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Get the dish. Learn about Sarah Alexandra’s latest inspirations. Journey with us!

Renee and the Art of Knitting

02.22.2018

In addition to being a custom shirt maven, Sarah’s mom – Renee Bassetti – has another valuable skill up her sleeve: knitting. Inspired by her…

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Renee and the Art of Knitting

In addition to being a custom shirt maven, Sarah’s mom – Renee Bassetti – has another valuable skill up her sleeve: knitting.

Inspired by her own mother’s knitting, Renee displayed a flair for the craft at five-years-old. Today, she enjoys creating unique knitwear pieces and learning about the traditions around the time-honored skill. Her lucky family reap the benefits of her labor: grandchildren Hudson, Helen and Oliver all sport sweaters made by her hand, perfect for the winter season.

Sarah Alexandra, Renee Bissetti, knits, knitting, clothes, kids, DIY

“Knitting is worldwide, and different cultures do it differently,” says Renee, who prefers the Continental style. One of her favorite sweater patterns originates from Sweden and is called Bohus, which reached international popularity through celebrities like Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly donning the style. Mittens are another knitting favorite and, in particular, Renee recently developed an interest in Latvian mittens, which often served as traditional gifts at weddings and other important life events.

Knitting is a versatile art and can be tailored to a variety of styles. Below, Sarah wears a modern, neutral-toned slouchy hat, as well as a Bohus style sweater that pairs perfectly with the Silver Fox Signature Shirt.

Sarah Alexandra, Renee Bassetti, knits, knitting, clothes, kids, DIY

Bright colors and intricate patterns also can be fun for kids of different ages, like the hats worn by Sarah’s children made especially for them by Renee.

Though knitting can seem daunting to a beginner, it helps to start small. Renee recommends starting with square potholders and working up to other simpler items such as scarves, baby hats and even accessories for plush toys. Find a color that catches your eye or a yarn texture you love; Renee likes to work with lambswool for its lightweight quality and durability.

Next up, Renee looks forward to diving into Fair Isle knitting, originating from the Shetland Islands. In the meantime, she enjoys knitting as a respite, whether it be a few minutes while waiting for someone or uninterrupted for hours on a plane during her work trips, “I like the technique and movement, it’s very methodical. It’s a repetitive motion that’s quite soothing and meditative.”

Is there a special secret to becoming a knitting pro? Well, not exactly, it’s pretty hard work that takes time to develop. As Renee says,”Like anything in life, it just takes persistence and really wanting to do it.”

A Mother Daughter Dream Team!

01.24.2018

As it has been said countless times, there is something special about the relationship between a mother and her daughter. It’s an indescribable connection, but…

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A Mother Daughter Dream Team!

As it has been said countless times, there is something special about the relationship between a mother and her daughter. It’s an indescribable connection, but the bond is a deep and powerful one. We needed to look no further than our very own Sarah Alexandra and her mother, Renee Bassetti, for the perfect example of a mother daughter dream team. We thought it would be fun to have a little sit down with Sarah and Renee to answer some questions, and tell some stories. These ladies have an unspoken connection, much like two beloved characters from your favorite book or movie. Over the course of the interview, the two laughed, reminisced, and finished each other’s sentences. It doesn’t take long with them to see how close these two are, and more importantly, how deeply they respect, admire and love one another.

Renee on Sarah:

Sarah’s giggle is infectious, it makes me smile and it’s delightful. She does it a lot, and every time she does, it warms my heart.

Sarah on Renee:

Sometimes my mom may subtly question my decisions but I never feel criticized by her. She didn’t tell us what to do and was never overbearing or controlling. She let us figure it out. I used to wish she would have pushed me more or been more involved in helping me make a decision but ultimately she let us figure it out. Now that I have my own children I appreciate it so much more.

Renee describe Sarah in three words:

Loyal. Exceedingly Organized.  Nurturing.

Sarah describe Renee in three words:

Creative. Artistic (she’s kind of a genius the way she comes up with ideas). Non-judgmental.

Favorite vacation spot:

Renee: Paris, I like it better each time I go. Every day is interesting to me. I just walk out of my hotel room and I feel like I belong there.

