I’M FEATURED TODAY ON THE VINTAGE CONTESSA’S BLOG!

The Vintage Contessa

As you know I recently did two posts on the incredible The Vintage Contessa….well guess what…she turned right around and did a post on me today…..Here it is….enjoy!! http://thevintagecontessa.net/

PYSANKY TO CELEBRATE ORTHODOX EASTER

THE UKRAINIAN PYSANKY…TRADITIONAL WAX DYED EGGS. SYMBOLS OF HOPE.
“These Polish-Ukrainian Easter eggs are painstakingly decorated with a tiny beeswax pen and then dipped in a succession of dyes. The different layers of dye and the wax — which is melted off the final product — create dazzling patterns that are a point of immense regional pride. There is plenty of folklore surrounding the eggs, too, and many people believe they offer protection from evil spirits. With the ongoing war in Ukraine, Pysanky are being newly appreciated as a symbol of Ukrainian resilience.” (Source unknown, photo and drawing taken from Pinterest also sources unknown)

My father and I made these beautiful works of art each year. Some with “real” eggs some wooden. Since Daddy was an artist, we truly had little treasures. Unfortunately the wooden ones have been lost to time. To me tradition is extremely important and this one brings back such happy times with him.

Here are a couple of books….there are many as well as pages and pages of templates to make your own Pysanky.

Perhaps this can be a tradition for you to start to honor the brave Ukrainian people. As we send our deepest thoughts for their peace.

BOOKS…BOOKS…BOOKS: CELEBRATING INDEPENDENT BOOK SELLERS DAY!

A PEEK AT MY BOOK NOOK/OFFICE!

By now you know I’m obsessed with books! Here just a tiny sampling of my fashion books. I’ve been collecting them since high school. Since we are about to start year five of nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club lots more have been added…many signed by the authors I’ve had in conversation. I know I’ve done other posts on my fashion books so won’t bore you again, I just wanted to call attention to todays bookseller celebration. It’s SO important to support our local businesses. I don’t think I’ve been anywhere in the world that I have sought out a bookstore and I know I’ve never left with out a purchase or two or……My bookseller of choice, again not a surprise to you is The Book Stall in Winnetka, Illinois. They are THE best.

Keep reading and actual hold a book in your hands…it’s a good addition!

BOOKS…BOOKS…BOOKS: THE MAGNOLIA PALACE

By now you know my favorite books are historical fiction and you probably also know I am obsessed with anything New York City so when both things come together you can only imagine my delight!

I have been a huge fan of Fiona Davis since I read her first book The Dollhouse why you might ask, simply because she delves into the total story behind each NYC landmark building she features as the lead character and then, here comes the fun part, weaves a story around that building’s beginnings and characters (some historical others fictional) of that time and then brings us to modern times. I am not usually a fan of going back and forth in time but Davis does it with such transparently that it works to perfection.

I must admit I haven’t had much time recently to read for pleasure, my reading has been relegated to books I am featuring on my monthly nenasnotes The Fashion Book Club. I did, however, want to dive into her new book THE MAGNOLIA PALACE, and I’m beyond delighted I did. Pure escapism! I’m not going to spoil the story for you but I do what to give you a brief overview of the landmark she has chosen this time….The Frick Collection! It happens to be one of my favorite places anywhere. At the moment it is being refreshed and renovated and the Collections are on display at The Frick Madison. One of the things that I looked forward to each week, during our COVID lockdown, and hung on every word, was their brilliant virtual series Cocktails With A Curator….You can see it on YouTube, you won’t be sorry.

But I digress, I always seem to do that, sorry! Back to the book, it follows two protagonists, one, Lillian Carter, in 1919 and the other, Veronica Weber, in 1966. Both happen to be models, Lillian an artists model and Veronica a fashion model (those story lines were, of course, right up my alley). But the main character, is The Frick itself! What I like most about Davis’ writing, as I mentioned before is, her deep dive into the history of each of her chosen landmarks, her detailed research is truly, in my opinion, her strength. Sure the characters stories are captivating, but the story of The Frick (or Grand Central Station, the New York Public Library, etc.) is what fascinates me and makes me excited for her next story and makes me want to visit my second favorite city (Chicago will always come first!) as soon as possible.

Just a pretty fountain, in front of The Plaza in NYC, perhaps…read the book to find out more!
The Frick Collection in Spring

Setting the story in two totally different times gives us yet another dimension to consider…obviously everything changes from etiquette, to buildings, to fashion, to food…the list goes on. BUT what doesn’t change is how we appreciate and NEED art in our lives. Henry Clay Frick was a major collector of European art, sculpture, furniture and objects. His daughter, Helen Clay Frick, continued the collecting after her father’s death as well as made it her life’s work to continue his vision. The building, originally their family home, became the museum it is today. It is kept very much like a home, an ultra splendid home, with the art hung in various rooms and you indeed feel as if you are a guest in someone’s masterpiece…the home becoming yet another part of the story!

Henry Clay Frick and his daughter Helen Clay Frick
The Fragonard Room my favorite.
The mansion turned museum

I’m so eager to have you read this engaging story of the mansion and what is what like at its beginning with a man’s vision and his devoted daughter’s desire to keep his legacy alive for all of us to treasure. I can’t wait to see it when it reopens its splendor to us! I say a field trip is in order, perhaps Fiona will join us on our tour!!! Enjoy the fabulousness of The Frick Collection and what might have happened inside its walls…

MUSINGS: ALL ABOUT TULIPS!

From the creative floral genius, Mike Hines of epoch floral, Chicago!

I have been wanting to write this post for what seems like forever! I’d think about it and it would be fall or holidays or winter never spring….so I was determined not to have another year go by and not do the post! How perfect to post this just before Easter. Grab your drink of choice, this is going to be a long one with lots of photos, a bit of a history lesson, book suggestions and even some fashion!

A wonderfully enlightening book….yet another to add to your library!

Let’s first talk about the so called, Tulipmania. Some are comparing it to Bitcoin in 2018….others say it didn’t happen. Here is a brief overview of the “beginnings” of our love for all things tulip. Tulipmania began, as you might suspect, in Holland in the 17th century the so-bubble was from late 1636 to early 1637. The tulip’s journey did not, however, begin in Holland but rather in Turkey. In the 1600s, tulips cost 10 times more than a working man’s average salary in the Netherlands. A single bulb was the price of a house!

From The Smithsonian Magazine “Originally found growing wild in the valleys of the Tien Shan Mountains (at the border where China and Tibet meet Afghanistan and Russia), tulips were cultivated in Istanbul as early as 1055. By the 15th century, Sultan Mehmed II of the Ottoman Empire had so many flowers in his 12 gardens that he required a staff of 920 gardeners. Tulips were among the most prized flowers, eventually becoming a symbol of the Ottomans, writes gardening correspondent for The Independent Anna Pavord in The Tulip.”

A table of compatible prices in the 1630’s, from the book Tulipomaniaby Mike Dash reprinted in the Blog Of An Art Admirer http://www.artistsandart.org

A game…
On Amazon Prime…
.
Needlepoint pieces from https://americas.elizabethbradley.com/

My Tulip Needlepoint Pillows…

  • SOME TULIP FACTS….
  • There are over 150 species of tulips with over 3 000 different varieties
  • Tulips belong to the same family as lilies and onions.
  • The Netherlands exports around three billion tulips each year.
  • Tulips have been cultivated in every colour except for classic blue (blue tulips exist, but they have a tint of purple).
  • Tulip bulbs are best planted in the autumn months and tend to start blooming early in spring carrying on into the late summertime.

And in fashion….



CHARLES WORTH, “THE FATHER OF HAUTE COUTURE”, GARMENT FROM THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART COSTUME COLLECTION

“Worth was constantly interested in supporting the textile industry as evidenced in this cape, which is designed to showcase its textile to the extreme. The textile itself has a repeat which is over three feet long making it stunning but also making it extremely difficult to weave. The dramatic fabric, “Tulipes Hollandaises,” was exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris and won a grand prize. The tulips have an aggressive dynamic quality about them with the brilliant, vibrant colors against the deep black background consistent with the seductive femme fatale sensibility of the 1880s and 1890s.” From the Met’s website.

