A Gypsy Dream Ensemble: Closed Set with Julie Bensman

gypsy dressingWith the amount of Fleetwood Mac played in my house growing up, it’s really no surprise that, even today, I. LOVE. STEVIE. NICKS. Everything, everything about her: the voice, the vibe, the clothes. I encourage you to play THIS whilst reading the below:

Last week, on a rainy Tuesday afternoon en route to the office from a lovely lunch at Jane, I swung by the Fall 2011 presentation for the even lovelier Morgan Carper. For this collection, Morgan traveled to Turkey for inspiration and, while I recognized her trademark leather trims and intricate pleating, this was her first collection of separates, complete with beautiful silks, subtle Ikat prints, and basically my dream fall wardrobe in a nutshell.

But alas, in the real world (as opposed to the one where models preview shorts in 30 degree weather), we are approaching spring (thank goodness!) and in the vein of envisioning my dream wardrobe, I think it’s safe to start with baby steps – a dream ensemble – anchored by a piece from Carper’s Spring 2011 collection, of course. When I perused the lookbook nearly six months ago, what to my wondering eyes should appear? The Alida dress, a long washed silk crepe number with attached leather belt and open back – SO STEVIE NICKS, I could die. And note to all New Yorkers, it will soon be carried by new-to-the-block retailer Condor (259 Elizabeth St). “I design for a girl who has a worldly sense of style with a sophisticated and understated way of pulling it all off,” Carper says. “My pieces are modern and feminine, yet timeless and a little edgy.”

WEWSW (What Else Would Stevie Wear)? This Jen Mascali “Joey” bag is so adorable and so perfect for the NYC Saturday where you leave your apartment for an 11 AM brunch and don’t return home until 2 AM, and you have no idea how you spent the last 15 hours. It’s the perfect hobo without being too literal, the shoulder strap length is spot-on and the color is unique, yet acts as a neutral. Jen’s is a relatively new line (launched in Fall 2010) and she’s definitely a designer to watch – available NOW at Foravi (542 Broadway).

And to round out the mix, my girl Haley Boyd at Marais USA just debuted the line’s new collection and I am loving the Gold Gladiator sandal (available online or at places like Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie. All cards on the table, I currently own three pairs of Marais sandals but I see no reason not to add a fourth and make it a nice even number, right? My closet is off balance, people.

So if you’re hanging out on the High Line (my new ‘hood) this summer and you see a well-dressed gypsy breeze by, it’s (hopefully) yours truly…



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In memory of Tinsley McFarland, who lived her life – and licked her plate – with relish.

Julie Bensman, editor-at-largeThe Fashion Spot’s Editor-at-Large, Julie Bensman, is also the Entertainment Editor for Niche Media, whose titles include Gotham, Hamptons, Ocean Drive and LA Confidential. Closed Set is a collection of her musings on all things fashion, from an editor’s desk to your desktop.