Gallery: Antiquaires: Paris Flea Markets
coffee table books
In the 1920s, '30s, '40s and '50s the so-called Café Society in Europe drew together aristocrats, millionaires, artists, authors, couturiers, choreographers and musicians in a "glittering world of fashion and frivolity, opulence and ostentation", notes Thierry Coudert in his ultra-stylish new book, Café Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists 1920 to 1960 from Flammarion. Those decades were the "apotheosis of an era that was to have a profound influence on the history of taste" Coudert writes, with the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lady Diana Cooper, Diana Vreeland, Cole Porter, Noel Coward and Cecil Beaton setting the tone and deciding which artists, designers, and musicians were in vogue. The cover of the book (above) depicts heiress Barbara Hutton, then the Countess von Reventlow, at a tennis match in 1940, while Yves Saint Laurent, Orson Welles, Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau and many more make cameos in the impressive volume.
Gallery: Cafe Society
Winter may be fast approaching but verdant greenery abounds in Gardens of the Hudson Valley, a new photographic portrait of the region's lush private landscapes. The luxurious volume chronicles 25 gardens chosen to give "a sense of place and convey the romance of the landscape" abutting the majestic Hudson River in New York state. Photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daley selected gardens from Yonkers up the river to the town of Hudson, including famous formal estate gardens like Kykuit, Boscobel, the Vanderbilt Mansion, and Olana, along with smaller, more naturalistic plots that combine sweeping views and lush plantings. Each of the gardens tells a story about the people who made them, and collectively they evoke "the grace and grandeur of the Hudson River landscape" underscoring the central role the Hudson Valley played in the birth of an American garden tradition.
If you're looking for an interesting and unique gift for the Muhammad Ali fan or sports memorabilia collector on your holiday list you should find out if they have a copy of GOAT (Greatest of All Time): A Tribute to Muhammad Ali. The massive tribute collection created by Taschen is not brand new to the market but remains a great holiday gift (or personal splurge?) nevertheless considering it's an exclusive collector's piece and numbered editions are still available. With a $15,000 price tag it's only for the most serious of collectors but this unique book includes over 3,000 photographs, art, and memorabilia and includes several gallery quality prints and the sculpture "Radial Champs" by Jeff Koons. Packaged in a white and pink (the color of Ali's first Cadillac) silk-covered clamshell box and signed by both Jeff Koons and Muhammad Ali, The "Champ's Edition" is limited to just 1,000 individually numbered copies.
Filed under: Books
Famed photographer Cecil Beaton didn't just shoot pictures for Vogue and Vanity Fair, he also mingled with the cream of 20th century society. And he kept notes. Cecil Beaton kept diaries and also amassed dozens of scrapbooks now held by Sotheby's London. A new book from Assouline reveals these scrapbooks to the public. The 400 pages contains 600 images including his own prints and clippings from magazines, newspapers, and playbills, it's an assemblage of a fabulous and well-lived life. The book was assembled by James Danziger, the Director of Photography at the London Sunday Times Magazine, features editor of Vanity Fair, and director of Magnum New York. It goes on sale next week and sells for $250.
Standouts include the relaxed, chic bungalows of Hermitage Bay in Antigua with dark wood furnishings and freestanding tubs; the open-air guest rooms of Jade Mountain in St. Lucia with unparalleled views of the Piton peaks; the posh, private Oliver Messel-designed Fustic House estate in Barbados; the spectacular Balinese furnishings of Anguilla's Bird of Paradise Villa; St. Barth's super-stylish Isle de France hotel; the ultra-luxe Yemanja villa on Mustique (pictured on the book's cover above) complete with a private screening room; and the elegant British Colonial-style Colleton Suite at Barbados' Cobblers Cove. Check out the gallery for a preview.
Gallery: Caribbean Hideaways
With asking prices running to the tens of millions on the rare occasions when such treasures hit the market, owning one of the classic estates of Los Angeles remains but a dream for many. Meanwhile Douglas Woods offers the next best thing in his new stunning new book Classic Homes of Los Angeles from Rizzoli, an exclusive look into some of the finest period revival residences and gardens to be found in and around the area's legendary neighborhoods. The volume's 240 full-color photographs by Melba Levick depict a panorama of richly detailed architectural styles popular in Southern California during its "Golden Age of Expansion" from 1899 to 1938, from Craftsman, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian to Spanish Colonial and Tuscan Revival. Famous landmarks are included as well as many never-before-seen gems.
