The book that started it all...
Today marks the 1st year anniversary of writer, Dominick Dunne's, death. I first heard of Mr. Dunne back in 1985 when I read, in Vanity Fair magazine, that he was writing a book based on the 1955 murder of society figure, William Woodward, Jr. by his wife, Anna Woodward, a former showgirl. Looking for something interesting to read, I ran out and bought "The Two Mrs Grenvilles." It was a book filled with murder, sex, drugs, great wealth and privilege. It has become my all-time favorite book, and he, my all-time favorite author. A book that I've given as a gift on more than one occasion.
Living in California, many people dream about meeting their favorite celebrities. Dominick Dunne was, without question, my celebrity to meet. And I was fortunate enough to do so on more than one occasion. The first time was at benefit in 1995, at a dinner hosted by then President of Paramount Pictures, Sherry Lansing, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
As you know, most of his books dealt with the foibles of High-Society and the Rich & Famous: From the Murderers/Murders (The Menendez Brothers, O.J. Simpson, Edmond Safra, etc.), to the scandals (Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos, Alfred Bloomingdale, etc.) Often likened to Truman Capote, in speaking with Mr. Dunne, and, of course, reading his books I never got the sense that he wrote with the same malicious intent. To hear his personal life story is true testament to the resilient nature of the human spirit, especially after the murder of his only daughter, actress Dominique Dunne, of "Poltergeist" fame, who you may remember was murdered by an ex-boyfriend, a former chef at Ma Maison restaurant in L.A. Mr. Dunne, "Nick," to friends and family, was finally able to live a life that so many could only imagine living. Rest In Peace, Mr. Dunne. Good night, Gus Bailey.
My cherished Dominick Dunne collection...
GQ's weighty, fashion-filled September issue features LeBron James as its cover model. It's a great layout and even though it's a rather safe bet to say that there was a stylist orchestrating the entire shoot, it's still good to see someone that tall look so effortlessly stylish; from the casual pieces to the suit photo. As mere mortals (those of us under 6'), there's no excuse not to look our best. Okay, maybe his annual salary of $25 million allows him to attempt any look under the sun.. good or bad. Thankfully, these were good choices.
"No, not there...
...please, have a seat here instead."
After being laid off from my job in the mortgage industry, I realized that this was an opportunity to revamp my life and my surroundings. I got rid of EVERYTHING in my apartment and decided to start anew. Little did I know that it would take more than a year to complete this little renewal project.
I recently found two of these club chairs (brand new) at an outlet store near Pasadena, CA. I purchased them both for only $400.00. I found out shortly thereafter that they were still being sold a major retailer for the original price of $700.00 a piece. (Trust me, it's all about the art of the deal for me.) As you can see in the first image, they were covered in a fabric that even your grandmother would hate. After two weeks of searching, I finally found the perfect fabric in a men's suiting ($28/yd x 13 yds) at Diamond Foam & Fabric on La Brea in Los Angeles and had them recovered by my upholsterer, for only $275.00 per chair. It pays to shop around, because Diamond Fabric was charging nearly $600.00/chair to re-upholster. End result: Two custom club chairs for under $1300.00. Since, I'm going for a B&W, New York Penthouse-inspired look, these chairs are perfectly suited. Just a couple of more small pieces to add and I should be completely done in the next couple of weeks. I hope!
An artist's rendition...
...of the beauty to come.
Opened this past April, Ralph Lauren's latest addition to his vast empire, at 173 Saint Germain in Paris, is stunning. While I've only seen pictures of this rather grand store from his website, I've feel as if I've been there. (Without the transatlantic flight and jet lag, of course.) The wooden-framed elevator is more than magnificent, but given the opportunity to ascend the marble staircase could easily leave one with the first of many tough decisions to be made on a visit to the store. One good thing of about Mr. Lauren's store is how each department is beautifully boutiqued; each room executed in a particular clothing line, e.g. Purple label, Black Label, Blue Label, et al, along with that line's accessories. You can quite believably spend hours in just one locale. (Well, I could, at least - and often too have.)
After a long day of shopping, what better way to unwind than with a cocktail (and lunch) at Ralph's, The Restaurant.
An American In Paris...
Polo Ralph Lauren
I was born in the country, but brought up in the big city, with hopes of always maintaining the charm, wit and character of a southern, sophisticated
gentleman. In my goal to live more passionately & purposefully, here are just a few things that I've learned and experienced along the way, making my journey more interesting, and more importantly, easier.