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25 September, 2013

truman capote's black & white ball at the plaza

"To this day, that was the biggest party I ever shot," photographer Harry Benson recalls. "Capote's ball was unique. Everyone wanted to be there. People who weren't invited went out of town."(x)

After six years of researching & writing In Cold Blood, Capote wanted to take some time off of writing & instead decided to throw the Party of the Century.

The Paperless Post take on Capote’s invitation, based closely on the original. (x)

"Sitting poolside in Bridgehampton, at the house of his mother's friend Eleanor Friede, Capote worked—with a concentration usually reserved for writing—entering (like one of God's angels) the names of the chosen into a 10-cent black-and-white composition book. Periodically, he would review the list, deleting names as he inserted new ones into the ledger. "The party," Gerald Clarke notes, "was the product of a literary mind"—in this case, a manipulative instrument whose considerable might was applied to assembling a cast of characters and moving them about like so many chess pieces. In his diminutive hands he controlled, or so it seemed, the destinies of an international group of players who could rouse presidents to action, steer the course of a country's economy, determine the silhouettes of millions of women, compose the soundtrack of a generation." (x)

"Inspired by My Fair Lady's breathtaking Ascot scene, costumed by Cecil Beaton entirely in black and white, he would restrict his guests' attire to this most severe of palettes. Capote explained, "I want the party to be united the way you make a painting." Furthermore, all guests would be required to wear masks, and the ladies to carry fans. The masks, according to his scenario, would free guests to dance and mingle as they pleased. At midnight the disguises would be removed. "It was complete autocratic hosting," recalls D. D. Ryan." (x)

“The ballroom had been done up in red, with not a flower in sight—‘the people are the flowers,’ declared Evie Backer, responsible for the interior design. (x)

Lee Radziwill (x)

"The party's jubilant atmosphere was punctuated by the sound of barmen popping open 450 bottles of Taittinger champagne—flowing, according to C. Z. Guest, "like the Mississippi, or the Nile." (

Mia Farrow & Frank Sinatra

"The only other time guest lists were ever published was for state dinners at the White House." As many of the 540 [invitees] soon learned, "having your name on the list became a mark of tremendous status for a few months," Podhoretz continues. "It provoked enormous hostility, admiration, and curiosity. Aferwards I went to Yaddo [the writers' retreat in upstate New York], and all anyone wanted to talk to me about was the party." (x)

Recommended further reading:
A Night to Remember, by Amy Fine Collins
Capote's Swan Dive, by Sam Kashner

Movie recommendation: Infamous (2006), featuring a good many of the society characters
that attended the party such as Diana Vreeland, Babe Paley & Slim Keith

The party to which you were not invited, by Henry Normal
'... was like no other party before.
What a party.
What a party.
Everyone was there.
Well, everyone that is, but you.
It was incredible.
You wouldn't believe what went on.
I mean let's face it if you weren't at that party
then you don't know what PARTY means.
What a party.
You just couldn't imagine a party like that.
There'll never be a party like it again.
Everyone's still talking about it.
Well, everyone, that is, but you.
A party like that can change your life.
I mean any other party
is going to seem drab now in comparison.
I mean, I've been to parties with a capital P
but this was a party with a capital PARTY
know what I mean?
No. I don't suppose you do.
What a party.
A party like that comes once in a lifetime, maybe. Still at least everyone can share the memory
well, everyone that is,...'

a french country estate + links

Source (x)
  1. A free floral iPhone wallpaper.
  2. A great read: Committed to Kors, by Vanessa Friedman.
  3. House of Versace, which centers on Donatella, who after her brother's death is thrust into the spotlight as head designer of his fashion empire, will air Oct. 5 on Lifetime. The movie will be followed by a documentary.
  4. One Pot Kale & Quinoa Pilaf. Have been eating this a lot, though I tend to spice things up with sun-dried tomatoes, chickpeas etc.
  5. Vanity Fair is celebrating its 100th anniversary & has put up loads of new slideshows, highlighted their best reporting etc. Definitely worth heading on over there.
  6. Violet Grey - The Industry's Beauty Edit.

18 September, 2013

i made my song a coat

(The picture will take you to polyvore, which will tell you the brands of the coats above.)