Tulip prints inspired by the designer’s mother, Nadia Saab – ELIE SAAB Haute Couture Spring Summer 2015
’To this day, I’m still enchanted by a clear vision: my mother in an evening gown. Curved at the waist. Flared like a corolla. Tulips printed on silk. A vision that fuelled my flare as a designer.’ Elie Saab
DIOR HAUTE COUTURE 2010
Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda
Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda 2021

In Art…

From Carolyne Roehm

https://carolyneroehm.com/

In Photography

Irving Penn
From Mike Hines
More of Mike Hines creativity
And one more from Mike http://www.epochfloral.com/

“Tulipieres peaked during the 17th century era of tulip mania as they offered a way for precious tulip bulbs to be grown indoors and displayed without cutting the stems. They often came in a pair, towering upwards. Flower bricks were used for cut flowers. Far prettier than they sound, these are great fun to arrange flowers in and they’re very easy to use since you just fill them with water and then fill each hole with an individual stem. In both cases the Dutch Delftware originals fetch vast sums but later versions offer a good alternative.” Here are some from the wonderful The Enchanted Home who have given me permission to use their photos! By the way, they recently joined forces with Carolyne Roehm to create a stunning collection of items featuring Lily of the Valley. You will love everything they have on their site do check it out and follow both on Instagram.

https://enchantedhome.com/home.php/

From Bridgerton The meaning of tulips was first mentioned in Season 1 when Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) was sitting with Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) while embroidering the flower. “This is for Daphne,” Violet told her eldest son. “Tulips, they symbolize passion. A most appropriate hem for your sister when she decides to marry the Duke. Perhaps your bride would like the same.”
And for your Easter Bonnet

DESIGNER PROFILE: PETER DUNDAS

PETER DUNDAS

It’s always a treat to be able to get to know a designer better….such is the case with Peter Dundas. Peter is the 2022 recipient of the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum Designer of Excellence Award. More on the event celebrating him below. I wanted to ask Peter to do my usual Profile Questionnaire….instead I sent him special questions which he graciously took time from his Norwegian get away to answer for me.

When you think of the DUNDAS brand you immediately think celebrity dressing….let’s see what he has cooked up for next weeks Met Gala, I’m sure more showstoppers! Most recently, one of this year’s Super Bowl half time stars, Mary J. Blige wowed us not only with her performance but her incredible fashion…Dundas, of course!

His exquisite sketch…
The garment in action!

Let’s hear from the creator….

Your garments are always showstoppers….how did you transition from ready to wear to designing for celebrities with custom pieces?

Thank you. Dressing celebrities came very naturally because they actually chose me. They started wearing pieces from my ready to wear collection and little by little the requests for custom looks started to come in. Custom pieces are not necessarily so different from ready to wear for me really. I want every person who wears my designs to look and feel amazing. I think fashion is about giving confidence and that appeals to everyone.

The Carters at a Met Gala
Beyoncé

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer, when did you discover your talent? Which of your time with other brands did you enjoy the most?

I always knew I loved fashion. It was partly a need because my widowed father had no clue how kids dressed and partly because of the pure love of color, the fantasy and later the sex appeal. I had my first manual sewing machine at 6 or 7 but coming from a family of mainly doctors I felt I needed to pursue something more serious for a profession. The decision that the love of this craft could not be ignored came when it was time for college. All of a sudden it appeared as the only path to take. The only path that would make me happy After art school I was incredibly lucky to land a top job in Paris at my then favourite designer; Jean-Paul Gaultier and I haven’t looked back since. I have had many incredible moments in many different places like Pucci in Italy, Lacroix and Ungaro in Paris, and at Cavalli twice, so it might be unfair to choose just one brand. Cavalli however was uniquely incredible because we were riding so high. Pucci was great too and we have had some amazing moments with DUNDAS.

Ready to wear collection

Have you always done your own sketches…they are stunning.

