A positive which I take from the celebrity obsessed culture we find ourselves surrounded by, is the ability to gain glimpses into the homes of people I admire. Increasingly filmmakers to taste makers are opening their doors to illustrious magazines such as Architectural Digest to share their homes with interested readers. Lee Radziwill is someone who I have admired for many years both as a style icon and someone who has lived an extraordinary and interesting life. The sister of Jackie Kennedy and a European Princess, she travelled the world in what I like to think of as the golden age. She was friends with Andy Warhol, Rudolf Nureyev, one of Truman Capote's swans and at the time was a figure of much public fascination. A couple of years ago the New York Times T Magazine published an article written by the designer Nicky Haslam when he visited her in Paris. The article was largely a conversation between the two and was a delight to read. Pictures of her apartment were published, and alongside an Elle Decor article from April 2009, we've been afforded a glimpse into her two elegant Paris and Manhattan homes.
Radziwill set up a design firm in the 1970's and is noted as having designed her Parisian apartment herself. Her mentor was Renzo Mongiardino who created the "Oriental fantasy" drawing room in her London home of which an image is shown below. Mongiardino used many meters of Indian hand-blocked cotton known as Palempore. Echoing that room, Radziwill has applied chinoiserie cottons by Le Manach in both of her apartments. Today at roughly 80 years of age, Radziwill has led an extraordinary life, which although blessed has also been tainted with loss and pain. She published a booked in 2001 titled Happy Times which is an autobiographical picture book largely focusing on her life in the 1960s. One to add to my collection.
Paris Images: Photograph by François Halard. Styled by Carolina Irving
New York Images: Photography by Eric Boman
London: Photography by Cecil Beaton for Vogue/Condé Nast
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