Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Christmas with Leonor Fini

Lazily relying on the marvel that is Amazon for the Christmas presents for the 'impossible to buy for' crew, we unearthed a rare gem: Sphinx The Life and Art of Leonor Fini.

An exquiste and exhaustively researched account of the life of one of 20th Century's most important and curiously underrated artists - we've been devouring it. A prodigous talent, she was first exhibited by Christian Dior before he became a couturier, designed the renowed 'May West' bottle for Schiaparelli's Shocking Perfume, was the subject of some of 20th Century's most important photographs and the first woman to paint an erotic male nude. However, her foremost talent was that of an artist, painting some of the most powerful paintings of her time, exploring the power of the feminine. We couldn't have wished for a more brilliant present.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christmas in . . . Vogue

Our recent acquisitions of key late 1920s and early 1930s pieces, an ignited love of things white and furry, freezing temperatures and falling snow; this UK Vogue cover from December 1929 summarizes our December perfectly!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Peau d'ours blanc / 'ursus maritimus'

So good, we had to show him again. Magnificent beast!

Paris When It Sizzles

No, we are not the ones who recently spent £60,000 on Audrey Hepburn's LBD from 'Paris when it sizzles' but we have just returned from a brilliant buying trip to Paris. We've stocked up on haute couture Chanel, YSL, Nina Ricci, Jean Patou and, most wonderful of all, a 1928 Vionnet... Something we think is much better than Audrey's dress!

Good thing we took a very large bag from Jeeves, our dry cleaners. Sadly there was not room for the polar bear rug. So wrong, but somehow as we sit here watching it snow outside, oh so right...

Friday, 4 December 2009

A very special label . . .

We admit to indulging in little label fetish every now and then at VA but we have become chronic obsessives about the labels on two of our recent acquisitions.

'Gabrielle Chanel'

In her early years at 31 Rue Cambon, Chanel used her first name, Gabrielle, on black silk tags. By the 1930s she had dropped 'Gabrielle'. Labels simply read 'Chanel' and she was more readily identified by her moniker 'Coco'. Our two new Chanel pieces date from 1920s, just as she was starting out. Spine tingling.

As for the pieces? We will be revealing more on the site in the New Year...