If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be? Man Ray

Ella Raines by Man Ray

If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?

People often love to ask this question and I thought it would be interesting ( and maybe fun?) to have a series of posts where I would write about each of my guests!

My first guest in no particular order would be Man Ray!

I’m inviting him for many reasons but my two most important ones are:


His amazing avant-garde photography of course. He was a key player in the evaluation of photography as a form of art

In 1922 shortly after his first experiments with camera-less photography Ray said “I have finally freed myself from the sticky medium of paint, and am working directly with light itself”. He became well known for those images, commonly called photograms but which he famously dubbed “rayographs” combining his own name and the word “photograph.”

To make those rayographs he placed his subjects or objects in front of a photosensitized paper and exposed them to light, creating negative images. This process was not new, camera-less photographic images had been produced since the 1830s but in his photograms, (or should I say rayographs) Ray embraced the possibilities for irrational combinations or arrangements of objects, emphasizing the abstract images made from this technique.

Man Ray was an artist of many talents. He directed a number of influential avant-gard short films, known as Cinema Pur. He directed Le Retour à la Raison (2 mins, 1923); Emak-Bakia (16 mins, 1926); L’Étoile de Mer (15 mins, 1928); and Les Mystères du Château de Dé (27 mins, 1929). He also assisted Marcel Duchamp with the cinematography of his film Anemic Cinema (1926), and Ray personally manned the camera on Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique (1924). In René Clair’s film Entr’acte (1924), he appeared in a brief scene playing chess with Duchamp.


His sense of humor!.

According to his many famous friends he was really fun to be with! I can imagine him mesmerizing every one at the table with his stories about how he fled paris in WWII and about the many famous people he photographed such as Picasso, Salvador Dali, Peggy Guggenheim and the eccentric Marchesa Luisa Casati to name a few.

I couldn’t ask for better company!

Nocturnal Animals: Part 2 The Movie Set



Set designer Shane Valentino along with the movie director Tom Ford chose a stunning Malibu house designed by Scott Mitchell. The house was used as the home of Susan and her husband, Hutton. “One of the directives we had in terms of Susan’s world was that it wanted to feel very hard and cold,” he says. “A good way to do that is to look for lots of glass, concrete, or hard materials.”

Art was also a major component to the design of Susan’s home. Valentino used a mix of modern and contemporary art throughout the house.



Valentino reworked the interior design of the house to include darker furnishings which you can see in the 2 pictures above.“A lot of it is almost a mirror of some sort of Tom’s life and his world that he lives in,” he says. “The chaise lounge, the settees, and the armchairs that are there are part of his aesthetic. We went to a lot of high-end design places like JF Chen to find particular pieces.” Below I’ve put 2 pictures of the original house before the changes were temporarily made for the movie! It has the complete opposite ambiance of the dark and mysterious movie set… here the house is light and airy which is beautiful but somehow I’m in love with the changes made by Valentino!



Anyways back to the set design


I love this photograph from Richard Misrach’s Desert Cantos series that was hung in the entryway. It’s  from Tom Ford’s private collection. Not sure if I would use or put this photograph in a home, but  I think that this particular movie it was a brilliant choice by Valentino, especially with Susan’s hair colour against it! And most importantly I feel that landscape was the perfect hint for us of what was expected to come in the movie….  and sort of set the mood for us!


Another art piece that caught my eye was that beautiful painting by Mark Bradford that hangs above Susan’s bed. I haven’t seen his work in person before but after I saw this I put him on my lists of artists to check out!… I just love it… In fact, I love everything in this room… Everything chosen complements each other without feeling matchy …like how the black marble table top complements the painting…. I love how all the wood walls complement the black and white in the room… I could go on and on about this room but I’ll stop and instead share a picture of the original bedroom just in case you were wondering about it!.


So what do you think?  Which house do you prefer?  The dark and mysterious one? Or the bright and airy one?

Vintage Photos Of The Academy Awards From the Golden Age of Hollywood


 Humphrey Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall arrive at the 27th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theater in 1955.


 Presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly wait backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre during the 1956 Academy Awards.


Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed hold their Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and Actress in From Here to Eternity — a film that won eight statuettes in 1954, including Best Picture.


Natalie Wood, Best Actress nominee for her role as Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, gets her hair done prior to the 1962 Academy Awards.


 Grace Kelly and Clark Gable arrive at the 26th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1954


Marlon Brando (right, with French singer and actress Line Renaud) casually holds his Best Actor Oscar for On The Waterfront at the 1955 Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre.


Elizabeth Taylor walks through a crowd of admirers at the Oscars in 1961 — the year she won her first Academy Award, for her role in Butterfield 8.


