Saturday, November 16, 2019

Lee Radziwill & A Collection of Sophisticated Connoisseurship

Although I didn't grow up during the times of Camelot, I don't think there's anyone who is not at least somewhat familiar with the innocence, style and wit of what is known of the time during which the Kennedys lived the American version of royal life.

And the person who had a front row seat was Lee Radziwill, dearest sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis.

With the death of Radziwill this year, it truly symbolized a time that will never be again.

But luckily, select pieces from Lee Radziwill's estate were put up for auction last month by the stewards at Christie's.

‘Lee’s taste and style stands alone as a global symbol of sophistication and connoisseurship,’ says Christie’s Chairman Marc Porter, ‘embodying the elegance of a more glamorous era.’

What is so interesting to me about estates that go to auction is that they remind us of a different time when home, art and furniture purchases were transacted with a generational mindset. Meaning, pieces were meticulously collected so that the value would stand the test of time to be inherited by the next generation as objects of ancestral assets that told of the family's history.

Sure, the Radziwills of the world only purchased what gave them joy and reflected their authentic aesthetics on life but IKEA did not exist in collections whereas the buyer was intent on the meaningful interpretation of their collective life.

While I perused the catalogue of "The Collection of Lee Radziwill", the thing that struck me just as much as the catalogue of Betsy Bloomingdale (A Life in Style) is how refined every object was of such an esteemed style and host icon.

IKEA-generation, fast fashion, non-intentional buyers need not apply.

"I abhor the American idea of starting with a tabula rasa every few years and getting rid of everything. When I buy something, I do so with the intention of keeping it forever." -Lee Radziwill

Refinement is not something that can be easily mix-mashed.

Refinement can only come from an authentic place, that has brave style, life long, and original.

Lot #1078 Circular Indian Silk Tablecloth (matched to wallpaper)

As a matter of fact, quotes by and about Lee Radziwill say it best:

On Authenticity: "I have passed through the stages of ambition and I think the most serene feeling is to know you are being true to yourself." - Lee Radziwill response to Andy Warhol's inquire about her ultimate ambition

On Style: "If I can really be said to have a personal style, I think it is reflected in my taste for the exotic and the unexpected." - Lee Radziwill

Life Long: Lee Radziwill's status as an icon of taste and style was built upon a lifetime in art, culture and society. - Christie's

Original: "She told me she'd never had an Hermes bag or silk scarf in her life. Everyone else carried them, so to her they were common." -Andre' Leon Talley

Lot #1017 Set of 15 Indian Reverse Painted Glass Pictures

To live a lifestyle worthy of a curated Christie's auction is one that inspires and opens the eyes to how a person lived with treasures that went beyond just buying.

Curated objects tell us all a story of a life that will forever be encapsulated.

Not in a museum.

But pieces big (furniture) and small (jewelry) in hopes that the same Camelot magic can infuse our lives with something just as spectacular.

Lot #1148 Three Enamel Bangle Bracelets (Hermes)

Lot #1119 North European Rosewood Side Chair 

Lot #1077 Pair of French Upholstered Club Chairs

Or, as Martina Mondadori (August 2019) said: "This is how I want to remember Lee, walking on flowers. A testament and inspiration for my generation and futures ones to come.  Keep it simple, but don't settle for mediocrity."

For information on the results and prices realized from the Christie's "The Collection of Lee Radziwill" auction, go HERE.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Timeless Style of the Iris

A Purple Iris

In perfumery, the Iris is one of the most iconic raw materials and is considered to be the embodiment of luxury.

The Iris is actually one of the most expensive raw materials in the world and can cost more than gold.

There are many different types of Iris flowers but in perfumery, they mainly use the Iris Pallida, a majestic purple flower. The Iris Pallida comes from Italy and has a powdery, woody and dry scent, reminiscent of rice powders or talcum powers that takes you back to your childhood.

It hides its olfactory treasure in its roots.

It takes three years of growing and then three years of drying before it reaches its optimum quality.

Its scent is powdery and multifaceted: it has delicious notes of violet and raspberry mixed with woody sand earthy notes.

My friends at Sylvaine Delacourte mentions loving it because it's calm and melancholic. It has the kind of scent that reminds us of the smell of the earth after a rainstorm.

Quick Quiz: Guess the Sylvaine Delacourte perfume in which you can find the Iris?

Vangelis: Assured, Warm, Spicy

Vanori: Creamy, Bright, Comfortable

Dovana: Fresh, Light, Powdery

You can find Iris in the Dovana fragrance that's apart of the Sylvaine Delacourte Musk Collection! Dovana means gift in Baltic countries. It has notes of Iris, heliotrope, and ambrette.

