Get in My Closet: Jonathan Simkhai Interview & S/S 2013


Images: Jonathan Simkhai


Boston's fashion scene should be proud. In the last few weeks, (and in the months to come), we have played host to a bevy of talented designers. The streak was kicked off by someone you need to know and know more about- Jonathan Simkhai.

My personal tale began with the line began with a belated trip to Louis to assess the state of spring fashion. I left with a Suno and Jennifer Chun dress, but was saddened that I didn't have anything from Jonathan Simkhai in my shopping bag. Thoughts of his pastel wide-leg pants and sporty track shorts danced in my head. Fast forward to week end, when Louis announced they would host the designer, in conjunction with the W Hotel, for a presentation. Fabulousness all around. He also made an in-store appearance at Louis on that Saturday, March 9th. Revel and welcome this infusion of fashion!

Jonathan Simkhai launched his collection in 2010 and has seen a swift rise in recognition for his efforts. His womens wear hallmark? Sweet tomboy cuts with ladylike detailing. Borrowing all the best from the boys, he weaves, cuts, and sews a delightful collection season after season. Simkhai is also part of the CFDA incubator program, launched last year, which helps mentor, sustain, and grow the lines of ten lucky brands and designers over a two year period.

Want to hear more about Mr. Simkhai? I took the opportunity to get some styling tips for mom to be moi, find out more about this design process and of course, ask a few Proustian-esque rapid fire questions about the totally irrelevant.


What is the design process for each collection? 

I always like to start with the vibe I'm feeling from the girls in my life and what they want to wear. I then begin to start looking at fabrics and colors then hone in on what feels right. From there it is a lot of sketching and development.

In a previous interview, you mentioned a close friend's wedding in Anguilla as a reference point for SS2013- has travel similarly influenced previous/future collections you are working on? Anything in particular about the get away that translated into the line?  

Travel does tend to have a strong influence on my collections. In particular, Resort 13's color palette and silhouettes were heavily inspired by my close friends wedding in Anguilla. After the wedding, I simultaneously was working on SS13 and traveling through Venice Beach after attending Coachella in California. I was extremely inspired by the colors and trademark symbols of Venice. I even created a ferris wheel print in a sunset palette that I took with my iphone while out there. For the upcoming season, I have an inspiration trip to Bangkok in the works through the CFDA and W Hotels as well.

The addition of resort collections must be keeping you very busy! Was there an impetus for the additional offerings? 

Taking on Resort and Pre-fall has been an adjustment. It's crazy going from collection to collection with even less time to spare! I felt the need to offer a "palette cleanser" between the larger collections and expand my reach to a wide variety of customers. 

How has the CFDA incubator program been? Any positive changes for you and the line that can be attributed to their involvement? 

Being part of the CFDA incubator has been an incredible experience, they are such a valuable support system for my brand. My company has definitely grown since their involvement, and I believe that stems from their encouragement and the amazing creative outlet they provide. 

Item from the current line that no woman should be with out? 

The signature Jonathan Simkhai Silk Track Pant

And a final, selfish question- as a mom to be, what would you recommend for women on the look out for chic maternity wear? PS, I am thinking of adding some elastic to the fabulous floral palazzo pants! 

I would definitely recommend any of the silk bottoms with elastic waistbands! They are chic and comfortable. The dolman top is also a great piece because it has such an easy over-sized fit and the contrast roll-up sleeve lets you dress it up or down.

Five questions with Mon Petit Chou Chou:


Last splurge? Lanvin Sneakers

Favourite scent? Comme Des Garcons Hinoki

Superpower you'd most like to have? Fly

Last meal on earth? Fried Chicken

If you weren't designing, what would you be doing? Slitting coconuts on the beach serving people fresh Pina Coladas

 You can shop for Mr. Simkhai locally at Louis, and online via his site, and Shopbop.



Build a Better Bar Cart: Drink it! Cranberry Spice Cocktail

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Way back when, I showed you how to brew bitters, but never how to properly utilize them. Well, mainly due to the fact that I am not utilizing them now with baby on board. 


