This is what you've made of me. Black lace & black widow spider, rouged cheeks to bed and honey in my mouth. Someone who loves you more than love itself, someone who cradles the very thought of having your arms around like a boa constrictor. Long black lashes and black tears over pillows, milky powdered skin, soft shoulders undressing dawn. A rose, a butterfly, bubbling rosé champagne, the velvety sensual voice of billie holiday, desire, opulence, high street dramatics. A lamb, a broken heart, a tuberose & a dream, a welcoming land, tender flesh of peach & aurora pink nuances. You've made me, you've had me, you've eaten from me, you've taken pieces and you've taken me apart, you've read me, you've hurt me, you've made love like no one has ever made love, you've robbed me my youth, you've had me and you've left me waiting. You've turned me into the moon, you made me understand what it is to be in love & to be alone, a palace of crystal ready to be shattered with stones.
Lovely morning of drinking Marie Antoinette tea from Ladurée, eating carrot cake with lilac sugar glazing & cookies filled with strawberry cream (let's not talk about the sugar high, please?) while listening to this lovely box set of all the Françoise Hardy's early records
"all discs are packaged in mini LP sleeves with the original artwork while the discs themselves are pressed on black 'vinyl-like' CD's"
Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles (1962) Le Premier Bonheur du Jour (1963) Mon Amie La Rose (1964) L'Amitié (1965) La Maison Où J'ai Grandi (1966) In English (1966)
This record is not part of the box set but Jean-Marie Périer's photographs of Françoise are just so worderful that I couldn't resist showing them!
Art books are easily one of the things I love the most in the world. It's quite hard for me to resist buying a big book in glossy paper filled with wonderful pieces of art and photographs. I've gone to extreme (insane) lengths just to get a book I covet. No matter how heavy or how much time I have to wait, I keep a list of all the books I wish to own one day and I'm quite staunch about finding them.
I've been pining after this book for quite some time and finally was able to find it in a wonderful library (http://galignani.com/) on Rue de Rivoli in Paris. The sale clerks were truly atrocious but as I stated before, no fancy boy with an almighty attitude will ever stop me from getting what I want. I digged and I found my treasure.
The pleasure this book has brought me could only be compared with my love for a very cold glass of Rosé champagne or my obsession with perfume & kisses in the dark, it's truly that marvelous!
Luisa Casati was a XIX century italian aristocrat, she was terribly excentric and had a flair for drama that very few personalities in history have had before. She was a heiress to an insanely large fortune at a very early age and spent most of her adult life being a patroness of the arts and throwing lavish parties to her high societry entourage. She was obsessed with becoming "a living work of art" and served this goal by being a muse and comisioning numerous portraits, sculptures, wax dolls amongst other manifestation of art from some of the most famous and sometimes obscure artist of the century. She was a recognized femme fatale & lover to Gabriel D'Annunzio and to Giovanni Boldini amongst others. She comisioned couture dresses from Worth, Poiret & León Bakst. She was inspiration to Diaghilev's Ballet Russes and threw outragious parties inspired by ocultism and witchcraft.
Her signature look was known to many; pale deadly face, absurdly large kohled eyes, burgundy lipstick and belladonna drops to make her pupils look dilatated. Her hair was fire red and quite frequently she wore snakes and spiders as living jewelry. She was known for being a lover of animals and was often seen walking her cheetahs and monkeys with diamond encrusted collars around the piazzas. Her lifestyle was rather nomadic, she rented houses wherever she went yet always assured to decorate them in her unique style. She had a palazzo in Rome all decorated in pink marble. Money was never an obstacle while persuing a dream.
By the end of the 1930's she was absolutely broke & had to action all of her art collection, including most of the portraits to which she served as muse. Even after she lost all her fortune, she continued to be an excentric lady, who kept seven pekingese dogs and always wore the large circles of kohl around her deep wonderful eyes until her dying day.
The book also includes a marvelous section with photographs and references to all the modern things that have been inspired by the grand Marchesa Luisa Casati
I devoured the book in less than a week and is absolutely a must-read to all the lovers of the arts and of the excentric!
for more go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luisa_Casati http://www.marchesacasati.com/
Luisa Casati in venetian lace
Marchesa Luisa Casati painted by Giovanni Boldini
The Marchesa with one of her cheetahs
the Marchesa wearing an Indo-Person costume designed by León Bakst
Painting of Luisa Casati by Kees Van Dongen
Man Ray's portraits of the Marchesa
The Marchesa with her signature dramatic eye make up and one of her pet boas!
John Galliano's designs inspired by the Marchesa
One of my favorite quotes from the Marchesa Casati
Carine Roitfeld photographed by Karl Lagerfeld as the Marchesa Casati!
Georgina Chapman (half of the wonderful dramatic and barroque label Marchesa) embodying the Marchesa Luisa Casati
Please, go and buy this book; it's truly amazing and you will not regret it!