Haute Equestrian Mama.

Marin County. May 2017. Equestrian Mama.

When I see someone in full on riding gear, I think Town & Country, I think Palm Beach, Hamptons Polo matches – I think, this person is seriously FANCY..

My mom used to take me riding, I’m still not sure if it was for some special therapy or because my strong legs indicated I may possibly thrive at riding. My fear of jumps, ended my short entree into the world of horses, horse trainers and what I really wanted, an HERMÈS Saddle and knee high riding boots…

As an older teenager, I lead the equestrian, riding group at sleep-a-way camp in the deep South.  My short cut off shorts and slight heels would take a weekly van ride to a real ranch, where men in cowboy hats would chew tobacco and listen to old country music.  I would hang out with them, as we exchanged stories of our very different lives, with Waylon Jennings as the background noise.

Riding in the mountains, and getting to know these incredible animals – that was my favorite part. But fear took over, when my horse would get close to the mountain’s edge – “trust the horse”, these country boys would say – “I’m NEUROTIC, I can’t” – and then a cowboy and his horse would stay close to the neurotic one, and that’s when I could feel free…..

This mama rides and has the style to match—she walked into school and we all stopped to check out her gorgeous look.

Royal blue…

Well, I’m always a fan of a bun with waves…

Black and blue  -always is right… my mama taught me that fashion rule

Haute Equestrian Mom…

I Keep on Truckin’ in Door Knockers & Chanel

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April 2017. Somewhere in California…..Keep on Truckin’

Love the patches, especially since I now live in Grateful Dead country, and that’s an original patch – little did anyone know, it would be worn with stilettos and a large classic Chanel bag.

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This 70’s jean jacket was hiding in between two vintage hawaiian shirts at the vintage flea market in Oakland. You would think I won the lottery, I was so excited – – -and for $70.00, it was mine. Oversized, original patches, perfect color and rips in all the right places – I landed on vintage denim perfection. Sunglass are from Madewell, www.madewell.com

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These amazing door knockers are personalized with my name – from Melody Ehsani, https://melodyehsani.com and my chandelier earrings are from Neiman Marcus by Oscar de la Renta

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My heels are from the Off Fifth, the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet store – they were maybe $20. The sun dress was also a random and very inexpensive find. Most people, would say it’s really a top!! The bag, Chanel – not inexpensive, but I like to think of it as an “investment” piece, investment in my style 🙂

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The oversized jean jacket, makes a mini-dress seem more comfortable. I can wear it open or hide behind the bagginess.

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Seeeeee I can hide under this huge jacket!

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Photos: T. Palmer, Styling: Me..

 

 

 

 

LA Transplants are Haute. Fashion Designer Mama.

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Rachel. Mom. Fashion Designer. LA transplant. Marin County. April 2017.

For all things Rachel, http://artypea.tumblr.com

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Rachel talks about how she waited to have kids – and you can tell in conversation, that she appreciates being a mom. Like we’ve heard over and over, you can’t do it all..at once..and that’s something I truly believe. So many moms have little choice in the matter, and it’s the American way. To me, all moms should have a year off, paid, with a guarantee of job security. But this country makes moms do it all – at once, it’s impossible and unfair. And if we wait to have kids, biologically we’re penalized, medical intervention isn’t cheap and health insurance doesn’t cover fertility treatments.

It’s a subject so deep and disturbing, discussing the treatment of moms in general, gets me on a never-ending rant – as we all should be. We are set up to fail, and it’s the wealthy who have the opportunities to raise kids, without endless obstacles.

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On a lighter note, Rachel is taking her daughter to a puppet show, after a quick visit to the photo booth. Rachel is from LA, and is now moving to a very bohemian town in Sonoma  called Sebastopol. Sebastopol is known for its liberal politics, small town feel and famous residents with many musicians, writers and artists.

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I meet people everyday, who move from big cities to rural areas and revel in the tight communities and slower pace. I think for me, living in Marin is amazing – but I still can’t deal with not being able to find food after 9:30, or a bar that’s filled with lots of people who talk loud, and not because they are drunk, but because they are just loud talkers.  I do frequent Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland to feel socially stimulated, if need be.

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Fashion Notes: Prada glasses, Ella Moss top, Jamie jeans, Dansko boots. Cute kid: Cat & Jack dress, Elephantito boots

 

 

Bet Her Hair Doesn’t get Frizzy. She’s HAUTE.

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Makelle. Marin County, California. Mom. Therapist. April 2017.

It’s Spring time, and parents are outside. Makelle was taking her daughter to a puppet show, outside in the perfect LA ‘like’ weather. We both chatted about feeling like it’s hard to accomplish much in a day, especially with little kids – showering is an accomplishment.

Personally, I’ve been having a hard time getting dressed, I think I forgot how to look stylish when it’s hot… the vision of my pale legs, scared me out of wearing cutoff’s. When I finally got my confidence back, one of my kids asked me to please not wear “those shorts” as they are “so embarrassing”.  Because I’m so psychologically healthy (ha), I needed to know why the embarrassment, Is it because I look bad in them? Or good? After a brief interrogation, I was left with zero information regarding the mystery of why my cutoffs embarrass this kid.

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This denim jumper looks incredible on Makelle- I hope she realizes how good she looks in this – DAMN!!!

Makelle has a look I could never relate to at all – she’s tiny, blonde and her hair never frizzes.  She can show her bra, without looking Va Va Voom- like some people I know (me).

She can probably pull off a Free People loose sun dress, ya know the ones that are so confusing to try on? You can’t figure out how your nipples won’t show and/or how anyone can wear this fabric tied together with string, without some fat sticking out…I’ll bet that Makelle is one of the few who can rock that look.

