The ever chic, former Vogue editor, Grace Coddington once remarked, that the only thing a women really needs to add to her wardrobe for Winter, is a new coat!
This year we need a very warm and cozy one. Preferably something bright and cheerful to counter the current climate. I’m putting one of these on my birthday wish list.
Walking into Aventura it appears at first as if one had wandered into yet another Taos Art Gallery, rather than an International purveyor of a bespoke line of jackets and coats.
Designed by Lynn Wilkinson, cut from brilliantly patterned, thick woolen weaves, jackets and coats hang suspended in mid-air around the bright and very modern interior that is the showroom for this stylish and beautifully made line of outerwear, just beyond the old boardwalk, across from Cafe Tazza.
Bob Freudenheim – Lynn’s partner and husband – explained the reasoning behind these artistic displays. “I wanted to show the pieces in three dimensions with no hangers, so yes in fact, it is more like a gallery of wearable art.”
Lynn Wilkinson and Bob Freudenheim started Aventura shortly after moving to Taos from upstate New York in the mid 90’s, after travelling the world. Aventura was first used as the name for a line of ski wear for women designed by Wilkinson. She eventually abandoned it altogether to concentrate on the outerwear she has since become famous for.
Aventura’s vests, jackets and coats are as much about function as they are about form; cocooning the body with the cosy warmth of a favourite blanket. In fact several pieces in the newest collection are cut from Pendleton blankets and were inspired by the venerable company’s patterns and history.
Using both familiar and lesser known Pendleton designs, Lynn Wilkinson has come up with a collection that is at the same time, classic and quintessentially American.
“These latest collections are a major directional change for us,” said Bob. “We really wanted to send a message about American and International style being not so far apart these days.”
“Although the use of the Pendleton blankets is clearly American in design,” he continued ” the cut and style of the pieces remain International.”
I noted that the coats are also very obviously inspired by the place that has been their home for more than two decades.
“Absolutely,” Bob concurred, “our message is definitely Made in Taos, but one of our coats would not look out of place in Paris or New York and we have customers in both of those cities among others.”
Lynn Wilkinson’s aesthetic sensibility comes via her ancient Finnish blood lines which have imparted an inherent affinity with cold climes and the subsequent knowing of how to keep warm and keep one’s spirits up during long, cold and dark days.
The couple have long used a Finnish term to describe their designs. Kalevala loosely translated, means “the spirit of nature”. The Scandinavian winters are among the longest and darkest, and there is no doubt that her love of pattern, colour and the need for a good, warm coat, derives directly from her DNA.
With Aventura’s latest collection the designer has come home to the spirit of the American West – these coats, incorporating iconic Pendleton weaves, are a nod to the place Fruedenheim and Wilkinson have called home for more than two decades.
At Aventura, all of Wilkinson’s popular designs as well as a few one of a kind pieces are available, along with the current collection. She will also create made to order garments from fabric of your choice.
These are pieces for posterity; collectible and wearable all at once. They will never go out of fashion, will hold their shape and can be worn for years due to their timeless, classic cuts and high quality fabrication.
This is American style at its best; Relaxed but sophisticated, well made clothing that lasts.
For more information about Aventura and to see more of Lynn Wilkinson’s spectacular designs, please visit their Pinterest site linked below or call the showroom directly at 575 758-2144
Aventura is located at 129 Kit Carson Rd in Taos.
Photographs and illustration c/o Aventura