Category: Architecture & Interiors

Music Genius vs. Nazi Ideologie

How the composer Richard Strauss waged his own war against the Nazi’s

“I consider the Goebbels Jew-baiting as a disgrace to German honor, as evidence of incompetence—the basest weapon of untalented, lazy mediocrity against a higher intelligence and greater talent.” 

In 1933, in the beginning stage of the Nazi regime, the composer Richard Strauss wrote this in his private notebook about the mounting anti-semitism in Germany.

richardsreaussRichard Strauss (1864 – 1949)

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Mirror, Mirror…

Reflections on a reflection device…

The first way anyone would have been able to contemplate his or her image would have been as a reflection in a pool of still water…like told in the Greek mythical story of Narcissus who saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus drowned.

Narcissus-CaravaggioNarcissus” by Caravaggio – circa 1597

It is amazing how in early antiquity mirrors were a common everyday accessory, from a simple piece of polished obsidian to elaborate hand mirrors with decorative handles.

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Napoleonic Tiger

“What news? Ma foi! The tiger has broken out of his den. The monster was three days at sea. The wretch has landed at Fréjus. The Brigand has arrived at Antibes. The Invader has reached Grenoble. The General has entered Lyons. Napoleon slept last night at Fontainebleau. The Emperor proceeds to the Tuileries to-day. His Imperial Majesty will address his loyal subjects to-morrow.”

This is how Napoleon’s return from Elba was progressively regarded in Paris.

Leopard1

After zebra and leopard, we still have to discuss tiger print… Less common, but perhaps more subtle, tiger print works well in velvet and silk, and when used sparingly, has maximum effect. The lady above has adorned my mood board for years: a total look, but irresistible!

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The Art of Conversation

Powerful French Women and their Famous “Salons”

“Why not start a virtual “Salon?” was my idea when I decided to write this blog. The Art of Conversation is something I want to vigorously keep up!

Watch the French film “Ridicule” to fully understand the power of women skilled in conversation in 18th century France:

ridicuActress Fanny Ardent in the 1996 French film “Ridicule” (Netflix)

Salons” started in Italy in the 16th century and soon took hold in France. They were the artistic and literary “Think Tanks” of the 17th, 18th & 19th century, mostly held by society ladies in their beautiful homes. A lady who held a “Salon” would reign as she set the topics, the tone and “ambiance” of the gathering. There was fierce competition amongst ” Salonnières” about who would draw the most brilliant crowd. I will highlight two famous “Salonnières”: Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun and Juliette Récamier.

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Jungle Love

The Lasting Power (and Danger) of Leopard Print

Leopard print is a dangerous thing, there is a thin line between fabulous and vulgar…My glamorous New York friend Marilyn always says: “the real test of love is when your man accepts some leopard in his life…”

VogueCover Vogue November 1939 Cover by Carl “Eric” Erickson

Leopard is a great pattern both for interior design (see “Create the look for Less” below) or fashion.

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