Greetings from Aswan

Yvette Labrousse Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan Aswan Egypt

HH the Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan in her boat on the Nile, Aswan (Click photo to enlarge).

After the death of her husband, she continued to live at Yakymour, though she always spent three months a year in the villa Nour el-Salam at Aswan.

Today, fifty years ago, a photograph arrived, to send lots of love…

140_001

Photograph of her home Nour el-Salam in Aswan by Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, 1966 (picture private collection)(click pictures to enlarge).

140_002 (2)

‘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.

Digitalizar0001 (3) - Cópia - Cópia

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”.

LastScan1

“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

LastScan3

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”.

LastScan7

LastScan9

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

Marlene Dietrich, Jean Cocteau and The Begum Aga Khan enjoying Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran

Gilbert Becaud, the most Sung french artist in the world and has a sense of the verb and the incomparable melody. Essential figure of the variety at the turn of the 1960s, his titles ‘Age tendre et tête de bois’ and ‘Salut les copains’ are borrowed by the most iconic TV shows for youth and his most famous song, ‘Et maintenant ’, just published (1961).

Gilbert Bécaud

Gilbert Bécaud (Click photo to enlarge)

Gilbert Bécaud then at the height of his fame, began at cross-purposes of evolution that was taking his artistic career, the crazy bet to compose an opera that might combine a lyrical drama talents of popular melodist. Before becoming ‘Mr. 100.000 volt’, Bécaud had received classical training at the conservatoire de Nice and began his career at many film scores, notably for Marcel Carné. This enigmatic work, whose booklet is signed Pierre Delanoë, Jacques Emmanuel and Louis Amade, brought together all artistic Paris and many friends, like Marlene Dietrich, Jean Cocteau and Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III, during his performance at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in 1962.

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich and Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III at the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran’ at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962 (Click photo to enlarge).

Marlene Dietrich, JEAN COCTEAU and Her Highness The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud's 'L'Opéra d'Aran' at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962.

Marlene Dietrich, Jean Cocteau and Her Highness The Begum Aga Khan III attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran’ at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962 (Click photo to enlarge).

Marlene Dietrich, Gilbert Bécaud, JEAN COCTEAU and Margarethe Wallmann attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud's 'L'Opéra d'Aran' at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962.

Marlene Dietrich, Gilbert Bécaud, Jean Cocteau and Margarethe Wallmann attend the dress rehearsal of Gilbert Bécaud’s ‘L’Opéra d’Aran’ at le Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris on October 26, 1962 (Click photo to enlarge).

An opera which then toured around the world for more than 30 years. Directed by Laurent Balandras and Olivier Julien in agreement with Gilbert Bécaud succession,

Couv+Dos Opera Aran

Gilbert Bécaud ‘L’Opéra d’Aran (Click photo to enlarge).

Now availble, offers a restored version of the Opera with for the first time in the outcome documents of unpublished tapes from the personal archives of the artist.

by Jean Amr

100 Years of Lipstick

Yvette Labrousse never left her home without fist applying her lipstick. The Cannes-based miss France got her first tube of the red lip color from her mother. And it has since become such a big part of her identity that she even wears it while she was doing her job in her mothers shop.

Miss France, Yvette Labrousse, Begum Um Habibeh Aga Khan

Yvette Labrouse, miss France 1930, the later Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III (Click photo to enlarge)

It’s been called the red badge of courage, defined Marilyn Monroe’s unabashed sexuality and was a way for factory-working ‘Rosie the Riveters’ to hold onto their femininity while doing a ‘man’s job’. Its paradoxical history is long and colorful, but whatever the shade, lipstick has left its imprint on the cultural fabric.

Yvette Labrousse Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan

 Portrait of Her Highness The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III (private collection)(photo by Dorothy Wilding)  (Click photo to enlarge).

So what is it that makes women coat their lips with crushed beetle guts and processed cow fat day in and day out? For Yvette Labrousse, it made her feel powerful in that time. Coloring her lips was the last thing she did before walking out the door to face the world. The click of the tube opening and closing gives her the comfort of routine. But it’s more than makeup, it’s a source of confidence, sensuality and sometimes even armor.

