Monday, May 22, 2017

Juicy Reading, Delicious Images: My Picks of the Best New Style Books for Spring 2017, Part 2

This week, I’m celebrating ideas, inspiration, pretty pictures (always) and some great reading and book collecting.

Included in my favorite picks are a vivid new book on Alberto Pinto and his firm’s extraordinary interiors.

Then there’s Peter Marino on gardens, and my dear friend Patricia Gaye Tapp and her wonderful new book, ‘How They Decorated’.

Stay tuned and scroll down for more books including Alain Ducasse’s chic new cookbook, along with a beautifully presented ‘Claude Monet in Giverny’, and my friend Pam’s tip, a book on American logos and typefaces, ‘Junk Type’.

Read on for inspiration and ideas, rooms to copy, simple dishes to cook, hydrangeas in Peter’s gardens, and everything to make you love Monet even more.

| 1.  Alberto Pinto Signature Interiors  |

Alberto Pinto Signature Interiors, by Ann Bony, with a foreword by Hubert de Givenchy, published by Flammarion

With lavish interiors, and extremely lavish and luxurious interiors, this is a book to enjoy without ever a thought of cost of the tons of marble and acres of silks and beautiful craftsmanship.

Instead look at it this way: In just one corner of a room there are ideas to be gathered on furniture placement, color, decorative painting, materials, architecture, materials, table décor and lighting. See beyond the gilding and golden tassels to ideas for carpets, upholstery, collections and wall paneling.

Alberto Pinto, a longtime friend of M. Givenchy, departed for decorator heaven recently, and the company is now directed by his beloved sister, Linda.

The interiors—in London, Paris, Marrakech, Monaco, the Middle East, for example—are often for royal families of various nationalities, and reveal the finest craftsmanship, balance, and sometimes a little ostentation it must be admitted. I admire Pinto’s perfectionism—and his ability to create historic styles with spirit and panache.

| 2. The Garden of Peter Marino  |

The Garden of Peter Marino by Peter Marino, Principal Photography by Jason Schmidt and Manolo Yllera (Rizzoli)

Internationally acclaimed architect and interior designer Peter Marino offers an unprecedented look at the gardens of his Hamptons residence on New York’s Long Island. Over two decades he and his team have transformed a rather undistinguished property into a private paradise. 

The quintessentially American landscape deftly juxtaposes formal aspects such as a carefully art directed rose garden and curated plants, trees, and evergreens. His trees are magnificent. There’s an apple orchard, and forty sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne interspersed throughout. Seasonal floral highlights include the bold blooms of azaleas in spring, vibrant roses in June, and a bounty of hydrangeas in summer. There’s a purple garden, a red garden, a pink garden, a great lawn, even a forest. Those looking for plant or garden tips will not find it here. But I’ll tell you a secret: Marino lavishly thanks Marder’s nursery In Bridgehampton ‘for twenty years of Saturdays’, so perhaps you can call Marder’s for any plant information. Good luck.

Perhaps, really, this book is mostly intended as a tribute to the Lalannes and their sculptures—which are lavishly shown and credited here.

| 3. How They Decorated  |
Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century

How They Decorated, Inspiration from Great Women of the Twentieth Century by P. Gaye Tapp, with a forward by Charlotte Moss (Rizzoli)

Patricia Gaye Tapp, founder and creator of the wonderfully eccentric style and design blog, Little Augury, has been a great friend for nine years, since I first had the idea of launching THE STYLE SALONISTE. Gaye inspired me to ‘just do it’ when I was about to launch, and I consulted her often at the start.

I always admired her erudition on style matters, her passion for English talents like Cecil Beaton and the Sitwells, and her encyclopedia knowledge of women of style.

Now her great knowledge has created a wonderfully original new style book, and It’s love at first sight, with a dramatic and chic cover painted by Cecil himself.

Over 223 pages, Gaye zooms in on chapters on Legacy Style (with the likes of Louise de Villmorin and Lady Diana Cooper), along with In the Grand Manner (with Mona von Bismarck, and Pauline de Rothschild.) She shows examples of confident style in chapters on Fashionably Chic (Babe Paley and Fleur Cowles), as well as the Unconventional Eye (with Dominique de Menil and Lesley Blanch).