The cover of the book (above) shows the Prindle House in Pasadena built by architect George Washington Smith in 1926, a pristine example of Spanish Colonial Revival style. Also included are the 1899 Doheny Mansion with its incredible glass-domed Pompeian Room, now part of Mount Saint Mary's College; the stately Huntington Mansion with its palatial great hall, now the Huntington Library museum; the estate of the great Hollywood producer and director Cecil B. DeMille which was recently listed for sale at $18 million; the elegant 1932 Fudger House in Beverly Hills where Danny Kaye lived and entertained for many years; and Frank Lloyd Wright's famed Millard House, aka La Miniatura, from 1923 in Pasadena which was our Estate of the Day in February 2009.
In his introduction to the book, author and architecture expert D.J. Waldie poses the question, "What makes a classic home of Los Angeles?" The answer, he writes, is one that "sympathetically embraces the fundamentals of life here: light, air, landscape and romance." To achieve these qualities, "architects and their clients in the first half of the twentieth century turned to various pasts that were not their own," he notes, "but without turning away from the future they thought Los Angeles represented." For the most part, Waldie writes, "they declined to engage in the culture wars of Modernism (although many great Modernist homes are part of the city's architectural heritage). Some Angeleños thought houses had other, more consoling work to do. A house that can dream for and with its owners, that can dream of both escape and shelter, makes it a classic of Los Angeles." Check out the gallery for a preview.
Gallery: Classic Homes of Los Angeles
If you've never heard of photographer Stan Shaffer, who captured the cream of cultural bohemia in the golden age of the '60s and '70s, now's the time to rectify that courtesy of über-luxe German publisher teNeues. You Should Have Been With Me is a massive scrapbook culled from Shaffer's stunning archive, with intimate portraits of celebs of the day including Gloria Vanderbilt, Angelica Huston, Andy Warhol, Halston, Calvin Klein, Peter Beard, Cheryl Tiegs, Grace Jones, Jerry Hall, Brooke Shields and Mariel Hemingway. These are interspersed with sexy fashion snaps and outtakes of sessions with supermodels on yachts and in Porsches once the "work" was done. In diary form Shaffer shares extracts from his extraordinary life at the nexus of New York's art, fashion and cinema worlds, at glitzy parties "where everyone is somebody and they're all dressed to kill!" Shaffer's journey was that of a "voyeur, participant, invited guest and documentarian" wrapped into one; sadly he died during the final stages of production on this book, which now serves as a fitting legacy for an artist who deserves more recognition.
Filed under: Books
From Antigua, Jamaica, Nevis, Barbados, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Mustique to the less-traveled islands of Bequia and Dominica, a beautiful new book by Michael Connors captures the best of British West Indies Style. Many of the English island great houses showcased in the volume are hidden to most visitors. Close to fifty private residences are featured in over 200 full-color photographs taken especially for the book, such as the entrancing view of an estate on Nevis (above). The English country house meets the southern plantation in design details such as mahogany writing tables, tropical wood settees, linens and terraced gardens, offering inspiration for the use of local materials, painting techniques, and elements of outdoor living. Connors also includes entertaining historical vignettes putting the beautiful residences in context.
Twenty-eight of Connecticut's most entrancing private landscapes are featured in a beautiful new book from Monacelli Press. Private Gardens of Connecticut offers a privileged glimpse at the personal oases at the estates of designer Oscar de la Renta, socialite Anne Bass, decorator Bunny Williams and many more. Included are gardens from all across the state, from Greenwich to New Canaan and the coast, many of which have never been professionally photographed. A variety of styles is represented from formal to small, contemporary, wild, and old fashioned. Some, like de la Renta's (on the cover above) are grand in scale and tended by an army of skilled professionals, others modest and easily kept, but all alluring and extremely enviable. Throughout the oversized volume author Jane Garmey recounts the story of the creation of the leafy retreats while John Hall's lavish photographs of sumptuous flowers and luxuriant foliage make them leap off the page.
