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Carolina in the Country

Instead of citing an artist as inpsiration as is usually the case, Carolina Herrera looked to the great out doors for her Fall 2008 collection. There were tweeds and windowpane plaids, fur and feathers, as well as her signature evening dresses. The collection was beautiful but perhaps a bit overstyled. The chapeaux made the models look as if they might rob from the rich to give to the poor but runway shows are always a bit more fantasy than reality.

If anyone had looked closely, Carolina Herrera Baez (above Center) seemed to be giving away a little of the theme with her green lace up wellies but it was a Harper's Bazaar profile of Anne and Mario Grauso at their Milbrook, New York weekend retreat that has me wondering if that might have been where Mrs. Herrera had found her inspiration. I'll explain in a minute.

As her program notes explained, the riding jackets were "to grab from the mudroom, over a crinkle chiffon gown for an elegant dinner on the farm." Exactly how Mrs. Grauso had been photographed right down to the Carolina Herrera dress and wellies in the mudroom.

For those of you don't know, Mario Grauso is the president of the fashion division of the Puig Group, which owns Carolina Herrera and also Nina Ricci, and his wife is a serious shopper as well as a friend of Mrs. Herrera of course. She can often be seen wearing her clothing as she is above with her husband and dogs in their gazebo.

The exterior of their 1780 farmhouse sits on 19-acres of land in a quiet area of Millbrook, New York, just a 90-minute drive from New York City. The Grausos have decorated their home with rich, comfortable pieces from Lars Bolander and Charlotte Moss, paintings by Walton Ford, and prints from their extensive photography collection, which includes images by Bruce Weber, Irving Penn, and Cindy Sherman.

Anne prunes flowers in the living room while wearing a fox-trimmed sweater, blouse, and skirt, by Carolina Herrera.

Son Harry's collection of tortoise shells from J.F. Chen adorn the mantle.

A 19th-century French metal chandelier from J.F. Chen in Los Angeles brightens their French feeling dining room.

A George Smith wool screen stands behind their bed, while a Nina Ricci dress hangs on the door.

A faulous vintage shagreen box from Charlotte Moss holds all of Anne's jewelry.

Anne loves to keep evening bags including her favorites from VBH and Judith Leiber where she can see them in a silver bowl. A fun idea for anyone to emulate.

And if the house and clothes weren't enough to make you jealous, Mrs. Grauso's collection of Hermes bags might really make you hate her!

But it's nice that they realized that they needed a place to really getaway from it all on the weekends instead of getting caught up in the social scence of the Hamptons!


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