Covering these sixteen elegant women, she shows how they (most of course worked with decorators, architects and designers) orchestrated rooms of great charm, individuality and style. Tables are lavishly set, bedrooms invite lingering, fashions are paraded. And then, just when the lavish interiors are feeling rather intense, she introduces Georgia O’Keeffe (bold simplicity) and then Lesley Blanche, the ultimate romantic. It’s a book to treasure. I love it.

| 4. A Day with Claude Monet in Giverny  |

A Day with Claude Monet in Giverny by Adrien Goetz, photography by Francis Hammond (published by Flammarion)

I’ve been fortunate to visit Giverny several times, including my favorite when we arranged to arrive at 7am one summer, with birds twittering, gardeners tending the dew-shimmering gardens, and all was silent and pristine before the gates opened at 9am. Bliss gazing at the ponds in silence.

With exquisite drawings, photography, and Monet paintings, this lovedly book, presented in a slipcovered edition, speaks of a love of Monet, the appeal of the French countryside, and Monet’s dreamy sanctuary.

There are the Japanese garden, the interiors of his house, and scenes of village and country life, and the Monet family.

This is an exquisite homage to Monet, and if you have not yet been there, this book can take you to Giverny on a magic carpet. Lovely, calm still-life images, sketches and strolls through the garden make this book very special.

| 5. Simple Nature  |

Simple Nature by Alain Ducasse (Rizzoli)

Alain Ducasse is my favorite French chef, for his modern cuisine, his love of vegetables and fruit and fresh fish, and for his constant attempts to stay modern, to stay current and fresh.

Ducasse worked closely with chef Christophe Saintagne and nutritionist to create healthy and nutritious dishes to enjoy year-round. Some of the ideas are simple and delicious ‘Hedgehog Mushrooms and Fried Eggs’, or ‘Crispy Polenta with Parmesan and Sage’ or ‘Pumpkin Soup with Chestnuts’. He is crazy about classic Pot-au-Feu and it appears in many styles. His salads are simple and chic—and there’s even a majestic ‘Veggie Burger’ Ducasse-style.

| 6. Junk Type  |
Typography Lettering Badges Logos

Junk Type Typography Lettering Badges Logos by Bill Rose (Universe Publishing)

Photographer Bill Rose, aka Recapturist, has created a vivid and quirky homage to vintage American typography and design in 300 fascinating images.

Criss-crossing the country, Rose has captured graphic design for products and places that are lost forever. He’s based in Minneapolis, and loves old neon signs, typography, and icons, an advertising slogan, Art Deco-inspired fonts, handmade cursive, and illustrated insignia, and modern graphic logos of the sixties. For type fans, this is a charming, quirky and engrossing encyclopedia of creative typefaces, marketing, and graphic styles the capture the optimism and enterprise of the last century. A wonderful reference and inspiration.

What I love: JunkType is a labor of love by photographer and preservationist Bill Rose, who has captures rapidly disappearing examples of American typography, and our industrial design heritage. An inspiration to any designer who appreciates the history of their field, but also a joy to the visually-oriented “civilian” who is drawn to vintage packaging in a flea market or forgotten corners of their own town as well.

Beautiful Reading: Cabana, the Cult Privately Published Design Magazine

My new issue of CABANA has arrived. It’s fantastic, eccentric, nostalgic, original, and rich in interiors and time travel and beautiful objects.

Issue 7 was sponsored by Burberry, and the custom covers offered are a mixed bag—some are quirky, some are wonderfully abstract, and others are rather contrary.

If you can find the blue abstract cover (like the one I photographed above, in my library), you will be happier than with the Henry Moore sculpture drawings, I think.

Christopher Bailey admires Henry Moore, and notes his major influence on modern British sculpture, art and design.

Cabana also has two riveting house stories—one in the Cotswolds, and the other in La France Profonde, that magical and undiscovered idea of ‘deepest France’ that send chills down your spine.

And a favorite is Erdem’s visual essay on obsession…with obsessively collected images that recall the earl days of The World of Interiors.

You might call Cabana the extreme version of The World of Interiors. You’ll recall when WOL published a fixed-up stable, complete with dust and straw in one of the most stylish interiors stories ever. Cabana is in that territory.