Sarah: Mexico, I like the culture and food. I just love being there.

Fragrance:

Renee: Serge Lutens Cuir Mauresque and Byredo Parfums Bal D’Afrique.

Sarah: Fleur09 by Maria Christofilis. She’s a friend but I would wear it even if she weren’t!

Dream vacation destination:

Renee: The Shetland Islands

Sarah: The Greek Isles

Style Icon:

Renee: Grace Kelly

Sarah: Lauren Santo Domingo

Favorite Book:

Renee: The Last Lion by William Manchester & Paul Reid. I’ve read everything about Churchill. I love his command of the English language.

Sarah: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I get totally entrenched in all her books.

Which item from your closet do you wear the most?:

Renee: Besides a Renee Bassetti shirt – an Avolio coat!

Sarah: Besides a Sarah Alexandra shirt – a pair of black suede Prada booties.

Most treasured possession:

Renee: My Verdura Panama cuff.

Sarah: A charm bracelet from my mom. I once thought I lost it, it’s irreplaceable. There is a charm for each one of the kids, one from my husband Ryan and one for a nephew who passed away.

Greatest achievement:

Renee: Remaining sane if you want to call it that!

Sarah: I feel blessed, my family makes me feel grounded. They are the most important thing to me. None of this would be any fun if I didn’t have them. I truly appreciate them.

Luxury necessity:

Renee: My Steinway piano

Sarah: Dyson hairdryer, really!

What talent do you wish you had?:

Renee: To be fluent in French.

Sarah: To be a professional tennis player.

Which celebrity would you want to have dinner with living or deceased?:

Renee: Oprah, because she’s so out there. I think you would feel better after you were with her.

Sarah: Princess Diana.

Favorite fashion trend:

Renee: Classic cardigan.

Sarah: Skinny jeans.

Favorite movie:

Renee: The Sound of Music, I must have seen it 20 times when it came out!

Sarah: 16 Candles.

What brings you the most joy?:

Renee: Being with my family.

Sarah: Reading to my kids, by far, I love it! It’s my favorite thing to do with them.

Favorite sweet treat:

Renee: Sugarfina Cuba Libre Gummies.

Sarah: Nancy’s pecan cookies (see below for the recipe).

Skin care products/beauty secrets:

Renee: Omorovicza Gold Rescue Cream.

Sarah: Biologique Recherche P50 toner.

Best gift ever received:

Renee: A Dyson hairdryer from my daughter’s Katy & Sarah.

Sarah: Diamond earrings from my husband, Ryan.

What advice would you give yourself at a younger age?:

Renee: Don’t drive so fast!

Sarah: Trust your initial gut feeling, don’t question it.

Best part of being your own boss:

Renee: I can express my own creativity.

Sarah: I get to listen to everybody’s advice and opinions but I get the final say.

 

Nancy’s Pecan Chocolate Cookies

1 cup Toasted Pecans

1/2 lb. Softened Butter

3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Vanilla

2 1/2 Cup flour

Directions: Lightly toast the pecans in the oven. Pulse pecans in Cuisinart until the consistency of pecan butter. Add softened butter and pulse. Add sugar & vanilla and pulse. Lastly, add flour and pulse. Roll the cookie batter into balls and roll in sugar. Press down cookie balls on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and make an indent in the center of the cookie. Melt chocolate chips (my personal favorite are Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips) in a pan over the stove and fill the middle of the cookies with the melted chocolate. Divine!

Sun Valley Guide

01.16.2018

Activities 1) Bowling – Sun Valley Resort This is the cutest bowling alley I’ve ever been to.  It has recently been renovated and there are…

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Sun Valley Guide

Activities

1) Bowling – Sun Valley Resort

This is the cutest bowling alley I’ve ever been to.  It has recently been renovated and there are now 6 lanes. In addition to bowling there is a darling soda fountain and arcade to help keep kids (and adults) entertained for hours.

Website: https://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/bowling/

2) Galena Lodge

Galena Lodge is about 40 minutes outside of Ketchum. There is cross-country skiing and snowshoeing available. It’s a beautiful drive and the food at the lodge is really excellent!  They also have yurts available for overnight stays. They fill up quickly but for the more adventurous at heart it is an amazing experience to reconnect with your family and friends.

