clos-ette case: Tata Harper

Posted on February 02, 2012 by Melanie Charlton

There’s a reason Tata Harper Skincare has developed a cult following: her 100% natural products (crafted on her Vermont farm, natch) are as powerfully effective as they are good for you. But to us, the woman behind the burgeoning brand is just as enticing as the gorgeous-smelling, life-changing potions she develops. Whether she’s working her Champlain Valley farm or running around N.Y.C., the native Columbian has perfected a style that’s equal parts classic and comfortable. Here, the skincare guru opens up her closet to us, and talks vintage, Valentino, antique decor and more.  

clos-ette case: Tata Harper
Tata Harper's celebrity dream closet

How would you describe your personal style?

Timeless. I’m not really into following designers or trends –I’m more into timeless pieces. I think I'll be able to wear a lot of it when I'm like 60 years old!

What’s your daily uniform like when you’re at the farm?

It depends on the season. In the winter, I’m usually in chunky sweaters (like really comfy ones from Ralph Lauren), leggings, Hunter or UGG boots, and Patagonia. So – really functional, comfortable gear. In the summertime, I’m in summer dresses or shorts. It’s pretty ‘country’.

What’s in your city closet?

In the city, it’s more about contemporary designers that all have timeless designs. I love Rag & Bone, Alice & Olivia, Thakoon, and Philip Lim. I love Isabel Marant – I have tons of clothes by her. I like to be comfortable, so I’m usually in flats around the city. I have a collection of heels, and I just don’t even wear them anywhere.

 DIY shoe shelves            Tata Harper's celebrity dream closet

Inside the closet in Harper's Vermont home

We’re crazy about your wooden shelves. What’s the story behind them?

Around my farm in the Champlain Valley, there are tons of apple orchards. So those are antique baskets from apple picking. I bought them two years ago – I picked like 30 for five bucks. I stacked them in my closet, and put them in my mudroom. They are great shelves, because you can actually see everything. Sometimes in closets, it’s all nooks and crannies and you can’t really see everything you have because it’s hidden.  These actually allow you full exposure, and they’re the right depth. So they were a good find!

How is your passion for the environment reflected in your wardrobe?

There are two [eco-friendly] lines that I really love, and I don’t feel like I’m just wearing a piece of linen cloth. I really like the stuff from Bodkin , and I also really love this label called EA Apparel from a designer named  Liz Ratcliff in L.A. She has really nice designs with sustainable fabrics like organic cotton. I also buy a lot of vintage – probably 30% of my closet is vintage. So, I reuse tons of clothing. [Clos-ette tip: extend the lifespan of your clothing by hanging them properly. Our hangers are specifically designed to maintain garment shape].

Consider yourself warned: Tata Harper's Hydrating Floral Essence is addictive

What’s the most cherished item in your closet?

Oh my god, I have many! One of them is a belt that my grandmother gave me. It was one of her favorite pieces. The buckle is the first powder case that she bought in Europe. It’s this really nice golden powder case that has all these stones in it, and you open it and there’s a mirror in it. My grandfather actually melded it to the original buckle.

What are your favorite investment pieces from over the years?

My Valentino gowns. I love them. Those have been my biggest splurge, and definitely worth the investment. They’re beautiful, you can wear them many times, and a lot of them are really timeless. You can change accessories, and they look like a new piece. Completely worth it.

Whose closet would you like to raid?

I would love to raid Ralph Lauren’s wife – Ricki Lauren’s – closet. She has amazing, amazing stuff. I love the way she puts herself together. 

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