Monday, April 30, 2012

The indelible Mark Shaw

Photographer Mark Shaw is best known for his extraordinary talent and work capturing the life and glamour of John F. Kennedy's family.  Prior to his work with the Kennedys, Shaw was renowed for defining fashion photography in an era when fashion was heralded by famous designers such as Coco Chanel and Christian Dior, to name but a few.  Having behind the scene access to some of the most elite celebrities and models, Shaw's photographs include rare, candid takes backstage in the salons of Balenciaga, Dior, Chanel, and Nina Ricci, not to mention the living rooms of some of the most renowned socialites of the time.

Selected images of Shaw's work has been brought to the public by Svenska Mobler's Andrew Wilder in collaboration with Mark Shaw's only heir, David, and his wife, Juliet Cuming, after going unviewed for over 40 years.  

Here are some of my most beloved shots of Mark Shaw in never seen before photos.  For more information or to see more of Shaw's work, click here.

Coco Chanel as captured by Mark Shaw for LIFE in 1957. Chanel is seen here approaching her boutique on the Rue du Faubourg St.Honore in Paris. 

Captured here  is Jackie Kennedy and daughter Caroline in an informal moment on the beach at Hyannis Port in 1959. This image is an outtake for an assignment from LIFE magazine about Jackie Kennedy which ran in 1959 while JFK was making his White House run.

1953 is a portrait of Audrey Hepburn on the set of "Sabrina"

Christian Dior hat and gown, Paris, 1954

Portrait of Cary Grant #1, LA, 1955

Portrait of fashion designer James Galanos surrounded by models. These models are wearing Galanos' creations and are captured at the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Never before seen portrait of Grace Kelly shot for LIFE Magazine. Grace Kelly appeared in four major motion pictures that year. Soon After she later went on to marry Prince Rainier and become the princess of Monaco. This was a test shot of Ms. Kelly which was recently discovered in Mark's archives.

Model at Paris Louvre Metro Station wearing a gray Christian Dior dress, 1957.

 Model in day wear on a residential street in St. Tropez in 1960. 

Pictured here a model wears a bucket hat in the 17th century house where Manon Lescaut once lived, then owned by Suzanne Luling, directrice of Dior in Paris, 1960.

A whimsical moment captured by Mark Shaw front and center at the Christian Dior couture show in Paris in 1954.

Captured in 1953, socialite Vicki Reynaud modeling a draped chiffon gown and jeweled collar by classic Parisian designer Desses. Standing in the "dahlia-bedecked" dining room of Desses' two story apartment, Reynaud is surrounded by an 18th century Manila leather screen and a collection of English Silver. Desses' apartment was formerly occupied by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the tower builder. 

Test shot of an unidentified model on the beach in Portofino, Italy, 1955.

Captured here in 1955 in a Paris courtyard is a model wearing an Givenchy gown and orange colored and cape.

Limited Edition portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, 1956

Shot in a Paris courtyard, a model is seen wearing a grey Dior gown, 1955.

Socialite Sophie Malgat in a gray Dior ball gown. Shaw shot this in the sunroom of the house of Christian Dior in Passy in 1953.

Jackie Kennedy in an informal moment at home in Georgetown in 1959. 

Me, just having fun.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Italian Elegance

Elegant Mazzega Style White Feather Murano Chandelier
20th c.
Individually sculpted clear and white hand blown murano glass petals or feathers make up this elegant chandelier. Each hand made glass piece is partly covered by an opaque white color over transparent glass. The opacity of the color, allows the finesse, delicacy of the glass . The scattered light is soft and indirect. The white color is very pure when it is lit. Chromed metal frame. 

Available online on 1stdibs and on display at 1stdibs@NYDC

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Shopping on 1stdibs with Me!

I have been saving this surprise for about a week now!  I am just so awful about keeping surprises.  They gnaw at me until I just explode and tell everyone!!

When 1stdibs contacted me about being their featured Saturday Shopper, I was delighted.  Imagine searching through their entire website choosing some of the most coveted items from 1200 of the most prestigious dealers across the globe!  I had a blast, choosing everything from beautiful vintage Oscar de la Renta gowns to vintage Coco Chanel jewelry, to fabulous snake skin Christian Louboutin heels.  I even went shopping for dream homes in the southern coast of France with 1stdibs' new Fine Homes feature.

