A Fashion Icon in Taos, NM, Really!

My Facebook Wall is a buzz with Liz comments, but tonight I'm inspired to write about another fashion icon. Not as flashy or famous as Liz, she preferred turquoise to diamonds. She was blond, a model, artist and serious collector. Her treasure was Indian blankets and Southwestern jewelry. I discovered her while in Taos, New Mexico. Her name? Millicent Rogers.

Sometimes it's a stretch to "find fashion" while traveling. I mean not every place is, well, fashionable and I've got to say; I was thinking that might be true of Taos. I was wrong. Millicent's brand of Park Avenue meets Pueblo is the original bohemian chic and it was in Taos that she developed this style. What's more an entire museum was founded to appreciate the Native American art she lived with, commissioned and collected.

The Millicent Rogers Museum is an easy "to do" on your list of cool places to check out while in Taos. One look at Rogers' jewelry collection will have you grabbing for arrant turquoise in your own jewelry stash and donning huaraches. Channel Millicent and add pearl earrings. Besides the ode to Millicent gallery, there is plenty of serious Northern New Mexican art, rich in colors and textures, to center your psyche in Taos valley.

And lets face it; the real treat of any museum is often the STORE! In our little group was Richard Kessler of the Kessler hotel group. He honed in on the estate pieces of R.C. Gorman, a notable and recognizable Southwestern artist. I particularly liked a square turquoise ring set in gold Kessler picked out. Gold with turquoise is a new combination to me and I like it!

Kessler's good taste and passion for art and design was also evident (lavishly so) at the El Monte Sagrado where I stayed. The challenge with a "destination" hotel, "experiential," to use one of Kessler's word, is to make it authentic, but not entirely so. El Monte Sagrado's "art direction" hit the right chord, just enough country Taos twang but with the luxuriousness of an orchestra back up. I liked it!