Simply Elegant | Meet Cashmere Lover Catherine Robinson

 Catherine Robinson |  Founder & Designer of Catherine Robinson Cashmere  |  One of Catherine’s favourite photographs taken by her daughter Victoria on a wonderful ‘mother and daughter’ holiday in Croatia

Catherine Robinson |  Founder & Designer of Catherine Robinson Cashmere  |  One of Catherine’s favourite photographs taken by her daughter Victoria on a wonderful ‘mother and daughter’ holiday in Croatia

Catherine Robinson is the designer & founder of a line of beautifully made cashmere knitwear and accessories of the same name. I was so pleased to happen upon her shopping site last spring and ended up following her blog: Cashmere Lover . Not only does she have an eye for design, I love what she shares on her blog about style, meditation and yoga. I asked Catherine to share with us how she how she started her business and where she finds inspiration—our conversation naturally led to her other passions, meditation and yoga. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. 

Q: Catherine, It seems that we all cannot get enough cashmere these days! Can you tell us what led you to start your business?

A: On a London shopping trip in the Summer of 2010 I purchased two lovely linen ponchos they were my favourite pieces that Summer…which got me thinking how wonderful this design would be in cashmere, I couldn’t find any that I loved and I thought, okay, I’ll design them myself!

My daughter had left home, things were changing…I was approaching 50 and thought it was the perfect time to start something new. I’ve always been interested in fashion, I did a little modeling in my younger days before entering the fast and exciting world of public relations but ‘style’ and the 'art of dressing well’ has always been something I’ve enjoyed…I devour magazines, exhibitions, photography anything related to the art of style!  

My next step was to find a manufacturer; a company I could work closely with.  Mongolia was my first choice as in my opinion it is simply the best cashmere. It was important that they were able to work with my ideas and designs and I’m happy to say I have a wonderful relationship with them and I’m thrilled with their attention to detail and the beautiful pieces they make for me.

I feel, I’m exactly where I should be and it’s such a privilege to be involved in the ‘world of cashmere’.  I’m enjoying creating a brand and extending my product lines. I like to listen to my customers and what they would like…this year it was…”please, please design a cashmere robe” and it’s just arrived and it’s simply gorgeous…the perfect luxurious, loungewear!

I think some of us feel we’re restricted by boundaries—many of them of our own making…I feel if you have an idea, a passion, explore it and see where it takes you. I have learnt so much since I began, the ups and downs of a small, growing business, the highs and lows and the constant energy and creativity needed and I can honestly say, I’ve loved every minute of it…

'if you are thinking about starting something new but are not sure whether to
‘bite the bullet’ I would encourage you to do just that, don’t be afraid
just listen to your voice and slowly begin.'

Q: I love what you write about simplicity and elegance. Can you tell us how you view style vs. fashion?

A:  I think there is a huge difference between fashion and style…everybody can follow a fashion but style is very individual…it’s all about ‘you’ it’s creating your own style, what works for you, what compliments your character, your personality, how you live your life…being identified by a signature piece, a scent they all contribute to your sense of style; for me, it’s definitely wraps and scarves, I can’t leave home without them! Friends can’t quite believe what I can do with a scarf!

I don’t think my style has changed that much over the years…I still adore my wide pants and v neck sweaters (cashmere, of course!) jeans and jackets, knitted dresses and boots and elegantly long dresses.  I’m definitely an Autumn/Winter person…
I like to wrap myself in cashmere, a cashmere wrap and ponchos are my favourites…
a tailored coat and trouser suit too.

Personal style is something that grows with you through the years, for me, I do believe ‘less is more’, a simple elegance…when you see an elegant lady she is timeless; that is why Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly are still very much revered today…one of my favourite quotes from Audrey Hepburn is ‘elegance is the only beauty that never fades.

Q: While you and I were writing emails back and forth our conversation moved almost seamlessly from cashmere to style to yoga. What can you tell us about your experience with yoga? 

A: I have been practicing yoga for over 13 years now and it is an absolute joy and passion of mine it has simply changed my attitude to life, this hasn’t happened overnight it has been a process, a journey.  

