Town + Country

Photography by Jen Miyako McGowan and Jeffry Raposas. Styling by Erica Timmons. 

Hand-knit Sweater by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Dress, stylist's own. Tee, Afterlife Vintage. Belt, 49 Square Miles. 

Heading out into the pastoral setting of the abandoned Marin Town and Country Club in Fairfax is like taking a trip to another time zone.

Since 1972, the out-of-the-way retreat, once a popular weekend destination, has remained virtually untouched, a Northern California version of Sunset Boulevard, with seven empty swimming pools, a beautifully haunted crumbling Victorian manor and acres of pristine nature. 

The property’s sprawling estate, Bird’s Nest Glen, is a California registered landmark and the former home of Lord Charles Snowden Fairfax, a California pioneer and politician from Virginia known for hosting one of the Golden State’s last political duels, a stand-off between his friends Charles Piercy and Daniel Showalter (Showalter killed Piercy).

Years later, it provides a more peaceful backdrop for works by Academy of Art University Fashion Design alumna Janine Villa, whose coats, made from recycled Shetland blankets, complement the oversized hand-knit sweaters from fellow University MFA Knitwear Design alumnae Stephanie Gelot and Jasmine Gonzalez, as well as the bleached denim collection by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design.

Developed in course FSH 478 Editorial Styling, taught by Flore Morton, Assistant Director of Fashion Styling, the students’ work styled by Erica Timmons captures the uniquely DIY spirit of Northern California in a mash-up that combines a contemporary mood with classic looks.

They bring the town to a respite in the country that makes you want to get away from it all — and still stay cool.

On Sofia: Top by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Denim Jacket, stylist's own. On Carly: Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Shirt and Jeans, stylist's own. 

On Sophia: Jacket and Dress by Xiowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Black Boots, stylist's own. On Carly: Vest by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Sweater by Bom Kim, MFA Knitwear Design. Jeans and brown boots, stylist's own. 

On Sofia: Jacket and Dress by Xiowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. On Carly: Vest by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Sweater by Bom Kim, MFA Fashion Design. Jeans, stylist's own. 

On Sofia: Top by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Belt, 49 Square Miles. On Carly: Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Shirt, stylist's own. 

Jacket by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Denim Pants, stylist's own. 

On Sofia: Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Knit coat by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. On Carly: Jacket by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. 

Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. 

On Sofia: Coat by Jeanine Villa, MFA Fashion Design. Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. On Carly: Coat by Jeanine Villa, MFA Fashion Design. 

On Carly: Jacket by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Jeans and boots, stylist's own. On Sofia: Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. Knit Coat by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Socks and boots, stylist's own. 

On Sofia: Sweater and Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. Jeans, stylist's own. On Carly: Vest, Afterlife Vintage. Jeans by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. 

On Carly: Jacket by Jeanine Villa, MFA Fashion Design. Top, French Textile Collection by MFA Fashion Design students. Skirt by Nancy Garcia, MFA Fashion Design. Jeans by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. On Sofia: Sweater by Jasmine Gonzalez, MFA Fashion and Knitwear Design. Silk Scarf and Jeans, stylist's own. 

Jacket by Nancy Garcia, MFA Fashion Design. Sweater and Scarf by Stephanie Gelot, MFA Knitwear Design. 

Vest, Afterlife Vintage. Jeans by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. 

Dress by Xiaowei Liu, MFA Fashion Design. 

Models: Carly Rick and Sofia at Stars Model Management. Make-Up: Jill Mlynczyk at Scout Agency. Hair Styling: Alicia Ann Garica. Styling Assistant: Caitlyn Mahaffey, BFA Fashion Styling.