Own A Piece Of The Luxurious Paris Ritz

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The façade of the Ritz hotel in Paris. Image: Vincent Leroux.

When it comes to Europe’s grand-dame hotels, none are quite as iconic as the Ritz Paris. The Ritz Paris has been synonymous with refined luxury and timeless glamour for over 100 years. Opened in 1898 by Swiss entrepreneur Cesar Ritz the Ritz has served as the backdrop to several key moments in French history. The Nazis requisitioned it during World War II but had cleared out by the time Ernest Hemingway burst in with a group of Resistance fighters on August 25, 1944, gun in hand, to ‘personally liberate’ it. Realising he was too late Hemingway took to the bar where he is said to have run up a tab for 51 dry Martinis. In 1997, tragedy befell the hotel when Britain’s Princess Diana, who had been staying there, was killed in a car accident in a Paris tunnel while being pursued by paparazzi. The hotel made global headlines again in January, when robbers armed with guns and hatchets ransacked jewellery shops on the ground floor, making off with over four million euros ($4.9 million) in gems and watches.

The Ritz decided to sell the pieces when it reopened in June 2016 after four years of a fittingly glamorous top-to-bottom renovation. After being closed for over 4 years, the Ritz has long been a favorite of visitors to the City of Light, hosting everyone from Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan and Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in its opulent rooms and suites.

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Now, the hotel’s fans have a chance to own a piece of Ritz history – 3,500 lots consisting of 10,000 pieces of furniture and decorative objects from the property will be up for auction on the Champs Élysées this April. Organized by Artcurial – the firm that was also behind the sales of historic pieces from pre-renovation Hôtel de Crillon and the Plaza Athénée – the Ritz Paris auction will be held from April 17 through 21.

Price estimates run from 100 euros for a pair of tablecloths to 10,000 euros for a pair of nymph sculptures carrying bronze candelabras that used to decorate the lobby. Each lot in the auction’s extensive catalogue has been meticulously restored, inventoried, and catalogued by a team of 15 experts from Artcurial, who went to great lengths to ensure that every piece bearing the Ritz Paris insignia was returned to its former glory before heading to the auction block.

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A cross section of the Ritz Paris’ illustrious history, the auction includes pieces from the property’s 120 years as a hotel. When it was opened by Swiss hotelier César Ritz in 1989, the original décor was meant to entice well-heeled Americans visiting the city, combining elegant art with antiques and replicas of everything from Louis XIV– to Empire-style furniture to create a unique sense of traditional French elegance. The style of 15 Place Vendôme quickly became iconic, and hallmarks like the hotel’s plush red-velvet barstools, salon sofas from French writer Marcel Proust’s retreats at the hotel, the gilt-framed bed that starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and Gary Cooper in their 1957 film ‘Love In The Afternoon’, the first en-suite bathtub ever installed at the property (or in any hotel, for that matter), and ornate marble side tables are all up for loyalists to bid on.

In addition to hallmarks of the Ritz’s style, pieces from suites that some of property’s most famous inhabitants called home will be up for sale. Sure to spark bidding wars are pieces such as a pair of plush floral chesterfield armchairs, a gilded headboard, and sleek lacquered bedside tables from the Coco Chanel Suite. The legendary fashion designer called the hotel her home for more than 30 years – giving testament to both the hotel’s enduring stylishness and its famous homelike feel . . . if home is a Versailles-inspired mansion, of course.

A bedboard and lacquered bedside tables from the Coco Chanel Suite

A bedboard and lacquered bedside tables from the Coco Chanel Suite.

Believe it or not, many of the lots aren’t outrageous, either. Bids open at €150 for a pair of gilded lanterns, and €300 for a set of Louis XVI-style banquette. If the over-the-top opulence fits with your own personal aesthetic, then what better way to hold on to a piece of history? One thing’s for sure: there’ll never be another hotel quite like it.

Come into the world of the Ritz Paris.

 

 

 

 

The Museum of Lace and Fashion, Calais presents Hubert de Givenchy retrospective

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From June 15 to December 31, 2017, The Museum of Lace and Fashion in Calais, France, is holding an exhibition dedicated to the work of Hubert de Givenchy, the legendary fashion designer and founder of the French Maison. Seventy outfits symbolizing his inspirations, his expertise and his significant encounters recap almost six decades of fashion design. Now 90, the designer has dressed some of the most amazing women in the last 50 years, from Audrey Hepburn to The Begum Aga Khan to Daisy Fellows.