In recent months my meditation practice has become simply, a way of life, I began to believe I really could make a difference in my life if I meditated daily, learning mindfulness and simplicity. I am constantly learning and will continue to be a ‘lifelong learner’ both yoga and meditation focus your mind, they quiet the inner noise and you begin to live mindfully and to simply ‘be’ and from this you begin to live a much happier life, a life of simplicity.  Yoga, for me, has always been a spiritual discipline, a life practice.

Q: Your blog Cashmere Lover features some of the most beautiful and iconic women in the world. Who do you find the most inspiring?

A: Victoria Beckham inspires me, she has her critics, unfairly, I think…she works unbelievably hard, she has created a phenomenal brand, her designs are elegant and new…she always looks beautifully groomed and stylish and is a wonderful Mother too. I admire her because she re-created herself and endured and continues to endure all the criticism and personal attacks with such grace.

 Photo provided by Catherine Robinson

Photo provided by Catherine Robinson

Audrey Hepburn inspires me greatly…her beauty, her grace, her humility…the list goes on and on…her way of being and kindness inspires me to be the best person I can be. Her life was far too short but still today so many people think ‘what would Audrey do?’ She is incomparable.   

My husband inspires me, he has taught me so much over the years, he has always been so encouraging and has taught me to believe in myself, he has such an enthusiasm for life, which I admire greatly...we’ve been together forever and in all that foreverness, I’m sure that’s not a word, he’s always made me laugh, we laugh more now than ever and that is a wonderful gift to have…he is my soul mate. And my daughter,Victoria is an inspiration to me, she makes me want to be a better person…she is the joy of my life.

Q: What is the single most powerful lesson you have learned along the way? 

A: ... to have faith and be honest with myself, not to be afraid to ask for help, it’s taken a long while to recognize and believe that ‘I can do it’ ...it may take awhile, there maybe setbacks but with faith and a belief in yourself you can see that it will all be okay…I take this into my daily life not only in business…and to be kinder to myself, I use to be very good at ‘beating myself up’ I’ve erased the negatives!

My Life Philosophy…Be in love with your life every minute of it…
live simply with grace and humility, be gentle and kind and always mindful to others
 Catherine Robinson in her office in the UK

Catherine Robinson in her office in the UK

To read more about Catherine, please click on the links below: Cashmere Lover  |  Catherine Robinson Cashmere Site  |  Facebook  

Catherine, Thank you for sharing your insights and story with us! 

Color Trend for Fall: Dramatic Reds

Cultivating Personal Style
Like many of my friends I enjoy flipping through fashion magazines and wandering through beautiful boutiques and high end retailers to see what is new. It is exciting to see what designers are coming up with and add a few pieces each season. Before shopping for anything new it is a good idea to know what you have in your closet that can work as a staple as you add in new pieces to build upon what you already have. Style unlike fashion, is an extension of who we are and once we have a sense of our own style it becomes easier to cultivate our look.

Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess
~ Edna Woolman Chase

Style starts by embracing all the funny, funky, unique parts of ourselves instead of seeing clothing and accessories as a means to an end or a way to cover up an unaccepted part of our bodies that might reveal some "imperfection".  For me style is not serious at all, it is a form of self expression and helps me create order in the chaos of style options that surround us at retail.

In the vast ocean of brands, styles, fabrics, price points and virtually endless options how does one create their own personal style? I recently had a great conversation with Growing Bolder Radio where we began a discussion of how to go about this. I love the idea that we all can cultivate our own style by embracing what is unique and beautiful within ourselves. The first step is to recognize ( and then clear out) the old mental clutter of negative self-talk, that for many of us is decades old. Then we can get on with the the adventure of uncovering what our personal style is all about. When asked about style, one of my favorite contemporary designers, Rachel Zoe stated that: "Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak." Brilliant!

Recently, I have been having fun putting together several trend boards for Fall 2015. This first one, above, Dramatic Red is a collection of gorgeous looks with classic lines. Although they are on-trend for this coming season they are also timeless looks. You can click on the image block above and it will take you to a shopping site to see those specific pieces or you can just look for similar items and colors when you are out shopping. 

