The Gilded Ones
Alyson Redman Picture Perfect
THIS IS THE STORY OF . . .
what happens when a high-powered lawyer in her prime goes stone cold turkey on the big city and ends up across the country on a daily diet of mountain hikes.
Oh wait... did we mention her newfound affinity for country music?
Meet Alyson Redman, a Picture Perfect ex-lawyer, living her best life in not one, or two, but three incredible cities around the country. Alyson’s natural cool-girl style is a reminder that inner and outer beauty are just as glam as that new Gucci handbag.
Read about Alyson and her passion for fitness, her love of subdued fashion, her thing for vintage Volkswagons and why we’re officially low-key obsessed.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.
Four years ago, my husband and I made the very difficult decision to leave the city we called home for 15 years — New York. We relocated to my hometown of Bend, Oregon with our young son and two dogs. At the time we moved, I had practiced antitrust law for 18 years, and frankly, I was burned out. Fried. I couldn’t even remember what I was passionate about beyond sleep. So, when we moved west, I took a long and overdue break from work. It was either that or a break-down!
Even though it was scary at first, I walked away from the professional world in order to see where else life might take me. Right now, I am enjoying the simplicity of country life filled with natural beauty, quiet times at home with my family and healthy stretches of solitude. I take pleasure in the small day-to-day things that you overlook when you live and breathe the daily hustle in a city like New York. I feel best when I am physically active — whether skiing or hiking, in a yoga studio or at home on my Peloton. I like to sweat things out!
My husband spends some time in San Francisco for work, so we keep a small place in the Marina neighborhood. Once summer starts, we head to our vacation home in East Hampton, NY. We have the best of both worlds — mountains in the winter and beaches in the summer. We are truly geographically fortunate!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Good Design! I simply love beautiful things and good design. It does not matter the subject — whether fashion, home decor, product packaging or art. Even ordinary household objects. I really appreciate when someone or something gets it just right.
The Mountains. I took the mountains for granted when I was growing up in Bend. But I cannot live without them now. I am lucky to have a spectacular ski mountain at my doorstep. Mt. Bachelor stands at 9,000 feet with 360° of skiable terrain, and most years, a full six month ski season. It is also reasonably undiscovered (let’s keep it our secret). I have racked up 50+ days on the mountain each ski season since returning to Bend. Since many people are unable to ski midweek, I have embraced the joy of skiing alone. There are days when it feels as though I am the only person on that mountain. It is the best place for me to think and to find perspective and clarity in this increasingly chaotic world. Then, later in the day when I am back in town, I often catch a clear view of Mt. Bachelor on the horizon and it blows my mind and humbles me to think that I was standing all the way up there, at the very top of that massive volcano, just a few hours earlier.
New York. I will never be over New York. I am always inspired by the way passions run high in this city. People are here to be and do their best and I love that.
I am obsessed with Volkswagen buses! They have taken on “design classic” status for me. I love having a part in restoring and maintaining one of these rare and beautiful pieces of history. And I have learned more than I have ever wanted to know about the mechanics of these buses, having gone through a complete engine rebuild with original VW parts (not always easy to find). I am also deeply enamored with the VW bug and would love to restore one of those next.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Tomboy. Timeless. Luxe.
WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO WARDROBE PIECES OR LOOKS?
Much has changed since my city days. Denim is now a staple. The cold and dry high desert winters in Bend require me to cover up much of the time. I focus on great boots and coats, always with an eye for form and function. I believe in warmth and style, in that order. My closet is a sea of neutrals with some pops of brilliant color. I must confess to a mini collection of Birkenstocks amassed since high school. You can take the girl out of Oregon . . . My ski closet contains a mix of Arc’teryx, Patagonia and Burton gear. I gravitate toward head to toe black but at the urging of my husband, I have added a highlighter yellow Patagonia shell and some floral Burton pants to the mix. Now people can spot me on the slopes!
At the beach, I keep things very casual. I live in soft denim and easy cotton, silk or linen tops and dresses. I always have an eye out for the perfect black bikini or one piece. Most recently, I added a Dion Lee bikini and a maillot by Haight, both with super slim straps and exceptional fit and cut. You can always count on the Aussies and the Brazilians to design killer swimwear that is actually comfortable to boot! Xirena also does beautiful and colorful bikinis that fit the tomboy side of my aesthetic to a tee. And flats. Always.
