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:
picture from @masterpiecelondon
Summer in London means Masterpiece, one of the landmark events in London’s collecting calendar, which opened last Thursday to the public. As a huge devotee of antiques and art fairs, A-Gent of Style was eager to witness this year’s edition, now in its 7th year, and attended the decorator preview on Wednesday, his enthusiasm hugely enhanced in the last few weeks by the daily build-up on Instagram (where else). Rating Masterpiece as one of his highlights of the London art fair circuit, A-Gent of Style was wowed this year once again by the sheer brilliance and diversity of the elegantly curated vignettes showcasing objets of the highest calibre.
The stellar international fair brings together yet again this year more than 150 leading exhibitors, old friends and newcomers from around the world to showcase a superb selection of museum-quality art, antiques, jewellery, furniture and design. Masterpiece attracts avid collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts across a wide range of cross-collecting categories and has established itself as notable highlight of the annual art fair calendar. Set in the magnificent South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Masterpiece takes place over seven days until July 6.
The mastermind of this masterpiece, Nazy Vassegh, the glamourous and brilliant CEO of Masterpiece (don’t miss her fabulous outfits on Instagram!), says; “’For 2016 Masterpiece promises to be more exciting than ever. 154 specialist galleries from around the world are bringing treasures from the past 5,000 of art history. For collectors, curators and the curious alike Masterpiece is now firmly established as a highlight of the summer arts season.”
A-Gent of Style made some great discoveries this year and was delighted to see some his most cherished antiques dealers exhibiting for the first time especially Galerie Willy Huybrechts with their show-stopping stand
Despite the Brexit and the fall of the pound, exhibitors are remaining optimistic and the fair is showing no sign of abatement as visitors are flocking in. This year’s fair is probably the best so far so make sure you don’t miss it!
Below a ‘small’ selection of outstanding objets and vignettes.
– Photographs by A-Gent of Style unless stated –