The master of couture and dress presents an inside look to his work and inspiration.

The show will see 70 outfits from private wardrobes, the Givenchy archives and the collection of several European museums go on public display for over six months. Under the artistic direction and curation of Hubert de Givenchy himself, the exhibition will retrace the couturier’s entire career, from his first collection in 1952 to his sumptuous wedding gowns and his key encounters.

The show, which presents couture creations in sober white, gray and black display cases backed by mirrors, opens with a section dedicated to haute couture fabric samples. Essential tools in the creation of bespoke garments, the different fabrics and textiles with which Hubert de Givenchy worked hold a key place in the exhibition. In fact, exceptional textiles are something of a running theme, with the show also highlighting the work of artisans the couturier worked with for decades, such as embroiderers Lesage and Vermont, and fabric manufacturers Abraham and Beuclère.

Standout pieces include a blue and white striped organza sheath dress worn by the Duchess of Windsor, a famous ‘Bettina’ cotton blouse dating from 1952, a spectacular ball gown in Chantilly Lace  and satin, an evening ensemble in lame brocade and embroidered with gold and silver braids, metallic leaves and beads, and a cocktail dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Blake Edwards’ movie ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’.

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Certain encounters proved particularly influential on the work of Hubert de Givenchy. From Jacqueline Kennedy and the Duchess of Windsor to the Countess de Borchgrave, the designer dressed some of society’s most stylish figures. Meeting his muse, Audrey Hepburn, proved particularly decisive, both for his career and for the actress’ style, which was built through their friendship. A whole section of the exhibition will explore this relationship, featuring several gowns worn by Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and ‘How to Steal a Million’, as well as clips from her movies.

In addition, the exhibition highlights the designer’s artistic inspirations and explores Givenchy fragrances, while also showcasing exceptional eveningwear creations and imposing wedding gowns made from lace and tulle.

Hubert de Givenchy – The Museum of Lace and Fashion, Calais, France will be opened from June 15 to December 31, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

OPI’s tribute to Audrey: Breakfast at Tiffany’s nail polish collection

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This year’s Christmas collection from OPI is called Breakfast at Tiffany’s and is a tribute to Audrey Hepburn and the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s that is celebrating 55 years this year.

I have always felt that the most beautiful famous face in the world is Audrey Hepburn. Unmatched. OPI has launched a collection called Breakfast at Tiffany’s for Holiday 2016, which started sales on October 1. The collection is meant to “reflect her classic beauty and sense of playfulness” – and how else, but using one of her most classic renditions. It will feature 12 limited-edition shades in regular lacquer, and 6 shades of Infinite Shine. The star of the set is the OPI I believe in Miracles – a shade that OPI calls ‘precious blue’. It is a light, cheerful, sky-ish blue that makes you think of a spring morning in the mountains. So delicate and soothing – such a far cry from the neon orange and pinks from the last season!

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I Believe In Manicures, Champagne For Breakfast, Black Dress Not Optional, Apartment For Two, Five-And-Ten, Rich & Brazilian

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Meet My Decorator, Got the Mean Reds, Fire Escape Rendezvous, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sunrise…Bedtime!, Can’t Read Without My Lipstick

The collection also features the OPI Champagne for Breakfast shade which is a shimmering, silvery shade – perfect for a night out or a gala event (like the award night or a dinner with the Queen). The OPI Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a pearly matte shade, with some “iridescent flecky bits” – which I assume means awesome. Then there is an OPI Five-and Ten – which is light, calm and sparkling. The OPI Black Dress Not Optional is well, black. It has a placid feel to it than a witchy, gothic feel. Which is what Audrey symbolizes – peace. Then there are these shades of red – Apartment for Two, Meet My “Decorator”, Fire Escape Rendezvous, Got the Mean Reds, Can’t Read Without my Lipstick, and finally the Rich Brazilian. Winding up with OPI Sunrise … Bedtime!

The collection’s 12 limited-edition lacquers come at $10 and the 6 Infinite Shines at $12.50. So this holiday season ‘OPI Breakfast at Tiffany’s Holiday 2016’ is going to paint the town red. Or blue. Or pearly white. You choose!

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The Make-Up Man

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Max Factor at work (Click photo to enlarge).

Max Factor, one of the famous names in Western cosmetics, was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1877, and began his career as an apprentice to a wig maker. By 20, he was running his own makeup shop.

