Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jim and I just returned from two weeks in Europe. We were in Paris, Rome and Venice on this trip. What a wonderful time of the year to be many wonderful expositions and exhibits in Paris. Be sure to check out the restored Musee de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries which just reopened after a 6 year renovation. The Musee des Arts Decoratifs (a part of the Louvre) also reopened in September after a 10 year restoration. Other favorite spots that we never miss in Paris are the Palais is so serene and filled with such history.....amazing shops and good restaurants as well. A visit to one of the Laduree’s is also so Parisienne....I love the one on Rue Bonaparte across from some of the best antique shops in the city. Laduree’s macaroons are the best...but the packaging is the prettiest of any with maybe the exception of Hermes. I think I prefer Ladureé’s because the colors and shapes are so gift items to bring home.

The energy in Rome is so contagious....with fabulous shopping, sightseeing and strolling. We loved the Hotel de Russie. It certainly lived up to its reputation.....I was so inspired by the colors of paint used in the hallways and guest rooms.....very Italian, yet modern. The garden at the de Russie was our favorite dining spot as well. The famous Via Veneto has been revived and restored and it was fun to stroll and imagine Simone Signoret, Frederico Fellini, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton having drinks on the legendary street. Fellini’s film, La Dolce Vita was inspired by the Veneto.
October is my favorite time to visit Venice....not too many tourists and cool weather....if you love to walk, Venice is THE city. There is no other way to get to many places and it is an intriguing, mysterious place. I love the area around the Guggenheim across the Accademia Bridge. It’s fun to stroll on that side of the Grand Canal...not as crowded and so many lovely palazzos. We spent a lot of time in our factories on Murano and will have several new lamps as well as a new chandelier after working with the maestros while we were there. Our shipment will arrive in mid December and has lots of exciting pieces....we focused on large coffee tables, buffets, bergeres and fauteuils on this trip. Many of the pieces will not require restoration and will be in the showroom upon arrival in early December.
We arrived in Dallas just in time for Second Act benefiting the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.....with Elton John....then Two X Two had a hugely successful evening at the Rachofskys......raising a record $2.77 million. The quality of the art was extremely good this year with two of the most incredible Robert Mappelthorpes! There were some lovely design items as well. This is an event that simply gets better and better each year and sells out within two weeks of the invitations being mailed. The event benefits The Dallas Museum of Art and Amfar. Kim Schlegel Whitman then hosted “Breakfast With Tiffany” featuring Stephen Burlingham of the Tiffany family and his new scent “Truly, Madly, Deeply” which has a such smart packaging and is so subtle that I will definitely wear has hyacinth notes but is not overpowering. Mr. Burlingham worked 10 years to achieve the right balance and the perfect container and presentation box.

There are several new pieces in my furniture collection that we are so excited about.....the Palazzo Banquette is the winner with all the people who attended the Preview in September. The new Cole and Coco Barstools and a very chic dining chair, the Nina Chair are all special favorites, too.

And, in the antiques showroom in the Dallas Design District, we are so fortunate to have a really amazing buffet from is truly a rare and wonderful piece that would work well in so many references the 18th century and I would mix it with many different periods.

On one of our new projects, we are using custom colored Patterson Flynn & Martin Kelly Wearsler rugs as well as the a custom Fromental wall covering for the dining room....all very modern classics.

On the fashion front, Cameron Silver of Decades in Los Angeles continues to have wonderful vintage pieces from croc bags to evening gowns, furs and jewelry. And, what a lovely man to work with.....he is in Dallas a couple of times a year at 4510 and it is always fun to see him here as well as in L.A. Whether you live in Dallas or can should see the Downtown Neiman’s store this holiday season. It is so festive and truly stunning this year. And, I might add, with wonderful gift ideas for the season. We shall be decorating the Jan Showers Showroom for the holidays the week after Thanksgiving.....if you are in Dallas or in town, take a moment to come by.
And lastly, my daughter Elizabeth has created a very chic pin called the “Hope Star” pin to pay tribute to those fighting anorexia, other eating disorders and to promote healthy body image. We are both involved in The Elisa Project which is honoring Tracey Gold this year as guest speaker at their luncheon at Brookhollow Country Club on November 8. It is possible to purchase the Hope Star pin on Elizabeth’s website and it comes in both silver and gold finishes. In the next update, we’ll have a report from New, art exhibits, The Modernism Show at the Park Avenue Armory and of course, much about interior design and what’s new and exciting in our world.