Evenings In Umbria

Look to the movies to see how costume can tell a story. Actress Maggie Smith has her stunning way with loungewear in the 2003 HBO movie My House in Umbria.* Total inspiration. Follow her example, and dramatize your summer with unforgettable (and so packable) slips, camisoles, and coverups from Jane’s Vanity. Wear them with swagger and jewels.

Smith’s movie character, Mrs. Emily Delahunty, is a woman of a certain age and past. Each evening she prepares for Umbrian cocktail hour by donning yet another long kimono or tea gown. To create an opulent look, she allows the garments to slip a little. Then adds outrageous jewels (in her case, from Bulgari). In the sensuous light and heat of Umbria, or in your own backyard version, who could want for anything else?

Start with Gilda & Pearl’s Midnight Jade Slip Dress and matching Long Robe. The teal silk is like a jewel itself. Note the flirty criss-cross back for the slip dress and opulent black lace trim for the robe’s traditional kimono sleeves. Off to the jewelry drawer.

Gilda & Pearl’s Jardin D’Ete line offers possibilities for mix and match with its floral print of navy, pink, and white. The Long Kimono, in silk crepe, will complement the matching spaghetti strap Silk Gown. Or could frame the starkly white Creme Brulee Pearl Camisole Set. Not to be outdone, the Silk Gown offers a perfect foil for the Violet & Wren Regency Stripe Maxi Robe in silk charmeuse. Folkloric accessories would suit.

Lake Como-based lingerie house For Restless Sleepers understands Italian evenings. Let their Cabotine Plumeria Peignoir Gown transport you. While the Huge Nymphaea Duster Jacket attempts to steal the scene. Add just a long gold chain.

Direct your own summer scenarios with stars from Jane’s Vanity.

*Adapted from the novella of the same title by William Trevor. 

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