House of seasons

There’s nothing like the rich, warm hues of a true Indian summer to fend off the blues and ripen the soul for autumn weather. Here, breezy, feminine stylings from Nicole Miller weave the right attitude for lazy afternoons, fragrant garden walks, vibrant sunsets, a deep belly laugh with friends.

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A little too much lounging and now it's time to clean house before your guest arrives. Are cloth napkins in order? Maybe excavate the good china? Nah. Save all that for another day. Instead, play it casual but cool in a smart pink faux snakeskin mini and fresh white tank. Windows open and a light breeze on the nape of your neck. Enough sorting for now. Stuff the rest in a chic black bag and you're off.

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Directions aren't my specialty but these are a breeze. Turn right when you get off the freeway, make a sharp left after the light and it's the house in the middle of the block with the huge garden out back. See you at 8? That leaves plenty of time to catch up on some weekend reading. An easy task when snuggling up to a furry white throw, surrounded by shades of soft green. A filmy retro-style blouse has a ’70s feel, with diagonal stripes of black, gold and seafoam.

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Just enough time to run to the grocery for last minute details. Hope she doesn't decide to be early — but then it would be the first time. Warm, late-afternoon light filters through gauzy cream curtains into a burnt umber room. Torrid orange walls, a russet leather couch. The air outside will be a little cooler, though. Change into clingy off-white satiny pants and a deep chocolate leather jacket.

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Back in time, but she's a little late, as usual. And still in her work clothes. You open your closet and she helps herself to the faux reptile mini while you show off your latest find — a light blue sleeveless summer sweater with floral embroidery in white and berry red. Dark cherry-hued slacks hint at fall's approach. Time to cook and catch up.

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Here's to the best end-of-summer dinner yet. And a best friend. Cool evening air calls for warmer additions. You in a green crocheted sweater and she in your best leather jacket. What else are friends for?

Photographs: Bethany Shorb

Styling: Rebecca Mazzei

Makeup: Candice Johnson

Models: Melissa Beebe, Roxanne Terry

Home styling: Sandy Jaszczak

Clothes: Nicole Miller, 268 W. Maple, Birmingham. 248-433-0393. Christina Kallery is a freelance writer for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected]