Equestrian Art May04

Equestrian Art

Throughout history, horses have been a popular motif in art – often depicted in military battle, or painted in lovely, bucolic scenes. Prehistoric paintings, such as those in the caves of Lascaux, show equine images estimated to be more than 16,000 years old. As a former art history student, my mind goes first to the great Impressionist painters of France, and their fascination with equestrianism and thoroughbred racing. The development of horse racing in France fell in tandem with the careers of artists like Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Toulouse-Lautrec – all of whom had a fascination with the sport. With the Kentucky Derby set for this Saturday, I thought that it would be fun to post about equestrian art. These days you don’t have to wear jodhpurs, or Wellington boots, or tweed jackets to appreciate these pieces. Of course some are wonderfully stodgy, but others (like one of Roberto Dutesco’s photographs) are decidedly chic and modern. Will you be donning a fun hat, or sipping a mint julep on Saturday? 1. Roberto Dutesco photograph 2. 19th century life-size wooden horse 3. Shadow box of Kentucky Derby winners 4. Cast iron horse head 5. 19th century English equestrian painting 6. Bronze horse sculpture 7. 19th century English portrait 8. 19th century French articulated horse and rider model 9. 19th century American copper weather vane 10. Lord Denver horse triptych 11. 19th century English paintings 12. Mark Shaw photograph of Jackie...

The Met Gala May03

The Met Gala

Any fashionista who is worth their salt will tell you that The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual Costume Institute gala is the event of the year – and last night’s party was no exception. The event marks the opening of the institute’s special exhibition, and this year the exhibit pays tribute to the late Alexander McQueen. Fresh from dressing the newly minted Duchess Catherine (and her sister, Pippa) at Friday’s royal wedding, McQueen creative director, Sarah Burton, was the toast of the night. A great many celebrities paid homage to the designer by wearing looks from the McQueen archives – among them were Daphne Guinness (who dressed as performance art in Barneys’ window), Naomi Campbell, Anna Dello Russo, Sarah Jessica Parker, Hilary Rhoda, Karen Elson, Gisele Bündchen, and Salma Hayek. The second biggest name of the night seemed to be Stella McCartney (one of the co-chairs of the night), who in addition to dressing herself, also clothed a number of other attendees including Gwyneth Paltrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Madonna, Rihanna, Kate Hudson, Hailee Steinfeld, and Eva Mendes. Here are some photos of the highlights. In terms of color trends, blacks, whites, and nudes were big – and also rich jewel tones. My favorites included Diane Kruger (in Jason Wu), Sarah Jessica Parker (in Alexander McQueen), Vera Wang (in Vera Wang), Doutzen Kroes (in Giambattista Valli), Ginnifer Goodwin (in Topshop), and Maggie Gyllenhaal (in Stella McCartney). Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty will be on exhibit from May 4 – July 31. Sarah Burton, Daphne Guinness, Naomi Campbell, and Anna Dello Russo All wearing Alexander McQueen   Anna Wintour in Chanel Couture, Diane Kruger in Jason Wu Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen, and Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney   Vera Wang in Vera Wang, Dakota Fanning in Valentino...

Patrician Chic May02

Patrician Chic

Veranda recently revisited an early Parish Hadley project from the 1970s, and discovered that the interiors look just as fresh and timeless as they ever did. First decorated by the venerable firm over forty years ago, the North Carolina apartment was just recently inherited by the original owners’ daughter – who chose to leave the interiors exactly as they have been for more than four decades. With the exception of one of the bedrooms (which seems a touch dated, in my opinion) this home looks as if it could have been designed just yesterday. What a testament to the talents of Sister Parish and Albert Hadley! In the entry, a pink chinoiserie paper packs a playful, graphic punch that is both current and endlessly chic! My favorite room is the solarium, with its dreamy palette of whites, creams, and blues. Decorative painter Robert Jackson painted the walls in a trompe l’oeil trellis motif – which gives such a sense of architecture to the space, and lends a crispness that is wonderfully fresh. Another element that was an early breakthrough in decorating, and a trick that can be credited to Parish Hadley, is the manner in which the television is concealed. Above the fireplace hangs an Anglo-Indian mirror, and within its grid of beveled mirror squares are concealed doors that open to reveal a television. How cool! Entrance hallway with chinoiserie wallpaper and a Dutch rococo bench   Another view of the entrance hallway   Solarium with trompe l’oeil trellis painted walls   19th century porcelain displayed on antique brackets   A canopy bed dressed with Parish Hadley’s signature florals   The previously apricot living room now has glazed pea green walls   More bedroom florals – these in a typical 70s color palette  ...

