Archive : November 2010

13 Nov 2010
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Celine Fitoussi soap wall at Gallery Mess

Celine Fitoussi soap wall at Gallery Mess 2

Dear Miss Fitoussi,

Where were you when I did my brick post just a few days ago?  Well, I’ve just stumbled across your installation at the ‘The Gallery Mess’ in Duke of York Square on my way (dare I say) to the loo!

Imagine my surprise to discover what, to all intensive purposes, appeared to be bog standard subway tile on the walls, turned out to be bars of soap! And it smells so nice. And the way you have broken the effect by creating an area that breaks into textured ruination – well, I loved it. And customers have been carving their initials into the white waxen bars so it is a work in motion, adding that quiet layer of romance.  I love that too.

Thank you for the smile.  I’m keeping my eye on you.

Yours,

Colette

Celine Fitoussi soap wall at Gallery Mess close up

Celine Fitoussi soap wall at Gallery Mess 3

11 Nov 2010
avatar Author: Nicky Haslam

I was absolutely thrilled with today’s feature on my Lucian Freud picture in the Evening Standard – did you see it on the tube on your way home? If not, click here to see the full article. The shoot for this article was done at the newly refurbished Beaufort Bar at The Savoy.

Nicky Haslam at the newly refurbished Beaufort Bar at the Savoy

Here is a photograph taken while I was being shot by the ES. The bar is so chic with gilded and niches and an art deco bar to die for.

I have been asked by The Savoy to perform two nights of cabaret at the end of the month to celebrate in style the reopening. It will be a memorable evening and I am thrilled to be joining the likes of Noël Coward and George Gershwin who have performed in this room.

10 Nov 2010
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Nicky Haslam & Colette van den Thillart at the Herald Tribune Heritage Luxury Conference cocktail party

Here we are (thanks to Getty Images) on the town last night to celebrate the International Herald Tribune Herritage Luxury Conference. It’s not really the point of this blog to gab on about parties (unless we’re talking noteworthy décor of course) but… I had really wanted to meet the uber cool and legendary Suzy Menkes, whose book on the Windsors was a very early purchase when I began my library years ago.

Of course she is a great friend of Nicky’s so it was lovely for them to see one another too.

Nicky Haslam & Suzy Mendes at the Herald Tribune Heritage Luxury Conference cocktail party

I really like how she phrased her wording when interviewed about this conference, and what she is espousing: ’Heritage Branding’:

“Heritage is what movie makers call ‘the back story’. It is about where you come from, your roots and the essence of what you stand for. This is so relevant and pertinent to luxury companies. They need to look back in order to spring forward. ‘Authenticity’ is more than a buzz-word. It represents true values. The word ‘luxury’ has been banded around so freely that it needs to be re-examined. By looking at the heritage of a company, you are looking not just at core products, but about the emotion that is engendered at the heart of brand.”

Exactly Ms Menkes…SUBSTANCE, now  that’s what I’m talkin’ about, and looking back to spring forward – EXACTLY! Emotion at the heart of a brand – yes…bring it on girl!

What, dear reader, is your idea of substance and ‘heritage branding’?

10 Nov 2010
avatar Author: Nicky Haslam

Michael Szell…yes of course I knew him – and this room! He was the gay Hussar of Hungary (and no, I don’t mean the restaurant of Fleet street) and had a shop on Sloane street. He was known for very outré fabrics – way ahead of their time really, and for jewel-like interiors. His malachite dining room was as mad and unexpected as the man himself. I am also very fond of his deluxe frou-frou drawing room.

Szell Peak of Chic

Personally, I am drawn in by the faux garden out the window where he has mixed fantastic plastic with real ficus to certain effect. One really can’t have too much garden in a room don’t you think? And malachite green is so much chicer than leaf.  My dear friend, the art critic John Richardson, has identical plastic box parterres outside each window of his magical apartment in New York, paired with white plaster-coated iron furniture, naturally.

Topiary at Nicky Haslam's house in the country

I have been known to use plastic myself in my country house as seen stylishly enhancing the fake bridge I designed.

Bridge at Nicky Haslam's country house

8 Nov 2010
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

One of the points of this blog, I hope, is to push the boundaries of what and where one looks for inspiration.

Malachite Brooch from 1stdibs.com - Dealer: Craig Evan Small

I personally have a complex relationship with Malachite, and yet at times I adore it, such as the Malachite fabric in the Tony Duquette fabric collection.

Tony Duquette Malachite Fabric

I’ll be using that somewhere, somehow…and yet I confess I had never considered printing malachite voiles until I came across this 70’s  Vogue interior by Michael Szell. (worth Googling.)

Michael Szell Dining Room in Vogue

He had a strong sense of pageantry and occasion, but was always sensitive to the visual impact of strong colour combinations:  He was quoted as saying “You must always think to yourself: now can I face that design in the morning with a hangover?”. I have to love a man who thought this OTT dining room (his own) fit the bill. And by the way – you probably won’t be able to tell from the photo, but the floors were gold leafed – LOVE.