"There is nothing inherently improper about the word ‘brassière’ – though, as a bachelor, I always find myself confusing it with ‘brasserie’ and thinking of French cafés."
Airline Check In Agent: "Did you pack your own bags?
John Pope-Hennessy: "Of course not!"
--As recounted by David Plante in Becoming a Londoner, A Diary.
"Remember, my dear girl, all one needs to catch a husband may be a bed, but it takes a whole house to keep one."
--Countess Volpi's Early 1950s Advice to a Newlywed Marella Agnelli
With the upcoming release of her memoir, Truman Capote's last surviving "Swan" will be much in the news. The above quote is from an excerpt of the book printed in the September 2014 Vanity Fair. Agnelli evidently took Countess Volpi's advice to heart, creating an assortment of homes around the world in which to "keep" her husband Gianni. [Spoiler Alert: He still strayed]. One of those homes was the Agnelli ancestral home in the mountains above Turin, Villar Perosa.
This is from a profile of Villar Perosa in George and Rosamund Berniers' European Decoration, Creative Contemporary Interiors:
The villa dates from the early 1700s, and Agnelli was judicious about making changes to a home that had been in the Agnelli family for over one hundred years. She did, however, create several new guest rooms and updated other parts of the home, including the sitting room that is pictured in the above photo. She found inspiration for her remodel from antique textiles stored in the Villar Perosa cellar.
Her upcoming memoir, Marella Agnelli, The Last Swan, is not her first book. She wrote two books on gardening, and has been featured in numerous others, including The Beautiful People's Beauty Book.
"Impotence and sodomy are socially O.K. but birth control is flagrantly middle-class."
--Evelyn Waugh, Noblesse Oblige
"I’m exactly as I appear. There is no warm, lovable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water."
Photo Credit: Snapshots in History's Glare by Gore Vidal.
"You meet the same hundred and fifty people everywhere, whether you’re in Los Angeles or New York or Paris."
"Had lunch with Truman [Capote]. He wasn’t drinking so he was boring."
--Andy Warhol, The Andy Warhol Diaries
"My God, Lady Bird in the White House! We can’t use her in the magazine."
--Diana Vreeland, Reacting to the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Courtesy of Nicholas Haslam, Redeeming Features.
"A dinner invitation, once accepted, is a sacred obligation. If you die before the dinner takes place, your executor must attend."
--Ward McAllister (the original NYC Man About Town)
The last day of Cecil Beaton at Home -- Ashcombe and Reddish at the Salisbury Museum is September 19. It is an exceptional exhibition and a must for admirers of Beaton. After viewing the first two rooms of the exhibit, I presumed it was over but was nevertheless pleased that I took the train from London to see it. I was then astonished (and delighted) to discover that I was only one third of the way through the exhibit.
The focal point is Cecil Beaton's famous circus bedroom, which has been painstakingly recreated. The original was a collaborative effort of talented friends such as Rex Whistler, and I have read much about it over the years in various books Nick Harvill Libraries sells. However, it was extraordinary to visit in person, as Cecil Beaton's bedroom is one of the last places I ever expected to find myself. The room evokes fantasy but not of the romantic kind. Perhaps it offers a partial explanation as to why Beaton was terribly unlucky in love.