Water for Elephants May02

Water for Elephants

If you haven’t seen Water for Elephants, I recommend it most highly. I had not read the book, and of course I wish that I had. The film gets to be pretty intense, and I think that I would have been able to breathe a little easier, if I had known the plot ahead of time. The story is set against the backdrop of a traveling 1930s circus, and stars Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz (who is positively genius at playing a bad guy). Visually, it’s a stunning film – full of romance and fantasy, with a treasure of gorgeous costumes, and fabulous Art Deco touches. The orchestral soundtrack is also fantastic – although I was disappointed to find that the one song that truly haunted me (from the trailer) was not included. Luckily I was able to track it down with a little research. Water for Elephants – Song for Jesse        ...

Furlow Gatewood Apr30

Furlow Gatewood

Ever since Dara Caponigro was named Editor-in-Chief of Veranda last year, the magazine has gotten better and better. Dara was one of the founding editors of Domino, and it’s clear that she brought some of that wonderful Domino flavor to her new home. The latest issue of the magazine has several features that caught my eye – one of which is truly inspiring. Furlow Gatewood is not a name that I had come across before (and what a fabulous name it is), but after reading this article about his Georgia home, I am dying to know as much as I can about him. When it comes to vernacular architecture, design, and antiques, Gatewood is a bone fide expert – so much so, that for forty years, he has worked as John Rosselli’s associate and antiques buyer in the South. According to Mr. Gatewood, he’s constantly checking out houses – and when he came across a fantastic, but soon to be demolished, mid-nineteenth century Gothic home, he had it sawn in half, shipped across the state of Georgia, and deposited on his property. Over the course of just eighteen months, Gatewood restored and decorated the home, and even had time to complete the landscape design. Oh, and I forgot to mention – he’s 90 years old. Talk about an inspiration! The home already had good bones (fantastic moldings, and sixteen foot ceilings to name a few), but Furlow’s design and decoration brought a richness, charm, and patina that I positively love. When furnishing a home like this one, being an associate of John Rosselli would be the perk to beat all perks. Many of the furnishings throughout the home were culled from Rosselli’s vast inventory. What I particularly love about this house is the clean and...

Happily Ever After Apr29

Happily Ever After

Misery loves company, and the old adage is especially true when misery means a 4:00 am alarm clock! My cousin has been in town, visiting from Philadelphia, and we both woke at the crack of dawn to watch the royal wedding. To be honest, I managed to avoid the bulk of the media coverage over the past few months – but I felt like this was such a moment in history, and I wanted (in a small way) to be part of it. Needless to say, my coffee maker got quite the early morning workout! Our only regret was that we forgot to pick up crumpets, or biscuits – or some other kind of ubiquitous British treat. As many fashion insiders suspected, Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen was tapped to design Kate Middleton’s dress – and her creation was at once both modern and romantic. Thirty years ago when Diana married Charles, her dress was so incredibly over the top – but Kate looked absolutely timeless. Burton also designed Kate’s sister and maid of honor, Pippa Middleton’s dress – which was simple and chic, but much more va va voom! William and Harry both looked appropriately regal in their military costumes and regalia – and don’t even get me started on the adorable troupe of little bridesmaids and page boys! With all of the pomp and circumstance of the day, it would have been quite easy to get lost in the moment – but here’s hoping that both Kate and Will were able to stay inside of their own bodies during everything. Congratulations to the newly named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – may they live happily ever after.                              ...