Dramatic Reds 
Last January Pantone© announced that Marsala was their pick for the color of the year. It seems it is also the color this fall season with a variety of reds to choose from. Click here to see the Patina & Hue article about Marsala from last January. I have long adored red for its fun, upbeat vibe but deeper shades within the red family (burgandy, wine, marsala) are timeless and elegant. Some of these darker reds veer toward  purple so you will want to make sure to try on a few hues to see how they look against your skin color. These dramatic reds would look amazing paired with camel, tobacco, navy, denim, gray, warm whites and black. Have fun looking for a dramatic red piece to add to your wardrobe and tell us in the comments section below if you find something amazing!

Happy Fall and thanks for reading.

Pamela

1970s Denim Revival + Metallic Accents

I love that designers are finding merit in bringing back trends from the 70s. As a baby boomer I look back fondly at music, cars, furniture, and clothing from that era as it feels nostalgic and familiar. From a style perspective it seems newly relevant. I remember sporting jean shirts with denim bell bottoms (back in the day) and feeling good about it! That was decades ago and over the last number of months I’ve seen this long forgotten trend reappear. Not everything that is back in style is on my must have list however. I  am saying “NO!” to EVER wearing culottes again and “Never!” to several other trends like see-through dresses and enormous polka dots! There are so many amazing style trends this spring and summer like blue & white, white-on-white, safari, color blocking and gingham to name a few that will outlast the more trendy alternatives.

One staple that I’ve loved for years and highly recommend is the shirtdress—it is casual yet sophisticated. You can belt it to highlight your waist or wear it without a belt and let it hang more like a shift. I appreciate the structured shoulders and like the idea of a shirt sleeve that can be rolled up. There are many designs and styles to choose from and if you find one you love but feel like it is too short, wear it as a tunic with a slim pant or leggings. Accessorizing with metallics like longer necklaces dresses it up a little and this look is lovely with a casual straw handbag or espadrille wedge.

Last year we wrote about ways to wear boyfriend jeans (see the article: Fear No Denim: Boyfriend Jeans) and received texts and emails from women stating that they thought this was a trend for 20 somethings and they were excited to give it a try. Although the fashion world is indeed youth-centric I don’t let that stop me from finding what works for me and then having fun. Boyfriend jeans are comfortable, casual and completely appropriate for women of all ages.

Above you will see a Denim Revival + Metallics trend board that I put together. It includes a couple of shirt dresses and some fun jewelry and shoes. All of this is inspiration for a look that is easy to wear and with these pieces in mind you can get this look by “shopping your closet” first and then shop for any remaining items you still need.  Additionally, you can click on the images above and they will link you to the shopping site.

If you love the 70s as much as I do send me a note and tell me your favorite item from that time period. I’d love to hear from you on one of my favorite topics!

 If you have a  moment jump over to the Patina & Hue 1970s Pinterest board!

Thank you for reading,

Pamela

 

Scarf Obsession + Ideas to help you incorporate Scarves into your wardrobe

Calling all Accessories Addicts!
As trends come and go scarves remain a classic wardrobe staple that can be worn for years. We are both obsessed with scarves of all hues and sizes, vintage and new, low end and high end. It's not just the yummy, oversized cashmere or modal versions that keep our necks warm in the winter months that we love but also the smaller sizes that can be worn year round, are light weight and dress up an outfit as a sophisticated and playful accessory. 

