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Versailles (or how I came to love French opulence)

I will let the lavish, decadent landscapes speak for themselves. Welcome to the luxury of being an 18th century royal (minus the beheadings of course). 18th-century French art was dominated by the Rococo and neoclassical movements; the palaces, illustration and fashion of the rich often featured creamy, pastel-like colors, asymmetrical designs, curves and gold (e.g. gilded, leaf). Whether a bourgeoisie, a pauper, or a courtesan, we can appreciate the meticulous and ostentatious beauty displayed by these ornate vignettes. Step into the fantastic and melodramatic influences!

Chanel 2004 Spring Runway. Via.

Welcome to my dilapidated yet stately Cinderella fantasy replete with a rustic French tables cape. Image found here.

 A French living room from the home of decorator and garden designer Jean-Loup Daraux, author of “By the Light of the Sea”. The luxurious volume En Passant par la Demeure (By the Light of the Sea) is a vivid photographic tour of the noted French interior designer Jean-Loup Daraux’s country home. Located in the south of France, in the Camargue region, the house is a stunning showcase of French country interior design. Image from House Beautiful.

The Petit Trianon is a small château located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. Image by Flickr user Romeika, here.

I would demand breakfast in bed…Image found via.

Oversized French Portrait Canvas – This uniquely beautiful oversized portrait of Manon Balletti (who was once engaged to Casanova) would make a wonderful statement piece in any room. The original painting hangs in the National Gallery. For purchase, click here.

Emily Blunt, in Dior Haute Couture, photographed in Le Raincy, outside Paris. Bracelet by Mikimoto. Styled by Jessica Diehl. Image found in Vanity Fair, here.

Image found here.

Kendall Wilkinson’s Seacliff Southern home photographed by Matthew Millman. Via.

Cara Delevingne for Chanel Resort 2013. Via.

Seriously frivolous is how Lagerfeld described his Chanel Resort 2013, shown on the crunchy gravel at the Chateau de Versailles in France.

Cara Delevingne for Chanel Resort 2013. Via.

A scan from Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles, page 101. To escape the formalities and royal obligations of Louis XVI’s court, Marie-Antoinette created a private realm of pleasure for herself at the Petit Trianon and Hameau, where she planted the first Anglo-Chinese garden; created a trysting grotto; a working farm; and revolutionized architecture and gardening trends for the century to come. Marie-Antoinette’s entire private domain and its story are told in beautiful photographic detail by François Halard for the first time since its recent restoration and accompanied by well-researched texts by garden expert Christian Duvernois.

Crisp and saturated bathroom designed by Paul Raeside.

French furniture, antiques, and porcelain. Via. 

Versailles Historical Costuming via Concour de Style, here.

This photo was taken on October 4, 2010 inYvelines, Ile-de-France, FR by Flickr user Pearled.

There is not a misplaced napkin, flower, or fork in this Paul Raeside tablescape. Via. 

Screencaps from Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antionette, a retelling of France’s iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles.

 

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Mixology (18)

Tray: A Personalized Melamine Square Serving Tray with Chevron Pattern and a Personalized Acrylic Square Serving Tray from LoveyDoveyCreations on Etsy, here. In your dressing room, would you put your nail polish, keepsakes, perfume, and rings on this lovely square?  / Room: Welcome to an absurdly glamourous dressing space. Benjamin Moore Feather Grey walls, a chandelier from Overstock, a vanity table from Pier 1 Import, the classic Louis chair, Chevron Rug from RugsUSA, and shelving from Target. Mai K from A Cup of Mai sure knows how to impress on a budget! Image found here.

Tray: Win your Poker hand every time with this Playing Card Tray by JOHN DERIAN COMPANY, INC. The glass decoupage tray features an ace playing card, hand painted bottom and is signed by the designer. The tray features a felted back to prevent slipping! Even the Queen of Hearts will want one! Purchase here. / Room: Kate Spade’s eclectic  living room tucked away on Manhattan’s Upper East Side is filled with high (Andy Warhols) and low (thrifted statues) end art mingling perfectly.  Photograph via Matchbook Magazine, everyone’s favorite field guide to a charmed life!