Polish-born Maksymilian Faktorowicz, had been apprenticed at 9 to a wigmaker and cosmetician and had developed into a well-known theatrical make-up artist. After emigrating to the U.S. 1902. They never returned. He began selling hair goods, imported cosmetics and establishing the Max Factor cosmetics company in time for the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, developed stage greasepaints for local stage actors in St. Louis.

As his local fame spread, actors from the emerging film industry also came to Max for make-up advice. Thus, the motion picture industry, then beginning in Hollywood, beckoned. He settled in Los Angeles with his family in 1909 and got a job with the Pantages Theatre.
By 1914, he was perfecting make up for the movies. He had improvised a new alternative to dye greasepaint, which he thought looked dreadful and ‘terrifying’ on the screen.
He formed flexible greasepaint, which was the first make up created for film. It helped make actresses look more natural in close up.
In 1918, he developed his ‘colour harmony’ face powder range, which allowed him to create make up for each individual based on their skin tones, due to the wide range of shades on offer.

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Max Factor at work (Click photo to enlarge).

Creating false eyelashes, the eyebrow pencil, lip gloss, and pancake make up, Factor created a whole new language for screen cosmetics.
Inevitably, once the actresses had been made to look so stylish on screen, they wanted to maintain the same effect in everyday life, so they wore the new Max Factor ‘make up’ in personal appearances. Soon, women unconnected with the theatre or the film industry were asking for the make up, so that they too could look glamorous.

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In 1934 he introduced Liquid Nail Enamel, forerunner of today’s nail enamels, here with Bette Davis for Life Magazine (Click photo to enlarge).

Max Factor Ruby Keeler Makeup, 1935

Max Factor ad with Hollywood Star: Ruby Keeler, 1935 (Click photo to enlarge).

In 1920 he developed the “Color Harmony” principles of makeup, which held that ‘certain combinations of a woman’s complexion, hair and eye coloring were most effectively complemented by specific makeup shades’.

By the 1920s, Max’s sons were heavily involved in the business with Davis working as general manager and Frank helping his father to develop new products. They received their biggest single make up order during this decade in 1925 when they had to provide 600 gallons of light olive make up to the film set of ‘Ben Hur’ to ensure that the extras filming in America had the same colour skin as the extras who filmed in Italy.

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Max Factor Pan Cake ad with Hollywood Star Merle Oberon in the movie ‘The Love Of Madame Sand’. (Click photo to enlarge).

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Max Factor Pan Cake ad with Hollywood Star Judy Garland in the movie ‘Till The Clouds Roll By’, with Lena Horn, Frank Sinatra and Robert Walker, 1946 (Click photo to enlarge).

Another key development in the make up world was the invention of waterproof mascara for the film ‘Mare Nostrum’ in 1926.
It was in 1927 that Max Factor introduced his first cosmetics to be sold to non-theatrical consumers. Before Max Factor, few women used cosmetics. Factor popularised both the word “make up” and the use (and abuse) of the cosmetic repertoire.
Credited as the father of modern make up, Max Factor is responsible for inventing many key cosmetic products (for both on screen and off) and is still the inspiration behind beauty trends and innovations today.

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A portrait of American cosmetics executive Max Factor.  (Photo by Hulton, ca 1960).

He died on 30 August 1938 at the age of 59. His son, Frank, who renamed himself Max Factor, Jr., popularized the term ‘make-up’, which had formerly been reserved for theater people, and took his father’s Hollywood business into the broad world, building the Max Factor Cosmetics empire, created, pancake make-up and smear-proof lipstick, built on his father’s innovations. He continued to be involved with the company until the 1970s, seeing the company create make up shades for US Marines during the second world war, offer male products such as shampoo and aftershave and launch its first female fragrance in 1955. Mac Factor jr. died at 91 in Los Angeles on this date in 1996.

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Max Factor ad for new lipsticks with Hollywood Star Rita Hayworth who is starring in ‘Down To Earth’, 1947

Max Factor’s most notable clients were Mary Pickford, Claudette Colbert, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth, Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Lena Horne, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Farrah Fawcett, all of whom became regular visitors at his salons.