Where to buy: You can buy it direct from Cabana in London, or check here.

Or you can dash over to 1stDibs and find it in an obscure corner.

Or if you are lucky to be in San Francisco, you could leap over to Smoke Signals, the unmatched magazine shop owned by my friend, Fadi Berbery. It’s on Polk Street between Green and Vallejo Streets. He just received 50 copies…it is his best-seller, so jump in there fast.

My friend Mo at Juicy News on Union Street between Fillmore and Webster Streets, also has a fantastic selection of design and style magazines and books, and he is a reliable stockist of Cabana.


Cabana magazine images by Diane Dorrans Saeks.

Images from Rizzoli books above used with express permission from Rizzoli USA.

Order these books from your local privately owned bookshop, or at

For more information about Rizzoli, and new books, check on

Monday, May 8, 2017

My Favorite New Fashion and Style Books for Spring 2017

This week I’m focusing on fashion, including a fantastic new fashion reference from Paris, Manolo’s new shoe book, the big book of Francois Nars, and a close look at the enigmatic Dora Maar, and the bohemian Tziporah Salamon.

Join me for a close look at each book…and lots of images.

Next week my favorite new books on travel, and Part three is my selection of books on interior design and style inspiration.

My criteria: Is the book an essential for a lifetime library, and does it offer insight and new knowledge and expert information? Is it beautifully designed? Does it have wit and generosity and originality? Yes, yes and yes to all five books this week.

| 1.  Fashion Forward 300 Years of Fashion   |

Fashion Forward: 300 Years of Fashion By Pierre Bergé, Olivier Gabet, Pamela Golbin, and Denis Bruna (Rizzoli USA 2017)

This fantastic reference book traces the evolution of fashion—from the opulence of the court of Louis XV to the couture of today and illustrates three centuries of fashion trends and innovation.

Originally published to accompany a major exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, it’s a definitive book on fashion history. This is a well-ilustrated book that’s also brainy—as it explores how fashion has always been intertwined with the fine arts and decorative arts.

Fashion icons known for this artistic cross-pollination include Gabrielle Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent, who are highlighted.

About the authors: Pierre Bergé cofounded the house of Yves Saint Laurent with his longtime partner. Olivier Gabet is the director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and former curator at the Musée d’Orsay, and a specialist in nineteenth- century decorative arts. Pamela Golbin is the chief curator of twentieth-century collections, fashion, and textiles at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Denis Bruna is the curator of pre-nineteenth-century fashion and textile collections at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Find here Chanel, Dior, Lee McQueen, a 1690 riding coat, 19th-century ball gowns, Schiaparelli, and contemporary heroes like Dries, Alber and Yamamoto.

| 2. Manolo Blahnik The Art of Shoes   |

Manolo Blahnik The Art of Shoes by Cristina Carillo de Albornoz Fisac (SKIRA/ Rizzoli 2017)

I’ve collected Manolo Blahnik’s annual books over the years. They are windows onto his creative process, his obsessions, his fetishes and his joys. Plus I wear mostly Blank shoes, the best by far.

The new MANOLO BLAHNIK: THE ART OF SHOES explores the creativity and influences of Manolo, through a frisky alphabetic chronicle of the designer’s loves and inspiration.

Blahník’s whimsical book gives insight into the art and craftsmanship of shoemaking and includes musings on his relationships with figures such as Anna Piaggi, Loulou de la Falaise, and Diana Vreeland.

The book is just 128 pages, with original and significant hits like the inspiration Blahnik draws from works by Goya, Zurbarán, Picasso, Barbara Hepworth, and Zaha Hadid; and his admiration for fellow designers such as Azzedine Alaïa, Balenciaga, and Yves Saint Laurent, to name a few.

I’m always inspired to dash off and buy books he recommends, see films he loves, check on an obscure painting or photo or style he adores. Blahnik the Great.

The book was designed to also act as a catalogue to The Art of Shoes, a retrospective show of 212 hand selected shoes from Manolo’s 30,000 strong archive, which will tour the world this year.

