Yves Saint Laurent museum opens in Marrakech Today

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In 1966 designer Yves Saint Laurent and his lifetime partner, Pierre Bergé, discovered Marrakech. They were mesmerized by its charm that on their flight back from their first trip there, they already had the paperwork for a house they wanted to buy. They went back regularly, and it was in Marrakech that Saint Laurent imagined his collections.  Now a museum dedicated to the fashion house is opening in the city that had such a strong influence on him. In the words of Pierre Bergé, who had passed away on 8 September (just a month before the opening) “It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”

Yves Saint Laurent started archiving his work since his first couture show in 1962. Thanks to this early vision, his collections consists of 5,000 haute couture garments, including the famous Mondrian dress and Van Gogh-embroidered jackets, 15,000 accessories, such as hats, jewelry, and shoes, as well as thousands of sketches, collection boards, photographs, and objects.

Located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, the museum will open its doors to the public today! The opening actually coincides with the inauguration of another museum dedicated to the designer in Paris. The one in Paris will be housed in the historical couture house at 5 avenue Marceau, a hôtel particulier where the designer worked for almost 30 years.

The museum in Marrakech is designed by Studio KO, an architectural firm established by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier. The outside of the building is intended to evoke the “weft and warp of fabric” while the interior is designed to evoke the lining of a couture jacket, “velvety, smooth and radiant.”

The museum which is 4,000 square meters, will provide a storage space for around 4,000 pieces. The permanent exhibition space will be 400 square meters.

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It’s actually far more than just a museum, it has a research library with more than 6,000 books, a bookshop, an auditorium, and a cafe which will offer a fusion of traditional Moroccan and French dishes. The 150-seat auditorium, named after Pierre Berge, will be used for performances and recitals, as well as conferences, film screenings, and lectures. Below is a picture of the beautifully designed auditorium.

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For more info visit the museum’s page.

Most photos via

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Style Icon: Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola

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Wearing fur over her Kimono At the Chanel Haute-Couture Spring / Summer 2012 Show

Countess Setsuko Klossowska is an artist and a writer and has been cultivating her unique sense of timeless chic for decades. Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola was born in Tokyo in 1942 into the Ideta family, an ancient Samurai clan originally from Kyoto that is part of the Japanese aristocracy. She has been in charge of the Villa Medici in Rome, she has exhibited her work internationally. She became UNESCO’s Artist For Peace in 2005.

She is the widow of the French artist Count Balthus Klossowska de Rola. She met him while he was visiting Japan for the first time in 1962. He was sent to Japan by André Malraux, then France’s first minister of cultural affairs, to choose traditional Japanese artwork for an exhibition in Paris.

Shortly after their marriage in 1967, they moved to the Italian capital where Balthus became the director of the French Academy in Rome, housed in the 16th-century Villa Medici. In 1977, they settled permanently in Switzerland with their two children in the 18th grand chalet, (a former hotel whose guests included the noted French poet and novelist Victor Hugo). Located in the tiny alpine village of Rossinière, it became the setting for chic dinners and gatherings that included an eclectic roster of international guests such as photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, artist Alberto Giacometti, the Agha Khan, the Dalai Lama and David Bowie. There is a room at the Grand Chalet de Rossinière dedicated to storing Countess Setsuko’s legendary collection of custom kimonos, some of which were recently exhibited in Tokyo. To the untrained eye they may appear traditional, but to those in the

There is a room at the Grand Chalet de Rossinière dedicated to storing Countess Setsuko’s legendary collection of custom kimonos, some of which were recently exhibited in Tokyo. To the untrained eye they may appear traditional, but to those in the know, they are a sartorial fusion of tradition and modernity, East and West, thanks to the Countess’ expert eye. She will often appear at private dinner parties in a ravishing gold brocade kimono, flecked in a deep red that she had matched to her signature nail polish.

