- Hi! Could you please start with just describing Where do you live? Where are you from? What do you do or what did you do? Just general things you are comfortable sharing.
My name is Gretchen, and I’m a mother of two little ones. My husband and I met at Oxford in England (I studied literature and he studied history), and spent our first years of marriage working as freelance journalists, living on the road between countries, for a time in a tiny house in California, an empty château in France, a small cottage in England, and many place in between. We now live in France, where we make our own wine.
- How did you start your Instagram photography?
I’ve always taken photographs. My father had a darkroom in our house growing up, and I still have several of my grandfather’s old cameras. I love to preserve all the beautiful little moments of daily life - of country walks, tea parties, gardening, baking - and I also love to create images that tell a story, perhaps ones that evoke a whole fairytale in a single picture. With two little ones I rarely have time to write these days, so photography has become my way of storytelling. I usually begin with an outfit, or a place, and create an image from that point of inspiration.
-Where do you draw inspiration from? Is there any daily rituals you have that you admire and treasure? Or do you have any special days during the week?
The loveliness of daily life matters a great deal to me. We don’t go on big trips or save special moments on the weekend. My husband is a wonderful cook and it’s not uncommon for us to have a candlelit four course dinner on a Tuesday, or to bake a cake to celebrate a rainy day, or have a tea party with china cups with my children, or dress beautifully just for family lunch. We all have moments of trial and difficulty, but a cup of tea or a timeless dress, an open window or a vase of flowers, can bring sweetness and joy to all seasons of life. My favorite time of day is always the early morning, just as it’s getting light outside - I love the quiet promise of what’s to come.
-What is your favourite season of the year?
We’re approaching autumn now, which is my favorite season. I love that first breath of cool air, the freshness after the languor of summer, the promise of new beginnings, and the golden leaves and misty mornings. Winter, with its firesides and old traditions, is another favorite time.
-What is the brightest memory from your childhood?
Having children has really let me be a child again in the best way. They feel everything so deeply, read people with clarity, and have the most wonderfully original way of seeing the world. From my own childhood I remember my mother reading to us every night, playing alone outside for hours, helping my father garden. I particularly remember the time in-between doing anything - when there was no school, no other classes, no plan, and I was left alone with my own imagination. I want my own children to have space and time to dream and play and discover.
The Painter Shirt and Patti trousers have been the most delightful summer wardrobe, a set to wear from morning until evening, suited to days by the water, to countryside walks, to painting and reading at home - elegant in their simplicity, practical in their comfort, and timeless in their design. The shirt reminds me of old French artists shirts, and I’m looking forward to pairing the trousers with a sweater in the cooler days ahead. Truly something to cherish for seasons and years to come!