Launched in January 2017 at the Palazzo Morando in Milan, home to the factories where Manolo Blahnik shoes are brought to life, it then moves to the State Museum Hermitage in St. Petersburg Russia, a source of constant inspiration for Blahnik. From there on to The Czech Republic, the paternal home of the Blahnik family where the exhibition will show at Museum Kampa in Prague, followed by the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas in Madrid, Spain, Blahnik’s heart land. In 2018 the tour then jumps to the esteemed BATA shoe museum in Toronto, Canada with more international locations to be confirmed. 

| 3. François Nars   | 

François Nars (Rizzoli USA 2016)

François Nars launched his first lipsticks at Barneys New York in 1994, and his makeup collections are among my most admired. I’m sure you’ve all tried the various iterations of Dragon Girl and Orgasm blush, and his eye colors and powders. Fun and reliable and chic.

A few years ago, L’Oreal acquired his company and it’s clear that Nars is still the creator, the dreamer, the idea and style guide and soul of the brand.

Watch the seasonal concepts…this spring his inspiration is Charlotte Gainsbourg.

He previously notably created a collection of colors inspired by Sarah Moon, the great photographer.

As it happens, there is a Nars boutique in my neighborhood, so I’m very familiar with the lip pencils and new cheek tints, and powders and compacts that travel so well.

This bold new book is like a visit to Nars’ library, where he shows you all his photo albums, his portfolios of Vogue covers, his snaps of model makeup, and his years of inventing new eye make-ups working with favorite models (Naomi).

There’s not much text, though he is very generous crediting and thanking everyone. Images cover his pop life, his favorite models, actors, and new make-ups.

Finally, probably the real reason I love this book is that it ends with a visit to his residence on a private motu (island) in the Bora Bora lagoon. Working with Christian Liaigre, he created a wonderfully subtle haven for family and friends. It’s frangipani-scented and palm-shaded and a super-chic homage to Tahitian culture. Photos in Tahiti are black and white….and so stylish.

| 4. Dora Maar  |
Paris in the Time of Man Ray, Jean Cocteau and Picasso

Dora Maar Paris in the Time of Man Ray, Jean Cocteau and Picasso by Louise Baring (Rizzoli USA 2017)

I selected this biography of the enigmatic Dora Maar because I thought it would include photos and information about the very insider Dora Maar House in Ménerbes, Provence. I have visited the house several times and at one point hoped to be awarded a fellowship to research and write there for a month. This was not to be, and I retain great affection for the residence, the idea, and Ménerbes and friends there.

Louise Baring has written a fascinating book that reveals a talented photographer who was famously involved with Picasso in the thirties and forties, and is the subject of many of his most famous paintings.

Maar has somewhat been written out of Picasso’s story except as a ‘weeping woman’. She went on to befriend and inspire many of the talented photographers, painters and designers in Paris over many decades and lived there in seclusion until 1997.

The book is a small treasure—even after I realized that there are no photos of the Dora Maar House in Provence. Illustrations include many examples of her surrealist photography. Objectively, it’s a study of a woman’s life, and at the same time, it is a riposte to those who thought she was ‘nothing without Picasso’. 

| 5. The Art of Dressing  | 
Ageless, Timeless, Original Style

The Art of Dressing  Ageless, Timeless, Original Style by Tziporah Salamon (Rizzoli New York 2017)

Tziporah Salamon is one of the colorful street style icons that Bill Cunningham photographed every week around 57th Street, outside Tiffany or Bergdorf’s.

She was usually not named. No-one was identified, but everyone in New York knows Tziporah.

Tziporah has many lives in New York as a style lecturer, a theatrical performer, and a fun person to know and spend time with. You might be fortunate to run into her striding along Madison Avenue, or riding her Italian bicycle through Central Park.

Rizzoli editor Ellen Nidy is one of the top talents who shaped this fascinating biography and charted her life and her wardrobe through the colorful years.

Best of all, many pages are devoted to the style and dress of Tziporah’s friends, including the incredibly chic Beatrix Ost, the elegant Carmen de Lavallade, and Enrica Carretti and Marjorie Stern.

Along the way, Tziporah offers essential style tips including, “Enlist the services of a good seamstress and tailor’, and her commentary on color, proportion, pattern, and starting with basics.

A fun read and certainly a sharp response and dismissal of fast fashion. Eccentric, yes, Life-affirming, yes.


Copyright images here used with express permission of the publisher.

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