Surprisingly, her custom of donning the kimono only began after her marriage to Balthus. Her husband was so enamored by the elegance of the traditional Japanese costume that he asked his wife to wear the kimono without fail every day. “Balthus was surrounded by people who were conscious of the beauty inherent in what they wore, and it was through him that I was able to realize the elegance of Japanese style,” recalled Countess Setsuko, who until their marriage had only worn the kimono on ceremonial occasions, such as the traditional tea ceremony or on New Year’s Day. “I couldn’t even tie the obi belt on my own at first. It would sometimes loosen, making the bow droop down. I made a lot of mistakes,” confided Countess Setsuko, who at 73 continues to wear the kimono even when traveling abroad, whether it is to the Middle East or on a plane bound for New York.

Apartment 1901 at the Elliott Bay Towers

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Frasier is hands down my favorite TV sitcom of all time! I think I watch it at least once a year back to back! It’s my go-to sitcom when I’m feeling a bit down or there isn’t much to watch on TV! I love the witty sense of humour and I just love Frasier’s apartment! I think that it is one of the many inspirations I had around me growing up to set my taste as well as my style today! The set was designed by the legendary set decorator Roy Christopher.

In the pilot episode, Frasier shows the apartment to his father, Martin.

Frasier: So what do you think of what I’ve done with the place? You know, every item here was carefully selected. The lamp by Corbu, this chair by Eames, and this couch is an exact replica of the one Coco Chanel had in her Paris atelier.

Martin: Nothing matches!

Frasier: Well, it’s a style of decorating – it’s called eclectic. The theory behind it is, if you have really fine pieces of furniture, it doesn’t matter if they match – they will go together.

Martin: It’s your money!

And a lot of money it was. The set cost a half-million dollars to build in 1993! But what a fabulous set. The apartment is filled with built-in shelves and display areas that highlight Frasier’s collections of African and pre-Columbian art without making it feel like a shop or a museum.

In addition to the treasures Frasier mentions in the pilot, the apartment also featured a Steinway medium grand piano, later on, a Chihuly vase, and several abstracts. Nearly twenty years later, it still looks great.

 

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Frasier had to replace his beautiful Wassily chair with his dad’s grubby old Barca longer!…. I must say that the Barca lounger helped make his apartment look even more eclectic! Don’t you think? But Shhhh don’t tell Fraiser I said that LOL!.

I know that the apartment now looks outdated and very 90’s but I think that with very few changes this apartment would easily look up to date! I would love to replace the coffee table and its matching side table with a table by the artist Ingrid Donat! And that TV, of course, has to be replaced with a modern plasma TV…. Think that the dining chairs have to be replaced too?…. Anyways, the great bones are there so even little changes would certainly make the apartment look modern and up to date again!

I came across this beautifully rendered floor plan of apartment 1901 at Elliot Bay Towers (the building is as fictional as the view outside Frasier’s windows–such a view exists only from the cliffs overlooking Seattle) The artist who created this plan has a great portfolio of work that can be seen HERE.

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The Picture above shows how beautifully the art went together in this apartment! Here a Dale Chihuly vase with the Ace, November, Venice USA Print By Artist, Robert Rauschenberg. Published for Robert Rauschenberg’s exhibition at ACE Gallery, Venice, California, November 1977.

 

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The Frasier gang with the beautiful Chihuly vase when it was 1st brought in!

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Victoria

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The 2nd Season of Victoria has been released and I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write about it!

It’s impeccably written and staged. Aimed at the same audiences that enjoyed Downton Abbey, and The Crown.

Victoria follows the young Queen from the time she becomes The Queen of England through her passionate courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. The TV series Victoria dramatizes the romance and reign of the girl behind the famous monarch. Jenna Coleman is absolutely perfect as Victoria, and there are strong supporting roles like Tom Hughes as Albert and Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne. I have to say that Rufus Sewell is superb in the role of Lord Melbourne. He managed to appear supremely noble, with just a hint of sadness and vulnerability lurking beneath the surface!

I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian era and I love how the Queen and her Prince have changed the face of London to what we know it today! .. My favorite novels have been written in her era and yet I always imagined her as a sad lonely old woman!…..I guess it’s because she spent half her life in mourning the death of her beloved husband!

