The multi-hyphenate gets back on the saddle with his new book Equestrian Life in the Hamptons
Equestrian living is a time-honored ideal anchored on a love for horses, the great outdoors, and sport. The fine art of saddlery and enduring traditions of dressage have inspired timeless looks to ever grace the runways. They have also penned iconic design narratives for luxury houses like Hermès and Ralph Lauren. Life in the stables that has also permeated the fields of interior design and literature. For fashion journalist, interior designer, and book author Blue Carreon, burgeoning equine passions compelled him to get back on the writing saddle.
His newly-launched book, Equestrian Life in the Hamptons, presents a comprehensive and insightful look into traditions and everyday on-goings of riding culture in the eastern end of Long Island. “I’ve always been inspired by the equestrian look of British weekend house parties with hunts in the scenes from movies like Gosford Park and Remains of the Day… I like the polishes and tailored look of equestrian clothing–from the shiny riding boots to the well-cut blazers,” begins the multifacet creative director of Blue Carreon Home.
At home in the Hamptons
When Blue moved to New York, he pursued his dream of finding the ideal country home away from urban life. A property in the Hamptons caught his eye, and what was initially intended as a weekend retreat soon became his permanent address. His eponymous label Blue Carreon Home Line also found its very own abode in Red Horse Market of East Hampton. Blue observes, “Horses and equestrian sports are such a part of the fabric of life in the Hamptons. Everywhere you drive, you are bound to come across barns and paddocks with horses. In the summer, you might even find yourself chancing upon a horse show or a polo match.”
It was only a matter of time before Blue himself fell in love with the equestrian life distinct to the Hamptons. “What I enjoy the most is connecting with the horse, learning to trust, and feeling of freedom when cantering around an open field,” he intimates. Equine passions and time spent on the saddle have influenced his personal style and way of living. “In terms of fashion, I find that my day-to-day colors of white, navy and khaki are pretty much the colors of the equestrian world. I go from a riding lesson to running errands in pretty much the same outfits when I’m in the Hamptons.” When designing spaces, Blue has also begun to integrate his love for riding into his creative expressions. “Horsey elements add a certain flair and connection to surroundings,” he observes.
Back on the saddle
His journalistic instincts kicked in when he dove deep into the riding culture and history of the Hamptons. Although a relatively novice rider, Blue felt that a book had to be written about the equestrian lifestyle distinct to the Hamptons. “There are a lot of equestrian books,” he explains. “But I felt that there was a need for a title that was set in the Hamptons because there is so much equestrian history out there. Equestrian sports and caring for horses remains a strong passion for many residents.” In his book, Blue details: “The towns of the Hamptons are dotted with barns and stables, co-existing with shingle-style mansions with sweeping lawns, and modernist beach houses with uninterrupted views of the dunes and ocean beyond.. There are barns that open to boarders and those looking for riding lessons. Some are private and exclusively for their owner’s uses, like Madonna’s and fashion photographer Steven Klien’s”
Equestrian Life in the Hamptons offers an incisive look into the equine lifestyles of Hamptonites. It is a detailed compendium that brings to life the rich history of riding in the towns, hamlets and villages of New York’s most beloved getaway. A project that took a year before completion, each page paints a vivid picture of the Hamptons during and beyond its storied summers. Blue says, “My magazine background came in handy when it was time to write the copy and edit the images. I used that experience to create–I hope–a compelling narrative.”
More than a picture book, Blue’s tribute to his Long Island home and passion for riding was as a result of countless collaborations with barn owners, riding instructors, riders, grooms and livery. “I photographed 80 percent of the images in the book where I got to apply my decades of experience as a fashion editor,” he discloses. “I was also fortunate that photographers like Sophie Elgot, Richard Phibbs, and Shelli Breidenbach let me use some of their photographs.”
The book is also rich in historical references, some from the archives of the East Hamptons Library. The 143-page book also features testimonials from pioneers and leading figures of the equestrian circles. Blue adds, “[Philippine representation in the equestrian world] is [also] growing. You will find in Equestrian Life in the Hamptons a photograph of Colin Syquia, a rider who competes under the Philippine flag at the Hamptons Classic.”
Riding through time and seasons
Equestrian Life in the Hamptons was written, edited, and bound not only to satisfy readers with a passion for riding thoroughbreds. “It is for anyone and everyone who loves horses and the Hamptons.” Imagery photographed and curated by Blue captures the mood, style, and stunning backdrops that distinguish riding in the Hamptons. The book offers insider access to private spaces like Meadow View Farms of show jumper Stephanie Riggio Bulger and the elegant English country home of dressage rider Zoe Hoare.
Blue’s poetic narratives also take us through time and the seasons. He seamlessly integrates historical references that add context to more current events and occurrences in the riding circuit of the Hamptons. But more than that, it’s his ability to paint an idyllic picture of the famed summer destination throughout the seasons that captivates. In the book, Blue elaborates: “After the season, those brave enough ride their horses on the beach past the rows of mansions perched on sand dunes. The waves of the Atlantic Ocean carry with them crisp wind that hints of the Autumn season to come.” In Equestrian Life in the Hamptons, the equestrian life, style, and saddles are seasonless.