the GUEST room: ANN MASHBURN
We welcome Atlanta style icon, Ann Mashburn, to our guest room this holiday. Ann began her fashion career in editorial in New York in 1984 at Condé Nast as an assistant to famed VOGUE Fashion Editor & Stylist Polly Mellon and worked alongside such visionary greats as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Steven Meisel. Following her time at Vogue, she served as an editor and stylist for GLAMOUR Magazine, and then stylist at J.CREW where she worked alongside her soon to be husband, Sid. This began their lifelong creative partnership and since opening their iconic namesake shops, Sid and Ann have continued to put Atlanta on the map as a fashion destination! We’re so thankful to Ann for constantly being a local source of style and for sharing some of her inspirations and favorite holiday memories with us this season…
What inspires you?
Creativity with restraint. Less amidst all the more that is out there.
Tell us about YOUR favorite guest room
I actually love any guest room in the home of someone I love to visit… even a futon will do for me after great conversation. That said, I love a tightly-made bed with a good reading lamp, since it is such a treat to read myself to sleep. My friend Molly always switches out the framed photos on the guest room dresser to include sentimental pictures from our past together, which I find so sweet and personal. She has the most amazing garden and will always have something wonderful-smelling in a bud vase as well. They aren’t big gestures, but such a nice one-up from just laying out clean towels.
Tell us about your most recent favorite find…
La Mirande in Avignon – most beautiful hotel I’ve been in. It was originally a cardinal’s mansion (in the 1300s!!) across from Pope Palace, and they have restored it so amazingly. It is filled with cool art and traditional Provençal décor, toile and floral wallpaper, and very chic low beds.
We were lucky enough to be there the night of the week that their restaurant is closed, so they serve dinner in the kitchen basement around one big table. It was special and delicious and all very low-key. The garden has just the right amount of wildness to feel very real and not overly fancy. I am already planning my next visit – I told my daughters that they are invited if they will take a cooking class with me.
What is one thing about you that would surprise people?
I used to be blonde! It went dark after I had a few babies, and it’s gone a bit silvery now so sometimes even I forget I wasn’t always a brunette. I was recently introduced to a business friend that I hadn’t seen in like, 20 years. He didn’t quite recognize me at first, but when I reminded him of my name, he said, “you mind if I ask you something personal? Did you used to be blonde” I was like, “Are you kidding – do you mind if I kiss you???”
What is your definition of TIMELESS STYLE?
Timeless style is knowing what works for you… but keeping your eyes just open enough to newness so that you don’t get in a rut. You can wear the same thing every single day and look amazing, but how you feel about it is the key – “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” and all of that, but it’s no fun to feel stuck or sick of your look. (I think that goes for a lot of things, not just clothes!) I say this constantly, but I had fantastic role models when I worked at VOGUE in the 80s – older editors who were so chic and comfortable in their own skin. Their clothes were enhancers – not distractors… do you know what I mean? You could never even remember the specific pieces they had on, just that they looked fantastic. These women loved fashion and change, but they always exuded such a sense of self… they had a real sense of past AND present.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Christmas morning of course. We have a big family so our present exchange takes forever. We never wrap anything until the night before and we are always up late slapping paper and writing silly sweet personal messages that hint at what’s inside. Really sloppy, but kind of adorably so – in the morning, you can always tell which presents were wrapped at 3:00AM vs. 11:00PM because the handwriting gets harder and harder to read as the night gets later. These end up being almost more important than what is inside…I won’t say it is exactly competitive, but everyone really makes an effort in their cleverness, and we all just laugh and laugh. It is so dear and we all just love it!