Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quest Article

Ivanka Trump graced the cover of this Entertaining Issue of Quest.
Ivanka...what FABULOUS LEGS!

But moving right along...after 17 house guests, barely enough beds, a crack of dawn hike, a late afternoon swim in 48 degree water, a few thousand photos, and no running water in my kitchen sink (dishes were washed in the bathroom) the shoot at our place in the Gunks hits the press!
awosting reserve quest magazine jim fowlerGrowing up, one of my numerous chores that I recall not liking at all was raking and collecting all the leaves on either side of the gate-oh what I would have done for a gas powered leaf blower then!

This is Tommy Grossi on the right. He's head of our Hunt club, and was showing the boys some tricks to his trade...
They look thoroughly interested...but not quite outfitted for what Tommy has in store for them.
camilla bradley awosting reserveOur fabulous photographers suggested we all get up at FIRST LIGHT to catch sunrise on the cliffs. Needless to say, that did not happen.

But, we did make it to the cliffs. And it was well worth it.
camilla bradley hunter bootsThis is me, caught falling, which I suspect you find standard procedure by now.

awosting reserve ck bradleyHere are the cliffs up at Gertie's Nose in the Shawangunk Mountains in Gardiner, NY. Commonly known as "The Gunks", they boast the best rock climbing in the East. Only 1.5 hrs from NYC, this area is a worthwhile day drive. Holler in my general direction, I may just be here!

awosting lodge john bradleyAbove, Charles Darling and Chris Leach caught jumping into what they are about to find out is 48 degree fresh water. Oh what boys will do for bragging rights!
This is Chef John Novi, owner of the Depuy Canal House...a worthwhile culinary adventure if you come this way. He was sweet enough to make a wonderful meal for us...(and Simon...THANK YOU TOO!)
awosting reserve jim fowler camilla and john bradleyCarrie Fowler Stowe and her Dad, "Jungle Jim" as we used to call him...or Jim Fowler. I have never seen Jim in anything but safari/khaki, but I suppose when you are Jim Fowler, you never know when a wild beast might call and demand your attention. (Carrie and I are NO exception!) I am on the right with my dapper Dad who is surely wondering why he couldn't be in his jungle attire as well...

The whole crew gathers in the dining room around a table whose acorn dropped in 610 A.D. Crazy right? And the bottle on the lower left if 1871 Madeira, and still good! Taking a sip of that is an experience that I can't conjure words for.

The weekend and shoot came and went, and what a wonderful crew of friends and helpers we had! Thank you to Georgina Schaeffer and Quest for conjuring the idea. What will be next is the question...

-Trying to Keep my Footing, Bradley

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Playboy..the Vintage Years

I was 23 years old. It was mid summer, and my Dad and I were at the monthly Mark Vail Auction in the Pine Bush, NY which was a hop, skip and jump from our cabin in the woods. A set of vintage Playboys from 1964-1981 came up for auction. I was mulling about in the back of the room embarrassed to look at who was avidly bidding on the lot. I hear "I've got $ $350, no $400, $450 going once, going twice, SOLD to bidder # 800!"

Bidder # 800 was oddly familiar. IT WAS MY DAD. How could he? HOW embarrassing! I wanted to go run out to the car so that nobody knew I was with the guy, much less MY DAD, who just bought ALL the Playboys.

We got in the car. I was FURIOUS. He was laughing his head off. He said "sweetheart, I got those for you!" What? Did that make ANY sense? Well, after years of perusing them, it does. They have inspired me more than I could have possibly imagined, and he knew they would. The line :"I read Playboy for the articles" is actually a line I now understand. Except, I would add that I personally read vintage Playboy for the articles, fashion section, sketches, and most of all ads.
And thus we come to a 1968 edition with something called The Playboy Coloring Book:

Eloquent, frisky, colorful and fun. Well done Playboy. Hope this wasn't too frisky for some of you...there is oh so much more to come.

PS. Dad, you were right. Thank you!

-Color Me Happy, Bradley

Monday, October 26, 2009

Making of a Print

Another example of how prints are conceived at CK Bradley...