How to implement scarves into your wardrobe: 
For a simple wrap on the crown of a hat: align the middle edge of the scarf with the crown in the front and lay the scarf over the hat, holding on to each end. Fold the edge under about an inch and wrap the crown, centering the scarf so that the fabric falls evenly on both sides of the hat. Next, pull the two ends toward the back base of the hat, overlap the extra material that is now covering the hat and tie the two ends at the base, allowing the ends to fall down your neck/back. 
Butterfly Wrap: Take a larger scarf and fold it in half lengthwise—then take the ends that are together and tie them in a small, simple knot. This can work with a 36" scarf or one that is much larger. You will have one knot on the left and one on the right. Then lift the scarf and place your arms through the two holes you just created with the knots....and you have a "butterfly" sleeve wrap
Loose Neck Wrap: Wrap a thin scarf around your neck and tie it so the ends drape down your back, ideally you have a little skin showing between the scarf and whatever you are wearing. 
Halter Top/ Blouse: Take a scarf that is roughly 36" square and tie it as a halter top. There are accessories you can purchase that make this easy or you can just tie two ends together at your neck and behind your back. This looks great with a blazer.
Purse Wrap: Wrap a purse handle for a punch of color. Fold your scarf so that it is about 1 1/2" to 2" wide and line it up with the edge of one side of the handle. Holding the end in place, overlap the scarf as you begin to wrap the handle. Make sure to run the wrap over the start of the scarf to hold it in place—leaving about an inch or two of the end sticking out. Keep wrapping toward the opposite end of the handle and leave room to tie it off and allow a bit of the scarf to stick out. Ideally the two ends match in length. This may take a couple of tries but looks great when you get it!
Scarf with Pearls: Grab a strand of pearls and a smaller scarf, intertwine the two and tie at the back of the neck. Twist the scarf tight enough so that the pearls are held in place by the scarf. A trick to making this work is to keep twisting the scarf around the pearls so the scarf "catches" and holds the end of the necklace within the twists. You can also use a long strand of pearls with a longer scarf and once they are intertwined you can wrap the scarf around your neck twice and tie in the back. 
• Camera Strap: Remove a beat up camera strap and replace with a scarf instead. In this case we used a vintage scarf to go along with an old camera. 
• Choker: Roll or fold a lightweight scarf to the desired width. This is simple, just tie to the back or side. What makes this a chic look is to dress up a sun dress or sleeveless blouse by leaving a little skin showing!

Keeping it all organized: If you have a collection of scarves that are folded on your shelves or placed in a drawer, it is easy to forget about them. We recommend hanging them along side your clothing so you can easily reach for one when needed. We found these great hanging systems (below) at Bed Bath and Beyond. 

What scarves can do for you:
If you haven't been one to accessorize with scarves this post is for you! This often overlooked accessory can add personality to your outfit, or dress up a your basics:

1. Scarves add a pop of color to your neutrals.
2. They can be worn as a necklace, a choker, a hair accessory, a belt, a blouse, a cape...and more.
3. The artwork on scarves can be unique and beautiful in addition to being seasonal and fun.
4. You can spend a little or a lot depending on your needs and tastes. But you do not have to break the bank to collect a few great pieces. 
5. You can find new or gently used, designer scarves on the REAL REAL, EBay, Tradsey and other like sites. If you want to add a vintage or retro designer scarf to your collection we recommend reading about how to spot an authentic Chanel, Hermes, or other designer scarf. There is a great article titled: A beginner's guide to collecting Hermes scarves that gives you a little history and information on this designer label so you can make the best decision when shopping on a consignment or resale site. Do your research to make sure you are not purchasing a knock-off. 
6. Add an updated design or color trend: Jump over to Growing Bolder to see our newest article on Spring Styles as we have a few vibrant choices that we love—all under $100. 

There are endless resources to learn new ways to wear scarves. If you have not collected them in the past or they have gone overlooked in your wardrobe, we want to apologize ahead of time for introducing you to this little addiction! 

Below are a several books we recommend that feature design as well as ways to tie scarves.  
Have fun and thanks for reading! 

P & M




 

 

 

 

Mother's Day luxe gift guide...We just made it really easy!

It is April 23rd which means we don't need to panic yet as we have over two weeks until Mother's Day [May 10th]. This year we decided to be proactive and publish our little helpful shopping guide early so there is plenty of time to get these great gifts ordered. Our list is short but will get you headed in the right direction. If you are a Mom-please forward this to your husband/partner or adult children so they can do the heavy lifting. 

A few words about Mother's Day:
• It is true that Mom feels great to be remembered, but that doesn't mean ordering from a generic florist is always the answer! Bouquets of her favorite flowers [with less filler such as leaves and babies-breath] will always be appreciated. Think luxe, personal and something that will remind her of you. 

• Mom is all about good memories! Send her something that means something to her. Like a necklace with her initials, or a monogrammed bag like above. Please don't overdo it with a huge monogram, in this case small and understated is the best solution. 

• Was there a special trip you took with your Mom or a place you like to go together? The museum or theatre? What about theatre tickets? Mom's like to spend time with their kids. 

