When I arrived to Grethe’s and Sophie’s for our shoot, they had turned their Upper West Side apartment into a closet with racks filling their living room, ready and willing to share. I couldn’t help but notice a similar inclination towards warmth and storytelling in the voluminous amounts of family Polaroids that were taken by their legendary fashion photographer husband and father, Arthur Elgort, on the walls.
The producer and director of opera in Grethe is apparent in her passionate storytelling of how she acquired her remarkable collection of Azzedine Alaia. With the kind of enchantment that she wishes to convey in the theater, Grethe’s enthusiasm of how her husband and Mr. Alaia had talked their way into the debut of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place overshadowed the fact that she had actually choreographed it. It was there that the iconic designer became so inspired by Grethe’s Norwegian charm that he promised to send her a wardrobe that would suit her busy New York life. Arthur returned from Paris on his next trip with L.L. Bean bags stuffed full of the structured, yet effortless Alaias. All made earthy by her signature cowboy boots, Grethe makes the silver trench stately and timeless, the white cocoon jacket warm and maternal and the black suit powerful and understated.
Sophie is an accomplished skier and burgeoning fashion photographer. She admires her dad’s talent for relating personally to his subjects as a method of achieving a riveting photograph and the elegance of her mom’s style, but she is very much her own person and definitely not in the shadow of her great role models. More Americana wholesome classic than the European demure tone of her mom, Sophie mixes navy polka dot shorts with a red blazer and a ruffled tan suede coat with denim. Much like Grethe’s ease in dressing, Sophie knows the wisdom of looking unfussy and pulled together. Her white leather Chloe coat, DVF dress and jean shirt are youthful equivalents to the unfailing attire of her mom’s.