TalyaAs we wrap up summer, we’ve asked one last accomplished woman of style whom we admire to come up with 10 suggestions for a sweet season. This week we invited Talya Cousins, an editor and creative director. Born and raised on a kibbutz in Israel, Cousins spent 10 years working as an editor for Condé Nast—most recently at W Magazine, where she was the senior accessories, home. and jewelry editor. In 2011, she ventured online to build and oversee the merchandising, production, and creative departments for OpenSky.com. Today she writes for various publications and provides creative direction and online user-interface consulting for projects centered around jewelry, fashion, and food.  She is a member of Creative Collective Col-Lab and lives in New York City. —Ed.




Favorite Summer Destination: Islesboro, Maine.  Our friends Philip and Louise have a beautiful, rustic farmhouse with six bedrooms. Every summer a group of us head there for one week. We hike, swim, sail, play bocce, and cook together every night. It’s a magical little place.

IsleboroIslesboro, Maine. Image courtesy of Tayla Cousins


Current Summer Reading: The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon



What to Wear to a Summer Party: For an easy day-into-night look, I often pair a Ter Et Bantine tailored slim cropped trousers with a Zero + Maria Cornejo lightweight top. For more formal events, I love Dries Van Noten’s organza semi-sheer printed skirts with his sleeveless vest-like top. 

ZeroMariaCornejo Dries

Top from the Zero + Maria Cornejo Resort 2014 Collection; Skirt and Vest from the Dries Van Noten Spring 2013 Collection


Favorite Summer Fragrance: Grapefruit Cologne by Jo Malone

JoeMalone Ford

Necessary Summer Indulgence I try to avoid sugar, but I can’t resist my friend Zohar Zohar’s “Dates & Halva Roses.” They’re a Middle Eastern play on the sticky bun. Gooey and delicious and baked only on weekends at her sweet little bakery, Zucker Bakery, in the East Village. 



Preferred Seasonal Spa Fix: My treat is acupuncture at the Continuum Center for Health & Healing in New York City. 


Favorite Housegift for a Summer-Weekend Invitation: I bring a bag of my homemade, sugar-free, olive-oil granola, and I custom make a label that references the host or the occasion.

MyGranolaTayla’s homemade granola with handwritten note for her host.


Favorite Summer Entertaining Tips: 

IMG_7541Cucumber, Shrimp, and Melon Gazpacho

  • Place a cold pitcher with home-brewed herbal iced tea by the front door so your guests can help themselves and cool down right as they come in.  I like buying several loose teas (Fairway has a great selection) and creating my own concoction. This summer’s hit was a mix of hibiscus, chamomile, lemongrass, and rose. We named it “The Blossom Dearie.”
  • If you have leftover basil or mint, place a few leaves in an ice cube tray, fill with water, and freeze. They make for a fun little surprise in any drink.
  • Even in the summer, I love starting a meal with a soup.  This Cucumber, Shrimp, and Melon Gazpacho is one of our favorite. 
  • I try to mix things up when it comes to plating.  I serve the above gazpacho in my husband’s grandmothers’ vintage bone china teacups; corn on the cob in small terracotta pots lined with parchment paper; and affogato (espresso coffee over ice cream) in Mason jars from the local hardware store.


Preferred Summer Accessories:

  1. Asics running shoes. I finally found a pair that’s lightweight, but still offers plenty of support. It’s perfect for running outdoors. 
  2. Linea Germania lightweight hand printed silk scarf
  3. Anna Sheffield’s pinky rings.
  4. My husband’s Borsalino straw hat.
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Anna Sheffield Pinky Ring Borsalino Straw Hat



Current Film on Your List to See This Summer:  Cutie & the Boxer. 

 Cutie And The Boxer, Official Trailer (2013)

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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen August 31, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Talya Cousins makes us all wish that summer could last long enough for us to try her special tips for entertaining, read a fascinating new detective story and swan around in those delightful outfits. Alas, Tayla, your post for Fashion Friday is the last in our series for this summer, though we hope that you will join us again next summer. We want to thank our board member, Colleen Caslin of Verdura, for introducing us to these stylish women who know a lot about fashion but even more about how to have fun! This is the second summer that our readers have benefited from Colleen’s collection of fabulous women. Next up: Transitions to fall.

  • Toni Myers August 31, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I will miss this fun and even amazing series. I am pretty sure I even ordered something based on what’s here; of course, would love it all. The books, the food, the tempting vacation spots. It indeed should be filed under pleasures.