03 December 2016

Giving: Jane Hess



Jane Hess aka Medora of Instagram, shares her ideas and favorites for giving this year. Her sense of humor and storytelling has garnered her a stellar following on the social media site. As "Medora," her oft times tongue & cheek comments, along with her keen knowledge of social history makes her Instagram feed a "stop and read" marvel.

"I love great soap with a beautiful scent and pretty bars. My favourite, from France, is Blanc Lila or White Lilac, a round white soap decorated with violets." here




"I love many different brands of scented candles but invariably the headiest and most lasting scents are from one of two French companies - Cire Trudon or Diptyque. Here, the latter's three Christmas offerings, which will seduce you and your guests into thinking they're surrounded by a forest of pine."








"I love what I call 'Araby' scents, such as this exotic one from Byredo here "







A Second Scent?
"Bluebell is Penhaligon's most beloved scent, redolent of spring in the English countryside. But I prefer one of its lesser known eau de toilettes, the refreshing and romantic Lily of the Valley here."







"If you need statement gloves and they must be the chicest, coolest and best, look to Prada. And because you don't want ever to matchy-match these mottled pea-green ones will go with everything."



great gloves at Bergdorf's here 



"Gucci rules the fashion world right now so if you want to get on the bandwagon consider a pair of the Italian brand's glamorous new statement leather pumps - perfect for holiday parties - with a lower bamboo effect heel and gobsmacking red cherries as embellishment. Head designer Alessandro Michele nails it again! here"







"To set a beautiful table is one of life's pleasures. I love the colourfully patterned selection of Indian table linens in pure cotton from Anmol Imports, based in Toronto, here "








Jane's book pick? "Fit for a Queen" here





"I adore these Porthault Linens Fleurs de Pecher in blue. I have the pink and they are charming here."







"I love love these and in real they are big and magnificent! Exclusive to Design Within Reach - a favourite store for modern iconic furniture and accessories, here"




Find Jane on ig here.  Jane is a former newspaper reporter, and magazine editor who loves having beautiful obsessions-fashion, the history of fashion, literature in particular Virginia Woolf and other English women writers, the Bloomsbury Group, et al. 
Now you know why I am such a "Medora" fan.







29 November 2016

Giving: David Netto

Author David Netto offers up a unique Christmas Giving List—for the palate, the practical, and the palatial. David is a big thinker, so I'd expect nothing less. His "eye" is one of a kind, and his way with words, as noted by his comments about each gift. (all in quotations)


"This the most romantic place in California, and what you dream of Big Sur to be like. But it’s only like that here."

Two Nights at Deetchen’s Big Sur Inn here





 The “Claws for Celebration” package gift box from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami here.







Triumph Thruxton 1200R motorcycle from Glendale ProItalia (in silver) here

"My wife just bought me one of these, so believe me I know it’s a good one. First bike I ever wanted that wasn’t Italian. When you ride it you’ll see why."




Leather-wrapped towel rack by Sol y Luna from Monc XIII in Sag Harbor here

"Everything in this sensational store is special and superbly curated, but I have a weakness for these Spanish leather items you can’t find anywhere else. If a towel rack seems too unwieldy, get them an ice bucket."



Hanging Rattan chair from Serena & Lily here

"My daughter wants this."




Intuition II here

"If you’ve had a good year, one of the most beautiful boats in the world is for sale (and just had a price chop). I’ve looked at her for years in Sag Harbor, we met once in Charleston, and apparently…well, it’s just not my turn… But you, Mr. Big Stuff? Live a little. 
And you’ll never be alone—she has 13 crew, 3 of whom are engineers."




David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust here

"This is the best present to give, or to get. Foster an orphaned baby elephant rescued and cared for by this extraordinary organization. I gave one to each of my daughters for Valentine’s Day (Dupotto was our first), and we haven’t stopped since."




The Romanovs, by Simon Sebag Montefiore here

"It’s the power of storytelling. Just when you thought you knew what there was to know on this subject, a new book comes along--and in this author’s hands it’s like you’re hearing it all over again for the first time. Imagine if "The Crown" was about these guys? "




Gitterwerk Coat Hook from Neue Galerie design shop here

"The power of something by Josef Hoffmann to lift any room—and add a touch of the exotic—is something I return to constantly in designing. It never misses. Get someone four of these, and their Mudroom will thank you for it."



photograph by Jackie de Ravenel

David has a new book out about the great designer Francois Catroux this Fall. I've just written about it on the blog-if you missed it here is a link. David is a brilliant designer whose stamp is seen on all of his projects-but rendered as a blended collaboration with his client that brings each project its own aura. This collaboration with Catroux is one is a million. Another great gift to give.

