A-Gent of Style is thrilled and honoured to be Rachel Bates’s special guest tomorrow evening at Christie’s Lates. The delightful interior and product designer will be in conversation with me to discuss ‘the most important colour in the universe’ as part of the Colour and Form theme. We hope to see as many of you as possible.
Tuesday 7 February 2017
The Hangar Gallery 7.15pm
Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LD
Brighten up your winter with an evening devoted to colour and form. On 7 February at Christie’s South Kensington, interior designer Rachel Bates and A-Gent of Style Fabrice Bana will discuss “The Most Important Colour in the Universe.” Design journalist Kassia St Clair will tell “Five Colourful Stories” behind her new book, The Secret Lives of Colour. Felicity Aylieff, a ceramic artist and Senior Tutor of Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, will lead a tour of the RCA’s pop-up ceramics exhibition, and Christie’s specialist Imogen Kerr will discuss highlights from our upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art sale. Discover the art of top-tier handbag collecting with Christie’s specialist Matthew Rubinger, and purchase bespoke stationery from Armorial, the renowned Parisian stationers. To top it off, Morag Iona Young, a personal stylist at House of Colour, will stage a series of short workshops demonstrating how colour can transform the way we look and feel about ourselves.
Like A-gent of Style, some of you might admire (and get easily entertained) by larger-than-life characters from the world of publishing and fashion such as Diana Vreeland and Anna Winter – and documentaries about their respective career such as The Eye has to Travel and The September Issue (the newly released The First Monday in May has proven to be a very entertaining). Not many people however would have heard of another charismatic and influential editor belonging to that executive and glamourous club.
Fleur Cowles was a renowned publisher, journalist, author, artist, patron and fashionista who also maintained a position as a doyenne of both New York and London society for the better part of a century. Created in 1950, her magazine Flair was renowned for its striking design and lavish production as for its editorial content. Despite strong circulation, the colossal costs for special features, such as embossed cover cut-outs and unfolding pages that revealed hidden pictures as well as original artwork produced by the celebrated illustrator René Gruau, caused the magazine to run for only a year. To this day, Flair remains a much respected publication and copies are still highly sought after almost 70 years after the last issue went to press.
Tomorrow Christie’s South Kensington will present the collection of Fleur Cowles who died in 2009.
The eclectic collection to be offered at Christie’s South Kensington offers a rare glimpse into the private world Cowles created. She and her last husband, Thomas Montague-Meyer, together occupied two adjoining ‘sets’ at one of London’s most renowned addresses – Albany, Piccadilly – for more than 50 years. Her striking interiors remained unchanged during these decades and the auction will capture the magic of a time-capsule broken open for the first time.
The collection illustrates not only the amazing interiors Cowles created in her secluded London home, but also the amazing life the bigger-than-life aesthete lived; the auction includes everything from her 1950’s Dior hats and designs for famed Flair magazine, to her prized collection of naïf art, furniture, sculpture and works of art, as well as some of her own paintings and photographs dedicated from many of her famous friends, such as Vivien Leigh, Lady Bird Johnson and the Duchess of Windsor – she counted amongst her circle General Eisenhower, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cary Grant, HSH Princess Grace of Monaco and the Reagans to name but a few.
Now, wouldn’t a biopic about Madame Cowles’s life be just the ticket? And imagine what her Instagram account would be like!
– The sets currently on view at South Kensington designed by Cave Interiors, Joanna Wood Interior Design and Maddux Creative –
Here is A-Gent of Style‘s selection from the collection
You can view the full catalogue here
– All images by Christie’s –
There is a very important event not to be missed at the moment in London.
Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler are currently celebrating until December 5, 2016 artist Jeremiah Goodman and hosting his first London show in the iconic Nancy Lancaster’s Yellow Room, Brook Street. This exhibition, beautifully curated by Dean Rhys Morgan, is slightly tinted with emotions as it the last time one will be able to visit this incredible place before the company moves their headquarters by the end of the year to Pimlico Road (the room has already been stripped of all its furniture). Consider it the end of an era. If you haven’t been yet, this is your last chance.
Jeremiah, as he is simply known, is the famed watercolour and gouache illustrator revered within the interior design and architectural communities for his rare ability to infuse empty rooms with warmth and personality. He has worked in some of the most exclusive enclaves in the world and has been commissioned by an illustrious clientèle ranging from the world of literature and theatre (Edward Albee, Greta Garbo, Sir John Gielgud), music (Richard Rodgers), fashion (Yves Saint Laurent, Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland, Carolina Herrera), art (Cecil Beaton, Pablo Picasso), interior decoration (Dorothy Draper, Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Mario Buatta), socialites (the Rothschilds, Betsy Bloomingdale), royalty (The Duchess of Windsor), politics (the Reagans), to name but a few, and more recently influential people such as Bruce Weber and the Reed-Krakoffs.
Back in New York, the unstoppable artist – a true gentleman with whom I have had enjoyable conversations on Instagram – can be found every day at his drawing board in his Upper East side apartment working on private commissions but also on commercial assignments for advertisements, catalogues and artworks. His work is in the permanent collections of both the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Bust in bronze of Jeremiah by Richard Frazier, 1953
His stylish and studied renderings have been published in some of the most distinguished publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, House & Garden, Vogue, Vanity Fair magazines, The New York Times and Interior Design magazine whose covers he illustrated every month for 15 years from 1949 until 1964. He received in 1987 the prestigious Hall of Fame Award in recognition for his contribution in the field of Interior Design. Throughout his career, Jeremiah also embarked on numerous furniture design and product design projects such as fabrics and wallpapers.
A-Gent of Style adores the enchanting, moody atmosphere and unique air of mysticism that emanate from Goodman’s plates of artwork. There is a great sense of emotions, drama and ephemera in each of his watercolours but also depth and movement despite the static nature of this medium. One can’t but admire the way he captures light and shadow, and infuse rooms with warmth and personality, consequently giving them vitality and life.
Jeremiah’s prolific body of work throughout the decades: