Lately, my love of leather knows no bounds.

My experiments in painting leather pillows spawned this.  Surprisingly, even after the paint, the leather is still exceedingly buttery soft.  Who knew?

It's glorious because it's a real beast, at 27" or 30" square.  Have I mentioned that I LOVE positively ENORMOUS pillows?!!!  Large, and in charge!!!  No, in all seriousness, they command about 1000043294x the presence of those itsy bitsy 20 inchers that could easily fit in a... dollhouse. And plus, you can really sink into these monsters.

Photography and pillow, by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.


A couple of new things!

1. Marylyn from the blog Corrider40 recently probed my brain on shoes, style and other random things.  Corrider40 is pretty awesome (I'm keeping grander company over there than I probably deserve) so I'm flattered to have been profiled for a "We Are Stalking" feature. If you're interested, head over there to read the interview.

2.  Lately, my life has been swept up in a particularly chaotic hurricane of heels, straps, buckles, zippers, metal, leather, and a variety of vicious adornments.  Seeing as I've yet to explore a career as a professional dominatrix, this can only mean one thing: shoe harnesses.  I'm currently working on a small collection, hoping to have them available this summer. A sneak peek (I'm a terrible tease, ha):

Styling, photography, adornments by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.



Forgive me, forgive me! Time has been running away from me like mad. Lots to share, meatier post coming soon, but for now, MAE WEST.  Because she's stylish, fabulous, and has one-liner quips (see post title) that far surpass even Karl the Kaiser's.  And that's no small feat, right?

Oh! And the image of the sofa is Salvador Dali's famous lip sofa (there's an image below).  It was modeled off of Mae's mouth.  Could you tell? 



Just got the Sotheby's catalog for the 2009 auction of Gianni Versace's Lake Como residence, Villa Fontanelle.  As you can see, I managed to resist the urge to scan the entire catalog.
Dirty clothes never stayed on the floor for more than a few seconds and beautiful gowns kept arriving, I had this fantasy that I was in an Antonioni film. I felt like a spoilt princess.  The Versaces really know how to live.
                                                                                Madonna, UK Vogue, October 1997.
An opulent version of Camelot?

Scans from Paintings, Furniture and Works of Art From the Collection of Gianni Versace, Villa Fontanelle, Lake Como, London 18 March 2009.



'Cause what's more sultry than a steamy grotto in the summer sun? HM? Nothing, obviously.

Below is probably one of my favorite examples: a hidden grotto at the 14th century Villa La Pietra, in Italy.  Look closely, the decor is composed entirely of pebbles and seashells.  I wonder how long this feat of magnificence took to complete...

Below two images: The grotto pool at Deering's Vizcaya, in Miami, Florida.

Below, 18th century Italian elements form the exterior of a small grotto with fountain, at Vizcaya in Miami, Florida.

First image, from Villas and Gardens of Tuscany, by Bajard and Bencini. Images of Vizcaya from Vizcaya: Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida. Photographer: Steven Brooke.



Isn't there a rhyme involving flowers and April showers? Am I missing something? Because the past few days have felt like summer, and I have never been happier to welcome 90 degree (read: this is not normal around here) weather.  In retrospect, I might have been a little overzealous, as the weather has cooled but my finger nails, in five different shades of neon, have not.  Oh well.

This shoe is, as you can clearly see, a product of my brief summer mania, and a fixation on fluorescent color that the warm weather brought. It seems I'm always on the prowl for things that suck in light and spit it out in an abnormal or otherwise blinding fashion. Is fluorescence my new crystal? Who knows. I'm very enthusiastic; almost as enthusiastic as I'd be if you told me I could take a trip to Technicolor munchkin land.  But I have one request: if I must fall asleep in Dorothy's field of poppy's, let them be... leather. 

Someone, shake me awake, before it's too late!

Made and photographed by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.



...And Helena Rubenstein had so much good taste, I'm pretty sure it was oozing from her perfectly refined, scrubbed, and polished pores.

Not only did her wildly successful beauty empire employ 30,000 people, making her one of the richest women in America at the time, but she was also an extremely stylish, fiercely saucy taste maker.

1. There was the lucite bed.  That was lit from within.  Ohmygod, I'm practically hyperventilating as I type this. The ability to work a light up plastic bed with dignity (and of course lots of Baroque flourishes— always a fan) is admirable. It was said that her style was a cross between "Byzantium and the flea market."  I rather like that mix.
Among the shimmer of the Venetian mirrors, serendipitous kitsch, and treasure-laden vitrines, the pièce de résistance was what all Rubstein initiates refer to with delight as the "plastic bed."  Created out of Lucite by Rubenstein's package designer Ladislas Medgyes (who had previously used the material for powder boxes), the transparent bed lit up by means of hidden fluorescent bulbs.  When Madame reposed upon it, the effect was of a transfiguration upon a crystal sleigh.
While Rubenstein loved her bed, it puzzles me that she did NOT feel the same about Cecil Beaton's transformation of her gothic style picture gallery into a "Japanese inspired bamboo folly."

 2.  This skirt...

3.  Her fiestiness: When denied a Park Ave triplex because she was Jewish, Rubenstein purchased the entire building.

4. And of course, the deliciously juicy Knightsbridge residence by David Hicks, in shades of purple and magenta, inspired by a favorite Balenciaga dress, and a cosmetics palette:

I don't run around calling everyone a style inspiration, but Helena Rubenstein, I welcome you with open arms, flashing lights, and Lucite confetti candles!

Scans from House & Garden, November 1992, "The Reign of Helena Rubenstein" by Amy Fine Collins
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