The Moms

Merriman Mathewson

FundraiserPhotography & Story by Lauri Levenfeld

I enlisted one of my fave friends and fashionistas Merriman Mathewson to reveal the essentials for Spring and model the current must-haves. Running around constantly shuttling three boys, Merriman is always dressed perfectly urban-chic. With the help of stylist Mary Gonsalves Kinney of Style Army and retail darling Elizabeth Charles, TMP is all about the Best of Spring. And you will love the story of Merriman, a mom dedicated to her amazing family and a list of incredible causes.


I am a New Orleanian who has embraced San Francisco. I am a mother to three boys who I am trying to impart my love for both places, as well as, raise to be gentlemen with an appreciation for art, music, literature, culture, and spending time outdoors. But manners and not missing the toilet would be a nice start! I love good food, wine, live music (in smaller venues)…and spending time with my husband Eric and friends doing all of the aforementioned.

I spend time volunteering with For the Bayou which is a Bay Area-based non-profit 503c which raises funds to restore the eroding wetlands of the Gulf Coast (we lose a football field of wetlands every 30 minutes!) and provides humanitarian aid in event of a disaster. 

I am also involved with Blue Bear School of Music’s Annual Blue Bear Benefit. The event provides crucial funding for our nonprofit mission and music education programs that enrich the lives of more than 800 Bay Area underprivileged youths. And because we spend time in Big Sur, we are also active in supporting the Henry Miller Library (most amazing small live music venue in the redwoods you will ever come across) and Big Sur Food & Wine. And, of course, I spend time  volunteering at the boys’ school, Stuart Hall for Boys. Since my youngest Larkin just started kindergarten, I am now researching a new, small project.

My favorite designers are Phoebe Philo for Celine (ingenious simplicity, understated elegance), Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent (rocker cool), MSGM, Isabel Marant and Mother jeans.  Art – I love the quirky and unexpected with a sense of humor. Sarah Ashley Longshore (NOLA), Natasha Law, Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close, and I’m working with Meryl Pataky on a neon piece.

I enjoy trying to expand my artistic horizons while traveling as each culture has such a unique perspective. I try and see live music at a small venue about once a month. On my current playlist rotation, I have Fitz & The Tantrums, Bon Iver, The Lumineers, Fleet Foxes, the National, The Cults, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. I cook frequently- both New Orleans favorites and healthier California cuisine. I love eating out and trying all the new SF restaurants; the food in San Francisco is amazing and the produce is second to none. I love to take small trips throughout the year with my husband, friends, or kids and ideally, have a big trip a year to somewhere new…last year was Japan with the boys. Yes, we are crazy.

Merriman’s Must-Have Items For Spring…

I already have a lot of color in my closet, so I’m tending toward black and white this spring with pops of color in accessories.


1. Midi Skirt – lusting for the Celine black mikado one (tried to send the hubs to their boutique in Paris to bring one home …but that did not work out…no you are not surprised.) But until a birthday, this lovely Tibi embroidered might fit the bill.


2. Simple Sandal-in black or white ..or both! Dreaming of the Saint Laurent one (also available in a higher heel): but unless we hit sale, I might have to lower my sights to the Alexander Wang which is lovely as well and selling fast! Or the Woman by Common Projects is perfect with shorter heel and rivet detail but can’t locate my size.


3. Wide brim Rag & Bone beach hat.


4. Some bracelets or necklaces by Holst & Lee for that pop of color.


5. My dream outfit: Hedi Slimane Le Smoking for Saint Laurent (Veronica Beard’s might be more realistic and their blazers have a perfect fit) with a black skinny pant or my Celine tuxedo pant. Lastly these awesome studded Saint Laurent Ranger ankle boot. But I seriously doubt I would have the patience to lace these up, buckle everything, and then, wear a super simple outfit as these have so much going on. But they are the bomb.

The Elizabeth Charles List for Spring (via Mary Gonsalves Kinney). Photos below.


1. Isabel Marant Beslay Boots in Chalk

2. United Nude Apollo Lo Sandal

3. Jerome Dreyfuss Vladimir Bag in Nude

4. Charlene Court Jewelry

5. Lera Jewels

6. KBL Sunglasses

7. S. Carter Jewelry

8. Carven Jungle Moto Jacket

9. Jerome Dreyfuss Nicolas Bag in Calfskin & Jojo Perfore Calfskin Bag in Nude

10. Isabel Marant Play Heels


Kids: Powell William-age 10, Swain Shaw-age 7, Larkin Charles-age 6


When each boy was born, they received a satin crib quilt from Leontine Linens – amazing, heirloom linens that are handmade in the US. These have stood the test of time and the boys still love them.

Powell is into science and reading, so he’s a big fan of the Exploratorium and California Academy of Sciences as well as Books Inc. He just read all the Harry Potter books, Hunger Games Trilogy and entire Roald Dahl collection in eight weeks.

Swain is a talented artist ( they all are ), but he lives to go to Chris Babcock Art classes; she’s amazing with kids and the artwork takes your breath away.

My youngest, Larkin, is the most serious about fashion which is entertaining. He loves La Miniatura skinny jeans and little Marc Jacobs button downs, sweaters and skinnies. He has the rocker vibe with skinnies on a daily basis, but is also the first one to want to sport a tie and blue velvet pants.

I have tried to not raise my voice while getting the three monkeys out of the house which is a constant inner and outer battle. I have set up a point system, which sometimes works and sometimes does not.

The hardest part about being a mom is losing a newborn, but I am still fortunate to have three healthy, happy boys …the last one whom I would not have met without experiencing that loss.


I am trying to find the balance between acceptance of my growing fine lines, and the fact, that I think I am still 34. I use ISUN organic oil during the day and Vintners’ Daughter botanical serum (my friend, April’s, new line) in the evening as I love an outstanding, organic product which really works. My By Terry Touche Veloutee concealer is a daily must between dark circles from allergies, late nights or a sick kid, NARS laguna bronzer and DiorShow mascara for simple daytime. My Soapwalla all-natural deodorant cream is the only product that can stand up to the New Orleans’ summer heat and humidity.

My style is normally to take something on the classic side and put a serious twist/quirkiness/offbeat aspect to it. Not for everyone..a little out there! Inspiration comes from art, travel, fashion magazines, street style, my friends, blogs and amazing boutiques, Elizabeth Charles, Kirna Zabete in NYC, Colette in Paris, Dover Street Market, OC and Brown’s.

My icons… Jane Birkin, Talitha Getty, Marlene Dietrich, Giovanna Battaglia, Kate Moss, and the list goes on…


Phew girl, this is amazing. I have just added a laundry list to my must-haves, added a dozen bookmarks, and as always, I am continually inspired and excited about the things I learn in your presence. Japan need-to-knows on my list for you next. Your love and need to see people and the world around you filters so beautifully through your boys as I am witness to yearly at our our photo sesh. You rock lady. And thanks to MGK and EC for the TMP love. xo

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