Happy 74th birthday to the inimitable Mr. Ralph Lauren.
efore long, I may need to seriously consider changing the name of this site to “The World According to Ralph Lauren.” Much to my chagrin, I do write often about this lifestyle czar because, well aesthestically, he speaks to my soul. From clothing and accessories to houseware and furniture, his is a world of sheer perfection; albeit, for many, an aspirational one. I know some feel that Mr. Lauren’s aesthestic sensibilities are a borrowed ideal of English life, but when you think about it, haven't we all "borrowed" something from someone (sartorially speaking), at one time or another? He is just someone who has taken the wheel as we've come to know it, and has, for well over 40 years, completely re-imagined it, re-tooled it and re-invigorated it. And while he may have been "inspired" by the riding attire and tweeds of the English (as well as the glamour of Old Hollywood), he has taken these staples and brought them, and so much more, to a new level of unrivaled perfection; creating a lifestyle (a most rarefied lifestyle, to be certain), and a global empire along the way.
Ralph Lauren’s newest home collection, Apartment No. One, which gives reference to the new 21-room living quarters of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, quite grandly pays homage, in part at least, to another royal: The Duke of Windsor. It would be futile to resist trying to not fall in love with (or in) any rooms housing even a few of these pieces. With the juxtaposition of traditionally masculine and ultra-feminine fabrics and furnishings harmoniously interwoven throughout this collection, the utter sumptuousness of it all proves visually intoxicating. From the Glen & Tartan Plaids to the jewel-toned, silk-covered chairs and the curvaceously carved legs of an 18th century-inspired writing desk, Apartment No. One is indeed appropriately named; the pieces "creating a world of smart, sophisticated style for the modern Duke & Duchess."
When I decorated my apartment a few years back, I purposely chose a palette of Black & White for its timeless sophistication. I knew that by doing so, with this classic palette as my backdrop/foundation (much like that of Apartment No. One), I could easily create a seemingly entirely new tableau, whenever I wanted, simply by switching out a pillow or two.
So by incorporating one of the Glen Plaid or magenta pillows shown below, I may very well be able to start referring to my place as Apartment No. Two. What do you think?
Images and video via Polo.com
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Who doesn't enjoy exploring a new or great museum? And as much as I enjoy going to the Getty Center in Los Angeles, I really do prefer going to the original J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Villa. I don’t know if it’s the proximity to the ocean, with its lulling sounds and perpetual breeze, but there is a certain tranquility I always feel while meandering through the museum and gardens at this Malibu institution. (Trust me, it is a perfect place to take a date.) And since its renovation and re-opening back in 2006, it’s even more sublimely spectacular than could might have imagined; having added an outdoor theater, for plays and concerts, and a café for lunch.
Built in 1974 (and fashioned, in part, after the Villa dei Papiri) this location, just a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean (and Mr. Getty's former Pacific Palisades's home), is dedicated to the study of the arts and culture of Ancient Greece, Rome and Entruria. Even though the museum's layout is much smaller, as is the collection, than that of the Getty Center, there are more than enough exhibitions, films, lectures and concerts to make the journey up Pacific Coast Highway, well worth the drive. Plus, can you think of a better reason to pack a picnic and rent a convertible for the day?
The Getty Villa, Malibu
17985 Pacific Coast Highway
Pacific Palisades, California 90272
Monday - Sunday: 10:00am - 5:00pm
($15 Parking Reservation are required)
If you visit both museums on the same day, (which can be done)
you only have to pay the $15.00 Parking Fee once.
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The Red Balloon is, by far, one of my all-time favorite films. (Quite possibly, in the top 25.) But, I suppose at just a mere 34 minutes, “short” is the more accurate term for this brilliant work of art. Last year, when at The Getty Museum for the Herb Ritts exhibit, I finally found a copy in the gift shop. This 1956 adventure, by French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse, (who won an Oscar for Best Writing/Original Screenplay) is a beautiful tale of a day in a child’s life and his unfettered imagination.
On his way to school one morning, Pascal (Lamorisse’s real-life son), has a chance encounter with his soon-to-be new best friend: a truly anthropormorphic, large, red balloon. Like a doting pet, it not only follows him to school, (drawing stares and creating a classroom commotion) but, like any truly faithful side-kick, it dutifully awaits his dismissal; allowing the two "buddies" to continue on their day’s adventure, and the mischief that's bound to ensue. This film definitely gives a whole new meaning to the term "a flight of fancy."
You may remember that in 2007, Juliette Binoche starred in a modern version of this piece titled, Flight of The Red Balloon. Even though she is one of my favorite actresses, "Flight" never really took off for me. (Pun intended.) It reminded me of when a singer covers a classic song by an iconic artist; Some things are better left untouched.
The Red Balloon, in its entirety...
ED... It is the color of life, that which courses through our veins. It is vividly present as we are being ushered into this world and, too often, when death escorts us out. It is the universal color of war; red blood-stained battlefields unable to distinguish (and not really caring) who was right and who was wrong.
And while black & white may serve as a wardrobe’s foundation, it is the color red that most awakens it. When worn in a gentleman’s tie, the hue speaks to power and vitality; in a gentlewoman’s garment, sensuality and vibrancy. Its rich lushness intimates a certain sexual wantonness when its ruby tone is seductively brushed across a sweetheart’s lips or furtively peeks from beneath a lover's blouse. It is the color redolent of a most perfect rose given to a loved-one... both in life and in death. It is the color of Passion. It is the color of LOVE.
Even though an infinitesimal mark of black shall signal the conclusion of my life's story, I can only hope that the cadence of my journey will show as having been lived (and fought) in red. With Passion... and, most importantly, with LOVE.
Unless noted, all images via Google, Pinterest or The Gifts of Life (Tumblr)
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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.