I appreciate this place in my life, style-wise I know what I like intuitively, what feels good and what looks good. There is nothing that I need. I only acquire things that make my heart flutter.
FAVORITE MUSIC, ART OR ARTIST?
It is hard to pick favorites when it comes to music. I have eclectic taste! Over the past few years, I’ve taken quite a shine to country music. My English husband bought a Ford F-150 when we moved to Oregon, thereby completing his wild western dreams. The truck just happened to be tuned into a country station when it was delivered to us. I found myself giggling to songs such as This Ain’t No Drunk Dial and She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy. But I kept listening and enjoying and now I am hooked. I especially like Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert and Keith Urban. When my husband lets me, I play Pink Martini, a Portland based band, for hours.
I visited SF MOMA in June and caught an exhibit of René Magritte’s late career and I was entranced. I also loved a collection there of Louise Bourgeois’ spider sculptures. Viewing these sculptures made me feel as though I had fallen down a rabbit hole. My most recent art purchase is a photograph by Julie Blackmon whose work I have coveted for years.
TELL US YOUR FAVORITE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS?
My favorite travel memories come from visits to Paris and Greece, particularly Santorini and Mykonos. I’ve also been on two fitness retreats in the past couple of years with my East Hampton gym, Truth Training — one in Nosara, Costa Rica and the other near San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. The natural beauty in those countries was awe-inspiring and getting to do my favorite workouts with an ocean view and soundtrack was such a treat.
We understand that you made a career change recently. Tell us about that.
After nearly three glorious years focusing on my young son and my ski game, I began to feel restless. I recently was admitted to the Oregon bar, although I am still considering where that may lead. There’s not much demand for antitrust lawyers in Bend, Oregon. So, I am trying to figure out how to reinvent myself as a lawyer in a capacity that feeds my brain, my soul and my bank account. Oregon legalized cannabis for recreational use the year I moved back to Bend. As a part of my Oregon bar admission process, I took a few courses on cannabis law. I found that the legal issues arising from the direct conflict between federal and state laws in this area are complex, varied and nothing short of fascinating. Lately I have been thinking hard about the professional opportunities that may result from this relatively new and rapidly growing industry and how I might be able to apply my regulatory and transactional legal experience to this space.
As I alluded to earlier, I’ve been keeping myself busy on another new venture. Modeled after a business operated in Bend by my good friends, Phil and Jesse Guillen, I am restoring a 1973 Volkswagen bus and converting the interior into a fully custom vintage photo booth. I completely fell for Phil and Jesse’s bus, Ruby, and I love the idea of a business that is designed to make people smile! I could not stop thinking about how perfectly suited this business would be at the Hamptons and how well the retro design of the bus captures the classic surf and beach aesthetic of the East End. I had hoped to debut my bus, Betty, this summer, but we hit a few unexpected mechanical snags. I decided to make sure all the kinks have been ironed out well before we officially launch. So stay tuned — Betty will be making her debut as the Hamptons VW Photo Bus later this fall.
WHERE WOULD YOU TELL OUT-OF-TOWNERS TO GO TO GET YOUR BEND, OREGON EXPERIENCE?
People typically come to Central Oregon for two things — outdoor activities and craft beer (local cider and kombucha companies are also gaining recognition). I only love one of those things. But my brother and husband would direct good beer seekers to Crux Fermentation and Deschutes Brewing Company.
Tokyo Starfish and Oregrown are two local cannabis dispensaries that are worth checking out for their cool design and branded merchandise (of the non-plant variety). As for outdoor activities, there’s just so much to do. My husband’s favorite days are when he skis in the morning, swims laps outdoors in the afternoon, and finishes the day on the golf course, home in time to watch the sun set behind the Cascades from our deck.
Our favorite places to eat in town: Washington, Barrio, Drake and Ariana.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR SAN FRANCISCO EXPERIENCE?
San Francisco is a great city to explore by neighborhood on foot. And the weather usually cooperates. Our apartment is within walking distance to the shops and restaurants on Chestnut and Union Streets, and when I need the exercise, I will walk (or rather, climb) up Fillmore, where retail bounty awaits on the other side of the hill! I visit The Future Perfect and March for major eye candy. My family always has dinner at A16 on Chestnut at least once per visit and I recommend it to anyone who visits San Francisco. I am happy if I can fit in a workout or two at the TRX Training Center. For activities? Exloratorium, SF MOMA, California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum (do not miss the viewing tower) are musts!