And, the Iris makes the Musk Collection powdery and soft, like cashmere to your skin.

"Irises" by Vincent Van Gogh

Fun Fact: the Iris was the inspiration for one of the most famous paintings in history by Vincent Van Gogh titled "Irises".  "Irises" held the record for the most expensive artwork of 1987 when it sold for $53.9 million USD, which would be around $100 million in the current economy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

A Fashion Icon's Timeless Collaboration To Be Bold Over

Iris Apfel x Bernardaud Limited (Only 50) "Adam" Long Necklace 

At 98 years young, fashion and design icon Iris Apfel shows no signs of acting her age.

And Thank God!

...because that means the imaginative ways in which brands showcase their inspiration grounded in her authentically unique style from her global travels and finds creates the most brilliant reimagination and creation of pieces from even 300 year old brands like Bernardaud.

Bernardaud Artisans Shaping Porcelain for Perles Blanc Necklace

We have come to expect the fun, eccentricity of Iris well documented style but I don't think anyone would quite expect that a collaboration with Bernardaud would be such a, well, no-brainer.

But it's only a no-brainer once you understand how the collaboration came to existence (Apfel's gushing of her love of the brand to one of it's proprietors) and see how Bernardaud's commanding mastery of Limoges porcelain can be shaped and reflective of modern style AND Apfel’s signature bold style that doesn’t shy away from being noticed.

Shy, minimalistic fashionistas need not apply.

These pieces are for the bold, confident woman who can not only command a room but also not let a bold piece of jewelry overshadow her fierceness.

And the only thing subtle you’ll get from some of the pieces in the collection are some pale pinks used on me necklaces.

Iris Apfel Signature Style Layerings: 1, 2, 3, & 4 

Most people would think that porcelain is a very formal material to use considering the fine tablewares produced by Bernardaud.

But what you don't expect is how Bernardaud was able to capture the fun whimsy of Apfel's spirit in a fun collection at price points that is achievable for Apfel's die hard fans.

Chouette Noir Brooch Pin (Availabel in Three Colors)

But only if you act fast...some pieces in the collection are a limited run and I am very sure it will sell out and thus become Collector's items that only the fast acting were able to grab!

Chouette Left and Right

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Matcha for the (Healthier) Win

I know I am probably late to the matcha lovers club but seriously: I'm obsessed!

Considering that a few of my favorite health focused Instagrammers have posted repeatedly about their love of matcha, I never associated it with something that everyday people could love.

Due to its green coloring, I assumed it's like a few things health junkies lie tasty cardboard or tasteless foods are and we're all missing out on how wonderful it is.

But in the case of matcha, ummm, it really is delicious!

What is matcha?
Simply: concentrated Japanese green tea in finely ground powder form, which makes it easy to mix in with any liquid from water to milks to vegan inspired food recipes (think matcha cheesecake).

Healthy Benefits?
Many, mostly due to matcha's concentration of antioxidants and just enough caffeine to notice an increase in your energy level (but no highs/lows like the caffeine from coffee).

My Matcha Love Affair
I first encountered matcha about two months ago when I was in the Starbucks line waiting on my coffee and the barista yelled out a mobile order of a matcha water.  It was a brilliant green hue and seemed a more refreshing take on our hot Texas day than my boring coffee.

I ordered one and was instantly hooked.  Meaning, no need to grow on me, no need to give me a minute. Instant.

Since my first encounter, I have had a blast exploring all the ways in which matcha is used in drinks and foods.

I had no idea!

It's like being apart of some cool club, lol.

And for this club, no need to be a health freak who thinks eating tasteless or cardboard textured food is cool.

Currently, my favorite way to drink matcha is just mixed in ice water and a tablespoon of vanilla soy milk.

Tonight, I had a special treat in ordering a matcha lemonade...serious yum!

Tip #1: don't feel like your only options for matcha on-the-go drinks is Starbucks. I purchased a box of individual Rishi matcha premium Japanese tea packets at WholeFoods, but here's a better price for two Rishi travel packet boxes on Amazon!

Tip #2: if you're like me and you like sipping on drinks, you'll need to stir your drink frequently as match powder has a tendency to float to the bottom. Stir frequently as you sip and you'll get a consistent taste.

So whether you are busy running around town, need a quick pick me up (without a high/low crash) or a jetsetter that wants to be in control of your drink choice while traveling, these Rishi packets make it super easy! (And fyi, I'm all about what fits my lifestyle and makes it easy for 2019!)

Do you drink matcha? Have you tried it?  Do you like it? Let me know!