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What Miyako Nakamura Wears, Drinks, and Shops for in Upstate New York

This holiday season, M.M.LaFleur’s Chief Creative Officer is embracing nature, lounging fireside, and adding decorative pieces back into her wardrobe.

By Caitlin Abber

   

As temperatures drop and holiday stress rises, we’re getting back to the basics of what makes spending time inside so nice. So, in addition to hosting a series of virtual events called Inside Time, we reached out to several women in our community to find out how they spend their Friday nights. Next up is Miyako Nakamura, the Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of M.M.LaFleur. Below, she takes us through an ideal Friday at her new home in New York’s Hudson Valley.

This holiday season, M.M.’s Chief Creative Officer, Miyako; her husband, Taka; and their 4-year-old daughter, Koh are taking things slowly as they settle into their new home in New York’s Hudson Valley. Reconnecting with life outside of New York City has been restful and surprising at turns, and it has provided Miyako with some much-needed time and space for reflection, ideally in front of a warm fire. “Of course, what I like about spending weekends upstate is nature—I never realized how powerful it is to spend time with very basic elements,” she explains. “For me, the most powerful re-encounter was fire. We have a wood stove running during the winter and an outdoor fire pit during the summer, and I spend quite a bit of time just gazing at the flames. I find it therapeutic to try to capture a shape that is never the same for even one second.”

For fireside lounging, she’s been reaching for either cashmere or terry pieces —luxurious and easygoing essentials perfect for peaceful contemplation. On chilly mornings, she also leans on laid-back silhouettes in indulgent fabrics, like the soft pima cotton Paige tank layered under the luxe cashmere Theo pullover.  

After a busy summer spent furnishing the new home and hosting visitors, Miyako and her family are looking forward to spending time in their new space, just the three of them. For Miyako, that quiet time includes exploring antique shops with her daughter and enjoying apple cider from the farmers market, mixed with a little whiskey and cinnamon for extra warmth. “I love indulgence and maximizing the feeling of celebration, but I am terrible at planning anything,” she explains. “So for me, those indulgent moments are always about coincidental encounters and finding something to celebrate, rather than celebrating something specific that I need to plan.”

Speaking of Miyako’s daughter: In recent years, Koh has played a pivotal role in helping her mother renew her own sense of unexpected holiday magic. “I was never really a holiday or events person, and I didn’t do anything special for those occasions,” says Miyako. “But lately, I’ve been finding beauty in stamping solid memories during the holiday season so I can remember what each year was like.” This year, Miyako is excited to get a real fir tree and decorate it with all the antique decorations she and Koh have collected in different towns upstate. “In the city, even though I always wanted to get a real tree, I couldn’t bear the thought of buying one only to throw it out on the street after Christmas. But in a more rural setting, you can grab trees from local farms, and when you’re done with them, you cut them up and use them as firewood in the fire pit.”

Despite her distaste for making plans, Miyako is heading back to the city a few times this winter and knows exactly what she’ll do while she’s there. As the head of M.M.LaFleur’s design team, she’s always searching for inspiration for upcoming collections (she’s currently working on Fall 2022 and Spring 2023), and Miyako has scheduled a team offsite that includes a visit to the Dior exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. “I am very much looking forward to it. I can’t wait to see how the exhibit influences the team’s work.”

The sharp tailoring of classic Dior fits neatly with her current return to slightly more defined and ornate pieces in her own wardrobe. “I have been dressing quite simply for the last couple of years (like everyone else)—nothing decorative, not even a lot of patterns, because it just didn’t feel right at the moment. But recently, I pulled out a lot of my vintage pieces that have patterns and embroidery, and I’m really enjoying mixing them in.” One recent favorite outfit was a vintage plaid vest layered over the Owen T-shirt (Miyako’s favorite top this season) and the Mejia pant. The result is laid back and comfortable with just a touch of whimsy. “I tend to like dressing down, and I never wear clothing that is too restricting,” she explains. “So easy cuts have always been my thing, and I just dress them up or down depending on how I feel, more than on where I’m going.”

Miyako is also exploring fresh ways to style suiting, as fewer women are wearing suits to the office, even though blazers are still in high demand. “Just one sharp blazer can put you into the right mode,” she says. She favors the Bennett, Gaia, and O’Hara blazers for very different reasons. The Bennett provides sharpness, while the Gaia adds an interesting twist. “I love the shape of the peak lapel, so I wear it when I want to give a bit of edge to an outfit.” She loves the O’Hara blazer because “it’s just a convenient men’s-style jacket that you can throw on like a cardigan.”

With an easy-going, layered, and detail-oriented touch, Miyako mixes styles from M.M. with eclectic pieces from her own closet to create a wardrobe that has a truly unique perspective. Like the Christmas ornaments she and her daughter gather, the garments that make up her wardrobe may be lovely, but they are made more valuable by the memories they represent. “I have a lot of sentimental pieces in my wardrobe. I have this shawl that my friend (who used to be our collection director) brought back for me from her home in India that I adore. I have vintage bracelets that I wear nearly daily that I found on the first trip my husband and I took to Morocco. I feel at ease wearing these pieces, knowing that my life is a collection of moments and people that I cherish.”

Miyako creates an ideal Friday evening much like she pulls together an outfit. She leans on laid-back aesthetics but makes sure to include details that bring her joy. Along with the spiced cider, there will likely be some buttery, seasoned rice topped with whichever flavors are on hand—cilantro, sesame seeds, fried eggs, and garlic soy being top contenders. And for the soundtrack, she’s turning on the fantastically talented Mitsuko Uchida. Miyako first heard Uchida’s Chopin while sitting by the fire this summer and was “completely blown away.” 

The combination of a warm drink, crackling fire, plush cashmere, and elegantly calm Chopin seems quite hard to beat on a cold November night, but we would recommend you test it out for yourself to confirm.

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