Winter. Also known as the time where a g.r.e.a.t. coat & fabulous boots are really the only way to make an impression. Alas, the hunt for the perfect coat is a bitch. What to go for? A favorable A-line, a trusty peacoat, (faux)-fur collar/no fur collar, a save camel, a daring red. This stuff is hard. Especially seeing as I am the sort of person who once I pick a coat, wear it to death. In a standard winter season I'll really just average two coats that I'll switch between. One of which will be from seasons past. (Snowboard jacket not included.) So, as always - the hunt for this year's best friend & maybe, possibly the coat for life (maybe it's just a myth, though) has now begun. The temperatures being what they are. Best of luck to all of you - maybe Yeats was onto something, though, when he said "there's more enterprise in walking naked."

"I MADE my song a coat
Covered with embroideries
Out of old mythologies
From heel to throat;
But the fools caught it,
Wore it in the world's eyes
As though they'd wrought it.
Song, let them take it,
For there's more enterprise
In walking naked."
A Coat, by William Butler Yeats

17 September, 2013

burberry prorsum: the ladurée collection


Mind you, that's not what it was officially called - the ladurée collection - but the palette featured in Christopher Bailey's latest show so very much resembled the fluffy macaroons, it only seemed fitting to give it that title.

"I wanted this kind of idea of an English rose garden. There are all these very dusky, gentle, soft colours and then all of a sudden you'll see a spiky, very red rose in the middle of it, so that's why I kept throwing in these little pops."
Christopher Bailey (x)

"The pretty collection was colored like the tiles in a 1950s suburban dream bathroom—soft sky blue, eau de nil, lilac, coral, and lingerie pinks pinks. There was something that suggested the 1950s suburban dream girl in the fluffy knits (as outerwear) and lacy pencil skirts, too." (x)

10 September, 2013

review & quotes: alexa chung - it

Straight off - I wasn't expecting to be completely blown away or getting an in-depth style guide or anything like that, but would I buy it again? When I first started reading the book, I would have answered no - and then it kinda grew on me.  

The book is basically a zine - it feels like you're reading Alexa Chung's blog in print form a.k.a. you actually paid 18€ to read a book which actually reads like a blog & includes a couple of nice pictures (nothing you couldn't find on Tumblr or Pininterest).

I didn't necessarily mind that it read like a blog, though, because it makes for some charming writing & a couple of funny parts, but there could have been more of it. The real reading part probably took me less than hour. I wouldn't mind that either, because it made for an hour nicely spent, except that I paid 18€ for it. 

All in all, it is a nice little book - I guess exactly because it very much resembles the Alexa persona. A little bit on the messier side & rather low-key etc. The book, for example, doesn't have any chapters per se & just jumps randomly from one subject to the next, but after a while that grows on you too. 

I can't recommend it wholeheartedly, especially not, if you don't have the spare change lying around, but it does make for a good hour or two of thumbing through a book & reading a bit of nice, light life advice.

"Sometimes when I need answers I like to take my questions to Google. I have googled 'how long does heartbreak last?' The result more popular than that was 'how long does heartburn last?' This implies people suffer from heartburn more than they do heartbreak which is a good thing because heartbreak sucks way fucking more than acid reflux ever could."

"Sometimes I wish I could live like a man and fit everything I need into a single back pocket but that's never going to happen and besides, then I would lose out on the daily drama that occurs when I think I've lost something and have to tip the contents of my bag out only to discover my phone is in my hand."

"Looking back on it now, I think I was interested in ponies and all the relevant paraphernalia because of the fashion as much as the animals. That silhouette of skinny trousers, ankle boots and an oversized sweatshirt is one I never managed to get away from."

"Also, a red lip is great to wear in airports. I don't know why but it makes me feel 
very glamorous to have bothered to apply lipstick when I'm travelling."

"Thank you, Jane Birkin, for providing me with infinite outfit ideas and the confidence to dress like a boy but act like a girl."

06 September, 2013

the moda operandi troupe

"Preorder designer collections straight from the runway." (x)

"Our average customer is similar to me," says Santo Domingo. "She's educated, lives in an urban center, 36 years old, travels internationally, loves fashion and culture, speaks multiple languages and has multiple addresses." (x)

"Indre Rockefeller, 32, is a former assistant to Anna Wintour and the wife of a Rockefeller heir; the social media manager is Hayley Bloomingdale, 27, the granddaughter of retail heiress Betsy Bloomingdale; and their marketing chief, Ashley Bryan, 40, a former Net-a-Porter executive, is the daughter of Shelby Bryan (Anna Wintour's longtime boyfriend). Taylor Tomasi Hill, who prefers not to disclose her age, is a former style director and something of a fashion celebrity, liable to get mobbed outside shows by fans and street-style photographers. Meanwhile, Lauren Santo Domingo, a Greenwich, Connecticut, native whose wedding to the son of a Colombian billionaire received 10 pages of coverage in Vogue, has been named by the New York press as a contender for late society doyenne Brooke Astor's empty seat." (x)

For a view of the Moda Operandi office go here & here.