David's website here





26 November 2016

Giving: tis the Season

I've asked some of my friends to offer up their picks for Giving this year. With a wide range of gifts, on their lists, I've a few of my own to offer.

Get personal. Choose a gift that reflects the person receiving it, or something that might peak their interest, or give a gift you'd like to receive (there you can never go wrong).  For the person who has everything—give small or give of your time (a true gift of the heart), or make a donation to their favorite Charity in their name.

With that here are some of my favorites to Give & Recieve.


This terrific CIRCA Incense Burner by Cinnamon Projects from AEDES.com here
To go with this two favorites of mine to burn during the season Astier de Vilatte MARIENBAD here and Estaban CEDRE here






I love fragrance in closets, chest of drawers, anywhere there are tight spaces that open to envelope us. This-something quite new to me by Frederic Malle. Rubber Incense here  Saint des Saints (one of my favorite scents). I love anything he creates—another favorite Carnal Flower. His candles are wonderful, magical, and long burning. —from AEDES again.


Another jewel of an incense burner is at Moda Operandi from the Cinnamon Projects again. here


Books? Of course in any shape or size. This set Great American Women Writers by Juniper Books here, at Moda Operandi is ideal for the bibliophile—young or old.





This is definitely a "1 for You, 1 for Me" fiction, The Walk to Elsie's~ Tony Duquette becomes Elsie de Wolfe s last great protégé. Based on a true story.





Mateo, jewelry that is the essence of simplicity and minimalism, yet harkening back to eras past.
—at Moda Operandi here 




Liz O'Brien offers the wonderful fashion photography of MARK SHAW. It would be hard not to find a dozen or more you'd love to have. Just 1, I think would set a collection in motion. LIZ O'BRIEN at 1st dibs. here

Dior Model Kouka Wears Hymenee Wedding Gown



Things I love time & again Magnifying Glasses, Paperweights, Scissors, Tape measurers. Often when I see a unique one I get several for giving.

The Paperweight from Bernard Masnier—to customize here


Everything is elegant and of keepsake sort




To the client that needs a real nudge, and a real Thank you, Three Panels by Raoul Dufy here. "La Danse" printed textile for Paul Poiret.






Paper. Oh I love paper. I received an art collector friend's collection and I've framed some things. Pinned others right onto the wall. His collection has inspired my own collection. A piece I'm selling Woodcut Design for a Kimono, on etsy here




Wallis Pillow from Thomas Jayne Studio here

The must have ultimate Name Dropper Pillow-I'd find it hard to give honestly—It's a Keeper! Designer Thomas Jayne, (I saw this on his IG feed) writes "The Wallis pillow is inspired by a design once used in the library of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's villa in the Bois-de-Bologne outside of Paris."

19 November 2016

Francois Catroux the designer, the book


A new book that spans five decades of work by legendary designer Francois Catroux has just been published this fall by Rizzoli. Written by the erudite David Netto, his equally erudite subject Catroux has designed some of the most sophisticated rooms over those decades. Catroux's work, all of his work, from the earliest, less featured in the book, to his current, is strong and meaningful, with a whisper of serenity present in each as well. A difficult balance to maintain, but as Catroux is a master—it's the dynamic most present in all his work.

Netto draws an arc from Catroux's elegant persona to his elegant rooms in an engrossing introduction. Catroux's rooms are as sleek as his wife Betty Catroux, if anything his rooms echo her, and rarely deviatiate from that chic—which must be proof of their devotion to each other.


Catroux in Hong Kong 2009
top photograph and above by Marianne Hass


Catroux comments on each room in the book—doing so with equal parts self-deprecation & admiration, and as a reader, we are drawn into the conversation between author and subject. Catroux is considered an original, never copying. His work does carry strong markers—they are all his own, laid down from many years of working with his clients.

Francois Catroux by David Netto, Rizzoli New York, 2016.




The author David Netto, photographed by Ron Hamad



Even Francois Catroux's most opulent rooms are refined, reserved even. 


This apartment in New York Catroux designed in 1990—over 25 years ago, is steeped in world-class art and a modern edge that harkens back to the nineteenth century. Completely of the moment.
It's my favorite.

photographs above and below are by Francois Halard


In two of Catroux's rooms, a sculpture of the god Atlas is present. He cites the most valuable piece in the room of a 2004 Paris apartment as being a sixteenth century Augsburg Atlas in vermeil. The other Atlas is in his own Paris apartment, a gift from his close friend and client Helene Rochas. It's a bold bronze. Symbolic, like Atlas, Catroux's work is powerful but like each of these sculptures it can be grand with a flourish, or it can just be grand. His work is undisputedly so—like this the first book of his work where it is apparent author and subject are of one mind. Discernment makes for great decoration and great reading.



The images were provided by Rizzoli and used with their permission

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