Celebrating My Life of Living Well. Domestic and Otherwise.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Life & Style : Cafe Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists 1920-1960

I am completely rapt in my new not so coffee table, coffee table book.
Hmmm. How best to describe?

A glamourous and visual compendium of the lives of the vastly wealthy and avant garde during the heydey of the international jet set.

Do I have your attention now?

Thierry Coudert shares his own archival photos "from a time that was" in Cafe Society: Socialites, Patrons and Artists 1920-1960 from Flammarion . And what sumptuous photographs they are! Gracing the pages are images by the legendary Cecil Beaton, Horst and Richard Avedon.

Who made up this ultra chic vanguard you ask? Coudert explains that it "extended beyond matters of rank or birth". Here we have an eclectic mix of millionaires and socialites fused with the world of those they encouraged, intellectuals and creatives - artists, musicians, designers and dancers. Their position legitimized of course with members of aristocratic pedigree.

Modest and unassuming were not words they chose to live by. Their lavish living defined not only where, but how to spend one's money . As arbiters of taste, their behavior determined where it was vogue to dress, shop, live and travel.

Interesting to note was the domination of influential and fascinating women in this circle of " everyone who's anyone" such as Gertrude Stein, Elsie Wolf, Mona Bismark, Peggy Guggenheim Diana Vreeland and the undisputed queen of Cafe Society, Wallis Simpson.

For more, check Galleries on The Daily Beast .

Available at Power Books, 2nd level Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center

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