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 –
Today at 2pm, Christie’s South Kensington, London, presents an auction dedicated to the master glass-maker René Lalique. The sale will comprise 138 lots and offer an array of vases – in clear and frosted, opalescent, bold colours and subtle hues – alongside iconic lighting, table wares, scent bottles, clocks and car mascots. Estimates range from just £700 up to £120,000.
The calibre of this sale replete with jewel-like coloured works is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary vision and creativity of the master glass-maker René Lalique who continues to enthrall an international audience of discerning collectors nearly seven decades after his death.
The Lalique brand is synonymous with both quality and artistry and demand for works by this important designer is testament to René Lalique’s legacy. Christie’s has been selling Lalique at auction since specialist Decorative Art & Design sales began in 1971 and has offered more Lalique at auction than any other auction house internationally.
Joy McCall, an authority on Lalique and this sale’s specialist, kindly shared her expertise with A-Gent of Style and explained why this auction will be significant.
This sale is dominated by colour vases, which remain perhaps the most sought after aspect of the market at present. There are a number of designs which we see clients collecting to form sets, for example the Formose vase (lots 130-137) is offered in 8 different colours and the Ronce vase (lots 94-98) in 5 colour versions. The sale also offers vases in rare colours, such as lot 44 in red, lot 46 in amber, lot 47 in red, lot 98 in green and lot 114 in lime-green. It is not necessarily that the design is rare but that it appears in this colour which is remarkable.
One of the earliest items in the sale is lot 9, Quatre Masques vase with handle, which dates from 1911. No one can remember seeing this particular vase appear at auction previously, so it is exciting to make a fresh discovery. A version without a handle has been offered at auction in the past, but this is the first time the Quatre Masques vase has come to auction with a handle, and it is this addition which makes it so rare.
There are also some rare enamelled wares in this sale. Lot 4, Nimroud vase, infrequently appears at auction and lot 7 Chamois vase I have not seen in red before. The background design has a thinner wash of enamel and the animals are then highlighted in a strong red enamel.
Car mascots remain a highly collectible area of the market with individuals specifically seeking to complete the ‘set’. Lalique designed most of these in 1928 and 1929. In the new age of speed and the motorcar they were symbols of prestige, and remain so today.
Below is a selection from the sale’s catalogue of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite pieces.
– Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015 –