And this is the best part, I am on the same page and feature as Kelly Wearstler!!!  Someone pinch me, please.

So go check out my 1stdibs picks for this week.  I think you will enjoy them (especially the 8.80 carat HARRY WINSTON Cushion Cut Diamond Ring).  To go to the site directly, click here.  And to visit my own inventory on 1stdibs, go to

Happy shopping!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Night To Remember - April 14, 1912

My father was a merchant marine captain.  Not just an ordinary merchant marine captain, mind you, but rather the youngest captain in the history of the Argentine merchant marine.  Many of you may have read an earlier post about how my mother and father met aboard The Corrientes (if you haven't and a want to, click here).  My father was passionate about the sea.  It was his life.  If he could have spent his life at sea sailing, he would have been the happiest man alive.

Okay, not the best picture (don't you hate it when they get you with your eyes closed?) but 
look at the photo in the background (yes, Evita was first lady at the time)

My father ran our household as if it were a ship and we were his crew.  I remember when he tried to teach us children morse code (because you never know when you may be stuck in the middle of nowhere and have to use morse code, right?).  He made a little morse code machine out of household wires and knob that would transmit signals and we spent days on our dining room table learning all the letters and codes.  Can't say I've had an opportunity yet to show off my talents in this area, but the childhood memory of us sitting at the dining room table pretending to be radio operators on a ship and sending messages back and forth is something I treasure.

Time in our household was also signaled by an 8-Day Wind Ship's Bell Clock.  For you all who lived in otherwise normal households and may not be familiar with this clock, it is a clock based on the traditional ship's 8-bell watch cycle, ringing every half hour to signal the changing of the bridge's watch or guard.

Like many sea captains, my father loved to tell us real life stories about the high seas, which us, as young children, listened to with big, wide eyes.  I cannot remember how old I was when I first heard about "The Night to Remember" -- the tragic story about the Titanic -- but it was a story that made such an impact on us all that to this day, my siblings and I still get goosebumps when we hear anything about it.  In fact, just this Easter Sunday, my youngest sister mentioned the Titanic in conversation, and before we knew it, we were all huddled around the computer watching the latest footage on James Cameron's deep-sea exploration to the sunken vessel.

Everything about the RMS Titanic, from the mystique of its amazing luxury, its wealthy and not so wealthy passenger list, its opulent cabins and interiors, to the unfortunate events leading up to its tragic sinking and the deaths of so many people, has always moved me.  I have watched every movie about the Titanic countless of times and every time, I sit there hoping that THIS time, THIS time, the ending will be different.  What if the Titanic had heeded the iceberg warnings?  What if the iceberg accident would have ripped 4 rather than 5 of the water tight compartments (she could have survived with 4 compartments being breached)?  What if the radio operator of the SS Californian (which was only a few miles away from the Titanic) had not gone to bed and had received the distress signals from the Titanic?  What if there had been enough lifeboats aboard the Titanic to accommodate all of its passengers (rather than half the required number)?

Can someone please come up with a version of the Titanic where Leonardo DiCaprio lives and the Titanic sails in triumphantly to the port of New York!!!!!!!

So it will come as no surprise to you that as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912 nears (tomorrow, in fact!), I wanted to write a post in its honor and what was such a unforgettable moment in history.

The RMS Titanic in all its glory sets sail on its maiden and last voyage on April 10, 1912

Titanic Capt. Edward Smith shown here aboard the Titanic with his dog, Ben.  Janice Servais, researcher for the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Mo., which opened a tribute of its own to the dogs of the Titanic last year, says the museum has only ever been able to verify 10 dogs, all kenneled by first class passengers, with only three surviving. Some people refused to leave their canine companions who were not allowed on the lifeboats.

James Cameron's epic love tale Titanic in 1997, the role that made Kate Winslet a global sensation.  I LOVE THAT HAT!!!  

The decadence of the time!

Titanic's grand staircase was meticulously recreated for the movie (inset)

I wonder what it must have been like to have been on the Titanic

Some of the real people aboard the Titanic.  Kathy Bates portrayed the wealthy socialite from Hannibal, Mo., who not only survived the Titanic's sinking but helped others board lifeboats, eventually becoming known as the "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

An Edwardian Diamond ring, one of the few articles that survived the wreckage.

The Titanic today as it lies at the bottom of the ocean floor (photos by National Geographic).

RMS Titanic, 1912-2012.

To my father who loved the sea.