Wednesday, August 27, 2014

La Bella Vita di Federico Forquet

I was so happy to see the article on Mr. Federico Forquet in Sunday's NYTimes T magazine.  It offered a small but tantalizing glimpse into the beautiful world of Mr Forquet, a fashion designer who left fashion in 1972 when he no longer felt he could make the kind of clothes he wanted to (haute couture not pret a porter).  Oddly enough 1972 is the same year Cristobal Balenciaga, Forquet's mentor, also decided enough was enough and closed his doors too.

But when one door closes, another door opens and Mr. Forquet found the thousands of the tiny lily of the valley flowers he had once hand sewn onto a dress for the great beauty Allegra Caracciolo Agnelli, not in silk anymore but in a scented garden he designed in the verdant hills of Tuscany.

Mr. Forquet also designed the interiors of his home in Tuscany - as well as homes for friends like the apartment in Rome he recently decorated for Ginevra Elkann, the grandaughter of Marella Agnelli, which was featured in T magazine in February.

I have counted myself very fortunate to have had some very special, very rare, Forquet gowns from the 1960s at RARE vintage too...

A door opens onto the garden from the summer living room at Forquet's home near Cetona, Tuscany .  Note the beautiful gilded table with the ceramic vegetables near the door...

Forquet designed the wicker furniture, the sofa and the folding screen all of which are on a floor of cotto, a type of Italian brick, for the summer living room...

19th century still lifes and garden landscapes over a Neapolitan daybed Forquet inherited.  I love the sage and cream ticking on the daybed, the wicker chair, the simple white bench with a white cushion tied at the legs...

The master bedroom with its vine covered coverlet and a desk where Forquet drew his fashion sketches as a child.  Home and garden seem united, the view from a window or a door always seems to be framed in a shade of green, bringing the garden into the rooms...

The outdoor rooms of the garden...  isn't this terraced garden remarkably beautiful?!  The great Russell Page, suggested paths and walls of tuffo, a stone commonly found in Tuscany...

A pergola covered in roses and fallen petals on the path...

Federico Forquet's home and garden in Tuscany.  All photos from NYTimes.

and that is all of our glimpse into the private world and la bella vita di Federico Forquet...

love and baci, Juliana

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Bob Mackie Black Domino

Awhile back at RARE vintage, we had a nothing less then spectacular Bob Mackie black domino that Shalom Harlow had worn to the 2009 Met gala, The Model as Muse.  Hamish Bowles, the authority on all things stylish, declared Shalom Harlow to be best dressed for the evening.  

As it happens with vintage there is a story.  Shalom Harlow found the vintage Bob Mackie, not at RARE vintage but another vintage store here in New York, where it had been before, who it had belonged to, I do not know.  I would love to know it's history before it found its way to Shalom Harlow and the party of the year, the Met Gala, because you just know such a special piece, so romantic,  so dramatic, it most certainly belonged to a woman with a strong sense of the wonderful.  Maybe she wore it to feed her chickens a la the Duchess of Devonshire...

maybe she was an American in Paris and wore it in a hotel particulier at 34, avenue New York a la Mona Bismarck...  

whatever its story, you just know there was one...

How could there not be.  Shalom Harlow wore it with a beaded Nina Ricci black beaded catsuit and then donated it to Elettra Wiedemann's charity One Frickin' Day and that is when it came to us at RARE vintage.

It was bought by our client - who has an amazing sense of style - and when she decided it was time to let the Mackie go on and find its next story, she brought it back to RARE vintage.  She came in looking super chic in an enviously effortless kind of way (I feel like for me to look that chic it would take concerted effort) wearing a massive Christian Lacroix necklace and two Pauline Trigere gilt cuffs.  You don't see that kind of chic often enough these days and it made my day brighter.

So here it is the Bob Mackie black silk domino, the ruffles lined in horsehair, ready for its next story...

Bob Mackie black silk domino available for purchase at RARE vintage.

The Mackie domino can be purchased here.

love and kisses, Juliana

Monday, August 25, 2014

Call Me Muffy

All I want for the fall is a muff from Celine, well, not all...

