L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, February 28, 2014

Le cabinet de la garde-robe of Louis XVI at Versailles

The last masterpiece of interior design created at Versailles before the Revolution, this tiny wardrobe, reached by way of the alcove in the king's private bedroom, is one of the rare projects completed for Louis XVI.

Created under the direction of the Queen's architect, Richard Mique, in 1788, the boiseries are the work of the celebrated Rousseau brothers.  The bronzes on the fireplace - which is original to the room - are by Gouthière.

Discretely concealed within the paneling is a cabinet de chaise.
Commode en bas d'armoire by Adam Weisweiler, part of the original décor.
A detail of the carved and gilded paneling.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Two coronations, two sisters - retouched and un-

The recently widowed Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, dressed for the coronation of her son, Tsar Nicholas II, in 1896.

A rare unretouched photograph of the Dowager Empress at forty-eight.
And then retouched....
Detail of one of the versions of the below painting.
The Coronation of Nicholas II, by Laurits Tuxen, 1898.  The painting captures the moment in the ceremony
when a shaft of light dramatically struck the crown of the Dowager Empress.

Her sister, Queen Alexandra, dressed for the coronation of her husband, Edward VII, and her own, in 1902.

An unretouched photograph of Queen Alexandra at fifty-seven.
And heavily retouched....
The Crowning of Queen Alexandra, by Laurits Tuxen, 1904.
Queen Alexandra in her coronation gown and robes, by Sir Luke Fildes, 1905.  (The artist has added the Garter riband and badge,
which the queen did not wear during the coronation.)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Three small boys by Sargent

Lancelot Allen, 1894.
Gordon Fairchild, 1890.
Caspar Goodrich, 1887.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Margot Asquith, by de László, 1909

Margot Asquith, Countess of Oxford and Asquith (February 2, 1864, Peeblesshire – July 28, 1945, London), born Emma Alice Margaret Tennant, Anglo-Scottish socialite, author, and famous wit.  She was married to Herbert Henry Asquith, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1908 to 1916, and was well known in her own right for her often outrageous outspokenness and her acid tongue.

Philip de László, see here.

Certainly never the conventional beauty or timid dresser.  A portrait by Cecil Beaton.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Antoine de Paris

Antoni "Antek" Cierplikowski (1884, Sieradz, Poland – 1976, Sieradz, Poland), known as Monsieur Antoine, considered the world's first modern celebrity hairdresser.

Born in Poland, he learned hairdressing from an uncle in Łódź.  He moved to Paris in 1901 and began work in the salon at Galeries Lafayette, moving with his fashionable clientele to Deauville for the summers.  After much success and with ever increasing celebrity, he opened the Antoine de Paris salon at 5 rue Cambon in 1911.  Little more than a decade later, he had a salon in New York City, eventually owning sixty-seven salons in Europe and America.  Like any smart modern entrepreneur, he marketed his own hair products and cosmetics, and trained young hairdressers in his methods and employed them in his salons.  He dressed the hair of crowned heads and many of the world's most famous women, while living quite a grand and eccentric lifestyle, himself.  Twinned highlights of his career came when he supervised - along with a cadre of his skilled hairdressers - the mass coiffing of court ladies at both the 1937 and 1953 British coronations.  By the Sixties, though, his star had been eclipsed by a new breed of hairdressers - many of whom he'd trained - and he slipped into obscurity.  In 1973, he returned to his hometown in then-still-Communist Poland where three years later he died at the age of ninety-two.

Photograph by Man Ray, 1933.

Antoine is credited with, among other things: bobbed hair, the perm, hair lacquer, blond streaks, and the blue or lilac tinting of gray or white hair; in this last he was abetted by his famous client, interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe, Lady Mendl, who made the "blue rinse" into a popular and long lasting vogue.  He was also know for his fantasy wigs, that were very popular among European "fashionistas" during the early Thirties.

Joséphine Baker, 1933.  And below.
Brigitte Helm in "Atlantide", 1932.  And below.
The Honorable Mrs. Reginald (Daisy) Fellowes, 1935.
Elsa Schiaparelli in two photographs by Man Ray, 1933.
Arletty, 1932.
Some of the packaging from his line of beauty products.
Wig by Antoine, mask, and Boucheron bracelet - photograph by Hoyningen-Heune, 1932.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Empress Auguste Viktoria, 1913

This image is obviously a page taken from a magazine of the time.

Auguste Viktoria (October 22, 1858, Dolzig Palace, in what is now Lubsko, Poland – April 11, 1921, Huis Doorn, the Netherlands), born Auguste Viktoria Friederike Luise Feodora Jenny von Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg, last German Empress and Queen Consort of Prussia.

She married the future Emperor Wilhelm II in 1881, and gave him seven children, six sons and a daughter.  Known in the family as "Dona", she and her husband were well matched; she was the model of the devoted, submissive wife, happily acquiescing to his whims and taking on his prejudices and grudges against, among others, his own mother and siblings.  Her usual placidity and her markedly unintellectual nature earned her little respect within the extended family, but she was beloved by the public, who saw her as the epitome of the good German wife and mother.

After the debacle of World War I, the Emperor's abdication and exile, and the subsequent suicide of her youngest son, her health declined rapidly and she died at the age of sixty-two.

The dress and most of the jewelry is the same as in the picture above, but the necklaces are different.


The diadem that the Empress is wearing in both photographs.  It was made by the jeweler Koch and was
commissioned in 1906 in honor of the Imperial couple's twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  Some of the
elements were removed in 1950 for use in other jewelry.)