we’ve got denim on the brain. with a new crop of J.Crew denim debuting this month, we asked a few friends to pick a favorite pair to take for a spin. here, Sarah Hoover, who works at Gagosian Gallery, slips into our selvedge toothpick jean for an afternoon in the West Village.

What person—dead, alive or fictional—wore denim best?
Jane Birkin. And if everyone else says that, then Brooke Shields.

We couldn’t help but notice—what’s the story with your industrial-chic box clutch?
One night at dinner my husband, Tom, asked me if my clutch fit all of my stuff in it well. I told him, “Yes, this is the perfect bag because it fits just my phone, wallet, keys and lip balm.” A few days later, the bag disappeared. I thought I’d lost it. Little did I know, Tom was making his own plywood-and-resin version, using my bag’s dimensions, in his studio. Months later, he gave it to me during our anniversary dinner at Balthazar.

Do you remember the first pair of jeans that you really loved?
My high school friends still make fun of me for my denim jumpsuit à la J-Lo/Britney Spears during the mid-90s. It may have had studs on it…

Photography by Bryan Derballa. Hair by Nathan Rosenkranz and makeup by Moani Lee, both for Beauty Exchange NYC.

Special thanks to VSF Flowers.

To shop our newest assortment of J.Crew denim, click here.

Instagram a photo of how you roll, pair and wear your favorite jeans with hashtag #jcrewdenim for a chance to win one of three $1,500 J.Crew shopping sprees. Our creative director Jenna Lyons will pick her three favorites, so, you know, get ‘grammin. Click here for more details.

In the Kitchen with…Sarah Hoover

last year, Jenna went over to her friends Tom and Sarah’s place. it turns out that 
Sarah, in addition to being stunningly beautiful and talented (she works at 
Gagosian Gallery), is a rather good cook. she served up an icebox cake that blew 
Jenna’s mind—so much so, Sarah made one for us and was kind enough
to share the recipe…
Your signature dessert…
I love making icebox cakes! They are the easiest things in the world. You just need
wafers (homemade or not) that are light and can soak up lots of whipped cream so
that they take on a cakelike texture. You also need organic whipping cream that you
beat yourself. The cakes look beautiful and complicated with all the layers,
but really you can’t mess them up!

Favorite outfit to cook in…
Honestly? My undies! It gets hot in the kitchen! And I wear this white linen, lacy
old-fashioned apron over it that my dear friend brought me from Hong Kong. If
that’s not safe to print, then say I cook in my blue J.Crew drawstring skinny
sweatpants and a tank top. They are easy to clean, but they look nice enough
to keep on when guests arrive.
We love the turntables in your living room off the kitchen (they were a gift
from her husband, Tom, who thought she should take DJ classes).
What’s usually playing on them?

All of my cheesy pop music! My husband hates it (I think he secretly loves it), so I
play it while I’m cooking because he’s usually too excited for dinner to complain.

We hear you’re known for throwing themed dinner parties on your terrace in
the summer. Any themed parties in the works?

Mexican is always a great summer theme, especially if you can get your hands on a
fun frozen-margarita machine. For my birthday this year, I’m having a mermaid
party, where we are going to grill lobsters and eat oysters and dress up like
modern-day mermaids. Very Daryl Hannah in Splash.

What’s always in your fridge?
Organic whole milk, organic eggs, coconut water, Coca-Cola (glass bottles only),
Sarabeth’s plum jam, Vermont Butter & Cheese lightly salted butter, an emergency
bottle of Dom. More mayonnaise than you could ever imagine.
Your ultimate comfort food?
Graeter’s ice cream.

Favorite place to have a meal in the city when you’re not cooking?
Balthazar. People relegate it to the realm of tourists, but it’s the best-run and most
consistent restaurant in New York. My mom has owned farm-to-table restaurants
since the 1980s, so I grew up understanding the importance of
quality sustainable ingredients.

Recent splurge in the kitchen?
I’m kind of a purist and don’t think there are that many specialty tools you really
need. But I did get some new Japanese knives that are pretty special.

Recent splurge in your closet?
A white Givenchy long-sleeve dress. I love long sleeves.

Sarah makes homemade chocolate wafers using a recipe courtesy of Smitten
Kitchen. (Find it here.) You can also use Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers,
which work just as well.

3 cups of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

To make the cream, beat together heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract until soft
peaks form. The trick is to under whip the cream. It has to be a little wet or else the
cake gets too dense. From there, on a cake stand, arrange the wafers side by side and
spread cream on top. Stack the wafers and cream until you’ve made several layers.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for several hours
or overnight to cool.

Photography by Bryan Derballa

For more on J.Crew Collection, click here, and shop Sarah’s favorite skinny
fleece pant here.

© 2014 by J.Crew. All Images and materials are copyrighted by J.Crew unless otherwise noted.

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