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Rouge Volupté Shine No. 35 Fuchsia in Grunge Fall 2015

Yves Saint Laurent (Click photo to enlarge)

The intimate relationship between lipstick and ladies goes way back, to the Egyptians who stained their mouths with red clay and iron oxide. Over the centuries it has been seen as both an embellishment of the elite and a scarlet marker of sin. In the Victorian era, when femininity was linked to a childlike innocence and women were prized almost solely for their looks, crimson salves were banned in England. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that lipstick came back into vogue. Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together, Elizabeth Taylor, actress

Along with shattering countless other taboos, Hollywood also brought lipstick into the mainstream. While some women started secretly tinting their lips at home, actresses began coloring their pouts onscreen. And once Sarah Bernhardt, dubbed ‘the most famous actress in the world’, unveiled her red lips both on and off the red carpet, it was just a matter of time before others followed suit.

Christian Louboutin Rouge Matte Louboutin fall 2015

Christian Louboutin Rouge Matte Louboutin (Click photo to enlarge).

Until the early 1900s, lip salves were made primarily from carmine dye, extracted from dried insects, and applied with a brush. But around 1915 lipstick started appearing in cylindrical tubes, and within a few years everyone, from Estee Lauder to Elizabeth Arden to Chanel, was selling it. By 1936, the New York Times declared that lipstick was ‘as essential as clothes’ and ‘almost as vital as food’, and by 1940, 90 percent of American women wore it. “It wasn’t just lipstick, it was and is an icon,” says Veronique Vienne, a former art director and journalist for a number of American women’s magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook and Elle.

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Stronger Fall 2015

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Stronger Fall 2015 (Click photo to enlarge)

As fashion and makeup trends have evolved over time, so has lipstick’s composition and color palette. Most contain some strain of wax, oil, fat, emollient and pigment. In the past, cow brains were the fat of choice, because they were cheap and just the right texture. And emollient, which typically includes vitamin E or aloe vera, acts as a moisturizer. Tints are produced using a combination of plant, animal, mineral or synthetic dyes, and there is a dizzying spectrum of shades, from the classic Coco by Chanel to Urban Decay’s F-Bomb. But regardless of brand or shade, lipstick and its cylinder often evoke phallic symbolism: Think about its long, rounded shape that grows in size before touching your mouth …(Sorry, nothing I can do. This is what psychologists say!)

Guerlain Lipstick Neiges et Merveilles Christmas Collection 2015/2016

Guerlain Lipstick Neiges et Merveilles Christmas Collection 2015 (Click photo to enlarge)

And yet it tends to be the first makeup accessory mothers give their daughters, and it’s a must-have for many women, even those who forego eye shadow and foundation. There’s simply no other beauty product that possesses its cultural prominence. Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor best captured lipstick’s powerful influence when she instructed: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together”.

Dolce&Gabbana Sophia Loren No.1 Red Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Sophia Loren No.1 Red Lipstick, 2015 (Click photo to enlarge)

Since making its debut in push-up tubes 100 years ago, lipstick has been helping women pull themselves together, providing them with a stamp of self-approval that says: I know who I am, and I’m not afraid to flaunt it. And there are many who’d agree with Yvette Labrousse who insists, “I can’t not wear it.”

by Jean Amr

Johnny Mathis, the world’s most famous balladeer

Mathis was born in Gilmer, Texas, United States, in 1935, the fourth of seven children of Clem Mathis and his wife, Mildred Boyd, The family moved to San Francisco, California, settling on 32nd Ave. in the Richmont District, where Johnny grew up. His father had worked in vaudeville, they were both professional cooks and cooked all these extraordinary things. When his father saw his son’s talent, he bought an old upright piano for $25 and encouraged him to play. Mathis began learning songs and routines from his father. He spent most of my childhood with my father. He was a singer and played the piano and Johnny was fascinated with him, whereas his brothers and sisters weren’t that interested in music. They were busy doing other things but it was very important to him, he got involved early and extensively in singing in every capacity of my daily life. His dad taught him his first songs, took him fishing, hunting, a lot of outdoor activities, free activities; that was the main thing, it didn’t cost anything. His first song was ‘My Blue Heaven’ Mathis started singing and dancing for visitors at home, at school, and at church functions.

Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis (Click photo to enlarge).

When he was 13, voice teacher Connie Cox accepted him as her student in exchange for work around her house. Johnny studied with Cox for six years, learning vocal scales and exercises, voice production, classical, and operatic singing. He is one of the relatively few popular singers who received years of professional voice training that included opera. The first band he sang with was formed by his high school friend Merl Saunders. Mathis eulogized him at his funeral in 2008, thanking him for giving him his first chance as a singer.

Mathis was a star athlete at George Washington High School in San Francisco. He was a high jumper and hurdler, and he played on the basketball team. In 1954, he enrolled at San Francisco State University on an athletic scholarship, intending to become an English teacher and a physical education teacher. The high jump record he set there was only two inches short of the Olympic record.

In San Francisco singing at a Sunday afternoon jam session with a friend’s jazz sextet at the Black Hawk Club, Mathis attracted the attention of the club’s co-founder, Helen Noga. She became Mathis’ music manager, and in September 1955, after Noga had found Mathis a job singing weekends at Ann Dee’s 440 Club, she learned that George Avakian, head of Popular Music A&R at Columbia Records, was on vacation near San Francisco. After repeated calls, Noga finally persuaded Avakian to come hear Mathis at the 440 Club. After hearing Mathis sing, Avakian sent his record company a telegram stating: Have found phenomenal 19-year-old boy who could go all the way. Send blank contracts.

9112e38947da1a0b353129ba13045a63

Johnny Mathis (Click photo to enlarge).

At San Francisco State, Mathis had become noteworthy as a high jumper, and in 1956 he was asked to try out for the U.S. Olympic Team that would travel to Melbourne, Australia, that November. Mathis had to decide whether to go to the Olympic trials or to keep his appointment in New York City to make his first recordings. On his father’s advice, Mathis opted to embark on a professional singing career. His first album was released in late 1956 instead of waiting until the first quarter of 1957.

Mathis’s first record album, Johnny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song, was a slow-selling jazz album, but Mathis stayed in New York City to sing in nightclubs. His second album was produced by Columbia Records vice-president and record producer Mitch Miller, who helped to define the Mathis sound. Miller preferred that Mathis sing soft, romantic ballads, pairing him up with conductor and music arranger Ray Conniff, and later Ray Ellis, Glenn Osser, and Robert Mersey. In late 1956, Mathis recorded two of his most popular songs: ‘Wonderfull Wonderfull’ and ‘It’s Not For Me To Say’

Also that year, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, signed him up to sing the latter song in the movie Lizzie (1957). Shortly afterwards, Mathis made his second film appearance for 20th Century singing the song ‘A Certain Smile’ in the film of that title. He had small acting roles in both movies as a bar singer. This early visibility in two successful movies gave him mass exposure. His appearance on the popular TV program The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957 also helped increase his popularity. Critics called him ‘the velvet voice’. Mathis also appeared during this period on Abc’s The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, as did fellow African-American entertainers Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey.

During the summer of 1958, Mathis left San Francisco with the Nogas, who sold their interest in the Black Hawk club that year, and moved to Beverly Hills, California, where the Nogas bought a house.

Johnny Mathis judges a San Francisco State beauty contest in 1958.

Johnny Mathis, back at San Francisco State Collegee to help pick ‘Most Beautiful Girl on Campus’.
Finalists are front (l-r) Sheila Shelly, and Diane Delgado; rear Carol Jean Childers, Mary Lou Ciranson and Judy Massie (March 1958)(Click photo to enlarge).

