Salsa and lingonberries, same thing, right?
Elin Kling’s new line, Totême – recently released in the U.S. – was described in the WSJ. article where I first saw the line as “European preppy.” If what they meant was precise but unfussy tailoring, blacks and tans, classic pieces, easybreezy, then maybe. I guess I can’t help but conceive of this aesthetic rather as “California chic,” one that I learned to love through James Perse’s lux cottons. Sun blonde without balayage, high cheekbones, tan shoulders, no makeup, everything easy. Pop out a baby, wear a black bikini the next day. You know, the ideal. And it’s not just an ideal, those tanks and Ts really wear: I’ve washed them a million times. This is what we want to be.
In 2002, I first went to Maxfield in Los Angeles, where my friend picked up a long thin black tank, and instructed me that this is where I should go to pick up the perfect tank after staying out all night and needing something to wear the next day. “Put in on braless,” she said, “with whatever skirt or jeans you wore out. Then go to Rite Aid and grab a pair of flip-flops.” Done. Since then, JP has been my go-to travel wear, even making it in and out of a war zone (true story). The tanks really are perfect. So are the dresses. However, in 2014, I may be ready for an update, trade the linen for some silk, take Elin’s Stockholm T-Shirt and Biarritz Towel on my European vacation… to Biarritz. Yep. And I really adore those Toulon Trousers too.