March 30, 2011

Photographic Memories

Mack on a summer morning

Em posing at The Grill

Em + teenage birthday braids

Mack as a supermodel

I recently came across these portraits that I took about 8 years ago of my nieces, Emily and Mackenzie. These images remind me of just how quickly the days fly by, and how important it is to slow down and see all of the beauty that surrounds us!

March 26, 2011

Summer Dreams

Summer is just around the corner. You can see it both in the light and in the shade of blue in the sky. It's still a bit chilly here along the Massachusetts coast, but we are getting close to warmer days. For a little more daydreams of summer and summer light, see this post about my friend, plein air painter Simon Parkes.

Image: by French photographer and painter, Jacques Henri Lartigue {June 1894 - September 1986}

March 23, 2011

RIP | Elizabeth Taylor

I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being — to prove that we are a human race, to prove that our love outweighs our need to hate, that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame. ~ Elizabeth Taylor

Images: Google

Narrated by Paul Newman

March 5, 2011

Paris Days | George's Friends

Model, Joan Olson
It will be two years on March 11th that I lost my godfather George. He had many interesting friends and was part of a circle of American expats in Paris after WWII—which included Tennessee Williams and many illustrious characters. Through his friend Jacques Rheims, my godfather met a beautiful young model, Joan Olson. I've been thinking about Joan during this Paris Fashion Week. But Joan's Paris was during the time of true haute couture, and her family thinks she would lament what has become of Dior, Balmain, Chanel and Balenciaga. Joan was with the Ford Modeling Agency, and made the cover of every women's and lifestyle magazine in the US except LIFE, according to her son and my friend Charles... "because MacArthur bumped her when he was fired by Truman in Korea."

Joan with Emilo Pucci, 1952
Joan was married to Charles Buchet Sr., the dashing French executive who brought the Citröen to the US. They met in Capri on vacation—she, after a shoot and he, there with Marzotto—the Italian textile company that at the time sold to all the important Parisian houses. Apparently, half of Paris was at their wedding and Jacques Fath was their best man. Fath sadly died of Leukemia just a year later. I asked my friend Charles what it was like being the child of a model during the 1950's and he said, "As a little kid in the 50's, I wasn't aware of anything extraordinary—certainly all boys believe their mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, except that we knew it for sure!" Joan continued working until the birth of her fourth son in 1959. Before that, the boys had a full-time nanny because Joan was working every day. Paris was her base in Europe but she also shot a great deal in Italy and Germany.

"I remember even in the late 50's when we would visit on vacation, a well-dressed woman really stood out. At least in the more down-to-earth neighborhoods of Paris—the cut, the colors, and an air of great confidence, especially wearing the New Look. This was the time most people consider the golden age of Paris fashion." ~ C.B.

Joan at Place Vendôme, 1952
As I learn more about my godfather George and his friends, I have an even greater appreciation of why he was such an arbiter of style. I miss the stories about his days in Paris, and all the parties and who was wearing what. He once draped a fabulous curtain around a friend who needed a dress for a party. Another time, he and a Dior model were invited to a party at the US ambassador's residence in Spain. His friend was wearing the true Dior {unbuttoned to her waist with Grecian sandals}, and their hostess was wearing a quite staid, off-the-rack version of the same dress! George got such a kick out of these stories and my, how I miss hearing them. He gave me a list of people to call in Europe when I went to London to study art in 1977. This is how I met Joan's son Charles. The list is priceless. Some day, I'll share some of it with you! If you are new to my blog, you can read more about my godfather here.

Photo from Joan Olson Ford Model Sheet

Thank you to my dear friend Charles Buchet, Jr., for his recollections!

Fashion Week Note: To see the Ready-to-Wear Collections from New York to London and from Milan to Paris Fashion Weeks, click here.

Photographs by: Regina Relang