NOW TELL US ABOUT YOUR EAST HAMPTON HAUNTS!
There are so many “happy places” for me in the Hamptons! Okay — here we go!
Food. I love Clambar, the pizza at Citta Nuovo, an early dinner at the bar of Nick and Toni’s (zucchini chips always) and the outdoor patio at Dopo La Spiaggia in Sag Harbor. When we are up for the journey, we take the ferry out to Shelter Island for dinner at the Vine Street Cafe.
Sheer, utter beauty. I must have driven past the entrance to the Longhouse Reserve in East Hampton a thousand times before I finally made it inside one day a few years ago. I was astonished that this beautiful place, an oasis of sculpture and gardens, was tucked away behind a dense wall of bamboo just a few miles away from my home. I visit the Longhouse Reserve at least once or twice every summer now.
Eye Candy. My favorite shops for unique and beautiful things are Clic Gallery in East Hampton, Ganeaux, Lazy Point and Love Adorned in Amagansett, and Ruby Beets and Sylvester & Co in Sag Harbor.
Workouts. The best workout and trainers that I have found anywhere are located at Truth Training in East Hampton. I try to get there 4-5 times per week in the summer — in addition to Thursday night’s Bells and Brews — a 45 minute outdoor kettlebell workout followed by good times with good people at Montauk Brewery.
AND FINALLY — NYC. YOU WERE A NEW YORKER FOR 15 YEARS, AFTER ALL.
I love New York in a way that is hard to define. It stands in stark contrast to the forests and mountains I departed for, but it is awesomely beautiful just the same. I read recently that Kurt Vonnegut referred to New York as Skyscraper National Park. I just love that description. I hope always to stay connected to New York. It’s the place where I met my husband, where my son was born, where some of my best friends still reside and where a piece of my heart always lies.
My one absolute favorite standby restaurant is Balthazar — especially for weekday breakfasts or lunch at the bar. I can, and usually do, spend a whole day at ABC Home, starting on the top floor and working my way down, with a break to recharge at ABC Kitchen somewhere along the way. And I nearly always make it to Barneys (with my bestie) for a chunk of any given day. And I love walking the Highline!
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GOLD?
I’ve always had a thing for gold. My first special piece of gold jewelry is a charm bracelet that I received as a girl. I continue to augment that bracelet to this day. I search for charms whenever I travel or to commemorate significant milestones (most recently, a personalized dog bone for our newest dog, Digby). Gold feels classic, luxurious and always modern. It can elevate a look instantly from casual to elegant. I use it to dress up without sacrificing simplicity.
WHAT AUVERE PIECES CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
My first Auvere piece had to be the matte gold Vela Lariat necklace — it called to me. I am also drooling over the Double Cone Lariat necklace, the Callen rings (I like to stack the polished Callen ring with the satin finished one) and the Cage pendant and chain. I plan to pick up a few Astra bangles and mix them in with the other bracelets that I wear.
Loved our convo! Check out my VW Bus, Betty, at Hamptons VW Photobus! One last thing. May I snag those Astra bangles while I am here?
ALYSON IS WEARING:
- Look 1: Vest: Cedric Charlier; Jeans: Burberry; Shoes: Aquazurra; Sunglasses: Saint Laurent; Black Alligator Clutch: Peryton; Jewelry: Auvere (Dagger Earrings; Callen Rings; Golden Moon Ring; Double Cone Lariat and Tall Maze Cuff)
- Look 2: Top: Rochas; Jeans: Burberry; Shoes: Fendi; Sunglasses: Bottega Veneta; Jewelry: Auvere (Cage Rope Necklace; Open Cage Cuff; Callen Rings; Golden Moon Ring)
- Look 3: Top: CP Shades; Jeans: R13; Shoes: Fendi; Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples; Jewelry: Auvere (Astra IV Cuff; Callen Rings; Vortex Ring; Flex Earrings Tall)
- Look 4: Top: Helmut Lang; Jeans: Burberry; Shoes: Aquazurra; Sunglasses: Saint Laurent; Jewelry: Auvere (Torsion Earrings; Double Y Cuff; Callen Rings; Golden Moon Ring)