Style Features

CANDID: Valerie Macaulay

Valerie Macaulay is co-founder and chief creative officer of La Ligne, which offers eternally classic, French-infused, striped clothing for every part of your life. She and co-founder Meredith Melling joined me in St. Louis last May for a SALON x LKS gathering and celebrated Mother’s Day with our friends at Vicia and Nurses for Newborns.

What are you doing to keep your kids engaged throughout the day while you’re all at home? Both of my children are in school, so they are sent daily tasks and activities, which we do both in the morning and afternoon. We are lucky to be in a rural part of the country right now, so we go outside on our property to take nature walks looking for signs of spring and catch tadpoles in the streams. It’s been wonderful to have the ‘other’ classroom to explore. 

How are you taking care of yourself and keeping sane in the midst of the new normal? The first thing I did was stop listening to the news incessantly. I think I was addicted to breaking headlines. I now read a ton. I just got through photographer Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still and Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa and am about to start Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel and Station Eleven, the latter of which is about a fictional global pandemic that ravages the world (presciently published in 2014). I also am finding time to exercise. There are a lot of Instagram personalities providing free workouts on IGTV like @karliekloss and @valerialipovetsky; @juliepunjolbenoit offers a live Pilates class every other day. It’s in French but easy to follow, and why not learn another language right now? It’s a great supplement to the FIAF virtual class I take on Mondays. Also, the nature walks and fresh air are probably the real reason I am still sane. 

What’s your biggest challenge right now? Definitely navigating this new landscape as it relates to my company and scaling back in production and design. We really are focusing our efforts on conserving our business and protecting our employees, which, as a young and small business, is challenging. 

What is your ultimate stay at home garment that’s giving you coupled confidence and comfort? Honestly, it is my La Ligne Bonne Nuit pajamas. The tops double as button-downs, and the bottoms are easy to lounge, work out or meditate in. 

How are you reinventing your Mother’s Day this year? I think we will still get dressed up and maybe take a walk around the house to pretend we’re going out for brunch. I certainly will have wine at noon and am just looking forward to maybe sleeping in, although being awoken for breakfast in bed wouldn’t be so bad. 

About this interview series: As Mother’s Day approaches I’ve thought a lot about the importance of shining a light on all moms, particularly in the midst of this unprecedented new normal. The world is changing, but honoring and celebrating mom remains intact. Mothers come in many forms, those who gave birth to us or adopted us; our grandmothers and best friends; and those who found us in times of need and invited us into their lives. As part of my CANDID interview series, I had the pleasure of connecting with inspiring women who are mothers, founders and dynamic individuals. They share their stories of navigating the now and how they’ll re-invent Mother’s Day this year amidst this ongoing pandemic. I will add features daily to until May 10, and all will be featured on here as well. -LKS

Laura Katherine Sawyier is a women’s personal and wardrobe stylist and founder of the SALON X LKS event series. She is based in St. Louis and New York City.