Amanda Brooks 'Farm From Home' Book Honors New Life In Cotswolds, Cutter Brooks Shop

PHOTO: ANDY SEWELL FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

PHOTO: ANDY SEWELL FOR WSJ. MAGAZINE

Former Barney's fashion director Amanda Brooks is set to open Cutter Brooks, a lifestyle boutique that will bring a curated selection of international brands and artisan makers to Stow-on-the-Wold, an English market town nestled in the Cotswolds, writes WSJ Magazine.

“I’ve wanted a shop since I was 23,” says Brooks, now 44. “I love selling. I love sharing my point of view and my passion.” Set in a 17th-century building, Cutter Brooks (the moniker combines her maiden and married name as wife of artist Christopher Brooks) will capture Brooks’s take on the English countryside aesthetic: “A little bit bohemian, a little eccentric,” she says. “But more farmhouse than stately home.”

Brooks' journey to the Cotswolds began in 2012, when Westchester-raised Brooks and her family left New York for a yearlong sabbatical in the English countryside. Their time was spent at her husband's home Fairgreen Farm.

“Amanda has an almost 1950s take on England, with all her domestic pursuits,” says Carole Bamford, founder of the Daylesford Organic Farmshop chain and one of Brooks’s Cotswolds neighbors. “She’s more English than the English.”

The jam recipe is included in Brooks’s new book, Farm From Home: A Year of Stories, Pictures, and Recipes From a City Girl in the Country (Blue Rider Press), out June 5. The volume features candid accounts of the ups and downs of farm living, accompanied by personal photos. “I’m an aesthetic perfectionist,” admits Brooks. “My pictures tell the fantasy version of the story, while the writing is more forthright.”

Brooks compares her life in New York with her changed life in England. “In New York I felt like a chameleon: I could be anything to anybody,” she says. “When I moved here it defined me in a way that was very grounding. I got my time back, and I was able to find a much greater sense of self in a quieter existence.”

“It is so worth coming up on the train for a day or a long weekend,” says Brooks, noting that she’d happily travel hours to see a smart shop. Soon there’ll be even more of a reason to hang out at Cutter Brooks: a garden café where, she says, “You can get a really good cup of coffee and a terrific scone.”

Chanel Couture Jewelry Unveils The Coromandel Collection Inspired By Coco's Screens

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Whenever she moved her domicile, from the chic 16th Arrondissement to the Ritz Paris (and, later, Switzerland), Gabrielle Chanel took her Coromandel screens with her to “upholster” her home, writes Vogue. “I’m like a snail. I carry my house with me,” she once remarked to Claude Delay, her friend and biographer. Chanel's most beloved pieces, the ones she kept all her life and considered the doors to her private world, were the 17th- and 18th-century Coromandel folding screens she picked up in 1910 with her great love, Boy Capel. Today, these ornate, opulent black lacquer screens adorn the salons of private apartments at 31 Rue Cambon.

On Friday, Gabrielle Chanel's beloved Coromandel screens serve as the inspiration behind the brand's couture jewelry collection to be unveiled on the Place Vendôme in advance of the couture collections.

Semi-figurative floral “calligraphy,” stylized landscapes, Asian bestiaries, and even a small lacquer box are just some of the highlights in the Coromandel Collection, which debuts exclusively here. The important Horizon Lointain (“far horizon”) openwork choker reprises selected Coromandel motifs—clouds, mountains, camellias—in yellow gold, platinum, diamonds and mother-of-pearl. The Calligraphie Florale cuff is striking both for its composition in white gold, white and brownish diamonds, pink sapphires, black spinets, and tsavorite garnets as for its handling of negative space.

Meanwhile, the remarkable, articulated Recto Verso double-sided bracelet—panels of white and yellow gold and colored sapphires on one side; onyx and white and yellow diamonds and yellow sapphires on the other—is depicted here in gouache form because it will only just emerge from the workshops in time for the first client previews tomorrow.

Related

Trump Revokes National Ocean Policy As Britain Launches Audit Of Fast Fashion Impact Environment

Image via Greenpeace

Image via Greenpeace

Donald Trump cares little about the environment, and that was never more clear than when issued an executive order Tuesday revoking the 2010 National Ocean Policy of the Trump administration. Economic development is Trump's top priority, and if he puts the entire global ecosystem in peril, he could care less. That includes local quality of life as well. His mentality is drill baby drill. As for massive guts of plastic floating in the oceans and killing our fish, basta! Trump insists that it is RIGHT to pollute, to desecrate, to kill the earth in the name of consumption and economic development.

The Obama administration’s goal was to guide a more coordinated, sustainable management of the oceans and coasts in collaboration with states and tribes. Republican opponents call such a plan the liberal bureaucracy in action.  On Tuesday, conservation groups voiced strong opposition to Trump’s action, which, among other things, ensures “federal regulations and management decisions do not prevent productive and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters,” according to the executive order.

The difference between Trump's attitude on consumption and sustainability could not contrast more with Britain's. While Trump practically demands that we pour more chemicals and plastic into the ocean, Britain's House of Commons has launched an environmental audit to assess the impact of fast fashion in the UK.

“Fashion shouldn’t cost the earth” said Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee, today. “But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact. Producing clothes requires climate-changing emissions. Every time we put on a wash, thousands of plastic fibres wash down the drain into the oceans. We don’t know where or how to recycle end-of-life clothing.”

Consensus is united that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry after oil, with 87 percent of fashion landfilled or incinerated every year, according to data from the Copenhagen Fashion Summit

Key to the inquiry is getting consumers to embrace the necessity of an "end to end" fashion system or a "circular economy" , writes Vogue UK.  Not only are garments kept in use for a longer time, but they are then made into new products at the end of their fashion clothing life span. 

Stella McCartney opens the new shop with Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss ( Rex Features ) via The Independent

Stella McCartney opens the new shop with Kylie Minogue and Kate Moss ( Rex Features ) via The Independent

Sustainability pioneer Stella McCartney constantly reminds us of the "appalling" fact that only one percent of fashion on our planet is recycled. “It’s not a great place where we are at,” she said in May this year. “Honestly, it takes up more time in my company than creating product… [we’re] just being decent human beings and having a decent label practice, [but] it’s a big problem because there are very few people that are doing that.”

A designer who walks her talk, Stella McCartney opened a brand new shop at London's 23 Old Bond Street last week. McCartney proudly asserts that her new shop (all four floors) is the most sustainable store in London. It's highly probable that the store also has the cleanest air, despite London's notorious air pollution. 

The design of the shop has incorporated materials that are handmade, organic and ethically sourced, eschewing the more luxurious materials that were more frequently used in the past, writes The Independent.