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31 July 2013

Cocktails with Bebe Berard


A friend just acquired this wonderful oil painting by artist and fashion illustrator Kenneth Paul Block*.  It depicts a fantasy cocktail party with glamorous jet-set guests.  We know for sure that the bearded man  on the left is Christian Berard, but are mystified by the others. Perhaps the gentleman with the red carnation is Cole Porter, who was never without one as a boutonniere - unless going to court?  I know you, well-informed and omniscient readers, will crack the mystery!

*For all fans of fashion illustration, the book Drawing Fashion: The Art of Kenneth Paul Block by Susan Mulcahy is a must.

13 comments:

The Swan said...

Wallis and Babe...for sure!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Yes, I think the brunette facing us has to be either Wallis or Babe. Could the dark blonde be Slim Keith?

Simply Grand said...

OK, it looks like the image has been cropped, so I'm just assuming that the unseen beard is attached to the sleeve jutting in from the left, but that had to have been some party. Going clockwise from Berard's arm, I see either Royal Dano or a young George McGovern, Lillian Gish--dressed, apparently, as the Spirit of El Morocco--Fred Astaire, who's explaining something to Princess Margaret, CP, Lily Tomlin--still in costume as Ernestine--and, of course, who doesn't recognize Billy Baldwin's lacquered hair?

Simply Grand said...

OK, it looks like the image has been cropped, so I'm just assuming that the unseen beard is attached to the sleeve jutting in from the left, but that had to have been some party. Going clockwise from Berard's arm, I see either Royal Dano or a young George McGovern, Lillian Gish--dressed, apparently, as the Spirit of El Morocco--Fred Astaire, who's explaining something to Princess Margaret, CP, Lily Tomlin--still in costume as Ernestine--and, of course, who doesn't recognize Billy Baldwin's lacquered hair?

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Royal Dano?! My education is never over. So Berard is the figure seated on the left - the beard is more apparent in person than in the picture - which in fact isn't cropped. Block left the upper corner blank canvas...

Karen Albert said...

I am simply enjoying the thoughts of other commenters. That could be a side view of The Duke with Wallis.
A combination likely of all!
It is definitely beautiful painting.

xoxo
Karena
2013 Designer Series

The Swan said...

Slim is possible, but if Cole is there than Linda must be as well...I see Noel Cowards profile more than Cole with the Carnation...more Cole whispering to Wallis. I do see a resemblance to Barbara Hutton with the back and fur, but did she really have anything much too say?

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Swan, yes! so see lady in fur as Barbara Hutton... A friend thought the Cole/Noel character could be Fulco di Verdura... off to look at Noel's profile...

The Swan said...

Fulco had a prominent nose...the nose featured is Aquiline like. I cannot make the gentleman who is upper left almost faded, but he does appear to be somewhat baldish...Charles de Bestigui?

So madcap treasure hunt this posting...LOVE!

The Swan said...

Of course now Ise a young Baron de Rede with red carnation, and Cecil Beaton in upper left rear...

The Swan said...

Last observation - Serge Lifar lighting Berards' ciggy, Babe Paley in Zebra pattern, Wallis Windsor clutching her necklace and Barbara Hutton in fur chubby!

Ingeborg said...

This is gorgeous!

dana said...

A year ago I visited the Dana Farber Cancer Center for a meeting. they had just opened a new ambulatory care center and we were meeting in a conference there. Just outside the conference room there is an entire wall of gorgeous, lush, Kenneth Block illustrations, most of them found in his fabulous coffee table book. It's worth a visit just to see them.