• Books are ALWAYS a good idea. We cannot get enough of them. We stack them on our shelves, on the floor, by the fireplace, on the ottoman, near the bed....love all that inspiration, fashion, funny pets, artists, designers and so on. Below is a list of a few of our favorites: 

• The last gift that I think is brilliant i[it includes multiple gifts in one is the Mother's Day Bundle on Huckberry. For $89.98 plus shipping you get a photo frame, a bag of espresso beans, a candle, a card, a labradorite necklace and a lovely yellow wrapping cloth. Click here to view. 

The best gifts are always the one's that are the most personal; the artwork on our shelves from our children, nieces and nephews when they were little. If you can make artwork for your mom I would say that is the best gift you can give her! Otherwise, please refer to the list above and happy shopping. 

p.s. Could someone please forward this to my husband!  — P ;-)

 

 

Lets talk: Style + Design + Inspiration!

When we started our blog the goal was to create a place in which we could share style and design ideas as well as introduce stories about people who inspire us. We can say that it has been all of that and more over the last year and we want to thank all of you who have shared your stories, ideas and comments with us. You make this all worth it! 

If you are new to Patina & Hue please read about how we got started here or if you have been following us all along—below are a few of our posts that readers told us they really liked from the last year:

Style
Coco Chanel: Making Men Uneasy
Fear No Denim: Boyfriend Jeans even if you are over 40!
P&H INTERVIEW FOR 1010 PARK PLACE

Artist made Jewelry
The Depetra Sisters Jewelry
VICTORIAN + GEORGIAN JEWELRY = TRUE LOVE

Artwork
Robert Siegel Studio 
ICONIC ARTIST WAYNE THIEBAUD–A RETROSPECTIVE

Inspiration
Our 4th of July post received the most Pins on Pinterest
While our story about Lucy Meyer received the most comments, feedback and donations

Interiors
AUNT BABBS' LUCITE: CIRCA 1960S
CREATE MEANINGFUL SPACE IN YOUR OFFICE

We are working on new ideas all of the time and welcome your input and feedback in our comments section. We would also like to invite you to email us with any ideas you have or want to share. If you like what we are doing please invite your friends and family to the conversation by sharing our link. 

We have recently had quite a few people ask how they can get our blog posts to come directly to their email so they don't have to look it up online each time. There are several ways you can follow us:

1. Subscribe to our blog so that you can receive our latest posts into your email box. We post 1 to 2 times a week.
To subscribe: 
• Type your name and email address into the subscription area at the top right on this page. • Select the subscribe button and a box will pop up for you to confirm you want to subscribe. • Open, your email and confirm your subscription in the email from feedburner 
• You will now receive our emails in your inbox! 
• You can easily unsubscribe anytime by clicking the link at the bottom of the email newsletter. 

2. Follow us on Twitter here

3. Follow Pamela's Instagram here (Marianne's is coming soon!)

4. Follow us on Facebook here

Thank you again to all of you who made this last year magical and memorable!

Marianne & Pamela
Patina & Hue

Shopping for floral pumps for spring: a personal first!

FloralShoesSpring2015sm2.jpg

I have a confession—I've recently been daydreaming about floral shoes! If you know me—the last thing you would ever have expected [ in a million years ] is to hear those words pass my lips! I called M and asked her if she owns / wears floral shoes and she texted back a photo of a very tired pair that have not been worn in decades. So we are both now on a mission to find a pair in the next month. How have we gone this long without these little lovelies? No one in my life would ever expect to see me turn up at a lunch or party with my feet adorned in a floral print and it is for this very reason that I am moving full steam ahead on choosing the perfect pair! I will post my final decision early May on Instagram at: pamelaquigley. Please follow so you can receive the feed. 

I have several very good reasons for needing [translation: "justifying"] this purchase: 
1. I could wear them to lunch with friends or my hubby during the spring and summer months. They would look gorgeous with linen palazzo pants or white jeans.
2. I can pull on any old pair of denim jeans with this shoe and look totally put together. I'm thinking bellbottoms which allow only the front toe to show would be a great look.
3. If I have an upcoming wedding or other formal event I will be prepared ahead of time!
4. I love being tall on date nights as my hubby is 6' 1" to my 5'3".
5. Any of the florals will look great with dresses I already own: summer brights as well as neutrals.
6. I don't have any floral heels or pumps YET and will only buy them if they don't hurt my feet!
Gotta feel good to walk in!