Website: http://www.galenalodge.com

3) Ice Skating – Sun Valley Resort

One of the reasons I love Sun Valley is you really do feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The ice skating rink at the Sun Valley Resort is no exception. My kids spent a lot of time at the rink this year. They just loved getting their bearings (and balance) on the ice!

Website: https://www.sunvalley.com/things-to-do/ice-skating/

4) Smiley Creek Snowmobiling

About 20-30 minutes beyond Galena Lodge is Smiley Creek. We had a huge group of kids & adults who rented snowmobiles from Smiley Creek Lodge. It was cold (-14 degrees) but nonetheless, was one of my favorite days of our Christmas break. It was beyond beautiful and so much fun snowmobiling out in the wilderness. The guides were incredibly nice and friendly to our group of city-slickers!

Website: http://smileycreeklodge.com/snowmobile-rentals/

5) Baldy Mountain

Last but not least is downhill skiing. Baldy Mountain is a big mountain but at the same time it doesn’t feel overwhelming which is great for all levels of expertise. We were able to make our way down with our six-year old but my 11 year-old still had a great time too. This year there was a complete lack of snow around Christmas time but the mountains ability to make their own snow was pretty remarkable. Unless you were to look at the barren hills surrounding the ski runs you would have never guessed the snow was man-made. Needless to say, it was technology at its finest!

Website: https://www.sunvalley.com/lift-tickets

Lodging

1) Sun Valley Resort

In regards to accommodation, The Sun Valley Resort provides several options. You can either stay in the newly renovated Lodge or the Sun Valley Inn where rooms are being renovated on an ongoing basis. You can also stay in a variety of Condos. Last but not least, my personal favorite happens to be staying in the Cottages. The Cottages are perfectly furnished homes. Some are small; 2 bedrooms and some are large; up to 7 bedrooms. My very favorite part is there is a much needed daily maid service which is impossible to come by in a VRBO house rental. I love the location of the Cottages as they are within walking distance of the Lodge which houses bowling, a pool, fitness area and Gretchen’s Restaurant & the Duchin Lounge. They are also just a stone’s throw away from the Village of Sun Valley that recently added Village Station which is a great restaurant serving everything from burgers, sandwiches, salads and pizzas. There is also plenty of fabulous shopping to do in the Village; Panache & SQN Sport along with a great toy store that my children love popping into.

Website: https://www.sunvalley.com/lodging#/

2) Limelight

The newest addition to lodging is in Ketchum, ID in the heart of it all. Limelight is located on Main Street where you are near all of the shops and restaurants. It’s architecture is contemporary and they offer wonderful conveniences such as On-Site Rentals and they are Pet-Friendly.  They also have The Lounge which serves breakfast, lunch & dinner along with shuffleboard and live music! A great spot for apres-ski!

Website: https://www.limelighthotels.com/ketchum

3) VRBO

There are endless rentals listed on VRBO for Ketchum, Elkhorn, Hailey and beyond! It takes a bit more research but there are lots of options listed.

Website: https://www.vrbo.com

4) Auberge Resort Sun Valley

Construction is underway on a new property in downtown Ketchum which is just a half-block from the Limelight.  When it opens in 2019 it will be managed by the Auberge Resort Collection.  It will include 62 hotel accommodations and 12 residences along with a restaurant, bar, spa, gym and heated outdoor swimming pool.

Website: https://aubergeresorts.com/resort/auberge-resorts-sun-valley/

Restaurants

1) Cristina’s

Located in downtown Ketchum and is a great spot for brunch! Having said this, their breakfast and lunch are mouthwatering too! There is an excellent selection of pastries, eggs, pancakes & french toast. For lunch there are delectable salads, sandwiches and pizzas. You really can’t go wrong here!

Website: http://www.cristinasofsunvalley.com

2) Grumpy’s

Pretty much the opposite of Cristina’s. Burgers & Beers here but it is not to be missed. An institution in Ketchum and absolutely my husband’s favorite joint! Extremely low-key and down-home but the burger is pretty darn good if I say so myself.