In the 1970s, the third generation of Factors rose to senior positions but wanted to focus on their own interests, leading the firm to first be bought by Revlon and then Proctor & Gamble in 1991

Norma Jeane Marilyn Monroe Max Factor

t’s been more than 50 years since Marilyn Monroe’s death, but there’s no doubt the famed actress’ signature beauty is still recognized around the globe. So much so that Max Factor has announced Monroe as the new global ambassador for its latest ads, celebrating the makeup label’s 80th anniversary.

The late starlet was a longtime client of founder Max Factor’s son Max Factor Jr. in the ’40s, when she was known as Norma Jeane Mortenson. According to the beauty brand’s post on its Facebook page, Max Factor credits its makeup with helping transform the innocent-looking young lady into the sex symbol she’s known as today (“From Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe, Created by Max Factor,” reads the campaign’s tagline).

Marilyn Monroe Max Factor

“Marilyn made the sultry red lip, creamy skin and dramatically lined eyes the most famous beauty look of the Forties and it’s a look that continues to dominate the beauty and fashion industry,” said Pat McGrath, Max Factor’s global creative design director. “It is the ultimate look that defines glamour, nothing else compares.” (Click photo to enlarge).

Given that Max Factor seems to favor past beauty icons (the brand’s former face, Gwyneth Paltrow, channeled Audrey Hepburn and Farrah Fawcett for her campaign), it comes as no surprise that the company would choose the blond bombshell as its new face.

Marilyn Monroe Max Factor

This isn’t the first time that Monroe has been associated with a beauty brand even after her death. The platinum-blonde Hollywood star had a make-up collection dedicated to her by MAC in 2012 and had been the face of Chanel No.5 campaigns in 2013

by Jean Amr

Princesse Marina de Bourbon Sunshine Lys

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French perfume house Princesse Marina de Bourbon was founded by Marina Gacry, whos husband is Prince André de Bourbon-Parma, a member of te ancient Bourbon de Parma dynasty whose members ruled over France, Navarre, the kingdom of Napels, the Duchy of Parma and still to this day over the throne of Spain.

Surviving a very a difficult, childhood, she would become in just a few years a very pretty young woman determined to succeed and hungry for knowledge. In order to finance her studies, she accepted a position under the the famous hairdresser Alexandre de Paris, becoming his main assistant.

Prince André de Bourbon Parma and Princess Marina de Bourbon Parma

Prince André de Bourbon Parma and Marina Gacry

As an assistant of one of the most famous and prominent hairstylist, Marina rubbed elbows with some of Europe’s wealthies, most powerful and famous names, like the Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, The Rothschilds, Bettina Graziani, Brigit Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and many more… Having conquered this social circle with her charm and intelligence, shewas invited to St. Tropez, While living there, she met er Prince: André de Bourbon Parma. After a while they returned to Paris where they married on May 9, 1960. – Sadly, Prince André de Bourbon Parma died last year in October at the age of 83.

Shortly after her marriage she began her career as interior designer, providing her clients with art objects for their homes and offices. Celebrities worldwide and European aristcrates relied on her for her impeccable taste. Longing for a new creative outlet, Princess Marina wished to create her own perfume and signed a licence with Gilles Pommereau, To support her new venture she opened her first concept store in Paris, on the Boulevard de Courcelles. The Princess can often be found in residence at the boutique, where she is happy to present her perfume line, along with other luxury products.

Princesse Marina de Bourbon Sunshine Lys Bottle.Now Princesse Marina de Bourbon presents its new luminous, sparkling and feminine perfume, Sunshine Lys. Princesse Marina de Bourbon Sunshine Lys is the new fragrance part of the Lys Collection featuring also; Lys (2005), Eau de Lys (2006), Paradise Lys (2009) and Fleur de Lys (2010). The new perfume offers a cheerful, playful and fresh aroma this time sealed in an attractive yellow bottle.

Princesse Marina de Bourbon Sunshine Lys opens with amazing fresh and lovely notes inspiring spring feelings of freshness and blossom. It is a fruity/flowery fragrance composed of aquatic hyacinth mixed with violet leaves and Calabrian lemon along with heart notes of juicy strawberry, Egyptian jasmine and lily of the valley. The base indulges and calms with vanilla orchid, frozen musk and amberwood accords.

 

Princesse Marina de Bourbon Sunshine Lys FlaconSunshine Lys by Princesse Marina de Bourbon is ideal for women loving freshness, pureness, the calm and pure smell of spring emotions.

Princesse Marina de Bourbon Sunshine Lys will be available as 30, 50 and 100ml Eau de Parfum.