Last but not least…..The great, inimitable Charlie Chaplin — who had been living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland for two decades — blows a kiss to the crowd while accepting an honorary Oscar in 1972 for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.” When he was introduced to the audience, Chaplin received a twelve-minute standing ovation.

 Pictures Via LIFE Magazine

A Cool Mom

Since mother’s day is tomorrow I thought Emmanuelle Alt (editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris) and her daughter Françoise deserve a post by themselves!!!! They are one of my favorite mother/daughter duos….I love this photo of them taken by Jak & Jil even though its an old one. Alt was wearing SS 2010 long boots from Isabel Marant and they looked amazing on her….and little Françoise was just too chic in her Burberry trench!

Getting Ready For The 1st Day Of School

Other than the usual stuff you do to get the kids ready for school here is a cute new idea from how she does it for a 1st day of school picture!…. You could either get those 1st day of school free printables from that site or your kids could do their own creative version!…..


Here is what my little ones did:

The Christina O

Yesterday while driving towards Monaco we came across The Christina O in all her pride and glory… she stood out between all the other boats around her even though they were much bigger…. She was  truly magnificent …. I must admit that I was a little bit too excited and asked my husband to stop the car so I could take this picture

Christina O was originally a Canadian River- class frigate and was launched in 1943. She served as a convoy escort during the battle of the Atlantic in World War II. After the war the Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis bought her for just $34,000 …. He spent $4 million (equivalent to $ 45 million today) to convert her into a luxurious yacht and renamed her Christina after his daughter. She was designed by Cäsar Pinnau and the children’s room was designed and painted by the illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans.

The Christina was Onassis’s pride and joy…..His first wife, shipping heiress Tina Livanos, said, “The yacht is his real passion. He is like a housewife fussing over it, constantly looking to see that everything is impeccable.” ……..A crew member once explained, “You could smash up a $20,000 speedboat into pieces and not a word would be said, but spit on the Christina’s deck, and you were out of a job.”.

Onassis entertained a lot on the Christina … so many events happened on board that defined 3 decades of the very essence of the Jet Society…… 

During the 50s Onassis regularly entertained celebrities including Frank Sinatra, The Aga Kahn, John Paul Getty, John D Rockefeller, Eva Peron, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolf Nureyev, John Wayne, Greta Garbo and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

John F Kennedy was first introduced to Sir Winston Churchill on the Christina…… In 1956 the private wedding reception of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace took place on board.

 Aristotle Onassis and Sir Winston Churchill in the yacht’s swimming pool. It doubled as a dance floor – Onassis’ party trick was to flood it while people were still dancing.

For nearly 9 years the Christina was a stage to one of the world most famous love affairs …. Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas ( the ultimate Diva and one of my style icons)

One of my favorite pictures of the couple … They looked so happy together!

In 1968 Onassis married Jackie Kennedy on board of the Christina at his private island of Scorpios…. The Christina from then on entertained a new generation: the Kennedy children ofcourse, as well as dignitaries from both sides of the Atlantic.

Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at their wedding reception on board the Christina. ( Jackie’s dress was by Valentino)

When Aristotle Onassis died in 1975, he left the yacht to his daughter, who gave it to the Greek government for use as a presidential yacht. The Christina was renamed The Argo but was left to decay in a port in Greece until finally in 1998 was purchased by Greek shipowner John Paul Papanicolaou (who had sailed on her as a child). He changed her name to Christina O and undertook a major refurbishment between January 1999 and April 2001. In 2006 she became available to charter at between 45,000 and 65,000 Euros per day.

Christina O has a master suite, eighteen passenger staterooms, and numerous indoor and outdoor living areas, all connected by a spiral staircase. Compared to a typical 21st-century super yacht, the staterooms are relatively small and Christina O doesn’t have an indoor boat storage that is now standard for all sorts of boy toys; but on the other hand, the number of living areas are quite large, and the outdoor deck space is large. The main deck has an outdoor pool with a mosaic floor (with ancient Greek design) that rises at a push of a button to form a dance floor, and there is a heli-plad on the promenade deck. In Ari’s Bar, the barstools retain the original upholstery made from a very soft, fine leather made from the foreskin of a Minke Whale.

Here are a few photos I’ve found of the old interior

For more information: Christina O.

Photographs I Know That The Birthday Girl Will Love !

I found some vintage photographs from the net that brought back so many memories …. We used to love going to café de flore and Les Deux Magots in St Germain des Prés all the time …..
                   A random café in Paris 1920s …. This is probably us in a past life lol


                                   Café de Flore by Edward Boubat from 1953