He was the first artist to release a ‘greatest hits’ album, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, pioneering the concept in 1958. The album spent an unprecedented 491 consecutive weeks through 1967 (nine and a half years) on the Billboard top 100 album charts, earning him a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mathis had two of his biggest hits in 1962 and 1963, with ‘Gina’ (#6) and ‘What Will My Mary Say’ (#9).

In October 1964, Mathis sued Noga to void their management arrangement, which Noga fought with a counterclaim in December 1964. Mathis purchased a mansion in Hollywood Hills, which was originally built by billionaire Howard Hughes in 1946, where he still maintains a residence.

After splitting from Noga, Mathis established Jon Mat Records, Inc., incorporated in California May 11, 1967, to produce his recordings (previously, he founded Global Records, Inc. to produce his Mercury albums), and Rojon Productions, Inc., incorporated in California September 30, 1964, to handle all of his concert, theater, showroom, and television appearances, and all promotional and charitable activities. His new manager and business partner was Ray Haughn, who, until his death in September 1984, helped guide Mathis’s career. Since that time, Mathis has taken sole responsibility for it.

JOHNNY MATHIS 1984

While Mathis continued to make music, the ascent of the Beatles and early 1970s album rock kept his adult contemporary recordings out of the pop singles charts, until he experienced a career renaissance in the late 1970s.

1970 Johnny Mathis - johnny mathis

Johnny Mathis (Click photo to enlarge).

1971 Johnny Mathis - Love Story_ USA backside

Johnny Mathis ‘Love Story’ (backside), 1971 (Click photo to enlarge).

1973 Johnny Mathis I'm Comming Home

Johnny Mathis ‘I’m Comming Home’, 1973 (Click photo to enlarge).

1974 Johnny Mathis - The Heart of a Woman - Front Cover Reconstruction

Johnny Mathis ‘The Heart of a Woman’, 1974 (Click photo to enlarge).

Mathis has released eight Christmas albums and his single ‘When A Child Is Born’ has been a hardy Christmas perennial ever since it went to No 1 in 1976.

Johnny Mathis & Diahann Carroll duet the song “You Are So Beautiful” on her show, July 1976

In 1978, Mathis recorded ‘Too Much, Too Little, Too Late’ with singer and good friend Deniece Williams. The lyrics and music were arranged by Nat Kipner and John McIntyre Vallins. Released as a single in 1978, it reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, number nine on the Canadian Singles Chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart. It also topped the US R&B and adult contemporary charts. ‘Too Much, Too Little, Too Late’ was certified gold and silver in the US and in the UK by the RIAA and the British Phonographic Industry respectively. It was his first number one hit since his 1957 chart-topping ‘Chances Are’.

1978 Johnny Mathis & Denise Williams - That's What Friends Are For

Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams with their monsterhit album ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ (Click photo to enlarge).

In 1978, his hit duet ‘The Last Time I Felt Like This’ from the film Same Time, Next Year was nominated for an Acadamy Award for Best Original Song. Mathis and Jane Olivor sang the song at the Academy Awards ceremony, in his second performance at the Oscars.

Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams released a follow-up duet, ‘You’re All I Need to Get By’, peaking at number 47 on the Hot 100. The success of the duets with Williams prompted Mathis to record duets with a variety of partners, including  Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Patti Austin, Josh Groban, Jane Oliver, Angela Bofill, Regina Belle, Stephanie Lawrence, Engelbert Humperdinck, Elaine Paige, Nana Mouskouri and his heroine Lena Horne, “She was the most gorgeous, enigmatic, provocative woman I’ve ever seen. I used to hang around at her concerts when I was a kid and after a while her husband started inviting me to her dressing room. I was probably bothersome to her but her husband was kind. He could see I was infatuated.” A compilation album also called ‘Too Much, Too Little, Too Late’, released by Sony Music in 1995, featured the title track among other songs by Mathis and Williams.

1979 Johnny Mathis

Johnny Mathis ‘The Best Days Of My Life’, 1979 (Click photo to enlarge).

Johnny Mathis Singles 1980

Johnny Mathis ‘The Best Of’, 1980 (Click photo to enlarge).