Website: https://grumpyssunvalley.com

3) Pioneer Saloon

A fabulous bar and wonderful place to grab a delicious steak. It can take hours for a table but it is well worth the wait. It is again another institution in town and not to be missed.

Website: https://www.pioneersaloon.com

4) The Cellar Pub

A great bar with shuffleboard and pretty decent bar food. However, the shuffleboard and drinks are main stars at this downtown Ketchum pub.

Website: http://thecellarpub.com

5) Town Square Tavern 

Also located in downtown Ketchum and is a terrific restaurant with a beautiful atmosphere and serves delicious world cuisine. It is probably one of the more sophisticated restaurants in town but proves to be not stuffy in the slightest. They pride themselves on fresh ingredients which taste incredible after a long day out in the crisp mountain air.

Website: http://www.ketchumtavern.com

6) Village Station 

This is a perfect place to grab a bite with kids for lunch or dinner. There is something for everyone and the atmosphere is hopping. There are comfortable booths and tv’s everywhere to watch the all-important football games!

Website: https://www.sunvalley.com/dining/village-station/

7) Vintage 

An incredibly small restaurant seating only 20 people making it extremely cozy and special. The food is out of this world. From the steak to the duck… it is all divine. It also boasts a wonderful wine list!

Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheVintageRestaurant/

Sarah Alexandra’s Top Picks for January!

01.11.2018

1. Maria Christofilis Fleur09 Candle. My new favorite thing! The most beautiful smelling candle and I love the white vessel. It feels so substantial and…

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Sarah Alexandra’s Top Picks for January!

1. Maria Christofilis Fleur09 Candle. My new favorite thing! The most beautiful smelling candle and I love the white vessel. It feels so substantial and beautiful in every room in my house.

2. Lenz Heated Socks. Do you ever freeze your tootsies off when you’re hitting the slopes? I do! These socks do the trick! You charge them overnight and then slip them on in the morning and your good to go for the entire day. Your feet stay nice and cozy.

3. Petidoux Pajamas for Kids. During my last trip to NYC I met the nicest woman whose name happens to be Alexandra! She has this wonderful line of children’s pajamas that I fell in love with. The prints are so darling and more muted, which I happen to adore. They are also made of the softest Pima cotton you can imagine!

4. Mother Myricks’s Butter Crunch. Again, another find during my last trip to NYC. This butter crunch is literally the most delicious thing I have ever tasted! I’ve been hoarding mine in a secret spot in my kitchen. They also have this amazing Lemon Lulu cake that is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

5. Sarah Alexandra Weekend Shirt in The Right White. Start January off on the ‘Right’ foot! Give your wardrobe a fresh new white shirt. Whenever I don’t know what to wear I put on a white shirt and I instantly feel good!

6. Min & Mon. My new obsession! This company is on to something. The most whimsical, fun and clever handbags you have laid your eyes on in a long time.  Also, based in NYC but made in Columbia, South America.  I met one of the founders of the company, Catherine, the last time I was in NYC and was thoroughly impressed with their creativity and ingenuity!

Let’s Party!

12.11.2017

As it has been said countless times; it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Thanksgiving has come and gone, thus ushering in the 2017…

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Let’s Party!

As it has been said countless times; it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Thanksgiving has come and gone, thus ushering in the 2017 holiday season. Many believe giving gifts is what makes the holidays special, and be sure to check our gift guide to find something for everyone on your list. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love tearing into a beautifully wrapped box, or counting the presents under the tree? However, what would the holiday season be without parties? Whether you are going to an intimate cocktail party, glittering gala, or a bubbly weekend brunch, the holidays are never complete without celebrations! To give you a little inspiration, we found some of the most glamorous, over the top, parties ever thrown. While you may not be able to achieve the grandeur of these fetes, think of them as something to aspire to. If all this talk of parties has you wondering what to wear, don’t worry, we have some ideas for that too!

The Vanderbilt Ball

Known as the party that changed New York Society, Alva Vanderbilt’s 1883 housewarming party was the hottest ticket in town for the rich and fabulous. Vanderbilt hosted a costume party to welcome 1,200 of her nearest and dearest to her new Fifth Avenue home. The most memorable outfit belonged to Vanderbilt’s sister-in-law, who wore a yellow satin dress with batteries underneath that lit up a torch making her look like a golden Statue of Liberty. This party set the town abuzz and brought Vanderbilt to the top of the social elite.

