I learned to ride dressage and hunter jumper at a young age at the Haras des Brulys in the countryside of Fontainebleau, France, about 45 minutes from where I grew up in Paris. I’ve competed and have ridden pretty much everywhere in France from Paris to the beaches of Normandy and the south of France, and then in the US from right here in Wellington to the west coast along Pebble Beach in California. I’ve spent my lifetime loving horses and everything that goes along with an equestrian lifestyle. And as an homage to this passion of mine, I wanted to share some of my equestrian favorites, from art to fashion to riding apparel and accessories. Beginning, of course, with Hermes, the quintessential equestrian lifestyle brand. Hermes began as a saddle maker and to this day stays true to its roots with nods to horses in almost everything it does—from the Hermes logo itself to animal-themed scarves to horses in the jewelry and actual dressage accoutrements.
Hermes will always be a classic, but there are other equestrian-themed accessories I just had to include in here too. Vestrum Italy, for instance, says it best: “It’s not a sport, but a philosophy of life.” Talk about a chic, sexy brand; they take everything technical about riding and everything classic about the equestrian lifestyle and give it an elevated, modern twist. Then there’s Hattie Banks, a jewelry designer I discovered on the equestrian lifestyle blog Outside Rein. She has a ring reminiscent of paddock fencing (in a super elegant way) and a horseshoe necklace that—well, you get it. I love what dainty nod she gives to these powerful horses! India Hicks’ cognac Saddle Bag, Maybach’s goat hair horse brush, Burberry’s silk pocket square…my wish list is never-ending.
Image credits: Mors de Bride Bracelet, Hermes; Hermes Avoine Blanket, Hermes; Hermes Cavale II Jumping Saddle, Hermes; Saddlery Glycerin Soap, Hermes; Hermes Saumer Men Gloves in lambskin, Hermes; Saddle Bag in Cognac, India Hicks; Kask Dogma Chrome Light Swarovski Carpet Riding Helmet with Rose Gold Frame, Equestrian Lifestyle Luxury Art; Groom Boot and Helmet Bag, Hermes; Spring-Summer 19 Fashion, Vestrum Italy; Boots, Vestrum Italy; Caress IV goathair brush, Maybach; Palisade paddock ring, Hattie Banks; Equestrian Knight Check Silk Pocket Square, Burberry; St. Catherine A Bag, Vestrum Italy; Gray Wrap Coat by Two Bits Equestrian, Equestrian Lifestyle Luxury Art; Robe du Soir Pop, Hermes; Lucky Shoe necklace, Hattie Banks
Guadalupe Laiz is a fine art photographer I discovered in Aspen. She spent five years in Iceland creating a series of photographs that capture the indigenous horses there, and each one is more breathtaking than the last. The horses seem different here—shaped by the intense climate conditions on the active volcanic island. Her quality of light and the way she captured these beautiful creatures so intimately is magical.
Image credits: Horses of Iceland, Guadalupe Laiz
I think we all pretty much want to move into Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s home. I’m a huge fan of their minimalist color palette and carefully collected details. It’s so European. This horse farm features several cabins with an aesthetic that reads very Belgium. I fell in love with the art in these other homes as well, and just look at that drapery tie-back! Swoon.
Image credits: 1-3, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi horse farm, William Abranowicz for Elle Decor; Artwork by Kara Rosenlund via Ohoh Deco; Drapery tie-back, Shakespeare Design via Ohoh Deco; Artwork by Sarah McColgan, The Cool Hunter; Raphael Marck, Horses and High Heels
And another photography favorite: local Miami photographer Troy Campbell. He created a series of photos that have an ethereal feel to them. They remind me of old-school negative film and have a vintage, transparent quality to them. They’re just as classic as Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2013 campaign.
Image credits: Zeus, Study #1, Dreaming of Zeus, Virtuose, Study #4, Reveuse, Study #1, Virtuose, Study #3; Troy Campbell