27 February, 2012

The Duchess Watches At Home . . .

The Duchess, like most of her readers (but not all!), viewed last night's Academy Awards from the comfort of home, with dear friends and family and delicious food all around.  One thing in short supply at the Oscars is food.  The prevalent style appears to be anorexic with a soupcon of very anorexic, topped with a tan.  Please ladies.  So boring. 

So the Duchess's "best dressed" list will be very short and sweet.  Her top five (in no particular order, of course): 
Natalie Portman. 
The Duchess isn't her biggest fan but this polka dotted Dior number was unexpected and appropriate for a presenter (take note, J. Lo).  Very pretty.

Rose Byrne.
Hair is the bomb.  Vivienne Westwood dress is very sleek and glam.  Perhaps we have a fit problem?  Of course the Duchess couldn't fit her left leg in that tiny little frock so it's best not to speculate.

Kristen Wiig.
J. Mendel.  Just really loved this color on her, and the silhouette is great.  She also "nailed" the manicure. 

Milla Jovovich.
Was she in a film this year?  The Duchess must have missed it.  Great look.

Emma Stone.
The Duchess's perennial favorite.  This Giambattista Valli was the right color red, and the Duchess personally loves loves loves the giant bow-tied halter.  Good makeup.  Wonderful sense of humor even more important. 

24 February, 2012

The Duchess Art Advises . . .

On Saturday night, the place to be will be PRISM Gallery on Sunset, for the opening of their new show Os Gemeos:  Miss You.  Reception from 6 to 9 pm.

8746 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90046

The Duchess, Out and About . . . (Part I)

Last night was rather a fun night, as the Duchess (with Princess I. in tow) stopped in at a couple of the more fashionable spots in town for the de riguer pre-Oscar festivities.  First up, the lovely and serene Hollyhock, where the venerable Suzanne Rheinstein played hostess to Phoebe Howard ("Mrs. Howard"), in town to promote her new book, The Joy of Decorating.  Ms. Rheinstein had flown in ham biscuits from Tootsie Watkins in Pawleys Island, South Carolina; mint juleps (and a very nice sauvignon blanc, thank you very much) were served; and Mrs. Howard was ever the gracious Southern guest.  The Duchess pored over the book this morning, coffee in hand--here are some photographs of recent Mrs. Howard projects to whet your appetite for more.

We also paid a visit to Szalon where proprieter Judith Hoffman served rose champagne, foie gras flown in from Hungary, and chocolate-covered potato chips to her guests, who were there to take a "first look" at Patinas Lighting for Szalon's Revivals Line.  The event was co-hosted by Susan McFadden of California Homes and nicely done by The Culture Creative.

A look from inside Szalon (the "z" is silent)

22 February, 2012

The Duchess Dreams . . .

The Duchess was completely entranced by the palatial Southampton home of Tory Burch, featured in the March edition of Vogue. The photographs by Francois Halard capture the sense of classicism, chic and lightness of the traditionalist manse, decorated in collaboration with Daniel Romualdez and Eve Hood.

Tory's taste level is stratospheric, which accounts for her success as ambassador of a brand that represents living beautifully, colorfully, aspirationally.  Well done, Tory. 

Tory in Valentino stands among her custom panels from Iksel in Paris. 
The main entrance.  I'll say.
The poolhouse pavilion features a table set with Mottahedeh's Tobacco Leaf dinnerware and Porthault linens. 
A Colefax & Fowler print dominates the bedroom.
(I hope my decorator is reading this).
Quadrille linens in the sunporch; can anyone identify the wall covering? 
It reminds me of Samarkand by Peter Dunham.
Liz O'Brien chandeliers, Louis Seize chairs from Sotheby's.
The foyer

21 February, 2012

The Duchess Dresses . . .

