‘Le Bal Oriental’

Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild  married her distant cousin Guy de Rothschild. Her husband and his sisters, Jacqueline and Bethsabée, grew up in the castle of Ferrières in the countryside, just outside of Paris. The Castle remained empty until 1959, after the German troops during the occupation of France in World War II.

Afterwards the newly married Rothschilds made the decision, to live at the Castle. The Interior of the large Castle was by Marie-Hélène. The Castle grew into a place where European nobility, during exuberant parties, came into contact with musicians, artists, fashion designers and movie stars from Europe and Hollywood. The hip and inventive thematic evenings they organized, both in Paris and New York, were usually to raise money for charity, were much discussed.

Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild  and her husband, baron Guy de Rothschild bought the Hôtel Lambert on the island of Saint-Louis, one of Paris ‘ most prestigious homes, where they involved the upper floors. Marie-Hélène became close friends with the in the ‘ society ‘ active baron Alexis de Redé who lived on the first floor of the Hôtel Lambert and who was a regular on their parties. In recognition of her importance for the international promotion of the French culture and fashion, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild was awarded the “Legion of honor” granted.

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Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild

Alexis de Redé tells in ‘Alexis, the Memoirs of the Baron de Redé’:  “The Oriental Ball in 1969 has been described as one of the most fantastic parties of the twentieth century, and as a high point in my life. I am frequently asked what the reason was for giving it, and I have to say there was no special reason. I just decided to give a ball.
The Oriental Ball made me well known in Paris, that and my occasional racing successes. it attracted a huge amount of publicity. I began to plan it in March 1969, sent out the invitations in May and the ball itself took place on 5 December”.

Bal Oriental Rothschild Begum Aga Khan

Invitation ‘Le Bal Oriental’ at L’Hôtel Lambert, Paris

“There were about 400 guests at the ball. Nobody dined beforehand. The ball started at 10 o’clock and went on until about 5 in the morning”

Valerian Styx-Rybar and Jean-François Daigre

Valerian Styx-Rybar and Jean-François Daigre

“Jean-François Daigre, a discovery of Marie-Hélène’s, designed the evening. He had worked for Jacques Dupont. He had vivid imagination, but a terrible temper, and there were dreadful rows between him and Marie-Hélène. He would suddenly lose is head and shout. ‘Do it yourself,’ and then storm off. There were so many flare-ups that it became nerve-wracking but as ever, it was all right on the night. I did not have those problems working with him. Daigre transformed the Lambert into a Eastern fantasy”.

Bal Oriental Rothschild Begum Aga Khan

“There were two huge white life-sized elephants made of papier maché in the courtyard. These were ornately dressed and a rider sat on top, under a golden canopy. At the bottom of the stairs, there were two Hindu musicians, a zither player in red and gold and a beauty in a turquoise sari, clinking cymbals. All the way up the staircase to the apartment, at suitable intervals, stood sixteen half-naked muscular men, hired from Paris gymnasiums, dressed as Nubian slaves, holding torches to guide the guests”.

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“At the top a figure in black tunic and long black turban announced the guests in a reverberanting voice. I greeted them as a Mogul prince, my costume designed by Pierre Cardin”.

Alexis de Redé

Alexis de Redé

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Estée Lauder’s husband complained that his Fu Manchu moustache itched all evening.

“The Lambert itself was a fantasy reminiscent of the ‘Thousand and One Nights’. All about was the scent of jasmine and myrrh. The Hercules Gallery was filled with Turks, Arabs, Russians, Chinese and Japanese. Turbans and false beards abounded”.

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Baroness Marie-Hélène and Baron Guy de Rothschild

Baroness Marie-Hélène and Baron Guy de Rothschild

“Marie-Hélène came as a Siamese dancer, Johannes von Thurn and Taxis as a Hussar, and my favourite guest was the Vicomtesse de Bonchamps, an American living in the Avenue Foch, who was born as Dale King”.

Viscountess of Bonchamps and Countess of Ribes

Viscountess of Bonchamps and Countess of Ribes

“She came as a pagoda. She Had to be brought to the ball in the back of a truck, as her costume was made out of metal. She could not sit down in the truck and she could not sit down at all until she took it off. You have to make a balance between enjoying the evening, or the impression you want to make, I am not sure she got it right”.