The New York Yacht Club wall in Newport has these FABULOUS Spanish roof tiles as a decorative detail in their wall.
I got up close with visions of a print running through my head...
changed the colors...
made it thicker...
added some color...
and dimension
And voila! Then our wonderful illustrator got to work...

and we had a photo shoot to sell the finished print on skirts and dresses...

From a wall detail outside the NYYC to a print for dresses and never know where inspiration might strike.
(Yesterday I was taking pics of man hole covers - stay tuned for what comes of that!)

-Get Creative, Bradley

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quest Magazine Photo Shoot at Awosting

I've been a bit out of touch these past couple weeks, as I have been far removed from a computer in the depths of my Awosting wilderness in the Gunks. Usually I go up there to hike, write, sleeeeeeep, get inspired and most importantly see my Dad, but this time is was to CLEAN. No chit chatting, no emailing, no old movie watching, no apple crisp baking; just scrubbing, polishing, sweeping, laundering, buffing, waxing, and more buffing and waxing. And for what you wonder? A good friend of mine, Georgina Schaeffer, asked me a while ago if Quest could do a shoot at our country place, and I said yes. And boy am I glad I did!

The cast of 17 crew and guests arrived Friday night and spent hours sorting out outfits for all the guests.
The boys had some good ensembles waiting for action...
Off to bed we went with an early morning wake up call. Had my Dad been there it would have been him blowing Revelry through his Boy Scout bugle at the first sign of light...
First was the 'Lover's Coffee' shoot on the deck. It's remarkable that Chris is so active so early....
Then a FRIGID hike to Gertie's Nose with the huckleberry bushes begging to be photographed.
The Hiking Crew

Note that I can't post the professional pics till the November issue of Quest comes much better ones to come. Mine are more of the 'outtakes' and sideline shots. To follow the latest hot spots and parties at Quest on Twitter, click here.
Now you ALL know I love to jump, fall, fly, and capture the moment. Mimi Crawford, our photographer, and I must have been sisters in a previous life, as she was a kin to all this and had us doing calisthenics all day...including having the boys go in for a dip.
Chris Leach and Charles Darling about to jump into a slightly nipply 48 degree pool. I'm not sure clothing off the 'models' is what Ralph Lauren, J Maclaughlin, or Lilly were hoping for when they sent up press samples, but it works for CK Bradley...
After their dip, the boys went off to meet with the Head of our Hunt Club, Tommy, for a lesson in all things MANLY. Darling is wearing RL I suspect here...lookin good!
And now you may laugh. Yes, that is me in a CK Bradley Bamba dress from last season, on a polar bear rug, with a hair piece and a chess board. The picture below was one of my mom from a shoot, and, well, why not attempt a recreation? Maybe a good Christmas present for my Dad instead of the super size set of AA batteries I always give him as a joke.

Then it was time for Cocktails. L-R: Betsey and Jim Fowler, Carrie Fowler Stowe and Camilla the new Sonoma Dress in Burnt Orange with Trim. (The dress is a limited edition as are all of our styles now, and comes with just trim on the sleeves too for a more daytime look. And in BLACK! So comfy and perfect with flats, heels, boots)

Now in case Jim Fowler rings a bell to you, it is because he used to be on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and was certainly the first Animal's a picture I love...

Finally in the Dining Room, Dads and daughters. And I can't forget Tigger, who was in the shoot for a bit, then retired to the kitchen where he was found nesting in a case of Rolling Rock.

Sunday came and it was time to go, but not before the crew did one last picture. It's one of our favorite looks: Lace Face.

Thanks to all the people that made this happen...the guests, QUEST, Mimi and her crew, John Novi at the Canal House and Georgina for dreaming it up.

