Monday, June 30, 2014

George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic

George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic
by Maureen Footer

Forward by Mario Buatta
Published by Rizzoli New York  

Much more than an Interior Design book for the discerning collector, this author delves into the life and times of Mr. Stacey. A gentleman, reserved by nature who did not need to promote himself or his interior design business. Referrals  came one after another, often finding himself  designing multiple homes for many clients.

Diana Vreeland in the Entrance Hall of her Park Avenue residence designed by George Stacey.

Vreeland was not only a client, as editor, she arranged photo shoots for Vogue Magazine in many of the homes he designed. The fact that Stacey was so welcomed into her and other wealthy client's circle of friends spoke for his character and the loyalty of his clientele. Billy Baldwin dubbed him "The King of Decorators" and Statesman Averill Harriman gave Stacey the nickname "Minister of the interior".

The Master Bedroom for Frances Cheney at her Park Avenue Duplex

Stacey became the master at mixing fine antiques, coromandel screens, and gilt mirrors  with urn lamps, wicker chairs and basketry (he was an antique dealer for some years) Using saturated colors sublimely, symmetry and shimmer, it was indeed  "Cafe Society Chic".  Designers who have cited his influence include, Mario Buatta , Billy Baldwin, Michael Taylor, Stephen Sills, Tom Scheerer and Nick Olsen among them. 

Stacey became long time friends of his clients both Grace Kelly at her first  Fifth Avenue, NYC apartment and and with her and Prince Rainier at The Palais Princier in Monaco

How many designers can transform a former chicken coop into this luxurious yet relaxed abode. ( he was the first to mix it up in this manner) Crystal chandelier, luxurious fabrics and antiques live comfortably together with a laid brick floor!

The  talented Author and esteemed Interior Designer Maureen Footer

Maureen with Min Hogg (founder of The World of Interiors) at the recent British Launch party for her book  at Nicky Haslam's flat. Image via EEE

You will want to add this to your library and can purchase George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic at Amazon It is a fascinating story of an icon in American design.

Also be sure to visit visit Maureen Footer Design

Copy and images courtesy of Maureen Footer

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The Arts by Karena

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Monday, June 23, 2014

A Dinner Party in Laguna Beach with The French Basketeer

A fabulous dinner party was given in my honor and my Granddaughter Isabella's in Laguna Beach at Andrea's  (of The French Basketeer)  historic estate. Other guests included Tamara Beardsley and her husband, as well as Christina of Greige with her Mother, and many other talented and interesting  friends. Andrea's Mother Laurie was a gem to us throughout our stay!

As an accomplished chef trained in France, Andrea truly outdid herself for this dinner party for 20 guests. Starting with a Burrata, peach, tomato salad with balsamic, an assortment of artisan cheeses and herbed breads, she continued on with farm to table salad, homemade pasta pappardelle with a  sauteed varietal mushroom sauce, then Chicken L'orange. Below you will see just some of the delectable deserts. All through dinner paired with fabulous French Wines to whet the palette.  

Dessert included everything from light lemon curd with strawberries, apricot preserve filled vanilla torte, rich chocolate mousse, to decadent flourless chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream and berries!
Image via Christina at Griege

With so many special guests, Christina of the design blog Greige with her Mother  and Tamera Beardsley, accompanied by her amazing husband, the conversation was light and scintillating!  We tried to get Andrea out of the kitchen as much as possible!

The Historic Laguna Beach Estate

Dining sideboard filled with a lifetime of collections

One of many alcoves with statuary and artifacts; look at Andrea's copper pots from France)

The Dolphin Fountain, one of many fountains on this majestic property

One of many bar tables set up on the spacious terrace and loggia

French seating and Louis Vuitton trunks as tables

Isabella at the beach having a terrific time

Dear friends and followers, this trip was a much needed getaway that happened in a magical way starting with an invitation to stay at Tina and Bob Dameron's, (She is my former Real Estate partner) home in Mission Hills, San Diego, she now owns Urban Homes Real Estate in Little Italy,  San Diego. My long time friend Marty Pappas of Athens Market Taverna also hosted us for a dinner that was out of this world! Caught up with dear friend Jutta and we also had a lot of beach time, listening to the magical waves rolling into shore. The last weekend in Laguna Beach was heaven.

