Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peynet Savoir Faire

With the introduction of her new perfume “Success Fou” in 1953 Elsa Schiaparelli departed from the use of her usual illustrator Marcel Vertes to use instead Raymond Peynet. This was a risky move as the illustrations of Vertes and Schiaparelli perfumes were synomonous with each other, so to use a new artist could have been marketing suicide.

An Artist and a poet Peynet was born in 1908 and during the war in 1942 while stationed in the south of France he began drawing a set of characters that would bring him fame. A little violinist with long hair playing alone in front of the bandstand of Valence and a girl listening to him and so were born the lovers of Peynet who were to become “le amoureax de Peynet”

Peynet had practically become the latest sensation of Paris and thus the only and perfect choice to illustrate the advertisements for Schiaparelli’s new perfume ‘Success Fou’ literally translated as raging success.

They were simply drawn and usually accompanied by small birds and other animals. They symbolized the fresh start that France was undertaking at the end of World War II. However underneath the sweetness and the innocence there were small subtle undertones of erotica. The little poet with a bowler hat was always immaculately dressed accompanied by his lady friend sometimes showing the hint of a stocking, panties or bosom.

Surrealism also abounded such as in the illustration below, with the couple exchanging hearts.

The lovers grew in popularity and appeared everywhere, featuring regularly in newspapers, in magazines such as Elle and Paris Match and on posters advertising Air France, Galeries Lafayette, Nicolas Wines and various film studios, as well as on record covers, postcards, wine and champagne labels, silk scarves, postage stamps and jewellery. The prestigious German porcelain manufacturers Rosenthal worked with Peynet and created a series of his designs on porcelain and glass.

Also a poet several books were produced with poems accompanied by his drawings. Considered "too sweet” for the American market, he never really gained success in the world except for Europe and Japan.

Over the past few years there has been a renewal of interest in the work of Peynet and it has become collectable world-wide. During his career the lovers become one of the icons of modern France, held in huge affection.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Blue and White

Busy weekend here at Savoir Faire, with seeing me volunteering both Saturday and Sunday. However, that does not mean I do not have any time for savoir faire.

Here is a pairing that I think would look absolutely fabulous together. Now it is no secret that I like blue and white and porcelain. The traditional blue and white Chinese ginger style jar and vase are basics in decorating and I think goes well in most decorating schemes.

We have all seen the blue and white Chinese vases made into lamps and I think the below pair are just wonderful. All the proportions are right and the decoration while being somewhat minimal for the style is a nice subtle touch. The shade and dark base are in keeping with the aesthetic as all too often we see shades that really do not suit the base in proportion size and material.

So let’s, take the whole ginger jar, Chinese jar theme one step further, and blow up or paint oversize images of blue and white Chinese style porcelain on screens or room dividers. This creates a visual that is unexpected as we are used to seeing these items in smaller scale on table tops etc. This would work well with any collection of objects and creates a moveable piece of art. Enjoy!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Weekend Away with Savoir Faire

Who of us has not bemoaned the fact that travel by air these days is a trial? With long lines at check in and security before we even get on the aircraft, and then indifferent service once we are on board, we hark back to the days when flying was glamourous and fun.

One airline is constantly pushing the boundaries and at least trying to make it fun and take our minds off the trial we have had just to get on board. Air New Zealand has constantly won awards for service and ranks up there as one of the better airlines to travel with. However, they have had their fair share of controversy over the last year or so, trying to make the concept of travel at least fun.

First they produced the infamous “Cougar” advertising campaign which had feminists and other members of society up in arms. Then we had the “nude” flight attendant safety video, which even offended more people, with flight attendants and flight crews nude with body paint representing uniforms demonstrating the safety features of the aircraft.

Earlier this year they were lambasted for their new cabin crew uniforms which critics said made the women look like drag queens.

The latest safety video enlists the nation’s rugby team the “All Blacks” to engage their passengers to sit up and take notice. The video although sprinked with rugby terminology is a fun lighthearted approach which will grab passenger’s attention. Even though lacking the usual “savoir faire” usually found on my blog, it is nice light hearted relief that is at least trying to make flying fun again.

As a rule I generally do not post videos on “Savoir Faire” but could not resist with this one!

Have yourselves a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lanvin Robe de Style Savoir Faire

The 1920’s were an interesting times in Paris, especially where fashion was concerned. World War I had ended and the devastating effects of the Depression were a long way off. Paul Poiret, who had helped liberate women on the fashion stage, was on the way out and Chanel was in. le garcons ruled, with her shapeless body and shingled hair dancing the Charleston and drinking cocktails.

All the couturiers adopted this look, except one! The amazing Jeanne Lanvin, whose signature look was the “robe de style”. Other couture houses such as Callot Soeurs and Lucille had their own versions, however none were as successful as Lanvin’s. This was an alternative to the rather shapeless, straight cut chemise which was the height of fashion. Lanvin’s “robe de styles” were characterised by full skirts, with a dropped waist and fitted bodice. Petticoats, panniers and hoops emphasised the fullness of the skirts. These were then further embellished with intricate trimmings and extraordinary embroideries.