Ask nearly anyone and they'll confirm the Duchess's view that finding the ideal little day dress is a battle not easily won.  Until now.  Victoria Beckham's more accessible new line, Victoria Victoria Beckham, is modeled on the premise that a stylish, easy dress is the perfect outfit for any woman, and the Duchess just might agree.  The Duchess, hopeful for warmer weather, features Ms. Beckham's spring/summer 2012 collection as we set our sights on sunshine, and the concomitant bare arms and legs. 

Available in Los Angeles at Neiman Marcus, and online through Net-a-Porter

17 February, 2012

The Duchess Remembers . . .

With great sadness we learned that one of Los Angeles's own contemporary artists, Mike Kelley, passed away of an apparent suicide earlier this month.  The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) launches a tribute to Kelley this weekend to celebrate his contributions to LA, featuring 23 of his 34 works in MOCA's permanent collection.  Though there surely will be many more tributes to Kelley in the upcoming months and years (including his inclusion in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, next month, and a larger retrospective of his work coming to MOCA in 2014 from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam), the MOCA show is a thoughtful place to start. 

Mike Kelley, 1954-2012

The Duchess Suggests . . .

A hallmark of many homes, both traditional and modern in their styling, is timeless leopard print.  Whether the pattern of a carpet or the lush upholstery on a chair, leopard adds panache to any setting. 

But what if you are looking for a little more feline whimsy?  The perfect touch, and one the Duchess fell head over hells for, is the Piero Fornasetti leopard ottoman.  Peter Dunham had one at Hollywood at Home for a time that the Duchess lusted after, but alas, her hesitation cost her the ability to call this ottoman her own because it has now been sold.  Keep your eyes open for these, and keep the Duchess posted! 

A Fornasetti ottoman put to use by Ruthie Sommers

The Fornasetti ottoman at Hollywood at Home

If a Fornasetti ottoman is beyond your reach, not to worry.  These pillows by Dana Gibson are a fabulous substitute, and come in a variety of background colors (including red!).  The Duchess may have to stock up on a few herself. 

16 February, 2012

The Hunt Is Over.

The hunt is over, and the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli in navy is mine.  Thanks to everyone at the West Hollywood store for making this one possible. 

The Duchess Attends . . .

Looking very forward to tonight's presentation of the Valentino spring/summer 2012 collection at the new Valentino boutique, and to examining the intricacies of the clothes and accessories in person (preview below).  Goodbye, money, the Duchess enjoyed you for the short time you were around.

13 February, 2012

The Duchess Hunts . . .

These days, a girl's handbag can be a really significant investment, what with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen charging over $5k for a consummately simple black leather tote.  The Duchess isn't sure (because Barneys doesn't say) whether or not this tote will do your taxes for you, or raise your children, or even simply keep house, which it surely must in order to warrant such an exorbitant outlay of dinero. 

And it seems that many of the mass market "luxury" handbag lines are inching closer and closer, across the board, to the over two- to four thousand price tag range.  With all due respect to and extreme jealousy of my sisters who are sporting these portmanteaux (Empresses, I'm talking to you), the Duchess believes there simply must be at least a small collection of not-insanely priced bags that still carry the cache of the ever elusive and tres tres chic (and now ubiquitous?) Luggage Tote

The Duchess casts her votes for a couple of newish bags on the horizon.  Phillip Lim's Pashli satchel is a couple of seasons old, but it is released each season in a new crop of colors.  It's Celine-esque in styling but not overly derivative, just enough to capture the freshness of that shape, and is not, I repeat, is not a tote.  Something different.  The Duchess prefers the painted croc-print one in grey, available through Saks.

Reese Witherspoon with her forest green Pashli

Classic black

There's also this gorgeous little bag from Reed Krakoff, the Mini Atlantique. Now available generally for pre-order (also through Saks, hence the poor image quality), may the Duchess suggest the Mini in this delish green.

Of course, nothing wrong with the (non-Mini) Atlantique, available in luscious espresso from Reed Krakoff online.  
Happy shopping, readers! 


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