Thank you. I sketch constantly. I always carry a pen. Today most of the sketches I publish are finished electronically mixing photorealism with my own illustration and for this I get a little help. Electronic illustrations facilitate communication, and for custom work it’s especially useful as you understand the garment better. Next is NFT’s which we started doing after the Super Bowl Halftime show with Mary J. Blige. Doing those and creating wearables accessible to anyone creates an even broader outreach that I think is very exciting and important for tomorrow.

Beyoncé 2017

How do you unwind, hard I’m sure with two little ones!

We are busier than ever but sometimes it’s about a change of pace or a change of scenery. My favourite time to unwind are summer breaks at our cottage on the Greek island of Naxos. It’s special because I built it; it has a huge fruit and vegetable garden where we make our own olive oil and can live off the fat of the land literally. It’s a healthy break from the urban existence. On a daily basis giving our son Alexios his evening bath is now probably one of my favourite moments and gets my mind off the business of dresses.

I’m obsessed with your personal style…tell me a little about how you have developed it.

I think I am a frustrated child of the 70’s. The mood-boards for my collections are always filled with images of rockstars from that era. Blondie, Pat Benatar, Keith Richards, Led Zeppelin and of course Cher. It’s my favorite era to be inspired by so naturally it trickles down to how I look and dress.

With Ciara wearing a gown inspired by her husband, Russel Willson’s football jersey at last years Met Gala

Last question…I always ask this question of people I’m profiling….tell me about your dream dinner party, who would be on our your guest list (living or dead) 10 to 12 people and what would you serve (my readers love celebrity recipes!)

Wow that’s a loaded question hmm. My guests would be:

-My partner Evangelo of course

-Halston

-Yves Saint Laurent, both are my heros

-Melissa McCarthy for laughs

-Oprah because she is Oprah

-Bill Gates because he is an amazing entrepreneur who also cares about doing good

-Audrey Hepburn because she was a fashion icon when I was a kid watching old movies with my Dad

-The Dalai Lama for his wisdom

-Queen Elizabeth, I heard she is fun

-Rihanna as she is one of the most beautiful women I know and love to dress

-My mother because I didn’t really know her growing up

-At last God because she is of course always welcome

I would serve caviar on baked potato & champagne which is what I crave right this minute and then profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream!

With partner, Evangelo Bousis

Peter, thank you so much for taking time to answer my questions. They give all of us a wonderful glimpse into The World of Peter Dundas. May I offer my congratulations on receiving the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum 2022 Designer of Excellence Award.

PRESS RELEASE: THE COSTUME COUNCIL OF THE CHICAGO HISTORY MISEUM PRESENTS THE 2022 DESIGNER OF EXCELLENCE AWARD TO PETER DUNDAS ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 4th AT THE LANGHAM HOTEL

“The Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum is pleased to announce an exciting evening honoring celebrity fashion designer Peter Dundas, as he receives our Designer of Excellence Award. His illustrious fashion career serving as Creative Director for Emmanuel Ungaro, Emilio Pucci, and Roberto Cavalli has shaped a global experience leading top fashion houses.

His eponymous brand, DUNDAS, launched in unconventional style debuting with Beyoncé Knowles at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Created in partnership with Evangelo Bousis, a Chicago native, DUNDAS continuously delivers notable, couture red carpet looks for celebrities: Shakira, Ciara, Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum, Mary J. Blige, H.E.R., Emily Ratajkowski and many more.”

Honorary Co-Chairs: Brian Atwood, Evangelo Bousis, and Nick Cave

Event Co-Chairs: Dusty Stemer, Rebekah Shalit and VP Programs Chair, Pamella Capitanini.

“The Designer of Excellence Awards is a fundraiser to benefit the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum and has a rich history in our organization as an important pillar of designer recognition in Chicago. The Museum has more than 50,000 pieces of fashion in its archives and is one of the largest repositories in the world. Brian Atwood, Evangelo Bousis, and Nick Cave are this year’s honorary co-chairs. Over the years, the Awards have honored James Galanos, Geoffrey Beene, Christian Lacroix, Sonia Rykiel, Hubert de Givenchy, Bill Blass, Ralph Rucci, Bob Mackie, Carolina Herrera, and this year, we are thrilled to honor Peter Dundas. All proceeds benefit the Chicago History Museum for exhibition and curatorial needs to preserve the costume collection.”