-Tuckered and Tired, Bradley

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mom in a Playtex Girdle Commercial

My Dad always tells the story of how my Grandparents called from Japan to tell my father they had "...just seen Marilyn (my mom) on TV in a commercial!" My fathers quick response was, "Now Dick, (my grandfather) do you really think I would let Marilyn be in a commercial?" And then of course, Dick felt silly, and realized that it must have been a woman that looked remarkably like his daughter on TV. was my Mom.
She did a little modeling then, and had been brought into the film studio to show other models how it should be done. But they wanted to use her. My father was not happy, but was assured by her agent that the commercial would probably not even make it to prime time. By the late 60's it aired in 14 countries and was translated into 9 languages. Upset it had gotten this big, there was nothing my father could do. (He didn't want the love of his life on someone elses TV screen)

But I am happy it did air, as it is the only time I have ever heard my mothers voice. (I lost my mother and brothers in a car accident when I was 2...and thankfully had the best Dad anyone could hope for to raise me)
Here is the commercial...for women to be relieved we dont wear these, and for men to be happy they don't have to fumble taking them off women! And for me to hear my mother's voice.

The camera pans up to a beautiful woman, and what does she have on her mind? "My girdle is killing me!"
This series was lampooned widely on variety shows of the era, which was great for Playtex.
I think you need Real Player for this...

-Not Wearing a Girdle, Bradley

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Life of My CKB Tote, By Arianne Berger

The new CK Bradley website is being created as we speak, and one of the parts of it will include Guest Writers, asked to write about all things from travels and where to go, to CKB stories worth sharing.

Arianne Berger, head of the CKB Cheerleading Team(in uniform on Left above) and CKB intern in NYC a couple years ago, is now recent graduate of St.Lawrence University and has sent in the following stroll down memory lane about the life and adventures of her CKB tote.

The Life of My CKB Tote

I once read that Elizabeth Taylor, when asked to comment on today’s fresh female faces in Hollywood, had responded by saying that they “don’t look like they own their clothes.”

In the era of publicists and Perez, the brevity of a style can last just long enough for trendsters to purchase and then pack away when a newer fad is deemed “must have.” In my opinion, the best clothes and accessories are those that are well-loved, and therefore evidently well-worn - sun-bleached fabric, tears, and the odd stain are proof that it belongs to you, and is tailored by your life’s adventures.

I spied my first C.K. Bradley tote at Rags, one of my favorite boutiques to frequent when I visited my family in Greenwich. On one such visit, 3 generations of Laidlaw women simultaneously invaded the store at the top of The Avenue. Clearly, I was oh-so-excited when my favorite (and always chic) Auntie Suzy (picking up on my hints), bought me one of the totes for my 14th birthday. The blue floral tote became my favorite, and a quick part of my high school weekend uniform.

In college, the CKB tote still occupied my personal IT bag status, and luckily so, as on my first day at St. Lawrence, I spied my future best friend Samantha because of her equally well-loved CKB tote, and we sparked up an initial conversation due to the obvious commonality.

Later when I ventured to Costa Rica to work on a sea turtle conservation project, though I feel I can rough it with the best of them, I didn’t think twice about bringing my CKB tote with me along with my hiking boots, mosquito net, and lonely planet guide-book.

Over the past few years, an increasing collection of totes (I’m up to 5) accompanied me to the Uffizi as I gazed at Leonardo’s and Botticelli’s, to South African elephant sanctuaries, and on boats in the Seychelles en route to uninhabited islands.

Thinking about what has been “toted” is also an interesting reflection of my life’s adventures as I begin a mental list of the London tube maps, bathing suits, love letters, English reading assignments, carefully hidden to-go sushi and made-at-home kettle-corn smuggled into movie theatres, as well as the seashell treasures that I stashed in the inside pockets.

More recently, en route from London to Nantucket, I stopped by Newport to check in with the CKB gang. Of course, I couldn’t help but pick out a new one from Camilla’s personal archives in the warehouse.

You can bet that through bike rides to Sconset, ferry trips to visit my latest love interest, and autumnal quests to savor the last of summer on Great Point, the newest tote won’t look that way for long.

While I have yet to see it on the trendster pages of US Weekly and InTouch, my well-worn tote, though not a Kelly, Birkin, Louis or Marc, makes a statement of its own – and one that I much prefer to make.

Check out Arianne's blog

I'm just plain tickled. If you have stories about your dress or tote, email

-So Many Totes, So Little Time Bradley