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28 May 2010

Castaing Outtakes - Take #1


There have been a few whisperings as to whether The World of Madeleine Castaing will have any unfamiliar material in it - after all her country house Lèves has been profiled dozens of times. I believe there will be more than a few surprising moments in the book, but the verdict, of course, will rest with you. Here is the first of a few or several posts with photos that weren't able to make it into the book.

One of the most important and first client relationships Madeleine had was with Mme Alec Weisweiller. While her husband was off watching his prized stable of horses win blue ribbons, Francine assumed the mantle of patroness, with Jean Cocteau as her prime benefactor.

Madeleine collaborated with Francine on all her residences, including the Paris hotel particulier pictured here. Francine's husband Alec preferred the established elegance of the eighteenth century to Madeleine's Balzacian romance, so the society decorator brothers Barroux were called in to fit out the main reception rooms, including the dining room and salon.

But elsewhere, Francine and Madeleine went wild. The top photo shows Francine posing in her red silk velvet bedroom. Don't miss the "borne" off to her left.

courtesy Maison et Jardin, February 1956

Here is the fumoir where guests repaired after dinner or stopped off on their way to the double-height bar below. The mouflon-head snuff box on the tray table terrified Francine's young daughter Carole.

Who says Facebook is a time sink? I found this photo, credited to Mark Shaw, c. 1960, on Fashion Images of the 20th Century - a great place to while away an hour or two.

27 May 2010

The Blooms of May and Madeleine


As the MC book is in the final editing stages, the bloom is slowly returning to my cheeks. In this world of instant gratification, thank you for your patience and for returning to a dark house over the past several weeks.

EEE is back home -BUT only for a few days as I'll be tripping down South to check out Sotheby's spectacular Kluge sale in person with a full report.

P.S. The cover and book design were done by Sam Shahid who also did the Valentina and Jeremiah Goodman books. I think he and his team did a superb job at capturing her romantic and evocative essence.