Celine Winter 2014 velvet shearling muff.  Photos from

love, kisses and feeling muffy, Juliana

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Inspiring Rooms: Peggy Guggenheim's Bedroom in Venice

Peggy Guggenheim's house, the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, in Venice is a magical place.  It is a low, grand, cool oasis and as soon as you enter its Clare Falkenstein gates with bits of translucent amber, turquoise and ruby colored glass inserted into a web of iron, you know you are in a place like no other.  

One of my favorite rooms is Peggy Guggenheim's bedroom.  In 1945 Guggenheim commissioned Alexander Calder to create a silver bed head for her bedroom.  Calder created, in hammered silver, a swirling, light reflecting, bed head of sea and plant life.  

It is incredibly beautiful.  When Peggy Guggenheim was living, the bedroom was painted turquoise and I can imagine  Peggy Guggenheim in her "dream world" with "the waves splashing against the bedroom walls.  In summer I wake at 4AM and watch the dawn.  The light is so wonderful.  The vegetable and fruit barges are passing underneath the window.  I watch them, then pull the blinds and go back to sleep."

love, kisses and dreaming of a silver Calder in a turquoise bedroom in Venice, Juliana

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lisa Perry in RARE vintage Courreges!

Lisa Perry bought this awhile back from RARE vintage and I was happy to see her wearing our (well, her : ) pop of yellow Courreges haute couture gown again on Hamish Bowles' Instagram...

Lisa Perry in Courreges haute couture from RARE vintage.  Photo by Hamish Bowles.

love, kisses and we have such beautiful and chic clients, Juliana

Friday, August 22, 2014

Books Fall 2014: Loulou de la Falaise

You can never be too rich or have too many books.

If I had a pillow embroidered with a motto (which I most certainly do not : ), it would say something like that.  I just added another bookshelf to our bedroom, at our beach house, and everyone said it was not going to be big enough... don't you just hate when people say "I told you so!" 

So I found a spot for another bookshelf in my dressing room, which means I can keep on buying books!

And it will be just in time because some ah-mazing books are coming out in the fall!  On my pre-order list is Loulou de la Falaise by Ariel de Ravenel and Natash Fraser-Cavassoni.  The afterword is by Loulou de la Falaise's husband, Thadee Klossowski, and the foreword is by Pierre Berge.

Betty Catroux remembering her friend Loulou, said that she saw life in pink.  I really like the idea of "life in pink".

BC also spoke about her creativity:

"All the women in her family were creative.  It was in her blood.  To create things was an absolute must for her.  She would take a piece of fabric, wrap it in a turban on her head, and pin it with a clip."

Loulou de la Falaise was, of course, great friends with Yves Saint Laurent, but she also went to work for him in 1972 designing the jewelry and hats and I hope the book will cover her jewelry designs too...

You can pre-order the book here.

love, kisses and life in the pink, Juliana

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where Angels Tread: Alexander McQueen Fall 2010. Look 7.

"He was looking at the Dark Ages, but finding light and beauty in it."
Sarah Burton on Alexander McQueen's last collection for Fall 2010.

McQueen had ordered fabric with complex digitally transferred photographs of paintings of church angels and Hieronymous Bosch demons into hand-loomed costly silk jacquards.

"He was coming in every day, draping and cutting pieces on the stand.  He wanted to go back to the handcraft he loved and the things that are being lost in the making of fashion."
Sarah Burton on Alexander McQueen's last collection for Fall 2010.

I am quietly honored to have received this Alexander McQueen fall 2010, look 7,  jacket with its golden angels soaring in couture tailored folds.  It is a reflection of the world Alexander McQueen inhabited: dark, romantic, beautiful, historical, futuristic and fiercely individual.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2010 collection 'Angel' jacket available at RARE vintage

This piece can be purchased here.

love, kisses and missing Alexander McQueen, Juliana

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RARE vintage and Harper's Bazaar Japan!

I am thrilled that RARE vintage was featured in Harper's Bazaar Japan New York Travel Guide!  And we are in good company with David Duncan Antiques and Tracie Martyn...  Thank you Harper's Bazaar Japan!