I can honestly say that this show made me look at her from a different light … I’ve gained a new admiration for the Queen! Here she’s been portrayed as an independent outspoken, and quite a determined young lady… Love that!

 

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The Queen’s links with Europe’s royal families earned her the nickname “The grandmother of Europe”! She and Prince Albert had 9 children, 4 boys, and 5 girls … They had 42 grandchildren, of whom 34 survived to adulthood. Their descendants include Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Harald V of Norway, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Margrethe II of Denmark, and Felipe VI of Spain.

 

 

 

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My Classic Book List

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Years ago I’ve created a mental list of the classic books I wanted to read … I decided to share it here today just in case someone out there is interested in  reading more classic fiction! I’ve added a few more books here …. And I must admit that I haven’t read much from my list but seeing it on this screen is encouraging me to read this list …

I’ll write a little review about each one in my old Book of the Week section (which I’m planning to start up again) once I’m done reading a book (along with other books of course)… I do have other lists like historical fiction and modern classics etc which I’ll share here some other time … Meanwhile here is my Classic list:

  1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  2. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  3. No Name by Wilkie Collins
  4. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  5. Emma by Jane Austen
  6. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  7. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  10. Love and Friendship by Jane Austen
  11. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  13. Villette by Charlotte Brontë
  14. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
  15. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  16. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  17. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  18. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  19. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  20. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  21. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  22. The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin
  23. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  24. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  25. The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
  26. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  27. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  28. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  29. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  30. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

 

So do you have any more suggestions?

Organizing: Art

I decided to add this new Category on the blog! ….. Because I love organizing…. and also …. why not?… I love it so much! It is my stress reliever! Nothing distresses me more… not even a warm bath in my favorite Aveda oils!!! I just love finding new ways to organise and store things… Yes, I’m aware of how exciting this all sounds! please hold on to your seats!

Lately, I’ve been trying to find best possible solutions in storing my contemporary art collection that has been growing despite the fact that my place hasn’t haha! Storing art in the right climate and the right way has become my obsession!… And after researching for the best possible solution I decided to put an art rack in my storeroom! Yes, I know very exciting!

Anyways, here are the reasons why I’ve decided to do that:

  1. They will preserve precious floor space while maintaining the framed artwork. This means less space is required for my collection in the storeroom.
  2. What it really means is that it’ll double my art storage capacity in the same area.
  3. The artwork would be protected from scratches etc.
  4. Will be easy to reach as well as aesthetically pleasing to look at.
  5. I can even hang my very small collection of antique mirrors!

 

And here is the picture that inspired me,  it might inspire you too!

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Picture via pattersonpope.com

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Idris Khan’s Spaghetti Arrabbiata

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I found this recipe for Spaghetti Arrabbiata by the renowned artist Idris Khan and thought that I’d give it a try

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

Extra virgin olive oil
Half a red onion, finely chopped
1tbs balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 red chillies, chopped, seeds left in (depending on how hot you want it)
2 tins cherry tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
basil leaves
rind of the Parmesan block (optional)
a little sugar (optional)
one packet of spaghetti
loads of grated Parmesan cheese

Method
Heat 3tbs extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the red onion and stir around a few times to cover with oil.

Add the balsamic vinegar and stir, then add the red wine and reduce down until the onion is nicely caramelised.

Add the garlic and chilli and stir to coat everything in the red wine reduction. After a couple of minutes add the tomatoes and their juice, sprinkle with salt and black pepper and add ten basil leaves (never chop them, just rip them up in your hands).

If you have the rind off the bottom of the Parmesan block, chop this off and add to the sauce. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and cook, stirring from time to time and breaking up the tomatoes, until you have a thick sauce; this will take around 20 to 30 mins. Sometimes the tinned tomatoes may not be sweet enough, so I add a sprinkle of sugar to lift the sauce.

