Monday, July 28, 2014

A Classic: C.Z. Guest: American Style Icon by Susanna Salk

In her book C.Z. Guest, American Style Icon, Susanna Salk delivers an intimate portrayal of one of America's most legendary style tastemakers. I find this is a perfect book to pick up for summertime reading. CZ was a woman who loved the outdoors and her favorite pastimes of riding, gardening, and  playing tennis. Entertaining seemed to come naturally to her and she was always the supreme hostess. Guest was a woman with the gift to make everyone comfortable around her,  in part because she was completely at ease with herself. She always exuded confidence and self assurance, and though a Boston socialite, she loved wearing her gardening togs just as much as a couture ballgown. 

At Templeton, Old Westbury, New York, C.Z. rode nearly very day of her life, a dream she had from early childhood.

C.Z was a syndicated garden columnist for 351 newspapers, author of 3 books on the subject and even created C.Z.'s Bug Spray. Ahead of her time in marketing, more than 1200 pairs of her Goatskin Gardening Gloves sold on QVC!

On their wedding night, C.Z. with her new husband Winston at the home of Earnest and Mary Hemingway in Havana. Hemingway was best man. C.Z and Winston had two children together, Cornelia and Alexander.

C. Z at age 36 styled in Mainbocher , one of her favorite fashion designers. Jewels by Tiffany

Salvador Dali's infamous portrait of C.Z with a framed note from the artist hang over a fireplace at Templeton.

Cosmetics Entrepreneur Estee Lauder and Guest attending a wedding at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City, 1989. 

C.Z.'s Charles II gold vermeil dressing table collection, including many family photographs and of course fresh flowers from her garden!

In the grand salon at Templeton, there are two large portrait paintings by John Singer Sargent, this is of Amy Phipps Guest, Winston's Guest's mother. Guest often gave formal dinner parties for many friends, including Yves Saint Laurent, Rudolf Nureyev, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (her children's godparents), Nancy Reagan, Truman Capote and other social stalwarts.

C.Z.'s daughter Cornelia in her Manhattan office with a portrait of her Father, Winston Guest. (a three time world Champion Polo Player) Cornelia and her brother have since sold the family home in the Spring of 2014.

Guest died in November of 2003 at the age of 83 after valiantly fighting cancer for some time.

Including hundreds of photographs and contributions from many of Guest's nearest and dearest friends, you will love having this book as part of your library! Susanna has painted us a very personal portrait of  this iconic woman.

C. Z Guest, American Style Icon is published by Rizzoli New York and may be purchased at Amazon

Visit Susanna's website at 

Thank you to Susanna for the signed copy of her book and to Rizzoli New York for the images included.

Thank you to my friends and followers who support The Arts!

Please do  leave a comment, they make my day!

The Arts by Karena

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The Buzz Blog said...

We know our mother would love this book - she so admired C.Z. and shared many of her passions including gardening and Mainbocher. Thanks for a great book review, Karena!
C + C

therelishedroost said...

A huge WOW! What an amazing woman and life!! I think I need to get that book, thank you for sharing this!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Beautiful, Karena! She is an inspiration!

MJH DesignArts said...

Hi Karena, This is a superb review. She is one of my heroes--so I'll definitely purchase the book. (Love Susanna, too) xoxo

The enchanted home said...

Wonderful post Karena! I had the good fortune to have met Cornelia and have been to both their homes (both gorgeous) and CZ and her daughter truly are the picture of grace, elegance and modern beauty. We need more icons/role models like these!!! (not the Kardashians) for the young girls of today to look up to. This book is sure to be a must have for anyone who prizes beautiful classic style. Well done!

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

This is a definite buy! I love every page here, and the art and collections are stunning.
Thank you for sharing, Karena.

Segreto Secrets said...

Loved the post and the story-wonderful collections--this definitely looks like a must read book! Have great day!!! xo Leslie

Kristen @ Pursuing Vintage said...

Thanks for the introduction! I'd love to know more about her, and this book looks fabulous!

La Contessa said...

Isn't she the one who was born in SALINAS,CALIFORNIA?One of those top socialites was....cant recall at the moment.I love the fact she invented bug spray and gloves!Beautiful woman of a by gone era............I would LOVE to read this book!
Once again thanks for the heads up KARENA!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

can't wait to see this book!

Sarah Sarna | Live The Life You Dream About said...

Wonderful review, Karena!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

What a gorgeous post, Karena! I love this style of American vintage living; horsemen and women hobnobbing with famous people, philanthropists, art collectors...they are somehow iconic and distant. However, I worked for several women of this sort of background when I lived in Massachusetts as a young college student. Yachting, polo, art shows, IT WAS FUN TO WATCH.

And thank you dear one for coming today to visit and listen to the music....I love Chopin!


I Dream Of said...

What lovely, classic, beautiful style. Looks like a lovely book - and an even lovelier life to aspire to. Hope you are having a wonderful week, Karena! XOXO

Decor To Adore said...

Oh that gold dressing table set is just amazing!
I hope you are enjoying the summer.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

A true icon of style and grace!...Looks like a magnificent book!...thanks for presenting this!

Mary Jo Matsumoto said...

Just lovely! I truly enjoyed reading this Karena and I am going to get the book!

xo Mary Jo

Renée Finberg said...

i do love her story.

thanks for the post.

Francine Gardner said...

A remarkable life! I so enjoyed reading this post. of course, i always heard about cz as she often was a constant topic of conversation in Boston. There is much to say about class and social breeding, unlike the "role models" of today of the likes of the Kardashian.

Lord Cowell said...

Hadn't heard of her before, and loved your post which has inspired me to read more about CZ. Loved the portrait by Dali!

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Looks like a great her style!

Lisa Porter said...

As Francine said, class and social breeding - even the most basic of manners are what I often miss in social settings today. At least we can read about icons of the past who seem to have mastered them! I would love to read this book Karena. Thanks for the introduction!
Always, Lisa

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