RARE vintage in Harper's Bazaar Japan.  Photo courtesy of Harper's Bazaar Japan.

P.S. The dress that is featured is Christian Dior haute couture and can be purchased here.

love, kisses and arigatou gozaimasu, Juliana

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Girl Got Style: Kiesza Hideway

You have to love someone who actually chooses to wear skintight high waisted stonewashed jeans with red sneakers, white socks, skinny suspenders, a white bra top and her hair in a pompadour/softandcurly mohawk.  It is all fascinating!  As is Kiesza.  She is not trying to be another Lady Gaga - she is just doing her own thing and it is pretty fab...

love, kisses, ooh and ahh, Juliana

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Inspiring Rooms: Juan Pablo Molyneux's 12th-Century Castle

Three words:


Where some people dream of a farm in Africa, I dream of a castle, with a moat and a sofa upholstered in Bevilacqua fabric in Pouy-sur-Vannes, France.

The castle with the moat and Bevilacqua upholstered sofa belongs to the decorator Juan Pablo Molyneux and was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal magazine.  When Molyneux first saw the castle, it was a conference center and a "disaster".  Working with a team, Molyneux set about restoring the chateau, well, I doubt it was quite this glorious formerly, into a glorious home.  What I find particularly admirable about Mr. Molynneux is that he is like the Chanel of the decorator trade.  He is intent upon saving ancient métiers of the interior arts - much like Chanel has done for the petities mains of the haute couture.

'There were stone masons, carpenters, gilders, masters of wrought iron and masters of scagliola, a 17th century Tuscan technique that uses paint and plaster to mimic marble.'  

"I don't want to just keep these skills alive," says Molyneux.  "I want to push them forward."  (Mr. Molyneux is establishing in a former stable on the grounds of Pouy a space for an artisan academy where there will be a stipend, a place to live and to train.)

'In Pouy's library, the walls are lined in deep-red leather embossed with sky blue and gold.  "The technique was first done by the Sephardic community in Córdoba around the 15th century."  How much does this go for?  "It is not cheap." The bookshelves are by Pierre Garnier, who practiced his craft at Versailles.  And then there's the remarkable reading table - a massive wooden reproduction of the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence.  The designer Renzo Mongiardino had it made in the 1960s for a New York penthouse apartment and Molyneux scooped it up at auction when the apartment was sold.'  (Oddly, the WSJ did not publish a photo of the library : (

The scagliola room:

The vestibule with an imposing 17th century Venetian painting from the school of Tintoretto:

Mr. Molyneux was inspired by his first visit to the chateau when a hot air balloon landed on the front lawn to have the painter, Frédéric Monpoint paint one of round rooms with a whimsical balloon fresco in the manner of Josep Maria Sert.

The Bevilacqua tiger silk velvet from Venice on the sofa:

The 'Gaine' bed in a deep blood red silk velvet is a design by Molyneux.  Dreamy and beautiful.

Another beautiful bedroom this time in hydrangea blues and greens with a small portrait of Madame de Sévigné (a famous letter writer known for her wit during the time of Louis XIV - I am ordering the book of her letters on Amazon and you can too here.)

An indoor pool in the former orangerie:

Juan Pablo Molyneux's chateau in France.  All photos and excerpts in quotations from the WSJ magazine.
love, kisses and I dream of a castle with a moat and a Bevilacqua upholstered sofa, Juliana

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Lightness of Kazuko

I am always happy when we receive new pieces by Kazuko.  They have a lovely sense of lightness, the  gold seems spun magically around the crystals and semi precious stones.  I adore our new collection of Kazuko which has the transparency and lightness of sea glass...

Kazuko 'sea glass' pendants wrapped in gold

Buy the Kazuko pendants here.

love, kisses and One on One Healing Pendants, Juliana

Friday, August 15, 2014

She Dresses for Men, Likes Slacks and Spends $10,000: Slim Hawks

When I was writing the post on Lauren Bacall, it got me me remembering Slim (Hawks) Keith.  She was my first Style Icon crush - it was a combination of her chunky blonde streak (I eventually brought a photo of Slim Keith into Brad Johns and asked him to do it in my hair in the mid 90s), her amazing and sure sense of style, her marriage to Howard Hawks, her friendship with Hemingway and her book, Slim: Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life.  You can still buy the book here.

