Friday, September 5, 2014

Amanda Brooks at Home in Oxfordshire, England

What have you enjoyed most about living on the farm?
"How much being outside has contributed to my general well being." - Amanda Brooks

Amanda Brooks is the the author of I Love Your Style: How to Create and Redefine Your Personal Style, published in 2009. She had become a fixture at fashion circuits and her network of equally stylish acquaintances is incomparable. Her fashion icon status earned her an exclusive position at Barney's New York. Despite any retail experience, she acted as fashion director and helped the department store with merchandising, trend lists, and filling front row seats for the biannual fashion show festivities. She was living the dream life of any fashionista, but put that all aside to carry out a different dream, one that might be as polar opposite as you can get to a city socialite! 
Two summers ago, Amanda packed up and moved her family from New York City to an old farm in the English countryside. The farm had been in her husband's (Christopher Brooks) family for generations. There was much speculation as to why the style icon decided to leave New York, disappearing from the fashion world entirely. Brooks did not deny that her time at Barney's was stressful, but she was quick to cite an inspiration for the move - Ree Drummond's The Pioneer Woman. She admired the idea of "having a career on your terms, anywhere." 
I follow Amanda on Instagram and her account is the best way to start the morning. Usually as I am wiping sleepies from my eyes, I'll pull open Instagram and see what the more 'exotic' accounts (aka the ones across the pond) have been up to while I've been in dream world. Amanda posts numerous pictures of dewy mornings in the English countryside with hounds, sheep, wild flowers, equestrian boots, and berry cobblers. You can almost hear the rooster cock-a-doodle-do and envision the sun slowly rise over the endless land, lighting the world with a soft glow - fields of gold. So beautiful and so serene. After seeing her pictures, nothing seems more perfect in life than pushing aside an old quilt, rolling out of bed, slipping on wellies and a Barbour to greet the horses. **A cup of warm tea optional**
 I didn't know Amanda's back story before following along her "farm table" adventures - but am even more intrigued. She has been able to keep up with her passion in fashion, recently collaborating with Zara this summer. And, she makes countryside chic look so good!

Below are a series of images taken in 2012 of the family in their countryside home.

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