Tray:  Introducing the TuttiFrutti Tray! Swedish designer Maria Holmer Dahlgren designed this wonderful dishwasher-safe tray for happier weekdays and more while serving your favorite things. The happy colors and design will be sure to inspire and make you smile. The colorful, graphic contemporary tray is hand crafted from the highest quality Scandinavian birch from sustainable forests, and is produced by a family-run company situated on a small island off the southern Swedish mainland. Doesn’t this tray look straight from the Disney’s ride, “It’s a Small World”?  / Room: Found at Dust Jacket Attic, This whimsical midcentury room feels very cartoonish yet modern and serious. The wallpaper is clearly the lynchpin of the whole geometric scheme! Painted in colorful hues, basic shapes like triangles, squares and diamonds (maybe even polyhedrons!) bring a jolt of life to a modern room — and appeal to the pre-schooler in all of us. Photographs by chris warnes, styling by sarah ellison for real living au.

Tray: A salute to the grandeur of the Finnish capital Helsinki, this vibrant design by Per-Olof Nyström was created in 1952, one year after Marimekko made its design debut and bright, bold mark in the world of fashion. Revived in celebration of the city’s designation as the World Fashion Capital of 2012, this archival pattern intricately illustrates the Art Nouveau churches, boats and landmarks of Helsinki. Tray via Crate & Barrel, here. / Room: This cornflower, grey-blue room is a dreamscape of Scandinavian interior design simplicity, modern yet natural elements, photography and cloud colors. The gentle palette is welcoming, simple, honest and cozy. Styling by Kråkvid and D’Orazio via Pella Hedeby at Stil Inspiration. 

 

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Shareen Vintage

In an unassuming industrial building, tucked away behind rusting iron balconies, and up a freight-entrance style staircase lies a magical candy land of vintage style. Walking into a semi-residential apartment building, next to a whiskey bar, and across from several scaffolded sidewalks, the only hint towards the hidden glory that is Shareen Vintage are a few clothing racks seen through a window and a framed Hermes scarf in the stairwell and hallway. Sometimes a red ball gown can be seen hanging from a fire escape alerting potential-shoppers to a glimpse of what’s to come.

The surprise of this gem was such a shocker that I did not even know to bring my good camera – bear with the iPhone photos!

Once inside Shareen Vintage, it is as if I followed a leprechaun to a sartorial pot-of-gold.; as if a witch will snap her fingers and make this shop disappear, and I would believe someone if they told me it was ‘all a dream’. Talking to Shareen, she explains to me that she is most inspired by cinema and the ever-changing style of movie stars. From Bette Davis to Clara Bow to Audrey Hepburn to Brigitte Bardot to Sophia Loren or Diane Keaton, Shareen will have a frock to fit your decade. Shareen particularly loves the glamour of the nineteen-forties.

The shop girls act more like personal shoppers and best friends than retail workers. They offer me wine, pretzels, water, and dozens of other snacks. Together, my cadre of friends and I make this space our home for the next hour. Never are we felt rushed. We sit on blanket and sheet covered couches (ala your dormitory days) and wax poetic about who has the best hips, eyes, waist, and style for specific decades. We are empowered as we all change in front of one another, sans dressing room, admiring our own womanly bodies (celebrating and exposing ourself to our friends, not hiding). I feel about as liberated and open as I would if I were trying on my sister’s dress or my best friends jeans, in either’s closet.

A dress good enough for Daisy Buchanan to wear to a Gatsby soiree. 

Did I mention that Shareen, aside from amazing talent to collect, sort, and find unique vintage pieces, also repurposes fabrics, prints, and items for the “modern” age? Here are a few re-imagined dresses, some perfect for a casual walk through town square, others have been worn to weddings and to the Emmys.

The belts come in a bevy of colors from gunmetal smoke to a rustic brown leather. 

Shareen is bicoastal and bides her time between two shops in LA and one shop in NYC. Her mystical oeuvre and calming, honest, but stern spirit can be encountered every Thursday at 3 West 17th Street New York NY. Did I mention that most of her items are under $48 dollars? With over 2,000 pieces, there’s plenty of vintage diamonds-in-the-rough through which to sift. Step into her enormous and charming closet, you won’t regret it. Eclectic shops with their own life-force and personality, held in even older buildings are what keep me attracted to the ever changing nature of the creature known as New York City.

Image of Eighties Black-and-White Puff-Sleeve Party Dress, $38. Oleg Cassini Red-Sequin Party Dress, $44 by Melissa Hom, via.

Image of White Leather Fringe Jacket, $55. Big Fur Jacket with Leather Belt, $55 by Melissa Hom, via.