For further information and to purchase tickets go to https://www.chicagohistory.org/event/designer-of-excellence-award-with-peter-dundas/

PROFILE: THE VINTAGE CONTESSA PART 2

The Vintage Contessa In The Garden

LET’S CONTINUE WITH ANSWERS TO THE nenasnotes QUESTIONNAIRE…WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK, MOVIE, THEATER, TYPE OF MUSIC…

My favorite book I have TWO actually! A THOUSAND DAYS IN VENICE and Mrs. WHALEY’s GARDEN. My favorite movie was AUNTIE MAME with ROSALIND RUSSEL.PLUS, MY FAIR LADY. As far as theater I have seen many more BALLETS than OPERA’s But I love them both. I use to dance with the San Francisco BALLET as a teen and I would get to preform in the NUTCRACKER every year. Small parts. IL DIVO for SURE! As far as SINGERS GO! We just saw them in concert…….I was DOUBLE MASKED!

HOBBIES. Gardening which is an expensive hobby and Thrift store/ Salvage yards finding “THE GOODS” never skied as a dancer we were not allowed to, nor ice skating. Cooking, I suppose that could be a hobby as The ITALIAN has to EAT every night! If he is not home I LOVE to have a bowl of CHEERIOS! Other than that NO! Not much more going on with me………except I have been sick for years(SIX) and NO DOCTOR could figure me out! In September, I was diagnosed finally. Just now getting the medications sorted out and I am FEELING SO MUCH BETTER! BUT THAT IS NOT A HOBBY! Bottom line HEART SURGERY at 50 YEARS OF AGE……..LADY WINDERMERE SYNDROME discovered a year ago January (look that one up as I have yet to get it right!) Also called MAC. Then this mysterious aliment I have had for years where I would lose my vision and feel faint and be left with a headache for two days! SO very little I could do even BEFORE COVID!

YOUR HOME, MODERN, TRADITIONAL, ANTIQUES, ECLECTIC…NOT MODERN that is FOR CERTAIN……..TRADITIONAL maybe~sort of but not really me. I think if I had a bigger house it would have gone MORE TRADITIONAL. ANTIQUES MY GOD YES! French, Italian and English. My home is a combination of things I LOVE or grew up with. Having an antique shop I only bought what I really liked or knew that would sell. So, when I closed up after 12 years because the building was from the early 1900’s and not kept up; I brought most of it home with ME! THE ITALIAN was afraid of the next major EARTHQUAKE here in CALIFORNIA and that the building would collapse. It is SINKING as there is NO FOUNDATION, but it was PERFECT for what I did and was called THE HEN HOUSE.

WHO WOULD YOU HAVE AT YOUR FANTASY DINNER AND WHAT WOULD YOU SERVE…….Dinner Guests would be a mix of people!
1. AUDREY HEPBURN: NO ONE has reached her glamour and charm!2. CECIL BEATON: JUST BECAUSE! 3. TONY DUQUETTE:What an ARTIST and what stories he could tell! 4. HUTTON WILKINSON: I ADORE HIM he lives LIFE! 5. DIANA VREELAND: We are VERY similar in character from what I have read! 6. JULIA REED: I found her books after she passed but what a wonderful person she seemed to be! 7. ALI MACGRAW: I adored her growing up and she looks FANTASTIC today. 8. MY MAILMAN! Because he smiles and always has a kind thing to say. 9. GIANFRANCO FERRE: I loved his designs, but I hear he was a pain to work with! 10. THE ITALIAN OF COURSE!: He would do THE PASTA and THE MAIN course so I could CHAT with ALL these FUN, BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.