To that end, I decided to play bartender to husband last weekend and whip up this delicious Cranberry Spice Cocktail, making use of the cranberry anise bitters. Full recipe from Food and Wine (here). A few changes to the recipe of course, subbing dried cherries and ginger as garnish (omitting orange) and using a ginger apple cider I found by Angry Orchard, rather than plain. 


A delicious cocktail that would make a perfect punch for large groups- light, sparkly, and savory with hints of anise and ginger. 




1 orange wedge
13 cranberries
Three 1-inch pieces crystallized ginger— 2 minced and 1 whole for garnish
2 ounces Aperol
1 ounce Lillet Blanc
4 ounces hard cider
4 dashes Cranberry-Anise Bitters or Peychaud's bitters




In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange wedge with 10 of the cranberries and the minced ginger. Add the Aperol, Lillet Blanc, bitters and ice. Shake well. Double-strain the drink into an ice-filled Collins glass and top off with the hard cider. Garnish with the 3 remaining cranberries and the slice of ginger skewered on a toothpick.



Spring Cleaning for the Face


Spring cleaning is upon me. Though spring itself is no where to be found.

Started with the closets, bags of goods to sell, donate and giveaway.  Worked my way through all the cabinets next. Eventually landing in my medicine cabinet. Which led me to not only toss the old cosmetics and meds, but to re-evaluate what I use on the hair, face, and body daily. And why not share some of my new discoveries along with my tried and true loves?

La Roche Posay Anthelios SX: Part moisturizer, part sun block, the work horse of my skin routine. I mix it with la Mer when I need some extra moisture during those harsh winter months. I slather it on after my Aesop Parsley Hydrator in the AM for SPF protection. Pair it at night with my Rodin. It is a forever constant in the cabinet and readily available at CVS or Amazon (where I order everything). Don't be shocked by the sticker price for a CVS brand. It came recommended by my dermatologist and is worth every penny.

Rodin Olio Lusso: One of the newest additions to my skin care arsenal. It's the priciest item I indulged in but so far, I am happy with the return on my investment. Don't fear the oil, even if you have skin that is prone to be oily like myself. All my washing, make up, outdoor activity can leave my skin stripped. I use this at night before bed and I am always happier in the morning. It is never greasy and smells like a lush garden, one stop shopping for your moisture needs and a little aroma therapy for your zzzz's.

Aesop Parsley Anti-Oxident Hydrator: Drink the Aesop kool-aid. I have and it's delicious. From the sleek, modern store interior, to the old school apothecary like packaging, and top notch ingredients, I was caught- hook, line and sinker. This light formula is perfect for the warmer weather. I layer it on before my Anthelios for day time use. Never feels heavy and I am perfectly hydrated through out the day.

Mustela Stretch Mark Cream: Most people assert that stretch marks, and whether or not you will be graced by their presence, is hereditary. I am not one to leave something like this to chance, so I have stocked up on just about every product on the market- Bio Oil, Mustela, Cocoa Butter, etc. This is my favourite. It's non greasy and has little fragrance. Important factors when you are slathering half of your body with it. I'll have to report back in a few months on whether or not it was worth the effort.

Note the absence of anti-aging products. It's not because I discovered the fountain of youth. It's because I have a great dermatologist and understand that if I really want to fight wrinkles and remain blemish free, that I need professional assistance, aka, the big guns. Over priced cream made with ground up pearls, gold, or whatever the latest fad is, is not going to do it. Not pictured (because I can't use them while pregnant), the topical cream Tazorac, used at night and Clindamycin, used in the day. They are the one two punch you can't get at Sephora. 

Tazorac: Available by prescription only- does not mess around. Like Retin A, long held as the gold standard for clear skin and wrinkle prevention, this cream is no joke (the two are very similar in use and effect). Use sparingly, as I did, only a few nights a week. Otherwise, my skin became a flaky hot mess. Mind you a clear, mess, but a mess all the same.

Clindamycin: Also available by prescription only, is a milder antibiotic gel that is applied during the day to keep the skin free and clear. Ever notice how your skin is magically perfect when you are on a round of antibiotics? Same principle, but topical. 

Et voila! Any items you love? Share!