Slim Hawks was voted best dressed woman in 1946 and here is what she had to say to LIFE magazine about it...

After two weeks as America's best dressed woman, "Slim" Hawks says wearily, "Now I have to be fixed up all of the time.  It will probably force me into a life of seclusion; I may go to Honolulu, rent a few palm fronds and never be seen again."

This proposal would probably save Mr. Hawks some $10,000 a year in clothes allowance, not counting jewelry and furs and her maid's salary. At the moment, Slim's glass-door wardrobe contains considerably more than two palm fronds:

9 fur coats
24 suits
47 dresses
35 evening gowns
10 negligees
23 pairs of slacks
46 blouses
21 pairs of shorts
12 girdles
14 slips
35 bags
120 pairs of shoes.

Of model proportions (5ft 8 1/2") Mrs. Hawks wears from a size 12 to a 16 dress.  Her blonde hair is pulled back by a solid gold barrette she had copied from a 10 cent store model, has a bleached streak across the front which she says is "half God, half me".  She changes her clothes twice a day but unlike most women, does it in jig time.  She spends most of her time in shorts or slacks.

Mrs. Hawks has no set rules for chic but advises women to develop their own sense of style.  "If you know crab doesn't agree with you," she advises metaphorically, "just don't eat it."  Mrs. Hawks suggests: never dress for other women, dress for men, don't follow fads and always be mysterious.  Her pet hates are white fox and lucite bags, the latter because by revelaing their contents, make the observer feel like they are in a woman's bathroom.
Excerpted from LIFE magazine, 1946

For me, my style crush on Slim Keith started with this photo:

Slim Hawks.  Photo by John  Engstead, 1945

Sorry it is so small but it is the only one I could find but how great does she look?!  I love the sandals, the rolled up pant, the cigarette holder... too chic.  And so timeless too.

By the way, her $10,000 a year clothing 'allowance' is about $128,000 in today's money.  And hey!  I would like a clothing allowance too!  Is my husband listening?  Anyone?  Helloooo??!  (cue, sound of crickets... : )

Here is Slim in an Adrian dress from LIFE magazine -which she did not buy.  It was $300 ($3800 today)

I love the black jersey top with the pink silk trouser shorts...

love and kisses, Juliana

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall 1924-2014

I adore the film To Have and Have Not.  The director was Howard Hawks, a man's man and then husband of the glamorous Slim Hawks.  Slim Hawks was voted onto the Best Dressed List in 1946 (the runner up was Duchess of Windsor).  Needless to say, Slim Hawks read Harper's Bazaar and when her husband, Howard, was looking to cast the character of Marie Browning, Slim recalled the girl on the cover leaning across a Red Cross door who "had the look of a panther about her".  The 'panther' was Lauren Bacall.

The casting was brilliant, a star was born and a Hollywood love story began.  The NY Times 1944 review of  To Have and Have Not said that Lauren Bacall was of "slumberous eye and softly reedy, she acts in the quiet way of catnip and sings a song from deep down in her throat."

Lauren Bacall was a babe and a broad.  She wrote two very good autobiographies - the first, By Myself, is my favorite and I highly recommend it.  You can buy it here.

love, kisses and missing Lauren Bacall, Juliana

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Yves Saint Laurent Story of Life

A Yves Saint Laurent rive gauche blouse with a peplum and a skirt in a whimsical Cecil Beaton-ish feather print started its life in Paris.  A spark in the mind of a genius.  It moved to New York and was adored and worn.  Rested comfortably in a closet until it came to RARE vintage where it was loved and from there went to its new home with the beautiful blonde, Stepahnie and ended up back in Paris during the haute couture... once again loved and adored...

Stephanie in vintage YSL rive gauche...

Stephanie founder of The Collecte in our RARE vintage (well, now hers : ) YSL.  

love and kisses, Juliana


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