THE MEAL would be a PASTA to start……….could be anything, but I bet it would be PESTO with a bit of whipping cream. Salmon or Trout done on the barbecue. Julia Reed’s potato casserole, green beans, and a green salad plus a strawberry dessert or a Pavlova made by me! Always fruit at the end except that is the desert so NO, but of course a LIMONCELLO made by THE ITALIAN in HOUSE! AND A CAFE if NEEDED! If its Winter time the NUTS and CHOCOLATE would arrive on the table after the DIGESTIVO!

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT VISITED AND ON YOUR LIST …. Hands down SARDINIA.
We had a Mediterranean honeymoon and I have such fond memories from there. The water was so clear. You could see the fish swimming. Porto Cervo was filled with grand yachts and sailboats. If I remember correctly the Prince AGA KHAN owned that port. It was the main center of COSTA SMERALDA. Population is 421 inhabitants! THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE I HAVE EVER BEEN! We were rescued by a TOPLESS ITALIAN WOMAN in a small speed boat as our boat got stuck in the sand not by us but by the owner of the sailboat IL CAPITANO the owner of the boat!! Bottom LINE we were about to be BEACHED! She was yelling at me in ITALIAN and I was not understanding a THING! She twirled a rope to me which I then caught after a few try’s! We got pulled out before a disaster happened! I also will ADD the entire beach was up to their waists pushing us out to SEA! GREECE is HIGH on MY LIST to SEE NEXT!!!

PORTO CERVO

HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED…..Funny as I asked one of my BLOG READERS recently to write my OBITUARY. Even though she has NEVER MET ME! She is a FABULOUS WRITER and I know she “GETS ME. ”How would I want to be remembered” that is a GOOD QUESTION! I do hear FULL of JOY and ENTHUSIASM for LIFE. Also ELEGANT is another word I hear A LOT!Which to be HONEST I do not see…………I have had a lot of struggles and heart break in MY LIFE. I really NEED to give this MORE thought.I ADORE THE QUOTE “LIFE IS A BANQUET AND MOST POOR SUCKERS ARE STARVING TO DEATH.” BY AUNTIE MAME. Perhaps I would like to be remembered as a GRACIOUS BEING, CONCERNED, CARING, LIVING THE BEST POSSIBLE LIFE SHE COULD POSSIBLY LIVE. I have told my ITALIAN HUSBAND many times I will write on his TOMBSTONE “I’M STILL WAITING!” As he is a man on THE GO and I am ALWAYS waiting for him to come HOME!

HERE ARE A COUPLE OF THE VINTAGE CONTESSA’S RECIPES….

WARM GOAT CHEESE SALAD made by a REAL CONTESSA!
600 grams goat cheese(Pinky size width, maybe ring finger depends on your finger size! Can’t go wrong!
Olive oil, Fresh thyme, Bread crumbs
Marinate sliced cheese in olive oil with thyme overnight. (Do not put in refrigerator, cover and leave on counter top.) Roll cheese in bread crumbs and put in baking dish. Heat 15 minutes at 300 degrees.(watch that it softens but does not melt.) Serve on Rucola Greens dressed with olive oil and vinegar and tomatoes.

PESTO made by my Italian
1. Cuisinart full of basil leaves NO STEMS! Two fist fulls.(MAN’S FIST FULL!) 2. 1 teaspoon Salt 3. 1 teaspoon Red pepper (MORE IF YOU LOVE HOT) 4. 2/3 cups Pine nuts 5. 1 cup Whole Walnuts nuts plus 1/2 cup walnuts more or less crumbled = 5 ounces 6. 3 to 4 Garlic cloves (LARGE)peeled. 7. 1 1/3 cup Olive oil 8. BLEND. 9. Add the olive oil as you mix through the top. Taste with finger adjust as YOU like! ITALIAN WAY ALWAYS PUT ROCK SALT IN THE PASTA WATER AS YOU BRING TO A BOIL. MORE THAN YOU AS AN AMERICAN WOULD THINK. A BIT LESS THAN A WOMANS PALM OF HAND. Once you drain the pasta DONOT WASH WITH COLD WATER! IN FACT NEVER DO THAT!Dump back into the pot. ADD some olive oil, a good amount stir as you do this. Then add two Tablespoons of PESTO for two or three people. Left over pesto should be covered with OLIVE OIL so it does NOT MOLD. Then plastic wrap tight. Put in refrigerator. Good for a long time! In each individual dish on top PARMIGANO, but just a little bit DO NOT cover the top like MOST AMERICANS DO or you will not taste the PESTO only the cheese!
DO NOT be like ME!When I first met the ITALIAN I said,”I like the GREEN BOTTLE (BOX) BETTER”!!!!!!!!As that was what I grew up on

