Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Savoir Faire on the Southern Route

Travelling across the Atlantic in the 1950’s by either Cunard or The French Line was to spend 5 days of unhurried and unrivalled luxury surrounded by savoir faire. The North Atlantic that was, and it could have been a rather drab affair if one was to venture out on deck.

However there was an alternative and that was with all the savoir faire and la dolce vita of the Italian Line through the Mediterranean to New York. As opposed to the North Atlantic liners, the Italian Line Ships were outdoor ships with large lidos swimming pools and plenty of deckchairs in the sun.

During the 1950’s Bob Peake who had his hand in doing more advertisements than he probably cares to remember, did some wonderful ads in true Peake style, that epitomized life aboard the Italian liners for those that could afford it. These are wonderful graphic representations that capture the sprit of an era that we can only dream about now.

Dressing for dinner was not a problem, as one of the ship’s obliging stewardess’ (or your own maid) was there to assist as you donned your latest couture.

Gallantry was alive and well as you greeted the ship’s captain maybe after dinner. Every night one dressed for dinner and did it with style. God knows what happens these days on ‘formal nights’ on today’s cruise ships.

Arrive in New York relaxed, tanned with a touch of la dolce vita!

Some Upholstery Savoir Faire

I love upholstery fabrics and some of my favourites come from Lorca of France. They have brilliant colour combinations and wonderful quality that just reek of savoir faire. They use past references out of history to name their collections which hint of the exotic past they draw their inspiration from.

Even though my current decor could not support any of these wonderful colour combinations, they have been filed away for future reference.

"Porfiro Stripe" by Lorca one of my favourites especially when teamed with this Louis chair. The combination purple and green stripe is just stunning and elegant.

“Dampierre” the combination shocking pink stripe below, reminds me of Schiaparelli’s colour palate.

“Aventina” - An Italian girls' name. This design is a floral velvet jacquard on a plain background.

“Bragadin” - A 15th century pirate. This is a large regular stripe in colours which exactly match Aventina.

This pure silk below was discovered in the workshop of a sari printer and the colours chosen are traditional Indian ones. The appearance of being unevenly printed is deliberate so as to imitate the handmade quality of the original.

“Goa” named after the former Portuguese colony on the west coast of India. This design is woven in pure silk. Multicoloured narrowed bands of satin contrast with plainer two-tone stripes; black, chocolate and caramel contrast with cream and off-white

So whip out the satple gun, upholster and sit on some savoir faire!
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