I feel so fortunate as this was planned by friends knowing I have another major surgery coming up, after over three years of surgeries and hospital stays. Thankful beyond, I am staying positive and grateful every single day!

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The Arts by Karena

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hats by Madame Paulette, Paris Milliner Extraordinaire

Hats by Madame Paulette
Paris Milliner Extraordinaire

by Annie Schneider

Thames and Hudson Publisher

On the cover: An asymmetrical straw with a sweeping brim

Madame Paulette by Studio Harcourt

Madame Paulette was Paris’s “queen of milliners.” Born in 1900, this famed headwear designer learned her trade between the wars, and by the forties and fifties her hats crowned the heads of everyone who was anyone in Paris, and were increasingly sought by the rich and famous around the world. Film stars such as Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Audrey Hepburn were some of her most ardent fans, as well as royalty, including Princess Grace of Monaco and the Duchess of Windsor.

Hats by Madame Paulette will appeal to fashion experts and aficionados of fine millinery alike, providing an essential guide on the most indispensable fashion item of the mid-twentieth century; no woman would consider herself formally dressed without a hat. In addition to celebrities vying for Madame Paulette’s creations, fashion photographers clamored for her designs. Included here are photographs from Avedon, Newton, Horst, and Klein, as well as film stills of the hats she designed for Cecil Beaton that appeared in My Fair Lady and Gigi. 

An assortment of Madame's equisite Creations
Photo Credit: Image by Vauthey-Sigma-Cortis

Madame Paulette made sure each hat designed was entirely bespoke, never two alike. She used every trim at her disposal, voiles, netting, feathers, flowers and more. This was an era where women of refined taste desired a hat to match with every outfit, from luncheon attire to evening elegance. 

One of Madame's much desired pleated Turban Styles which she also designed with lovely scarves hanging off to one side, glorious!
Photo  Credit: by J. M. del Moral

The famed Paris Couturiers came to Madame Paulette for her hats, including Balmain, Pierre Cardin, Feraud, Guy LaRoche, and Emmanuel Ungaro. When Madame was in her eighties she still designed her creations for Thierry Mugler and Claude Montana.

A fabulous pillbox hat by Madame Paulette worn with a dress by Jean Desses
 Photo Credit: J.M. del Moral

Madame Paulette creates a red and white fur hood for blustery winter days! Photo credit TopFoto

Her creations for  stage and screen were wonders of workmanship and design. Millinery for Gigi, My Fair Lady, specifically for Cecil Beaton, for Leslie Caron and Audrey Hepburn made history!

Left: Black Velvet Chignon Cover with Ostrich Feather Pom-poms and Veil

Right: A cascade of petals in Black Organza
Photo Credit: TopFoto

Please purchase Hats by Madame Paulette, Paris Milliner Extraordinaire by Annie Schneider

Copy courtesy of Harry Burton of Thames Hudson

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The Arts by Karena

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Matthew Mead's Backyard Style

Matthew Mead's Backyard Style
Hundreds of fresh ideas for Outdoor Spaces

Matthew Mead is a stylist, writer, author, photographer, lifestyle editor, and noted style expert. As the former style editor of Country Home magazine and co-editor in chief of Flea Market Style magazine, (2010), Matthew is also the official food photographer for the Associated Press and is a regular contributor to Better Homes and Gardens and Victoria magazine. He has also written several books and produced countless magazine spreads and ad campaigns for noted companies such as Pottery Barn, Dove Chocolate, Target, and Stonewall Kitchen.   

In style guru Matthew Mead's latest book, Matthew Mead, Backyard Entertaining, he shows us how to entertain for summer with ease and style. Matthew includes delicious recipes,  suggests many stylish and inspiring uses for everyday objects in gorgeous tablescapes and outdoor entertaining venues. 

He includes a chapter featuring Interior Designer  Bunny Williams and the inviting outdoor pool room at her Connecticut home as well as another section with her ideas on floral arrangement.

To view  Matthew's portfolio, visit him at his website, Matthew Mead and also visit his blog, Holiday with Matthew Mead

Matthew Mead

Copy courtesy of Mathew Mead.
You may purchase "Mathew Mead's Backyard Style" at 

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The Arts by Karena

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