Add black pepper to taste. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente (I always take two minutes off the time on the packet), drain and add to the sauce, stirring it through until every piece if the spaghetti is covered with tomato.

Serve with a few ripped basil leaves on top and a big bowl of grated Parmesan to sprinkle over.

via wallpaper magazine

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Style Icon: Sanyogita Devi of Indore ​

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The Maharani of Indore, by Boutet de Monvel, 1934.

After the arrival of the British, the maharajas lost most of their real political power. But they were retained by the British for important ceremonial reasons, primarily to support the empire’s claim on India. Some of the kings and their wives became darlings of the European social set, and their palaces were often furnished in the most contemporary European design. They would have been educated in Europe and would have traveled frequently to European capitals.

The Maharaja Yeshwani Rao Holkar II and his wife Maharani Sanyogita Devi of Indore were one such couple. They became friends with the artist Man Ray, who often photographed them.

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Maharani Sanyogita Devi and her husband the Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore, were considered one of the chicest couples of the Jazz Age. They married in 1924 and gave birth to their first child, Princess Usha Devi, on October 20th, 1933 in Paris. Educated in England, the Maharaja and Maharani were fixtures amongst the international jet set of the 1920s and ‘30s; equally at ease in the gilded drawing rooms of New York, London and Paris. In Hollywood they befriended the stars and movie moguls of the day such as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. who invited them to movie sets and film premiers. Celebrated as one of the era’s most stylish women, the Maharani would frequently appear at functions dressed by Vionnet, Schiaparelli and Lanvin. During couture presentations, she stood out amongst European and American clients in her custom French chiffon saris, elegantly perched on a gilt chair with a fur coat draped over her shoulders. The royal couple also had a deep interest in modern art and design, which won them the friendship of some of the greatest artists and designers of the era, including furniture designer Emil Ruhlmann, artist Constantin Brancusi (from whom they commissioned several sculptures) and Man Ray, who shared their passion for jazz and captured the couple in a series of playful portraits while on vacation in Cannes.

 

 

Amongst the most memorable portraits of the Maharaini were those by the celebrated society painter of the day, Bernard Boutet de Monvel, who sketched fashions for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar early in his career. Over the course of four years, he would create three striking portraits capturing the chic Maharani in French chiffon saris and elegant couture gowns. Two of the portraits were displayed to the public for the first time in the Maharaja exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in 2010. Amongst them was de Monvel’s 1931 portrait that captured the Maharani’s legendary elegance, wearing a dress by Madeleine Vionnet with a diamond and emerald necklace by Mauboussin.

In 1930 they commissioned a German architect to build a new streamlined Art Moderne palace, Manik Bagh, in Indore. Every detail of this remarkable building was designed and created in Europe; equipped with the latest technologies. Avant-garde furnishings were also commissioned from designers in Berlin, London and Paris that included tabular steel chairs by architect Marcel Breuer, a chaise longue by Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand, as well as an ebony, chrome and leather armchair by Eileen Gray. In May 1980, the contents of their palace in Indore was sold during an auction in Monte Carlo, with a large number of pieces finding their way into the collection of the Al-Thani family of Qatar.

 

Two of the Art Moderne interiors of Manik Bagh Palace.

The Maharani Sanyogita died at the age of 23. She left behind their 4 year old daughter, and her husband, not even 30, was devastated.

The Maharaja married twice more, both times to American divorcées. He had a son with his third wife, whom he had married in 1943, but because of the irregularity of this marriage, his titles eventually passed to his daughter from his first marriage.

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Maharaja Yeshwani Rao Holkar II and Maharani Sanyogita Devi of Indore, c. 1930.Man Ray, now part of the Al-Thani Collection.

Via Gods and Fools 

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7 Beautiful Interiors from the 70s

The 70s interiors have been having a strong comeback lately… I think most people picture those interiors to be crazy and lack sophistication…. however many of those interiors were actually very sophisticated and classy!

Here are 7 interiors from the 70s that I hope will inspire you to add a sophisticated yet an eclectic touch to your home xxx

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