial Building at dark. Admission is free. For more information, visit hinsdalechamber.org, or call Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce at 630-323-3952. —EDS
November is the official kickoff of the holiday entertaining season, so you’ll want to have a few wonderful, yet reasonably priced, bottles of wine on hand. Robert Parker, the world’s most influential wine critic, rated Chateau Puech-Haut Cuvee Prestige, Languedoc, France at 93 Points saying, “This is a 2009 blend of 55 percent Grenache (from 60- to 75-year-old vines) and Syrah (from 40-year-old vines), all planted in limestone soils and aged completely in concrete tanks on a bio-dynamically farmed estate. This remarkable offering is a naked expression of the excellent fruit found in this region. The incredible aromatics consist of forest floor, spring flowers, sweet black currants, raspberries, licorice, and incense, with a pure, velvety texture and a finish that lasts 30+ seconds.” Available for $19.99 at the Village Cellar in Hinsdale, 630-325-8468. —EDS
Okay, this may be verging on a guilty pleasure, but the new blog, whatkatewore.com, is surprisingly clean, attractive, and—most shocking and rare when it comes to fan-based blogs—accurate. The clue is in the title: The site is devoted (some may say obsessed—not me!) to chronicling the fashions, style pairings, and accessories sported by the recently minted Duchess of Cambridge, nee Kate Middleton. As a resource, it’s actually quite useful, especially for some of us on this side of the Pond who may not be as familiar with many of the mostly British designers the princess prefers to support. As a celebration of ladylike style, and as a glossary of where to find it, it’s a site that’s hard to beat. —KA