A Kennedy Wedding Apr28

A Kennedy Wedding

Perhaps the closest that our country has come to having a prince, was John F. Kennedy, Jr. Needless to say, there was considerably less pomp and circumstance surrounding his 1996 wedding – than there has been for tomorrow’s impending festivities! He and his bride – the lovely Carolyn Bessette, planned a top secret, weekend wedding on Cumberland Island, a barrier island off of the coast of Georgia. Carolyn tapped her friend, Narciso Rodriquez to design the gown – a simple sheath of a dress that, along with Rodriguez, became instantly famous. Her hair was pulled back, with a chic bun at the nape of her neck – pinned with a clip that had belonged to the groom’s late mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She carried a chic bouquet of lily of the valley. For his part, John wore a deep blue, single-breasted suit – and his late father’s wristwatch. The wedding mass was held at the First African Baptist Church – a tiny, one room, ramshackle of a church. Because the building had no electricity, the intimate ceremony was lit by candle light and kerosene lamps. Family guests included uncle, Ted Kennedy, maid of honor, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, and cousin / best man, Anthony Radziwill. A reception followed at Greyfield Inn, an elegant, colonial-style mansion. Sadly, John and Carolyn met their tragic end less than three years later, when en route to the wedding of John’s cousin, Rory Kennedy. The small plane that John was piloting, went down in the Atlantic Ocean, off of Martha’s Vineyard.   John on the beach before the wedding (hamming it up for photographers)   The men outside of the church   The humble interior of the First African Baptist Church   Another view of the church interior   The...

O is for Ostrich Apr27

O is for Ostrich

O is for Ostrich – the latest of my shopping obsessions. When it comes to favorite animals, mine have always included giraffes and elephants. Giraffes are so graceful and elegant, and elephants, so gentle and wise. Another favorite, the ostrich, is plain old hilarious. Seriously though, the ostriches at the Bronz Zoo – I could watch them for hours. Since the Victorian era, their feathers have been used as fanciful embellishments on hats and accessories, quill pens and blankets. In my own home, I have a pair of ostrich pillows, and even some leather picture frames fashioned from their hides. I make no secret of my love of taxidermy – specifically of birds. More than a decade ago I spotted a fabulous ostrich at Deyrolle in Paris – and ever since, have had a taxidermy ostrich filed away in my impossibly long wish list for future acquisitions. While my current digs couldn’t accommodate such a large piece, wouldn’t this shoulder mount be sort of genius? Talk about a quirky conversation piece – ha!...

Elettra Wiedemann Apr27

Elettra Wiedemann

APT with LSD is a fun online feature that Vogue started a few months back – and the latest installment features Elettra Wiedemann. LSD is Vogue editor, and New York socialite, Lauren Santo Domingo – and in her new online column, she features the homes of various creative types like Amanda Brooks, Coco Rocha, and Samantha Boardman. Fashion and interior design are so closely linked, and I’m glad to see the storied magazine giving more attention to interiors. I do wish that the column would be featured in print, but perhaps that will come with time. For those who may not be familiar with Elettra Wiedemann, she is the daughter of Isabella Rossellini – and hence, the granddaughter of legendary actress, Ingrid Bergman. With a bloodline like that, it’s pretty safe to say that a career in modeling was predetermined. Elettra has graced the pages of Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar, and has modeled for Abercrombie & Fitch, Bill Blass, and Ferragamo. Like her mother was before her, Wiedemann is currently one of the faces of Lancôme – and has been featured in both their commercials and print campaigns. Aside from being an undeniable beauty, Elettra is also an accomplished academic – and quite serious about her humanitarian endeavors. She’s fluent in several languages, currently pursuing a masters degree in biomedicine at the London School of Economics – and recently started a charity foundation with her fiancé, James Marshall. Their foundation, One Frickin Day, provides global funding for health clinics, and is based on the idea of donating a day’s salary – afterall, it’s just one frickin day. With such a fabulous lineage, wealth, and accomplishments, Elettra seems to be refreshingly grounded. I must say that while I find her home to be quite charming, I was...

The Windsor Wedding Apr26

The Windsor Wedding

Theirs was one of the greatest romances of all times, and also one of the most controversial. By the time that England’s Prince Edward began his affair with the American socialite, Wallis Simpson, she was already on her second husband. His wish to marry her (“the woman I love”) caused a major constitutional crisis throughout the UK,  and ultimately led to his abdication of the throne. Edward’s younger brother, George VI was then crowned King of England, naming his brother Duke of Windsor. Wallis filed for divorce from husband number two, and soon after married Edward – becoming Duchess of Windsor.   An engagement portrait Dress by Schiaparelli, Photo by Cecil Beaton   An engagement portrait Dress by Schiaparelli, Photo by Cecil Beaton   At the Château de Candé, on the day before their wedding Photo by Cecil Beaton   On their wedding day The dress was designed by Mainbocher   On their wedding day Outside of the Château de Candé   On their wedding day On the balcony of the Château de Candé   Wallis’s dress was grey-blue, and designed to mimic the fluted lines of a Chinese column   Archival video footage from the...

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