Serge Lifar and Patricia Lopez-Willshaw

Serge Lifar and Patricia Lopez-Willshaw

“Kenneth J. Lane, the jeweller, wore a turban of Russian sable skins, with wolf tails hanging from it and a huge cape made of Zorino skunk, trimmed with wolf. It was a warm night, so he may have suffered a bit”.

Prince Rupert zu Lowenstein and Madame Graham Mattison

Prince Rupert zu Lowenstein and Madame Graham Mattison.

“Other guests included the Prince Karin Aga Khan, his wife Begum Salimah Aga Khan and the Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, Crown Princess Margrethe of Denmark and her husband Prince Henrik., Valerian Styx-Rybar, Jimmy Douglas, Clé-Clé de Maillé, Brigit Bardot, the Lowensteins, Salvador Dali, Amanda Lear and Bettina. One guest brought a baby panther in his arms”.

Amanda Lear Salvador DalíAmanda Lear, Salvador Dalí and ‘unknown’ guest.

Salvadore Dali, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, Amanda RearToday, fourty-six years ago, Salvador Dali, Amanda Lear and Her Highness The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III attend ‘Le Bal Oriental’ hosted by the Baron de Rédé and his friend the Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild at the Hôtel Lambert, Paris, December 5, 1969.

Begum Om Habibeh Aga KhanThe Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan at ‘Le Bal Oriental’ (Click photo to enlarge).

Begum Om Habibeh Aga KhanThe Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan at ‘Le Bal Oriental’ (Click photo to enlarge).

Clé-Clé de Maillé came to this ball. It was her last appearance in public. The next day she went to the clinic, where she died two weeks later. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but did not want to have the breast removed sonce her greatest joy in life was to sunbathe naked. So instead she took chemotherapy with distressing results.

Madame Vincente-Minnelli and Madame Jean-Claude Abreu

Madame Vincente-Minnelli and Madame Jean-Claude Abreu

Brigitte Bardot was almost naked but for strings of coins and a little black chiffon, as was the recently widowed Odile Rubirosa, of whom the press wrotw, she arrived ‘all but nude, her bare bottom covered by a bit of silver chain mail (with great chinks in it) trough which Odile’s charms shone through. ‘Her costume was predictably audacious.”

“I have a wonderful memory of the evening nonetheless, and its full splendour is recorded in a vast album, bound in leather and encrusted with semi-precious stones. with watercolour images of the décor and guests by Serebriakoff.”

by Alexis de Redé in ALEXIS, the Memoirs of the Baron de Redé

Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose

Jean-Claude Ellena @ Richard Schroeder

Jean-Claude Ellena is believing that composing a scent is an art form that requires all 5 senses (Click photo to enlarge).

Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive business. After all, if you create a truly unique and successful scent, the whole world wants to copy it. So, what is the day to day life like for a nose? How is a new scent actually created? And how do you translate it into a perfume that smells nice on your skin? This book takes you on a journey in the life of one of the world’s most important perfumers Jean Claude Ellena, mastermind of many Hermès fragrances.

Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose

Jean Claude Ellena, The Diary of a Nose’ (picture by Rebecca, La Touch de Beauté) (Click photo to enlarge)

The French bestseller The Diary of a Nose is the story behind the creation of a perfume, from the head perfumer at Hermès. Perfume creation is an exclusive and secretive endeavour. What is day to day life like for a perfume maker? How does the creation of a new scent begin? How do you capture the essence of a smell on the skin?

For one year, Jean-Claude Ellena kept a diary of his life as ‘parfumeur exclusif’ (‘le nez’ or ‘the nose’) for Hermès, and the result is this fascinating book in which he offers the reader a rare glimpse into the secrets of the perfume business and with it a peek into his mind and life. Believing that creating a scent is like creating a work of art, and describing himself as a writer using ‘olfactory colours’, he explains how all of the five senses come into play when creating a perfume. He also reveals how inspiration can come from a market stall, a landscape, or even the movement of calligraphy, and concludes this charming, perceptive diary with recipes for natural fragrances, each made up of three synthetic ingredients, to create the illusion of smells like freesia, orange blossom, grapefruit, pear, chocolate, cashew and cotton candy. This is the story of a quest to capture what is most elusive. Jean-Claude Ellena offer readers a rare insight into the secrets of his business, his art, and his life as one of the world’s most important and admired perfumers.

The book is not new, it came out in French five years ago. The English translation of the American edition 3 years. Hermès perfumes are timeless, like this book is timeless. A great present for those who love perfumes, their secrets, and everything around it….

Even if you don’t like the Hermès perfumes. You have to admit: The man is a magician, a nose, a parfumuer … His journal reveals in simple words a real secret: the creation of perfumes. Day by day, every emotion, every encounter, every precious moment is preserved. Here, everything is customary but nothing is ordinary, for this is where the magic happens. More than a chemist or composer, I’d call Ellena a poet.

Particular Books (August 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1846145597
ISBN-13:  978-1846145599

by Jean Amr

Guerlain by Elisabeth Barillé

Novelist, Anais Nin biographer and two-time winner of France’s prestigious prix Jasmin, Elisabeth Barillé has published several books dedicated to fashion and perfume. Also by Elisabeth Barillé: a story of Guerlain and his beautiful and sometimes amazing perfume creations is captured in a wonderful book. A real must have for every Guerlain or perfume addict.

Guerlain Book

Elisabeth Barillé ‘Guerlain’ (Click photo to enlarge)

Eau de Cologne Impériale, Jicky, l’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Shalimar: these immortal classics of the fifth sense are landmarks in the remarkable history of the House of Guerlain.

Since its founding in 1828, Guerlain has created subtle compositions light years away from simple floral imitations. These fragrances invoke a mood in which romanticism and mystery are combinated, and have attracted a prestigious clientele that includes royalty and connoisseurs.

Guerlain Shalimar Parfum

Guerlain Shalimar Perfum (Click photo to enlarge)

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Guerlain L’heure Bleue Parfum (Click photo to enlarge)

At the turn of the century, Aimé Guerlain, the creator of Jicky, composed the famous magic formula Guerlinade, a velvety, intoxicating alliance of rose, jasmine, vanilla and tonka bean, which has become the sensual hallmark of every creation, including the most recent ones. It is a note that stirs the emotions and embodies the spirit of a great perfumer and his legend.

The two-time winner of France’s prestigious prix Jasmin, Elisabeth Barillé knows everything when it comes to fashion and perfume. She tells the wonderful story of Guerlain and his beautiful and sometimes amazing perfume creations and captured them in this wonderful book. Not new, but like I said: A real must have for every Guerlain or perfume addict.
Assouline Publishing (November 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1614282242
ISBN-13: 978-1614282242
Discover the world of Guerlain
www.guerlain.com
by Jean Amr

Giorgio Armani by Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani Book Rizzoli

The maestro of clothing himself, Mr. Giorgio Armani is releasing a self-titled book with Rizzoli (Click photo to enlarge).

Italian fashion designer, Giorgio Armani’s autobiography was unveiled on the eve of his eponymous fashion house’s 40th-anniversary after his Milan Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 runway show. Published by Rizzoli New York, covers the designer’s personal life, house’s history, the creative process behind the designer’s collections and his impact on women’s fashion and red-carpet glamour.

Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, Italy. The ravages of World War II marred his childhood, where the young Armani lived in fear of being bombed. He describes how he felt robbed of his youth, never having the carefree upbringing of so many other children. His father worked at the Fascist headquarters, and Armani notes that his father’s required fascist uniform inspired him, along with the black and white movies that were his escape.

Sergio Galeotti and Giorgio Armani, 1978

Sergio Galeotti and Giorgio Armani, 1978 (Click photo to enlarge).

Chronicling his life from war-stricken beginnings to the building of his clothing empire that soon became known and revered the world round, you can immerse yourself in Armani’s world.

Giorgio Armani promises to delve into the usually guarded private life of its author. Beyond juicy tidbits previously unknown to the public, the book also takes a look at the slow but steady rise of the Armani Empire. Highlights are discussed from his first real brush with fashion working at a department store in Milan to the founding of his own label and the creative process behind each Armani collection.

Also included written text by Armani and more than 100 images images by renowned photographers including Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, and  Annie Leibovitz, meant to reflect each moment in Armani’s life. A type of narrative exists, allowing you to experience the world through Armani’s eyes.

