The creamy early morning sunshine was dripping off the flossy Santa Fe clouds and drenching the adobes with a glow so ethereal and unbelievable that I knew it was time to stretch and carpe diem, baby.
I put on a plum pout and my koo-koo knitted, milk-hued Devo-esque cap and headed over for a splish-splash of joe and some inspiration, ‘cause hey—Downtown Subscription (376 Garcia St., 983-3085) always has French fashion mag L’Officiel.
L’Officiel is the crack of the style set. It’s all of the fashion collections from Spring/Summer 2017. Choose either Paris/NYC or Milan/London; no ads, unedited, no trendy editors picking through and telling us what is cool—just your own eyes and opinions, your own yay or nay.
L’Officiel runs about $35 and is worth every penny. You will never need to swim through a plethora of musty, murky, yucky ads like in Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar or even Jalouse.
But on this bright autumn morning the collections were nowhere in sight. I gasped. My tummy wiggled in a nervous jitterbug.
As I placed my order for a triple Americano (I needed the extra jolt to help with the grieving process), my barista (sweet-as-pie Nicholas Valdez) complimented my goofy choice of millinery and added: “My Grandmother makes knitted hats up in Los Ojos at Tierra Wools.” Apparently she even created the felted look of the woolen chapeaus. Nicholas recalled when Grandma Olivia Valdez popped a knitted cap into the washing machine eons ago and, voila—it fused together and created a singular and much warmer piece.
Mistakes = Brilliance. Just ask Alexander Fleming (penicillin anyone?).
Tierra Wools (handweavers.com) is the real deal. They create incredible blankets all from their own organic sheep (of Rambioullet and Navajo-Churro breeds) and have classes on spinning, weaving and dyeing. The original Rio Grande tradition is carried on here with great respect and honor. It is living history. The wool is hand-dyed and the colors glow in an incandescent, Maxfield Parrish-esque simmering light, deep and alive.
So I veered from my original Spring/Summer 2017 story to focus on what we have in our own high desert backyard a la Candide. I love shifting, turning and changing my direction; wandering down crimson vine-draped alleys, stumbling upon anything and everything. Letting Santa Fe enchant me.
And that’s just what I did. I decided that it was time for a light nosh of green chile cheeseburger with fries and a side of toasted marshmallow sauce. The salty, hot fries and the gooey, sugary situation is quite luscious on the taste buds. I mean, a girl’s gotta keep her figure!
The Burger Stand at Burro Alley (207 W San Francisco St., 989-3360) is the mucho-needed epicurean hipster burger joint (plus craft beers) off the Plaza. They also have some of the raddest Santa Fe streetwear and, let’s face it, you need the balance of viejo-skool y nuevo-skool. From their T-shirts complete with the state outline of New Mexico with the word “Hecho” plunked down in the center to their colorful zia-emblazoned caps, the merchandise is designed by Nueva Cerveza/Bloody Maria and is sick-hip and dare I say slick.
Owner Bobby Joe Grubb then cued me in that he’s about to open Nuevo HQ, a foodie collaboration with local businesspeople Marcos Aragon, Malisa Braselle and Tait Fletcher. Its location at 411 W Water St. will have even more fab style morsels plus local beer and wine and—wait for it—Caveman Coffee.
My appetite was sated but my style sensors wanted some yummy dessert (ie accessories).
So boom-bang-bing, I popped my knitted noggin into Vida Loca Gallery (203 W San Francisco St., 988-7410) and spied some day-glo Zia acrylic necklaces that are minimalist yet still punch up your look. Created by local artist Lauren Ivy, they are the perfect gloss for your ensemble.
I also remember meeting another genius artist, Kit Evans, who has created a tote bag for his Christopher Merlyn imprint featuring the right postmodern twist with a play on the state outline of NM with the word “Entrapment” emblazoned over the enchanted square in fifties script. Again, graphically brilliant with just the right amount of wink-wink nudge-nudge irony, it’s very Marfa, very Ojai, very nouveau-Catskills.
So there you go. The 80/20 rule. When your mind is set on one thing but the effort is taking 80 percent outta your life, switcharoo it up to that sweet and easy 20 percent. We are indeed lucky to live in a place with oodles of history as well as up-to-date streetwear. The style in New Mexico is as swift, dynamic and mutable as the weather, and that’s pretty darn fabulous.