Why Don't You Channel ... A Flawless Classicist?

by KATHERINE NEIFELD · October 21, 2010

Welcome back to our new feature, Why Don't You Channel?, injecting some sartorial schizophrenia into your look. Last time, we showed you how to channel Patrick Bateman. This week, with Hermes everything, some Emily Post, and a spot of tea, you're on your way to channeling a flawless classicist.

Patron Saint: La Grand Odalisque by Ingres

Modern Incarnation: Olivia Palermo, Daphne Guinness, Gwyneth Paltrow

In Your Hope Chest: Somewhat ironically, there's much overlap between the favored houses of the Classicist and of Eurotrash. Your must-have list contains: A Louis Vuitton monogram shawl in greige-y Verone (your best friend on the jet besides Evian mist) and a Jumbo Alma in red Epi leather. A black Hermes belt, reversible to tan, and Twillys in abundance. A double-breasted Burberry trench. Ferragamo Varina ballerinas in black patent. Shortie gloves and seamed tights from Wolford are always present accoutrements. You also worship at the altar of the White Button Down. You're saving your first Chanel boucle tweed suit for your wedding day.

And In Your Jewelery Box: Cartier Mini Love rings (since everyone seems to have the bracelet.) You stack the yellow and rose gold on your left hand, until the emerald-cut solitaire set on prongs arrives. Hermes Clic Clac Bracelets, white with gold hardware, black with silver, and a taupe-y color for when you can't decide. Costume jewels are acceptable on a piece-by-piece basis and in moderation, and therefore not properly advisable here.

What to Sleep In: This Four Poster Bed made up with Battenburg lace linens. Unfortunately there's no chambermaid to lace up your corsetry as you cling to its posts, at least not one you'll freely admit to employing. (I said tightly, Arabella!)

Your Beauty Regimen: Nothing thrills you quite like your hair done up in a big bun, demanding proper posture and accentuating your cheekbones all at once.

In Your Library: The Oxford English Dictionary.  And Emily Post.  On a rainy day, you'll take Edith Wharton from the shelf, but cautionary tale Lily Bart gives you frightening tremors. (Which in turn require the possession of another classic, Xanax.) You also take letter writing quite seriously and block off an hour each Tuesday for Keeping Up With Correspondence. Which you compose at your darling antique secretary with Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake on in the background.  Your personal stationery is dove grey, with an embossed script monogram of your initials and home address at the top.  You live for calling cards. Anytime someone's calling card contains an e-mail address, you unceremoniously throw it out. Into your gilded wastebasket.

Favorite Flower: Tea roses, which you wear fashioned as a corsage anytime you leave the house after dark.

Signature Scent: Chanel No.5.  It's your good fortune that you actually like the way it smells on your skin because you'd be physically unable to speak anything other than the legendary parfum's full name when asked what-is-that-you're-wearing-it-smells-divoon-darling.

Where to Dine: Now that The Plaza has descended into a dubious state of affairs, you've set up camp at The Pierre. You're also taking your meals at various preservationist functions, so you're spotted at the New York Historical Society gala and the New York Public Library Young Lions party. But the pinnacle of your Epicureanism - and your day-to-day life - really arrives at teatime. Cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches are like air to the Classicist, and currant scones accompanied by rosehip jam like water, so you receive guests at the tearoom at Bergdorf's. Or TEANY when you're feeling modish.

What to Drink: You really like the name of an Old Fashioned, but it's just too fruity a beverage to actually imbibe. You're lobbying the International Bartenders Association for the addition of a Very Old Fashioned, which likely contains Pimm's Cup. The other name you like to pronounce is Bone-Dry Cappuccino, and that you will take. Twice a day.

Gadget of Choice: You're a bit of a Luddite and would never choose a Kindle over an actual book with musty library pages but alas! the modern world in which you live demands that you sometimes visit the world wide web.  So you own a new generation MacBook Air because it's docile and least offensive technology you could muster, and at the very least you can hide it amongst your first edition tomes in this case from BookBook.

On a Budget: You wouldn't immediately think it but channeling the Flawless Classicist is rather accessible with a keen eye for Vintage and a nod from Lady Luck. Visit What Goes Around Comes Around or Los Angeles import, DecadesTwo.

The Cross Dress: Gentlemen, the most formal mode of evening dress, white tie, hasn't changed since its inception. Properly tailored, please.

[Pictures, clockwise from above: Odalisque via Artchive; Olivia Palermo via Hills Freak; Chanel No.5 via Style Is On; BookBook.]