What we love here at A'maree’s is that our clients and friends are as diverse as our clothing, furniture, and objects. Many have the need for Maison Rabih Kayrouz gowns and other clients live a more casual-on-the-road lifestyle. Megan Griswold fits into the later category, despite drooling over many a gown herself.
We have known Megan for many, many years. Her style and spirit bring joy everywhere she goes. One part fashionista, one part best-selling author of The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies, and an all around renaissance woman. We asked Megan to serve as guest editor, documenting her travels in the Yucca Valley desert with long time friend and photographer Jenny Pfeiffer. Yes, the same location that serves for the talented Patricia Arquette’s new Apple TV series, High Desert.
What did you set out to share with this trip and photos?
The wondrous photographer Jenny Pfeiffer and I have been styling images together for years. We were talking during this last shoot about how we like to make images that are both pretty and unexpected, and always a sense of humor. Nothing is too precious. We’ve photographed everything from outdoor portable hot tubs in Wyoming, to tents in Texas, to barefoot running on abandoned airstrips in Kenya. We both appreciate how hard it is to photograph a perfectly made bed without a wrinkle in sight. On this trip, we explored the Yucca Valley desert, not knowing that the talented Patricia Arquette would call this town home for the new Apple TV series, High Desert.
What is your history with A’maree’s?
I love the atmosphere of A’maree’s. When I talk about my hometown (I was born and raised in Corona del Mar), it’s basically at the top of my must-see list when I recommend my favorite places, be it restaurants to beaches. So if I meet someone who is headed to Newport for the first time, I tell them not to be intimated by the stunning historic space, but to instead be inspired it, to ring the bell and head on in. I tell them that the people inside are as kind, welcoming and creative -- and as beautiful-- as the objects and clothing they showcase.
I still remember the first time I purchased something at A’maree’s when it was still on 17th street. I was headed to a wedding in Boston, and I found an Alberta Ferretti light pink, black and cream dress, with a rough-seemed taffeta silk coat (both on sale!) that made me feel so special -- like Holly Golightly emerges from a roaring 20s speakeasy. My friend’s children from that wedding are now in high school. I still wear both pieces. That’s the beauty of their collections, they are timeless and of-the-moment simultaneously.
I love the multi-generational and sisterly vibe of the place. I always say if I was one of the sisters, I would LIVE in the space, with the best view in Newport, a spectacular kitchen and the dressing rooms would be my bedroom. Doggies, friendly people, artists, and special makers coming and going. And you never know what interesting person you will meet while there. There is truly nowhere like it on the planet that I know about; and the thing about the sisters is, if they found someone, somewhere on the planet with a space as cool as what they have made, they wouldn’t consider them competition but fellow travelers.
I think of their entire team as curating artists.
Describe your personal style...
I think of style as an artistic and deeply personal expression, and every person a unique canvas. I am drawn to lots of color, and love the dress-it-up dress-it-down vibe at A’maree’s. I like unexpected juxtapositions. I believe in buying things you will wear just as you are today, not for the person you hope to be one day, you know? Sometimes my life is all day in sweatpants writing, other days it’s spring cleaning a yurt, or hauling wood or fixing a solar panel. Other days it’s remaking a bed for an arriving Airbnb guest. I try to dress in a way that is special to me, even if it’s just an ordinary day. I love the way clothing is layered at A’maree’s, and I try to integrate that into my closet. If you saw it, you would think, wow, that’s a lot of color in there. My advice is, go with your gut, but also, don’t be afraid to be daring. Expressing your happiest and most expressive self in my experience is not about wanting to stand out, it also helps people give themselves permission to be their most bold self as well.
Megan is the best-selling author of The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies by Penguin Random house, described by ‘Eat Pray Love’s’ Elizabeth Gilbert, as “In a world of spiritual seekers, Megan Griswold is an undisputed all-star. Working as a lay-interior designer is one of many side hustles that made becoming a full-time writer possible, Megan specializes in small spaces, from yurts and barns, to guest tents and Sprinter Van conversions. Her design work has appeared in Architectural Digest, Mountain Living, and Anthology magazines. With degrees from Columbia and Yale, she’s been a commentator for NPR, waitress, an acupuncturist in private practice, an Airbnb Superhost, mountain guide, and house cleaner. She lives between an off-the-grid yurt in Wyoming, a Venice Beach Airbnb operation and soon a tiny apartment in NYC.
What she’s currently working on:
Two writing projects at the moment, a new non-fiction narrative called, “Unpopular at the Yurt Park” about the crazy yurt community she has called home, and a tale of her work as de-facto Death Doula to her eccentric dying father who believed death was a philosophical misunderstanding, and medical care, unnecessary. For A’maree’s, she hopes to bring your clientele images and stories from local and far-flung places showcasing just how flexible and everlasting an A’maree’s wardrobe can be. Her current obsessions include: babysitting a horse named Sunday, the Edvard Munch Museum in Olso, and investing in a new Elder Statesman smoking sweater, and a Nick Fouquet hat.