If you are considering adding this feminine look to your wardrobe check out some of my "research" to the right and email us at Patina & Hue with photos of floral shoes you have or are thinking of getting. We will add your photos to our post early May! Happy Shopping!

P&H Interview for 1010 Park Place

 Pamela + Marianne in Texas |   1010 Park Place  article | photo by  Jennifer Denton

Pamela + Marianne in Texas |  1010 Park Place article | photo by Jennifer Denton

PandMTexas2.png

We are always on the lookout for style savvy blogs that are focused on women 40+ and love what 1010 Park Place is doing. So it goes without saying, that we were thrilled when this New York based shopping site and blog invited us to be featured in their style section. If you haven't had the chance yet we highly recommend you jump over and stroll through their: Style Inspiration, Brenda's Blog and see the fabulous finds in the 1010 Park Place Shop. Thank you to the 1010 Park Place team for featuring Patina & Hue, it was very fun!

To see the our interview click here.
All photos ©Jennifer Denton

Clutch Crush: Tesler + Mendelovitch

  variety of wood finishes  offered on these gorgeous geometric clutches by  TESLER + MENDELOVITCH 

 variety of wood finishes  offered on these gorgeous geometric clutches by TESLER + MENDELOVITCH 

 Textile artists: Tesler and Mendelovitch in their studio

Textile artists: Tesler and Mendelovitch in their studio

 African Clutch

African Clutch

 Great White Clutch

Great White Clutch

 Ebony Clutch

Ebony Clutch

Question: What is more interesting: a unique artist made handbag or a big-name brand bag? 
P&H answer: Tesler + Mendelovich

Yes, it is easy to fall in love with a handbag made from Italian leather like Gucci's latest leather and bamboo backpack, or a chic Chanel or Bottega bag.... but it is even more amazing when you fall in love with an artist made handbag. In addition it isn't the most expensive handbags (or jewelry, or shoes...you get the idea) that consistently draw attention from friends. It is 99% of the time something that is well designed, unique and often not well known that leads friends to ask "where did you get THAT?". M and I both share a love of artist driven design and fell head-over-heels for these T + M clutches several years ago. They are high design and a splurge we highly support! If you do not currently own a wood clutch this is the one to get.

WHO?
Tesler + Mendelovich are a Televivian couple who met in school and work as a textile team—developing materials that they transform into products. There clutches can be seen online and come in a few sizes with a wide variety of wood options. The largest one "Great" is very large so make sure you look on their site under "Reviews" to see the scale of a few of the "Great" pieces. Each clutch is sent in a sustainable handmade wooden box for storage (see image below). 

See a short vimeo on this dynamic artist couple here.  Visit their site to see their complete line here. Each clutch is made upon order with a 6-8 week turnaround time. Orli let me know that they ship all over the globe through FedEx. Delivery takes between 24-48 hours once shipped. 

"...once the clutch has been picked up by courier we send the client a FedEx tracking link as well as a digital lifetime warranty and care guide which is a digital PDF booklet (sent by email) that contains information about their chosen wood, a care guide and also has the clients personalized catalog number for future reference."

If you end up ordering please let us know what you think in our comments section. Also-wooden handbags/clutches have gained in popularity over the last few years. If you know of an artist who is making unique, high design bags please let us know.

Valentines ideas that say "i love you"

Isn't it great that Valentines Day falls right after the New Year? It allows us to celebrate those we love [ and reminds us to love ourselves ] a little more in the new year. This year, lets show our love in simple ways, like cutting red hearts out of construction paper and scattering them throughout the house or taking better care of ourselves by stealing quite moments for ourselves and indulge in a bubble bath or taking time out to do nothing!

This Valentines we have been hunting for luxurious items that say "I Love You" without breaking the budget. We adore Jo Malone scents—for her and Jack Black skin care—for him. The artisan chocolates by William Dean are little works of art that you will want to look at, and display, before you consume them—they are gorgeous. We also included a couple of very practical gifts like the multi-piece tool kit and wine opener, in red, of course!

We hope everyone enjoys this holiday with their loved ones.

Have a Happy Valentines! love, P & M 

1. Silk Robe for Her

2.  Mini cupcakes Baked By Melissa

4. Madly In Love with You, Floral Bouquet

6. The Sexiest Chocolates You Have Ever Tasted!