During 1980-81, Mathis recorded an album with Chic’s Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, ‘I Love My Lady’, which remains unreleased in its entirety, though three tracks appeared on a Chic box set in 2010 and a fourth, the title track, on Mathis’ Ultimate Collection in 2011 and the Chic Organization’s ‘Up All Night’ in 2013

1983 Johnny Mathis With Special Guest Natalie Cole Unforgettable A Musical Tribute To Nat King Cole

1983 Johnny Mathis With Special Guest  Natalie Cole Unforgettable A Musical Tribute To Nat King Cole (Click photo to enlarge).

1984 Johnny Mathis - A Special Part Of Me

Johnny Mathis ‘A Special Part Of Me’, 1984 (Click photo to enlarge).

1985 Johnny Mathis Right From The Heart

Johnny Mathis ‘Right From The Heart’, 1985 (Click photo to enlarge).

1986 Johnny Mathis - christmas eve with johnny mathis

Johnny Mathis ‘Christmas eve with Johnny Mathis’, 1986 (Click photo to enlarge).

1991 Johnny Mathis Better Together - The Duet Album

Johnny Mathis ‘Better Together’ The Duet Album, 1991 (Click photo to enlarge).

1998 Johnny_Mathis__Because_You_Loved_Me

Johnny Mathis ‘Because You Loved Me’, 1998 (Click photo to enlarge).

Johnny Mathis has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame Grammy Hall of Fame for three separate recordings, in 1998 for ; Chances Are’ in 2002 for ‘Misty’ and in 2008 for ‘It’s Not For Me To Say’

In 2003, the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded Mathis the Lifetime Archievement Award. This Special Merit Award is presented by vote of the Recording Academy’s National Trustees to performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artist significance to the field of recording

Mathis returned to the British Top 30 album chart in 2007 with the Sony BMG release The Very Best of Johnny Mathis in 2008 with the CD “A Night to Remember” and again in 2011 with “The Ultimate Collection.

He doesn’t set out to just sing ballads or romantic songs. He was thrilled when his country album ‘Let It Be Me, Mathis In Nashville’ was nominated for a Grammy in 2011.

Singing isn’t work it’s part of me. I don’t do it for any reason other than that I love it. How lucky does that make me?

Johnny Mathis

On June 21, 2014 Johnny Mathis was inducted into the Great American Songbook Hall Of Fame along with Linda Rontadt, Shirley Jones and Nat King Cole (his daughter Natalie Cole accepting the award on his behalf). The awards were presented by The Center for the Performing Arts Artistic Director Michael Feinstein. Defined on their website, “Conceived as an enduring testament to the Great American Songbook, the Hall of Fame honors performers and composers responsible for creating America’s soundtrack.

He has sung for presidents (Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan) and royalty (Prince Charles, Princess Diana and HH The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan who was vèry fond of his voice and music). His CV is undeniably illustrious. He should be cock-of-the-walk confi-dent but he does not come across that way. “As a child all I knew was that people kept asking me to sing and because I liked to please I would sing. It wasn’t until my dad told me that my singing made him happy that I began to think my voice might be good.” When was that? “When I was about 23”.

Johnny Mathis

 Nobody can deliver a romantic line quite like the silken-voiced Mathis as his record sales of more than 350 million will attest. When he sings Misty he could melt an Iceberg (Click photo to enlarge).

In an interview in The Guardian (2014) he said: “I think I am as close to some friends as I am to my brothers and sisters. And they are my family. I think it’s important to cultivate as many people as you can to see which ones you jive with. And it makes you happy. If one dies you have another one. So living is a process that you have to do by yourself, and if you can learn a few little goodies along the way that might make it easier for you, so much the better. I’ve found that the more friends I have, the luckier I am!”