Famed photographer Albert Watson, whose celebrity portraits and nudes of Kate Moss fetch astonishing prices at auction, has come out with a stunning new 40-year retrospective of his work. Titled UFO, which stands for "Uniﬁed Fashion Objectives", the massive monograph includes iconic shots of famous faces from 50 Cent, Christy Turlington, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Uma Thurman, Beyonce and Jack Nicholson are interspersed with still lifes, fashion images and more, personally selected by Watson from his vast archive. The Scottish-born photographer's first celebrity photograph was a portrait of Alfred Hitchcock for the cover of Harper's Bazaar in 1973.
Since then he has amassed more than 200 Vogue covers and 40 Rolling Stone covers to his credit and has shot countless ad campaigns, TV commercials and movie posters. Many of the images in the book have never been published before and are presented here for the very ﬁrst time. The slipcased volume is also available as a limited edition book for $500 including an archival pigment print of 500 copies only, housed in a black acrylic case. Individually signed and numbered, the limited edition is available exclusively through galleries representing Albert Watson and selected retailers.
Gallery: Albert Watson's UFO
When James Sherwood's brilliant book on bespoke tailoring called The London Cut came out in 2007, to accompany a Savile Row exhibition at Palazzo Pitti in Florence, we regretted only that it was in softcover and such a small format. Now Rizzoli has rectified that with a suitably statuesque volume by Sherwood expanding on the subject, lavishly illustrated and encyclopedic in scope. Bespoke: The Men's Style of Savile Row begins with the opening of Henry Poole & Co. in 1806 and follows the illustrious history of London's custom tailoring tradition. Famous adherents of 'The Row' through the years from Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, the Duke of Windsor and Winston Churchill to latter-day dandies like Prince Charles, Mick Jagger and David Beckham are also discussed.
From its rather humble beginnings Sherwood discusses Savile Row's role in tailoring for the sporting set, the military and Royalty, the phenomenal influence the houses have had in the sartorial style of the silver screen - where else would James Bond get his threads? - the Row's evolution as "bespoke" was challenged by the mod rock & roll fashion revolution, and its embrace of fashion-forward newcomers like Tommy Nutter, Richard James and Ozwald Boateng, leading a revival of an art form that looked at one time to be doomed to obsolescence, now flourishing in its 200th year.
The style of each of the street's premier tailors is presented in detail along with the immeasurable impact Savile Row style has had on the work of international designers like Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, and Tom Ford, who contributed a foreword to the book. "English gentlemen's tailoring, and in particular the tailoring of Savile Row, really set the standard for the way the stylish 20th-century man dressed," Ford writes. "This English style, in fact, became the international style for well-dressed men all over the world, and this influence has not waned even in today's more casual world. I suppose that when it comes to men's clothes I am an Anglophile and if I did not design my own men's collection, I would have virtually my entire wardrobe made on Savile Row."
Gallery: Savile Row Bespoke
Last spring we reported that legendary Vermont-based sporting outfitters Orvis had published a great new book on fly fishing's finest destinations. Now the company has come out with an equally compelling companion volume on hunting game birds. Great Hunting Lodges of North America: Wingshooting's Finest Destinations (Rizzoli) is a lavishly illustrated look at the very best upland and waterfowl hunting destinations around. Profiles of almost 20 featured Orvis destinations celebrate the great American sporting tradition and include detailed information on the local game species and wildlife, the lodge and the surrounding countryside, along with in-depth sidebars on key game birds and sporting dogs. Even if you're merely an armchair adventurer who's never fired a shotgun the great outdoor photography is worth the price of admission in its own right. Featured lodges include the Eagle Nest Lodge in Montana, Flying B Ranch in Idaho, Greystone Castle in Texas, The High Lonesome Ranch in Colorado, Mexico's Rancho Caracol, Deer Creek Lodge in Kentucky, Harris Springs Sportsman's Preserve in South Carolina and Pine Hill Plantation in Georgia. Check out the gallery for a preview.