SOME OF THE VINTAGE CONTESSA’S FAVORITE LINKS……

LINKS YOU WANT ME TO INCLUDE: THE BLOG……….https://thevintagecontessa.net/2022/03/14/caftans-more/

INSTAGRAM………..https://www.instagram.com/contessa_and_her_pig/

BLOGS YOU FOLLOW…………..https://makemineaspritzer.com/snowberrys-main-bedroom-reveal/

http://www.tamerabeardsley.com.

https://1010parkplace.com/tag/brendas-blog/

http://northerncalstyle.com/

I HOPE YOU HAVE ENJOYED ALL THE EYE CANDY AND INSIGHT ELIZABETH HAS SHARED WITH US…..I KNOW YOU WILL WANT TO SHARE YOUR THANK YOUS TO HER, ALONG WITH MINE, FOR JOINING MY nenasnotes JOURNEY. WANT MORE….BE SURE TO FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM, LINK ABOVE, AND HER SPECTACULAR BLOG, ALSO LINKED ABOVE. GOBS OF HUGS…..

I WANT TO LIVE THERE!!!!!!

PROFILE: THE VINTAGE CONTESSA PART 1

The Vintage Contessa

I find it beyond fascinating how many interesting people you can encounter on social media and also how lovely it is to make new friends who enjoy many of the same things that you do. Elizabeth Kirkpatrick aka The Vintage Contessa is exactly one of those people and I wanted to share her story with you! I asked her to do The nenasnotes Questionnaire and she immediately agreed. The following is Part 1 of her responses (she writes her fabulous blog, http://thevintagecontessa.net/ in ALL CAPS and has asked me to keep “ALL CAPS” that she has used for her answers!) I know you will be fascinated with her stories and be charmed and intrigued with her breathtakingly gorgeous photos….enjoy!

In the garden

nenasnotes QUESTION….WHEN READING YOUR BLOG POSTS I NOTED THAT YOU HAVE HAD MANY INCARNATIONS….WHICH HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY

INCARNATIONS? That is an interesting observation, but I do believe you are correct! As a child I wanted to be a BALLERINA or a VET. That did not come to fruition. Then I worked in FASHION RETAIL Then Wholesale, The Gucci Accessory Collection. We sold to the Specialty stores and Department stores. That is how I met my husband of 36 years. We worked for a woman who had the distribution for the United States and Canada. Then married in Florence, Italy in 1986. Then I became a MOTHER to TWO BEAUTIFUL SONS. Then an Antique/Vintage Collector which became a store front. After they grew up a bit I opened a shop that sold antiques and vintage for 12 years. Last came the BLOG :THEVINTAGECONTESSA.NET. Then Instagram hit! I found people who had similar passions as myself. Plus I was OVER 50 so The ADVANCED STLE movement enticed me! I thought what ARI SETH COHEN https://www.advanced.style was doing was FANTASTIC. To answer your question about which one was my favorite I would say being a MOTHER and being married to THE ITALIAN in SAN MINIATO AL MONTE in Florence,Italy. Can I have TWO PLEASE? A Nena’s Note….yes, you can!

With THE ITALIAN
Photo by Ari Seth Cohen, Elizabeth with Bansky….more on him later!

As time goes by I get MORE and More ECCENTRIC.For example when the Boys were younger I would wear long skirts with sweatshirts mind you the skirts I found in the consignment shops were usually TAFFETA!
The shoes were always running shoesAs a young woman and still today I get comments like “Where are you going all dressed up?”And I think to myself I am NOT DRESSED UP at all. I get stopped often in the Produce section of the grocery store a lot by older men saying thank you for dressing up……..you remind be of days gone by.

WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF YOUR TALENT? TALENT! I wouldn’t say I have talent, but I do have a good eye whether it be clothing, interiors or gardens. My “talent” for clothing was born from looking at VOQUE and HARPERS BAZAAR and TOWN & COUNTRY at a young age. I did DREAM of being a model or SHOWGIRL like a ROCKETTE as I loved the HEADWEAR. Feathers & Rhinestones were HEAVEN to me! I should have been in theater! I would have adored CECIL BEATON.I really have Never Changed from that young girl. Most of my DREAMS have been fulfilled.

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD “MADE IT”EXPLAIN…I do not think “I HAVE MADE IT YET” I keep plugging along. Once my sons left I was a LOST SOUL.I have kept doing what I love. The garden the clothing and collecting stuff. I did make it in THE CLOSET DEPARTMENT however! As we had a very small closet we shared. I kept complaining about how I needed more space! My ITALIAN built an addition to the 1940’s house for all my clothes.

THE CLOSET!

HOW DID YOUR ORIGINAL PASSION BRING YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW…AND WHEN DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR UNIQUE STYLE
MY MOTHER! I have always LOVED antiques. I would shop with my MOTHER at a very young age. My first collections were OLD KEYS & BOTTLES. I still have an old milk bottle from those days and a set of old keys that have faces on them. If I remember correctly they were $12.00. I thought about INTERIOR DESIGN but the drawing scared me. I remember when TONY DUQUETTE lived down the street from us in San Francisco. Since then I have met many decorators at Book signings, Anita Campell, Timothy Corrigan, Charlotte Moss, Paul Wiseman Princess Michael of Kent and Hutton Wilkinson. I actually was invited to DAWNRIDGE for lunch with his wife as he was out of town. That was an experience I will never forget! I still love ballet, animals and clothing. I am still SHOPPING when most people are CLEANING out! I have found “MY PEOPLE” on BLOG’s and INSTAGRAM who rock MY WORLD. Who actually “GET ME!” Another Nena’s Note, I profiled Hutton, awhile ago, and also did a review on his book DAWNRIDGE!

One of her new finds….the monogram caftan, details are on her site!

TALK A BIT ABOUT YOUR “MENAGERIE” I LOVE ANIMALS. I always wanted a farm. My mother was from INDIANA and would tell me about the runt of the litter sleeping by the stove in the kitchen when she was growing up. By age ten I had a chicken that turned into a rooster! My Father was not an animal person, however somehow we always had a cat. No dogs. I had rabbits outside and was ALWAYS building a BARN. Today I have a dog and a cat who is missing at the moment and a TEA CUP pig that lives in THE HOUSE! He is THE BEST ANIMAL I have ever owned. They are very clean. They are very smart. He learned the doggie door in ONE DAY! He eats very little to be honest like 1/3 of a cup of piggy pellets with a fruit or vegetable! Twice a day. The vegetables MUST BE COOKED! I also save the old bread and soak it. Of course when he goes OUTSIDE it must be warm enough and NO RAIN he will graze in the garden! He learned the first year NOT TO EAT MAMMA’s ROSES! He understands” NO” very well! He has his second dinner with us at the table at night. A bite of salad or vegetable NO MEAT! He has his own FORK…SILVER ANTIQUE which is placed on a KINFE REST so we do not get it confused with OURS! He comes when I call! He also sprints around the house and has NEVER broken a thing!MY house is PACKED with STUFF! Sometimes the cat and the dog and the pig all dine with us at the table waiting their turn! Somehow he knows when dinner is over as he heads to bed or wants a TUMMY RUB!
As he heads to bed in the living room I ask for a kiss and he turns his head to oblige me! I get the NOSE as the mouth is un-reachable!

With Bansky
At The Louvre
I thought this would be a good place to stop for today, and wouldn’t we love to be dressed up at the Louvre right this very minute…..there is lots more to come…stay tuned for Part 2