It was here, at Château de Malmaison, situated in Rueil-Malmaison, about 7 miles from Paris, that a style was born. It was the former home of Joséphine de Beauharnais, serving for a couple of years as the headquarters of the French government during the reign of Napoléon I of France. The extensive renovations were done by Joséphine's most favorite architects, Percier and Fontaine, who transformed the
What a jewel. In a recently-restored 1925 building in Basel by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, situated this bar/brasserie. The building, Volkshaus Basel, once a concert hall lost, lost its original luster during a 70’s renovation. But now, with the use of bentwood furniture based on the original Volkshaus models, black-and-white palette, and fantastic wallpaper depicting Baroque etchings in the bathrooms, the entire space hark back to the early days of Basel.
I love Gilles Mendel’s couture gowns. They are glamorous, handcrafted, red-carpet quality, and the quintessential elegance. So when I saw a feature of his Manhattan apartment with interiors by David Mann in Architectural Digest, I thought it would be a great chance to pick into his personal taste in home design. While I was surprised to see Mendel in a high rise glass tower overlooking the High Line in Chelsea, as I expected him to reside in a formal, prewar space, the combination of Mann’s signature black and white palette with some great 20th-century furniture looks like it perfectly fits Mendel’s luxury. Love the wall-mounted Poul Kjærholm leather sofa that works so well with Serge Mouille’s sconce. Photography by Joshua McHugh, courtesy of Architectural Digest.
In the postwar years, department stores took on an important mission of educating the public in matters of taste in design. I am thinking of Bloomingdales in NY and Takashimaya in Tokyo, just to mention two design planets, where one could view the latest and most dazzling directions in furniture design during the 50s, 60s, and 70s, even though their main initiatives were commercial.
My paper "The 'Designed' Israeli Interior, 1960-1977: Crafting Identity," will be published in the Journal of Interior Design this fall. It is a pioneer study of the Israeli home during these formative years of Israel’s history. The concept of the home played an important role in Israel during the first three decades of statehood, beginning in 1948, when Israel was established as a home—the home for all Jewish people. This paper examines the domestic space, focusing on aesthetic choices, approaches,
Truman Capote who authored the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's loved the East End of Long Island. He loved it so much that in the early 60’s he purchased not one, but three houses on adjoining lots in Sagaponack, one of which was the home of industrial designer George Nelson. From the three houses, he chose to live in that house that he bought from NYC antiques dealers Walter and Doris Dessauer, and this is the house which was featured in Architectural Digest of 1965, demonstrating taste for a rustic version of Pop. Now, the entire compound if offered for sale by its current owner, artist Ross Bleckner.
Tonight I attended an evening with a woman who has made a career out of her style and her passion for fashion. Her name is Iris Apfel, and aside from a former career as a textile designer and interior decorator, she has created an empire of style, based on her personal philosophy on fashion and its accessories. The 91-year-old Apfel, who was hosted by Deborah Needleman, Editor-in-Chief of T Magazine, had many interesting statements, but one that particularly touched my heart said that everyone, every woman should develop her own personal style, to be creative about it, rather than trying to look like someone, anyone else. I can easily connect to this statement, because after all, our style is the reflection of our own identity.