The World of The Carmel Cabana Dress

Carmel Cabana Dress


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How I was Inspired

Carmel has a reputation for being elegant in cool, Hitchcock blonde kind of way. It’s not a sunny place, per se: its often foggy and muted and romantic. The foliage along the coast heading down the Monterey Bay changes decidedly in Carmel: spartan beach dunes transition into hillsides dense with Monterey pines and cypress trees, deep green and regal. Carmel’s architecture stays low to the ground, as if trying not to be noticed. Carmel is the Grace Kelly of Monterey Bay cities: cool, gorgeous and understated.

The Power of Suggestion

The silhouette of the Carmel cabana dress is a tribute to dresses my mother wore in the 1970s: long sleeved and narrow to the ankle with feminine detailing like a pretty neckline or cuffs. She would buy them at a department store called I. Magnin (now shuttered) that had a classic ladies department full of hostess dresses and feminine lounge wear. These were the days when a woman reached for a supple cotton dress on a Sunday morning to go run errands and have friends over for lunch. There was a sense of refinement and mystery in the way a woman dressed. The eye was drawn to her wrist, her hand, her foot peeking through the hemline; the fabric moved with her body offering glimpses of her shape. It is a sartorial moment in time I wish to revive, for its subtlety and simple poetry. Sometimes more can be read between the lines – more that is memorable – than in something explicit. The Carmel cabana dress acknowledges that a woman’s allure is amplified when more is left to the imagination.

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