Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eau d'Italie

Decorno recently asked her readers, "What is your favorite perfume?" I chose the inconspicuously packaged line from Eau d'Italie (pictured above) with the explanation that wearing it makes me feel "brassy". However, I feel this description is only partially true. The real reason that I love, LOVE this scent is because it reminds me of being here...

...Hotel Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy.

The fragrance was created by Marina Sersale, a member of the family who has owned Le Sirenuse since it was the private summer residence of the Marchesi Sersale. Inspired by and developed especially for the hotel in 2002, the scent has become more than an free amenity with a night's stay. An entire line has been developed for the hotel's boutique and has become a best seller based on it's ability to instantly transport you to the Amalfi Coast.

As far as the hotel goes, I don't have the words to describe how incredible this place is. Have a visit here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Society Portraits, Then and Now

Amanda Hearst at age 16 with portrait of her great-grandmother, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst (1882-1974). Image from Bright Young Things, published in 2000.

Amanda Hearst in her New York City home, 2008. (Photo from Inheriting Beauty via Black Book Magazine).

The tradition of society portraiture continues with Inheriting Beauty, a new book of photographs by Roger Moenks. In addition to the lovely Amanda Hearst (seen above), the coffee table size collection will include design blog favorites, India Hicks, Carolina Herrera and Tinsley Mortimer. While the book does not focus on interiors, it does capture it's subjects in their respective homes around the globe.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gettin Ziggy

This textured, raffia chevron fabric caught my eye in a fashion spread from the latest Town and Country. Unfortunately for my plans to reupholster a bench with the find, this fabric is vintage. For anyone interested in a set of four chairs however, they are available from Liz O'Brien via 1st Dibbs.

The floral dress is from the Ralph Lauren Collection, Photograph by Jonathan Skow.

Set of four chairs designed by Howard Perry Rothberg, 1968

Update: Courtney has offered a pretty good fabric substitute from F. Schumacher in a linen/cotton blend. I hope to pick up a sample tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More Marchesa

It has been a couple of months since I have shown any closet love, so in connection with yesterday's post on Marchesa, here are a few shots of co-founder and designer, Georgina Chapman's elegant dressing room from Harper's Bazaar.

Chapman named her company after the wild Italian Marchesa Luisa Casati (1881-1957) who was known for going naked under her coats and wearing live snakes as jewelry.

A sheepskin rug, Lucite stool, and a sparkly chandelier dress up an otherwise basic, white laminate shelving system in one of her three closets. Must be nice to be the new Mrs. Weinstein!

Photos by Alexi Lubomirski. For the full article, visit Harper's Bazaar.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Raj at Table

From 1858 to 1947, the British occupation of India created a new dining culture when the flavors and table customs of both countries collided. The March issue of Elle Magazine pays homage to this crossover with a British Raj style dinner party hosted by Allison Sarofim for the creators of the Marchesa fashion label.
Inspired by and in celebration of the Marchesa 2008 Spring line, Sarofim says, "I wanted that Victorian English-meets-India fantasy feel." Champagne served in an eclectic array of glasses adds a vaguely aristocratic vibe to an otherwise common Indian curry menu. (Photos by Ditte Isager for Elle Magazine).

Indian influences appear in many of the dresses from the Marchesa Spring line, which in turn inspired the meal and decor.

While Sarofim choose to be her own chef, I would personally go with takeout. (The dish above is Chicken Curry with Basamati Rice). Carlos Mota set the table with orchids, silver candlesticks, garlands draped over Chivari chairs, and elephant place cards from Mrs. Strong (which I know is also a favorite of Courtney).

For the rest of the article and more photos, pick up a copy of Elle Magazine. For more on the "culinary landscape" of the British Raj, Elle recommends David Burton's The Raj at Table: A Culinary History of the British in India, which is a cult-classic among history buffs and foodies alike.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Alkemie's Friday post featured photos from the March InStyle spread of Nicky Hilton's L.A. home. One of my favorites was the breakfast area, which was designed out of nostalgia for the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Hilton ate her pancakes by the pool growing up. (Rough life).

The famous Banana Leaf Wallpaper seen in Hilton's kitchen above was originally used throughout the hotel in the 1950's by decorator Don Loper, and is also recognizable from the set of a popular 1980's sitcom. Any guesses? (The correct answer wins a free bottle of Geritol).

The iconic signage of The Beverly Hills Hotel surrounded by wallpaper-inspiring foliage.

For more photos of Nicky Hilton's home, be sure to visit Alkemie. You can also see a video tour of the kitchen and dressing room on the InStyle website.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Jazzy Valentine

I just learned that the legendary Dave Brubeck Quartet will be visiting the "Classic City" of Athens, Georgia this week. While tomrrow's Valentine's Day concert is sold out, there are still tickets for tonight's show.

In case you are looking for a last minute Valentine's gift, I suggest the remastered version of Brubeck's classic 1959 album Time Out. While this may be considered Jazz 101 for some, it remains one of my favorites. Below is a 1961 performance of "Take Five" off of Time Out.

For more hardcore jazz aficionados Ken Burns Jazz is a must add to the DVD collection. With almost 19 hours of documentary footage, you will become a veritable expert on the subject of jazz history. I watched the original 2002 broadcast on PBS and was the lucky recipient of the box set for Christmas this year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wise Surprise

Each time I do a post about baby items (which has only been 3 out 143 posts, by the way) I get a lot of speculative comments. So let me preemptively state that I don’t have any of that kind of news. What news I do have is about Wise Surprise, a fab new gift service for mother and child. With presents that fall closer to the aesthetic of B. Braithwaite than Babies-R-Us, you can send a sophisticated gift to all of your new mom friends (as well as house warming presents and green gifts for moms and non-moms alike). When your friends are scattered around the country like mine are, a shop like this comes in handy.

And speaking of cool babies, how about this chic nursery from Orange Beautiful, created for her very own. I would not mind having the grown up version of this room for myself.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sugah Buttah

It's messy, expensive and I don't even consider trying to travel with it (after an unfortunate suitcase incident), but Fresh's Brown Sugar Body Polish is what saves my skin through the winter months. Even though it will make your bathtub feel as if you used it to mix the ingredients for a lemon pound cake, it is worth having around for that moment when global warming allows you to shed a few layers.  

So, what gets you through the winter?

For more on the Fresh brand, be sure to check out last week's post from Me, Myself and I.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news:
I recently scored a pair of French chairs at an antique market, similar to the ones seen in Chassie Post's home in February's Domino Magazine.

The bad news:
They are covered in a starry, fuschia polyester moiré. The sheen is blinding.

Looks like I have something to drop off at the upholsterer when I pick up my desk chair. To be continued...