Premiere of Les Noces

In 1923, a party was thrown for the premiere of Stravinsky’s famed ballet, Les Noces. The soiree, held in honor of the composer, was held on a barge that cruised down the Seine. Legend has it that because it was a Sunday, all the florists were all closed, leaving the hostess without anything to decorate the tables with. The hostess, Sara Murphy, a wealthy American expat living in Paris, decided to get creative with the centerpieces. She piled toy cars, clowns, stuffed animals, fire engines, and dolls on each table. Pablo Picasso, a guest of the party, rearranged them into a mini mountain, topped with a cow on a fireman’s ladder. Necessity is truly the mother of invention!

Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball

It would be impossible to write about parties without referring to Truman Capote’s legendary Black and White Ball. Held in New York City, at the Plaza Hotel in 1966, Capote’s party was the event of the social season. He invited top members of society, artists, actors, politicians, and writers. The dress code was simple, black and white. All guests were to wear a mask, and if you forgot one, no worry, they had plenty waiting at the door. One of the most elegant and beautiful attendees was a young Candice Bergen, who finished off her look with a white mink bunny mask.

Malcolm Forbes’ 70th Birthday Extravaganza

What do you do for your 70th birthday when you are a multibillionaire? Well if you were Malcolm Forbes, the answer was simple, fly 1,000 of your closest friends, on privately chartered jets,  for an all expenses paid trip to your palace in Morocco. The three day celebration featured non-stop entertainment, fireworks, and sumptuous feasts. Not to mention the honorary hostess for the evening was Elizabeth Taylor, Forbes’ then girlfriend.

Kate Moss’ Beautiful and the Damned birthday party

As one of the most famous models in the world, Kate Moss has also built up a reputation for being quite the party girl. It should come as no surprise that when she throws a party, it turns out to be one for the books. Her 30th birthday celebration began with a girl’s lunch at London’s Mandarin Oriental, then moved to Kate’s suite at Claridges, where Kate and her posse got ready for the big night. Kate was a vision in a sea of vintage blue sequins. The event was named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Beautiful and the Damned, in a nod to the wild and reckless era of days gone bye. The actual party was held at photographer Sam Taylor Wood’s home, but rumors have it that the after party, back in Moss’s suite, was where the real debauchery occured, running into the wee hours of the evening!

The Met Ball

Finally we finish with the crown jewel in the party crown, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Gala. This event is widely considered to be fashion’s biggest night out. Each year the evening kicks off the latest exhibit in the museum’s costume institute. The red carpet is a virtual who’s who of fashion models, designers, actors and actresses, and all those rich and fabulous! Designers create a one of a kind ensemble for a model or celebrity whom they escort to the event. It has become so popular, vogue.com has started live streaming from the red carpet! Forget about the ball Cinderella, take those glass slippers and head for the Met!

As promised, here are some ideas for how you might rock your Sarah Alexandra shirt this holiday season. We love the idea of pairing a crisp white shirt and a statement skirt. Cate Banchett looks stunning in this Giambattista Valli couture ensemble. We would pair this dreamy skirt with our Signature Shirt with Two Button French Cuff  in White Haute for a twist on the usual black tie dress code.

Emma Watson went from schoolgirl to fashion icon right in front of our eyes. There is no style she can’t pull off. She is the epitome of modern cool in this tailored black suit. Imagine wearing this with our Weekend Shirt in The Right White to make a statement at your next event.

Sometimes you have to loosen things up. Kirstin Dunst looks effortless, in this pairing. This full leg trouser and shirt combination would be a perfect alternative to a cocktail dress. Our Weekend Shirt in Silver Fox or Grey Expectations would be perfection with these pants, and we love the pop of color in the shoes!

Angelina Jolie never fails to serve up an enviable look. The softness of her shirt plays beautifully off the hardness of the black leather mini. Why not try our Signature Shirt with Two Button French Cuff in Blackout. It would be the perfect twist on the little black dress.