Giorgio Armani book Rizzoli

This beautiful book retails at $150, as well as a $350 for the deluxe edition that includes a signed and numbered print. Giorgio Armani is available to purchase now.

by Jean Amr

Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup

Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup

The definition of a beautiful face has never been constant. See how political and social climates have molded accepted beauty rituals and the evolution of cosmetics from ancient times through today. This colorful reference book chronicles historic trends for the eyes, lips, and face, and offers in-depth aesthetic reviews of each decade from the 1920s to today. Follow the rich history of facial trends through fascinating and bizarre vintage ads; detailed makeup application guides; and profiles of famous makeup innovators, connoisseurs, and iconic faces.

Over 430 images, timelines, and detailed vintage color palettes show the changing definitions of beauty and document makeup innovations (the first mascara, lipstick, eye shadow, etc.) that have evolved throughout the history of cosmetics. This is an ideal reference for the professional makeup artist, cosmetologist, educator, student, and general makeup enthusiasts.

A real must have!!

‘Classic Beauty: The History of Makeup’, hardcover for around $30 / €27

by Jean Amr

Rie van de Rest, Miss Holland 1930

In 1930, the election of Miss Holland had a messy gradient. Initially, Emmy Kuster from the Hague was elected, but a day later turns out she ‘accidentally’ has a wrong age specified. She is too old for participation. It also appears she was married. The initial winner of the Miss Holland 1930 title was disqualified. After her disqualification, the number 2, Rie of the Rest from Breda designated as the new Miss Holland.

miss Holland gediskwalficeerd

De gediskwalificeerde Miss Holland, Emmy Kuster, wordt bij het verlaten van de tram geholpen door een trambestuurder (Spaarnestad Photo) (Click photo to enlarge).

Polygoon Hollands News, 1930

In the video we see the participants and their family and jurors at the Hotel Américain in Amsterdam, where the election was held.

The departure of Rie of Rest, Miss Holland 1930, starting from Rotterdam Airport Waalhaven. Shots of Rie of Rest in conversation, various images of Rie van de Rest around and in a plane.Miss Holland 1930, leaving for Paris, where she will compete for the title of Miss Europe. (no sound).

Miss Hollande, Rie Van der Rest -

Miss Hollande, Rie Van der Rest

Miss Hollande, Rie Van der Rest (Click photo’s to enlarge).

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Miss Russia, Irina Wentzel, Miss Austria, Ingeborg von Grinberger and Miss Holland, Rie Van der Rest, in the Streets of Paris (Click photo to enlarge).

MissHolland

Miss Holland 1930, Rie van de Rest after her victory wanted a film career. She made, for that time, a very spicy photo shoot. With her film career is never what become ….

On March 13, 2015 appeard the book ‘De mooiste van het land – opkomst en ondergang van Miss Holland 1929-1937’ by Mark Traa, by Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep and nicely written book with lots of cute ‘vintage’ background, and the ladies from that time, we get them know well. Fun moments, but also the less fun: As the story of the Amsterdam student Mary van Lelyveld (18) who became Miss Holland 1931, but with her husband and son she would be gassed in Sobibor in the war …

by Jean Amr

De Mooiste van het Land

Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld Book Launched At Cannes Festival, 2015

fendi-karl-lagerfeld_book_cannes_2015

Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld Book (Click photo to enlarge)

‘Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld’ book by Karl Lagerfeld looks back at his tenure as creative director of the Roman furrier, which he joined in 1965. The distinctive book celebrates the designer’s 50-year collaboration, billed as the longest relationship in history between a designer and a fashion brand.

It’s a wooden box full of goodies that comprises of scrapbook with more than 200 sketches of directional Fendi looks done by the designer, a Q&A session and a USB stick with MP4 files that shows Lagerfeld sketching his memories live as he speaks.

During the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, CEO Pietro Beccari and womenswear creative director Karl Lagerfeld hosted a special presentation of the ‘Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld’ book at the Plage Royale. Following the launch in French Riviera, Fendi reopened its newly renovated boutique at the Croisette in Cannes, which has been redesigned in lighter colors. The shop also highlights the brand’s craftsmanship as well as fast growing ready-to-wear collection. The exclusive launch party which took place on the shores of Cote d’Azure was attended by Fendi-clad celebrity guests like Lily Donaldson, Lindsey Wixson and Kendall Jenner.

A real must have! Published by Steidl, Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld book set will be available at Fendi boutiques and high-end bookstores worldwide from July for a little over $100.

by Jean Amr