I’ve had the privilege to meet Mr. Mathis a couple of times. Not only his beautiful voice impressed me, but certainly his humor, and his kindness. September 30, and over 60 years after winning his first recording contract he is still selling out concert venu, Johnny Mathis has his 80 birthday today, …

May all optimistic things will be yours!

by Jean Amr

My favorite jewelry box: Jumelle

I love jewels and I’m addicted to watches! I love Bvlgari, Chaumet, Boucheron, Mauboussin, Tabbah, Van Cleef & Arpels and of course; Cartier. All very precious. I love jewelry shops. Sometimes I’m (vèry) glad that I’m not a woman! (lol)….

Ring Rose Gold Brown Diamonds Jumelle Yakymour

You know the feeling when you pass that shop window seeing ‘that one item’ oh so beautiful! At Jumelle: ring in rose gold with brown diamonds!

(Click on photo to enlarge)

I have some old family pieces’ of old and antique picture frames, like a few Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels sterling frames, some of you will have seen them before in some earlier post as ‘background decoration’. The two Cartier Art Deco Sterling frames here, where a present from Begum Om Habbibeh Aga Khan. Now the frames look really wonderful, but it was not always like that….

OmHabibeh20150625_193324

Two pictures from Begum Om Habbibeh Aga Khan, framed in antique Cartier picture frames. The picture left was taken at in her garden at Yakymour. The right one at a dinner at Bayreuth Music Fesitval. At Jumelle they did an amazing job to restore these picture frames! (Privat collection)

(Click photo to enlarge).

For a long time they have been in a drawer. They had scratches, dents, and some sadly bad damageOne day I was talking to someone at a local jewelry store nearby, and we had a nice, friendly talk about these frames. She assured me that it would be possible to ‘restore’ them. I brought one of the frames (one at the time), and a talked about the possibilities.

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan Yvette Labrousse Cartier sterling Picture Frame Art Deco

Cartier Art Deco Sterling, Gold, Coral picture frame. With picture from Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan at Bayreuth Music Festival (Prival collection)

(Click photo to enlarge).

Some time later they give me a phonecall, that the frame was ready. And I can only say: They did an amazing job! Yes, I saw in their store some work they had designed and made, like beautiful sterling candles and sushi-sets, but still, seeing your own item fully restored, is a bit different. I was more then happy! Their silversmith did a great job! So, now I bring from time to time a frame to pollish it or for a complete restoration.

Jewelry Shop Jumelle Yakymour

Jumelle’s jewelry shop (Click photo to enlarge).

I’ve been told that they all have a jewelry and/or gold/silversmith background. And I found out that they have a lot of expertise. Coming into the ‘friendly’ shop you wouldn’t expect that they have also some famous watches like Breitling, Christian Dior and Vacheron & Constantin in maintenance. But the do….!!

With brands like Silk, Rabinovich, Rodrigues Cohen, Aller Spanninga (and much more) they have a réal beautiful, and affordable collection. But they have also some amazing unique one-off’s, in all price ranges! And not to forget: a great watch collection of Behring, Ice Watch but also Seiko.

Jumelle Ring Gold Yellow Pink Diamond Brown

Precious pink gold, with brown and white briljant cut diamonds. Great to wear alone, amàzing to wear together

(Click photo to enlarge).

Jumelle Gold Yello White Pink Pearl

Because they are só elegant and beautiful! Handmade chains and pendants with Pearls in red, white or yellow gold

(Click photo to enlarge).

Jumelle Gold White Diamond Pearl

Highly unique: A facet cut pearl!!! They made a pendant of it, with white gold and diamond, like there is a flower on top of it. Here on a Venetian white gold chain

(Click photo to enlarge).

Behring Watch Pink Gold

Jumelle is not only for women. No, the have a nice collection for men too. Like bracelets, rings and watches. Like this new Bering watch, in Rosé with a fantasic ‘Nato’ strap! I love it!

(Click photo to enlarge).

Their friendly shop in the heart of the small village of Bunnik is doing well. Later this year they will move, to another, larger shop in the same street. More space, large windows and an instore ‘atelier’ and an even greater collection!

For more information, visit them at

Jumelle

Dorpstraat 15, 3981 EA, Bunnik, Holland

030 656 77 52

or see: http://www.jumelle.nl/

by Jean Amr