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Carolina in the Country

by habituallychic

02 . 05 . 08

Instead of citing an artist as inpsiration as is usually the case, Carolina Herrera looked to the great out doors for her Fall 2008 collection. There were tweeds and windowpane plaids, fur and feathers, as well as her signature evening dresses. The collection was beautiful but perhaps a bit overstyled. The chapeaux made the models look as if they might rob from the rich to give to the poor but runway shows are always a bit more fantasy than reality.

If anyone had looked closely, Carolina Herrera Baez (above Center) seemed to be giving away a little of the theme with her green lace up wellies but it was a Harper’s Bazaar profile of Anne and Mario Grauso at their Milbrook, New York weekend retreat that has me wondering if that might have been where Mrs. Herrera had found her inspiration. I’ll explain in a minute.

As her program notes explained, the riding jackets were “to grab from the mudroom, over a crinkle chiffon gown for an elegant dinner on the farm.” Exactly how Mrs. Grauso had been photographed right down to the Carolina Herrera dress and wellies in the mudroom.

For those of you don’t know, Mario Grauso is the president of the fashion division of the Puig Group, which owns Carolina Herrera and also Nina Ricci, and his wife is a serious shopper as well as a friend of Mrs. Herrera of course. She can often be seen wearing her clothing as she is above with her husband and dogs in their gazebo.

The exterior of their 1780 farmhouse sits on 19-acres of land in a quiet area of Millbrook, New York, just a 90-minute drive from New York City. The Grausos have decorated their home with rich, comfortable pieces from Lars Bolander and Charlotte Moss, paintings by Walton Ford, and prints from their extensive photography collection, which includes images by Bruce Weber, Irving Penn, and Cindy Sherman.

Anne prunes flowers in the living room while wearing a fox-trimmed sweater, blouse, and skirt, by Carolina Herrera.

Son Harry’s collection of tortoise shells from J.F. Chen adorn the mantle.

A 19th-century French metal chandelier from J.F. Chen in Los Angeles brightens their French feeling dining room.

A George Smith wool screen stands behind their bed, while a Nina Ricci dress hangs on the door.

A faulous vintage shagreen box from Charlotte Moss holds all of Anne’s jewelry.

Anne loves to keep evening bags including her favorites from VBH and Judith Leiber where she can see them in a silver bowl. A fun idea for anyone to emulate.

And if the house and clothes weren’t enough to make you jealous, Mrs. Grauso’s collection of Hermes bags might really make you hate her!

But it’s nice that they realized that they needed a place to really getaway from it all on the weekends instead of getting caught up in the social scence of the Hamptons!

Comments Closed

  1. Jane Flanagan February 5, 2008 | 9:05 pm

    Oh my god. That many Hermes bags belonging to one person! It seems an huge injustice to humanity. You think she’d share!

  2. Habitually Chic February 5, 2008 | 9:10 pm


    Wouldn’t that be nice! I love the house though, as much as the bags!

  3. Miss Dashwood February 5, 2008 | 11:14 pm

    I love the little evening bags in the silver bowl. I think when evening bags are that small they are called Miniaudieres, aren’t they?
    Great post as usual, HC.

  4. Be the change..... February 6, 2008 | 1:56 pm

    I loved this article and have the entire thing in my clipping files! It’s the perfect country getaway -chic and comfortable. I’m still not buying the eveningwear out in the country though – that is SO staged and a little hokey (though beautiful!)

  5. Habitually Chic February 6, 2008 | 2:07 pm

    Miss Dashwood, That might be what they are called. I’m honestly not sure. I usually have to carry a much bigger evening clutch that that. Apparently, I have a lot more stuff!

  6. Habitually Chic February 6, 2008 | 2:09 pm

    Be the Change, Definitely staged although, I always got the feeling that the British might dress this way on their estates.

  7. Pigtown-Design February 6, 2008 | 2:46 pm

    When you’re going to a formal dinner, and it’s chucking down rain, and you have to walk from the drive to the house, yes you do put on your wellies and your barbour jacket over your evening dress. did it many times when i lived in the the UK.

  8. Alice Olive February 6, 2008 | 3:22 pm

    Great post – love the linkage!!

    I loved Carolina’s latest collection although was slightly thrown by the colour palette. It was so earthy – I missed that signature red! Nevertheless, as a girl who looks better in earthy colours, I absolutely LOVED it!

    And PS, I envy the Grauso photography collection!

  9. Habitually Chic February 6, 2008 | 4:36 pm

    Pigtown Design, Thanks for clarifying what I suspected was true. I love England but that weather would kill me!

  10. Habitually Chic February 6, 2008 | 4:38 pm

    Thanks Alice! I loved everything about the collection but the hats. If they had pulled off the feathers, I think it would have worked better. But she always designs pretty clothes so those were of course beautiful.

    And the Grauso’s are a pretty lucky couple. Their Paris apartment was published in ELLE Decor I think. I will have to find it and think about posting that one too. So amazing!

  11. Uptown Arts February 6, 2008 | 5:25 pm

    Thanks, this post made my day!

  12. Alice Olive February 6, 2008 | 7:10 pm

    The hats were slightly Prada-ish to me – off kilter with Carolina’s usual milieu. To me, anyway!!

  13. Rosemary February 7, 2008 | 12:40 am

    Thanks for the picture of all the Hermès bags.

    I am only dreaming for a simple black Kelly de chez Hermès. French girls like me are really raisonnable !
    And I though I was having “des gouts de luxe” …

  14. Decorno February 8, 2008 | 1:00 am

    Ack! I suppose it makes not sense at all, since I love to peek into people lives, kitchens, etc… but I always get weirded out when I see a completely staged, propped shoot of bags on display. Maybe it doesn make sense… a kichen can cost $120k or more, right? And the bags are likely $15k each. But it seems kind of tacky, really, to let the magazine put them on display and shoot them. Seems like if you’re anyone, you’re just photographed occasionally with your fab accessories, but that shot with bags looks like someone photographed monkeys at the zoo. So… forced and obvious and just too much. Yikes.

    Nevertheless, here’s my reaction to the photos in general:

    1) would give my pinky to have a Birkin bag

    2)Great place, great photos, and I am sure she is lovely.

    3) Great post – – – as always.

  15. Habitually Chic February 8, 2008 | 1:08 am

    Uptown Arts, Glad I could make your day!

  16. Habitually Chic February 8, 2008 | 1:09 am

    Alice, if she had left the hats but used a slimmer boat, I would have really loved it!

  17. Habitually Chic February 8, 2008 | 1:10 am

    Rosemary, I think we are all dreaming of an Hermes bag. I curse Sex and the City for making everyone want one though and closing the waiting lists!

  18. Habitually Chic February 8, 2008 | 1:15 am

    Decorno, You are too funny as usual. I am very particular about what photos I use and I debated if I should include the staged back shot. It annoys me too. I would definitely have preferred a real look into her home but in the end, it’s a fashion magazine doing a home spread so I let it slide. I do wish they would stop doing it in the future though. Maybe I will write them a letter 😉

  19. pve design February 11, 2008 | 2:49 pm

    ditto decorno

  20. decorno February 13, 2008 | 1:50 am

    Ah… you make a good point about context… this was a feature in a fashoin mag, so, really…. if shots of kitchen are our porn, bags are theirs, right? I can see why they did it.

    But yes, let’s write letters! No more lining up the bags and shooting them like a 2nd grad classroom photo. 🙂