Pictures: grazia, style, WSJ

03 September, 2013

chanel: makeup trial

After the beauty salon Nägele & Strubell (they were court suppliers, back in the day of the Austrian-Hungarian empire) announced on their Facebook site that they were offering free Chanel makeup trials (until Sat., 7th Sept.), I thought why not try it once, seeing as I haven't tried makeup trials before. So, after a long day of studying I went & am really glad I did.

The lady that did my makeup was not only super nice, but really personable & just plain sympatico. She also gave me a bunch of little tips & with a little handheld mirror I could follow how she did certain things. She asked what kind of look I wanted to go for & I decided on a little bit of an enhanced day look.

You can't really tell much make-up wise (the lighting in my room is way too yellow in the evenings), but here's a picture of me afterwards. The lady did a really good job with the eyes (& eyebrows), I thought. I also loved how she treated my skin - she prepped it with the new Le Jour de Chanel & really only used the makeup where I need it (T-Zone), while highlighting all the right areas. 

Though I eventually decided on getting the Le Volume mascara & the hydrating Rouge Coco lipstick, I also fell super in love with their concealer and the lovely shade of cream blush she used on me.
As an extra I received the above pictured makeup bag & trial sizes of Le Jour, La Nuit & Le Weekend, which all smell amazing.

Oh, and for the German-speaking population on here: don't forget this Saturday (7th Sept.) the Karl Lagerfeld documentary "Fashion as a Religion" airs on VOX.

Interesting Beauty Links:
  1. This supposedly easy-to-do super chic chignon.
  2. Guerlain's short, but elaborate film "La Légende de Shalimar" starring Natalia Vodianova.
  3. Robert Pattinson & Camilla Rowe for the Dior Homme fragrance.
  4. Isabel Marant makeup by Estée Lauder - “We’re spending 25 minutes on the skin . . . and five minutes on the makeup.”
"If I was ever to create my own, personal fragrance, I know what I would want it to smell like—a church. I grew up Catholic, so I’d want the cold of the marble, the dark wood, the fat of the wax of the candles—the whole thing. I’d want to smell gold and red and all those things."
Catherine Walsh on Into The Gloss

02 September, 2013

best dressed: eva riccobono

(Click on the pictures for bigger versions.)

Eva Riccobono is this year's mistress of ceremonies at the Venice Film Festival, to the opening of which she wore a gorgeous Armani Privé gown. The outfit on the right is all Giorgio Armani.
She's an Italian model & actress.

Pictures: vogue.co.uk & vogue.de

reading lately

  1. Have mostly been reading stuff for Uni lately as there's one big exam left between me and my degree. (Hence the rare updates lately.)
  2. Madam Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert as translated by the wonderful Lydia Davis. For anyone interested, she wrote a bunch of wonderful short essays on the Art of Translation for The Paris Review. Plus, there's a new movie adaption coming out in 2014. 
Looking foward to reading (once I'm freed from University):
  1. Save Me the Waltz, by Zelda Fitzgerald
  2. Grands Destins de Femmes: Coco Chanel, by Pascale Fey & Bernard Ciccolini - a comic book. I am hoping that being able to associate words with pictures will aid my non-existent French comprehension.
  3. The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton. I read the first hundred pages of this in one go last week & then decided to put it aside for when I have time to properly devour it in one night.
"Yellow roses she bought with her money like Empire satin brocade, and white lilacs and pink tulips like moulded confectioner’s frosting, and deep-red roses like a Villon poem, black and velvety as an insect wing, cold blue hydrangeas clean as a newly calcimined wall, the crystalline drops of lily of the valley, a bowl of nasturtiums like beaten brass, anemones pieced out of wash material, and malignant parrot tulips scratching the air with their jagged barbs, and the voluptuous scrambled convolutions of Parma violets. She bought lemon-yellow carnations perfumed with the taste of hard candy, and garden roses purple as raspberry puddings, and every kind of white flower the florist knew how to grow."
Save Me the Waltz, by Zelda Fitzgerald