Monday, April 6, 2009

Savoir Faire with Pluck

Early one morning 1964, three burglars entered Madame Helena Rubinstein’s Manhattan apartment while she was still in bed and demanded her jewelry collection, which was reputed to be valued at over one million dollars. First of all the intruders would have been amazed at Madame Rubinstein’s lucite furnitured bedroom. Long before Philip Stark made the ghost chair famous, Rubinstein had a whole room of the stuff. This included an illuminated bed specially made that would fit her short frame. Over ninety years old, Rubinstein refused, saying they could shoot her. Unnerved, the robbers left with only $200 in cash, which one of them had found in her handbag. With her quick wit and just plain courage she told two of the burglars that they had better make sure that they got their share of the $200.

Three hours later Madame, emerged from the building immaculately attired in Balenciaga, a Hermes scarf tied around the handle of her handbag and one of her signature bowler hats on her head and headed off for a day at the office. Mind you this was only after driving around the block in her limousine to compose herself. Still you have to admire her courage and her savoir faire as any other 93 year old would have probably died of fright when confronted with 3 gun wielding intruders or emerged still clad in their housecoat, too upset to do anything let alone spend a day at the office! Though I have no photo of this, below is an example of how she would have been dressed

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