This was a look for a woman who did not have the figure to wear the tubular lines of the likes of Chanel or Patou. This was couture with an historical reference, harking back to the Infanta dresses of Spain. It was meant for afternoon teas, and tango dancing in the park; a kind of a cocktail, semi-formal ensemble. Lanvin made hundreds of variations on “the robe de style”; each one possesses its own unique charm.

Of course Lanvin produced fabulous outfits in keeping with the times and just did not limit herself the “robe de style”, however these stand apart to the savoir faire that Lanvin had.

The amazing thing is she never adopted the “robe de style” look for herself, but limited herself to discreet and simple outfits with minimal detail.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Collections with Savoir Faire!

You certainly cannot beat these two images for some decorating ideas! I love collecting things however my collections pale to insignificance with these two examples.

The collection of white opaline glass on the white shelf against this blue wall is stunning. The white creates such a dramatic impact against the blue.

The next one of white ceramics in this white cabinet has just as much dramatic impact as the blue and white above, but in an entirely different way. Just the small hint of brown and black add a just a bit more savoir faire to an otherwise stunning display!

Savoir Faire in the Playroom

Travelling as a child on a great ocean liner in the past was rather democratic. Whereas there were great distinctions between the classes as an adult passenger, there was not much difference between the playrooms of each class except their locations. As a child you also didn’t have to forsake any of the savoir faire either. Take for example the 1st class playroom for children aboard the legendary Normandie.

If you just happen to be a child travelling 1st class aboard the Normandie, you were practically treated to the same 1st class savoir faire as the adult passengers. Nothing less was expected.

Children had their own theatre type playroom with a Punch and Judy show. Decorating the walls with painted murals and a plethora of toys around the room was bright and cheery flooded with natural light.

Seating was adorable painted chairs upholstered in red leather in the shape of horses which could be arranged theatre style or in any other way.

Dining for these children was no miserable affair either. They had their own separate dining room decorated with images of Babar the Elephant by the creator himself, Jean de Brunhoff. Wonderfully modern chairs and a plaid carpet set the scene. For dining tables were set with linen and china just like the adult versions in other sections of the ship. I am sure that if the adult menus are anything to go by that these children would have eaten just as well.

Sure a far cry from the Disney/cartoon character inspired playrooms and children’s centres on today’s liners!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now Smell this!

Ok, I am sorry to say that most of my top ten men’s colognes are oldies, and not really available at your mainstream department store, but they are out there if you search! This is why I like them as wear one of these and people will be asking you “what are you wearing?” I really do not want to smell like every other Tom, Dick or Harry that has picked up their cologne through some advertising campaign that seems to be promoting sex, or because their significant other has bought it for them. Just realised I have something like a top twelve! I also recommend that women try these as well, I wear a lot of women’s perfumes as well and people are always intrigued as to what I am wearing. Pick one that is right for you and you will have a secret weapon of savoir faire!

So here they are not in any particular order. I haven’t included eau de cologne here because it is such a staple, that it is a given.

What is your favourite?

Monsieur Balmain by Pierre Balmain

A fresh burst of citrus heaven!

Givenchy Gentleman by Givenchy

Wonderfully Gentleman like, with notes of sandlewood, rose and leather.

Yatagan by Caron

Actually my all time favourite that takes you to the exotic east.

Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

A wonderful fresh citrus that will bring out the savage in you (in a good way).

Vetiver by Carven or Guerlain

Nice and earthy with touches of spice

Yardley Gentleman by Yardley

The quintessential English fragrance

Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

The quintessential American fragrance.

D&G by Dolce & Gabanna

A modern day classic.

YSL Pour Homme

Another fresh burst of citrus

Signoricci by Nina Ricci

Nice and subdued that has class written all over it.

Ho Hang by Balenciaga

Created in 1971 with notes of bergamot, lemon, Portuguese orange and mint.

Habit Rouge by Guerlain

Need we say anymore re the advertisement below?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lapel Faire!

I am a bit late with this post as ANZAC day in Australia is on April 25th, however I am going to continue as I think this is something that a gentleman (or lady) can adopt that has all the savoir faire in the world.

For those of you outside of Australia ANZAC stands for the Australian New Zealand Army Corp and ANZAC day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that commemorates those that fought in Gallipoli Turkey during World War I. It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.

A wonderful tradition is the wearing of small sprigs of rosemary in the coat lapel as a sign of remembrance and commemoration. My mother still has growing in her garden a rosemary bush that is over 50 years old taken from a sprig of rosemary that was worn by my grandfather in an ANZAC parade many years ago.

Now that the weather is getting cooler and men will be donning jackets once more I think nothing cuts more of a dash than wearing a boutonnière. However, nowadays flowers generally seem to be regulated to weddings and can be a little too formal. Instead grab a single herb and pin it to your label as below. Mint or lavender as does any herb looks fantastic. I always try and pin a little something on a lapel if I am wearing a jacket.

To be a little more unusual find some wheat or other grass with seeds and do the same. However just keep it a single variety, remember less is more!

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