Basking in the glow of a fading summer, a time when long, sun-soaked days begin to give way to crisper desert nights, a young Los Angeles couple canoodles in a private corner by the hotel pool. They’ve run off to Palm Springs for a tranquil night at the Colony Palms Hotel— the Spanish Moorish palace built by Purple Gang mobster Al Wertheimer in the 1930s that also housed a hidden downstairs speakeasy and brothel. In those days and the decade that followed, you might have glimpsed Hollywood bombshell Carole Lombard slinking around the pool with Clark Gable. The place still hosts stars seeking seclusion amid its maze of flora-trellised guest rooms and quiet spaces to lounge, and it’s become a favorite among modish up-and-coming Angelenos chasing the storied resort experience of a former era.
Katie Bofshever Segal
Katie Bofshever Segal
VIDEO: Katie Bofshever Segal and Alex Segal give a behind-the-scenes perspective on the shoot.
Such was the case for Katie Bofshever Segal and Alex Segal, channeling Lombard and Gable and savoring a moment of respite — away from their house in the hills of Laurel Canyon and the bustling city below, where Alex co-owns Croft House, a California-modern handcrafted furniture design firm, and Katie works as a stylist, dolling up celebrities for glamorous red carpet events.
“It’s like you’re in a whole different environment, but the proximity [to L.A.] is hard to beat,” says Katie. “And to be able to dress accordingly is a treat. You’ve kind of got that resort vibe across the board [in Palm Springs], which is so fun — a lot of high-waisted trousers and collared shirts. You see it cycling back in fashion right now.”
Born of the 1920s and ’30s, as emboldened women traded modest maxi skirts for linen culottes and swim dresses for spaghetti-strapped, midriff-baring bathers, resort wear emerged as an emblem of affluence. Photographers followed socialites on holiday, clad in lightweight fabrics and colors reminiscent of the seaside, to document the enviable exploits in warmer locales from Biarritz to Palm Springs. Fashion houses quickly took note and established resort (or cruise) wear as a style staple available in boutiques at destinations around the globe.
Alex wears an All Saints shirt and Paul Smith shorts, Bloomingdales; Vans shoes. Katie wears a Zimmerman romper, Saks Fifth Avenue; Ann Taylor sandals, anntaylor.com; Filu hat.
Katie wears a Piazza Sempione top, Saks Fifth Avenue; Victoria Beckham shorts and Thierry Lasry sunglasses, stylist’s own.
Katie’s pursuit of a career in fashion materialized after college. “Someone opened my eyes to the world of styling,” she explains. “As soon as I was aware of it, I kind of dove in headfirst.” These days she’s clothing the crème de la crème — actresses Connie Nielsen for the Wonder Woman premiere, Emmanuelle Chriqui for the Women’s Choice Awards, Minnie Driver for the Vanity Fair Party, and Maggie Siff for the SAG Awards.
The couple met at Wesleyan University, a liberal arts school in Middletown, Connecticut. Katie had been recruited to play softball and saw an opportunity to pursue studio art while reconnecting with her roots. “My family’s from New York,” she says, though she grew up in Santa Monica, “and I’d always been interested in living on the East Coast.” Alex, a Philadelphia native, was studying English and, as timing would have it, the two met and the butterflies of a budding relationship metamorphosed into wedding bells seven years later.
They’ve shared desert excursions, together, with friends, and for a family wedding. Katie once came with a group for a Louis Vuitton Cruise show at the former Bob Hope Estate in Southridge and helicoptered home. The posh, retro ambiance sparks creativity. “The desert in general is so great — it’s colorful and I love the Old Spanish architecture. It’s so easy to draw [style] inspiration from that, or the midcentury feel of something like the Parker,” she says.
“And it’s fun to come down and go to the furniture stores for inspiration,” adds Alex. “There are so many vintage pieces, which we draw a lot of inspirational cues from [at Croft House]. Just to pop in and out of shops that I’ve never seen before — there’s so many. You can find a new place every time you come down here.”
Alex wears a J. Lindberg shirt, Saks Fifth Avenue; Vince pants, Bloomingdales; Nixon watch, nixon.com.
Poolside, plans are made to explore town — to wander museums and furniture showrooms, to find a court for a leisurely game of tennis, to grab a nightcap. Alex whispers something from the foot of the chaise lounge they share beneath a canopy of palms and Katie laughs, tossing back her head, clutching her sun hat, blonde curls tousling softly around the nape of her neck. Soon they’ll set off, but for now, Katie reclines comfortably in her man’s arms and closes her eyes for a few minutes more of the sun.
Katie wears the Tory Burch Aubrey shirtdress, toryburch.com; Tod’s shoes, stylist’s own. Alex wears an Etro shirt; Vince Camuto pants; Vans shoes.
Katie wears a Marc Jacobs dress, Saks Fifth Avenue; Ann Taylor shoes. Alex wears a cos T-shirt; Vince button-down shirt, Saks Fifth Avenue; Scotch & Soda pants, Bloomingdales; Vans shoes.
Produced by: Shawn Merz
MODELS: Katie Bofshever Segal and Alex Segal
Hair: Serena Radaelli
makeup: Jo Strettell
Location: Colony Palms Hotel, Palm Springs CA
Alex wears a 0909 sport coat and Theory pants, Bloomingdales; Vince Camuto shirt and shoes; Katie wears a Zimmerman dress, Saks Fifth Avenue; Celine shoes, stylist’s own.