Style can be about what makes us different, but in the same breath about how we stay with who we are. It isn’t easily defined. When we notice it in others, from decorating and entertaining to an awareness of fashion, style seems second nature―an effortless chic―as though whipping something up into a work of art. For the lovers of history and travel, discovering Paris through its women or observing the panache behind the city’s elegant façades and everyday pop culture can be inspiring and a transforming experience. Returning home touched by a style and manner natural to our lives.
Whether you are on your way to Paris or searching for new volumes to add to your reading list, here are a few more titles from our bookshelves that you might enjoy. To share your favorite books, email: email@example.com
Book: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era
By Caroline Moorehead. (Hardcover – January, 2009.)
Tracing an image of a distinct period of French history, from the court of Louis XVI to the Revolution of 1789 and the reign of Napoleon, Moorehead recreates from Lucie de la Tour du Pin’s rich collection of letters and family documents a history of violence and survival. De la Tour du Pin, descended from Irish-French nobility, was born in the stylish Faubourg St.-Germain quarter of Paris in 1770.
Moorehead writes a captivating story of events and social history, and paints the portrait of a remarkable woman with extraordinary stamina and whose stirring memoirs, started when she was 50, have never been out of print. “There are things in life that one should neither analyze nor go on and on about,” de la Tour du Pin says. 480 pages with illustrations. Moorehead is a human rights journalist and biographer. She has written six biographies, of Bertrand Russell, Heinrich Schliemann, Freya Stark, Iris Origo, Martha Gellhorn, and Lucie de la Tour du Pin. Harpers/HarpersCollins Publishers.
Book: Parisian Interiors
By the Editors of ELLE DECO. Jean Demachy and François Baudot. (Hardcover – November, 2008.) This lavishly illustrated book provides an exclusive look at the riches Paris has to offer, from exquisite homes and beautifully appointed shops to cafés to salons de thé. There is a certain manner captured in these interiors that often presents a distinguishing feature worthy of further observation. A collector’s elegant library, where palettes of rich greens adorn the walls and red flannel serves as a background for a collection of antique botanical engravings. The presence of the unusual, a life-size horse made of papier mâche positioned near a doorway visually leads us from one room to the next. The industrial contrast of black and gray steel against white walls paired with a country table of old oak planks and armchairs of a 1940s design.
Demachy and Baudot quote from André Chastel (1912-1990), a French art historian, and author of an important work on the Italian Renaissance: “What is essential to French art is that it absorbs all others.” 279 pages with color photography. Demachy is a direction consultant for Elle DÉCOR and author of several books on gardening and interior design. He was the creator of French Elle Deco and the former publisher of French Elle. Baudot, a French journalist and consultant for Elle magazine, is also the author of several books on decorative art and fashion. Filipacchi Publishing.
Book: Made in France
By Reed Darmon. (Paperback – March, 2009.)
For those of us with a passion for everyday French design and pop culture from the past century, including movie, café, and travel posters; Art Nouveau and Déco products and packaging; fashion images and accessories, stop whatever you are doing and buy this book. Darmon writes about the establishment of “modernisme” and the look of the new century, and he states: “Modern art and commercial culture were having a love affair, and France was at its heart.”
Throughout the pages of this picture book you will follow France’s magazine and pop culture between the First and Second World Wars to the late 1960s with its explosion of social critique bringing to mind avant-garde publications that had thrived earlier in the century. The size of a wallet, this book will be our new companion as we search for relics from the outdoor “bouquinistes” (second-hand booksellers) on the banks of the River Seine, Paris. 256 pages with color illustrations. Darmon is the author of Made in China and Made in Japan, and co-author of Made in India. Chronicle Books.
Give a gift that’s Paris – Apple iPhone, iTouch and iPad cases. Eiffel Tower, Tuileries Gardens, Avenue Montaigne, Crêpes Suzette, Palais Royal, and Woman on a Bicycle: six watercolor paintings of Parisian scenes by Barbara Redmond. Worldwide currencies and shipping. Visit us!
Fine art prints of paintings by Barbara Redmond of famous streets and places and gardens of Paris. Printed on archival 100% cotton paper, each print is signed and dated. Visit us! Or email Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Free shipping in the continental U.S.A.
Text copyright ©2010 Barbara Redmond
Illustrations copyright ©Barbara Redmond
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