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Makelle even has stylin’ tattoos, when I think of a triangle, I think of many interpretations of this symbol – from Gay rights to the Holocaust to femininity.  I love the way this simple ink looks on her arm, it’s like having a permanent accessory, and you always look a little hip, ya know?

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Look at the glowing skin – and the LOVE of a mama.

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A little Beatles action  – Ray Ban shades, love this shape.

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Brazilians are always Haute (to me)…

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Fernanda. Marin County. October 2016.

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Check out those espadrilles! Fernanda is Brazilian and now Californian..I grew up lucky enough to be around Brazilians – stylish, cool, laid back and fun… maybe these are stereotypes, but these are the characteristics I find in many Brazilians. Also insanely gorgeous!!

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Perfect love…

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Strike a pose… Fernanda exercises daily (as you can see).

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Love this kid! Making a joke out of me asking Fernanda to pose 🙂

 

Haute Anthropologist Mama. What will they say about Trump?

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Cassidy. San Rafael, California. October 2016.

Cassidy is a head turner, I started stalking her last year at school drop-off – she then caught me yelling at my kids on the street – yup, I’m that mom. After that humiliating exercise, I had to introduce myself to this gorgeous mom with glowing skin and perfect hair. “excuse me, hi, I’m Mara, sorry you had to see me yell at my kids, I know I seem mean – anyway, you are gorgeous, who’s your dermatologist?” Just kidding about the last part, but that’s kind of what happened. Don’t be jealous of my social skills!

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Cassidy is dressed up for a Children’s Faire, where fantasy comes to life for kids – it reminds me of the Princess Bride.. Cassidy ain’t no flower child – well maybe a little bit… Cassidy is an Anthropologist and an Archaeologist. And that’s all I can say about that – kidding!! I loved my Anthropology classes in College, but I’m sure you’ll believe me when I tell you, I had to re-spell Archaeology several times in this post.

I will say that I’m very curious how Anthropologists are processing Trump’s candidacy and those that follow him.  How have cultural values and norms changed? Bet that’s a question a lot of Anthropology students are answering on their undergrad papers.

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Pretty in pastels..

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Some people claim Stevie Nicks started this bohemian layering trend… what do you think?

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Man Bags can be so Haute…

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Ethan. Marin County, California. October 2016.

Fine, Ethan is an artist, a professor, drives an old school VW van, has a beard, grew up in Kenya and pulls off a man bag beautifully…but don’t feel bad guys – you can do it too – even if you grew up in suburban Ohio, I believe in all of you, I really do.

Ethan’s handmade woven basket bag was a gift from his family who live in Nairobi, Kenya, where Ethan spent part of his childhood. These bags can be purchased on line, try to find a website where the crafters live in Africa and are making the money directly.

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High top Vans will always remind me of cool skater kids… and they haven’t lost that nostalgia, or style.

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This is style – Van high tops paired with a handmade Kenyan basket bag.

Papi has some Tattoos…Haute.

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Andy. Mill Valley, California. September 2016.

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Apparently Andy gets stopped often. I asked him if he’s in accounting, because he looks the part – how very wrong was I – he’s an Engineer.

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Andy can wear the most simple of things, and always make a style statement. When you are covered in body art, it’s hard to separate from a somewhat permanent persona – I think it looks amazing.

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Chanel doesn’t make me Shallow. Grateful Dead Haute.

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Dari. Terrapin Crossroads. San Rafael, California. August 2016.

On Friday night, I met my friend for a drink at Terrapin Crossroads owned by Phil Lesh (famed bass player of The Grateful Dead). The music venue/bar/restaurant in Marin County just added a huge outdoor space with a modern playground entertaining most kids. I have to say, having a place where parents can listen to live music, have a great meal and a cocktail, while their children play outdoors (no site of iPads) is kind of a brilliant idea.  Where else can you take small children on a Friday night, where they can run around and be free -without judgmental looks?

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Here I am listening to the music in my new Vince Camuto Gladiator sandals from 02 in Aspen and SUNCOO Paris gypsy skirt from Pitkin County Dry Goods – all on sale! Lately, I’ve been wearing my Chanel bag a lot – even with my workout clothing. Sometimes, I feel like designer bags are so showy and I get embarrassed  – especially where I live now. When I go to places like Terrapin Crossroads, filled with so many people who are products of the counter culture movement, I temporary question my style choices.

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I think to myself; “Mara, you idiot, you are surrounded by people dressed in tie dye t-shirts and pants (yes, they make tie dye pants), some with fanny packs, ripped jeans, hippie skirts and lots of very comfortable looking footwear – and you are wearing a designer bag, like a capitalist jerk!!”  I think maybe I should have brought my old faithful bag, my Colombian Mochila  – it’s hand made by the Wayuu Indian women on the border of Venezuela and Colombia, and it’s gorgeous and cool. But no, I bring the Chanel.

Is it the inner rebel in me? Am I making a politically motivated style statement? Something a long the lines of, ya know what? I like fashion, I even sometimes love designer bags – but I’m still a good human gosh darn it!  My love of fashion from Goodwill to Lanvin, doesn’t take away from my depth as a human…right?

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This cool mom has amazing tattoos, I am pretty sure she’s married to a tattoo artist. I do bet that all those tattoos are very expensive  – kind of like the price of a small Chanel bag? But somehow, it’s not looked at the same way. Style is my art..tattoos are body art.

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So “rad” as the surfers say..

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Love between a parent and a child is indescribable.

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