“I don’t do fashion, I am fashion.” - Coco Chanel
In my last blog I joked about wondering if I should be committed for committing to create a Chanel-inspired showcase for the Dallas International Art, Antique and Jewelry Show... well, in truth, I did end up with padded walls... padded in the most glorious quilted "leather" from Elitis...
And there were so many other resources, showrooms, antiques dealers, craftsmen and tradespeople who helped bring the showcase to reality, I thought it best to show you the finished product and list all the wonderful folks who are certainly on Santa's "extra-nice" list this year.
In the Foyer, guests were greeted by that grand-scale Andy Warhol that one of my wonderful clients let me borrow for the event. I loved its modern, pop art style counterpointed by the period French art deco console table with its ornate iron base gilded with white gold and topped with its original marble top from John Gregory Antiques here in Dallas. Framing the composition are a pair of gilded carved leaf ornaments I found on my recent shopping trip to England. The leather recamier is also from a local Dallas antiques dealer, Nick Brock Antiques.
As guests moved into the showcase, they passed through a reception area that featured a wonderful 18th century Chinese elm wood altar table from Oriental Treasures. One of the most incredible pieces in the space was the six panel 19th century Chinese export screen from Nick Brock Antiques.
It is the first screen I have seen with eglomise detailing on the wooden edges. Mirrored, back painted glass mouldings framied amazing carved hardstone and lacquered panels.
A wonderful Louis XV style chandelier with Baccarat crystals from East & Orient , fearsome stone foo dogs from Oriental Treasures, a pair of glimmering "Esha Bassa" glass lamps and contemporary glass vessals (filled with beautiful flowers from The Garden Gate) from Donghia, completed the composition.
Brown & Company Antiques, in the Dallas Design District, loaned us an antique velvet chaise (dressed with beaded cushions from The Mews Antiques), the color of which is (dare I say) "spot on" with Pantone's newly announced "color of the year" for 2015...
We were inspired by the simplicity of the windows and floor to ceiling curtain panels at Rue Cambon and utilized huge arched and paned mirrors sourced online, to reproduce an approximation of windows. Using fabric and trim donated by Robert Allen Fabrics, one of our favorite local workrooms, Juanita's Draperies, fabricated the window treatments.
Additional elements incorporated in the dining room include a wonderful pair of marble topped console tables from East & Orient over which were hung a pair of giltwood mirrors from Country French Interiors. Accessories included an eclectic mix of contemporary glass vessels from Seguso and Donghia, lovely impressionist paintings from show dealer (and our wonderful neighbor) David Dike Fine Art, a pair of porcelain figures from M. S. Rau Antiques, a pair of quartz crystal and cut crystal girandoles from East & Orient, and some crystal decanters from our boutique.
Inspired by Chanel's dining room fireplace we reused a decorative mantle we created for the 2013 Crystal Charity ball. The fabulous lion chenets (an homage to the repeated lion motif Chanel used throughout her home) are from Embree & Lake Antiques. The Murano glass mirror is an amazing find from Nick Brock Antiques. Accessories were acquired from Oriental Treasures (the small Buddha), East and Orient (the bronze pitcher), Debris Antiques (the pair of cobalt blue and bronze doré vases) and Sherry Hayslip Interiors Boutique (the pair of blue goldstone foo dogs and the Selenite "logs" in the fireplace).
This Murano glass mirror is from Legacy Antiques. The carved console is from Brown & Company. The girandoles are from The Mews Antiques. And the pair of Famille Rose porcelain figures are from show dealers Lotus Antiques.
While Mme. Chanel didn't have a "gallery" in her apartment, per se, we wanted a transitional space between the dining room and the grand salon. Essentially a long, fairly open hallway, we punctuated one end with a leather topped writing desk and chair, both from East & Orient. The gilt leather panel hanging above the desk is from show dealer, Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz, who specializes in antique wallpapers. Accessories on the desk include a pair of rock crystal lamps from Embree & Lake Antiques, a vintage Murano picture frame (holding a picture of one of Chanel's many lovers) from John Gregory Antiques, antique tooled leather portfolios from Debris Antiques and a lovely, small Lalique vase from my boutique. The Chinese screen is from The Mews.
At the opposite end, we placed a 18th century Italian silver gilt and water gilt hand carved console from Gerald Tomlin Antiques over which is hung a French giltwood cushion mirror from M. S. Rau Antiques. We kept the accessories simple, with a pair of rock crystal lamps from Embree & Lake Antiques and a stone figure from Lotus Antiques. The twelve panel Coromandel screen is from Oriental Treasures.
The largest space in the showcase was the grand salon. Here we were able to incorporate key pieces inspired by Chanel's apartment.
Chanel surrounded herself with symbols, talismans really, of strength, prosperity and abundance: lions, deer, wheat, camels and specific numbers that were lucky to her: 5, 19, and 22, for example.
Here, Coco's Japanese deer graze at Rue Cambon...
which inspired our deer (from ASI Art in Dallas).
Here, Coco's iconic suede sofa is surrounded by her extensive library and collections...
which inspired our luxurious suede sofa (made by our fantastic friends at Klassic Upholstery).
My brother, Michael Stallings, and his workshop, were instrumental in fabricating the bookshelves, based on my designs. They provided A LOT of shelves to fill, but we were lucky to have show dealers Imperial Fine Books and Sonny Ideker Booksellers lend us lots of volumes. We filled still more shelves with wondrous collections that included an AMAZING gold and wood religious icon on loan from John Clark's private collection, a pair of cloisonné horses, several stone figures and a soapstone sculpture from Oriental Treasures, and an eglomise painting from East & Orient.
Centered over the sofa is a composition featuring an impressive Buddha head from Brown & Company Antiques in front of an English giltwood overmantel mirror from East & Orient. Also included are a pair of stone figures and a stone vessal from Oriental Treasures, a pair of 18th century Tibetan bronze doré happiness/aggression faces and a painting of a wheat stalk (my husband Cole's nod to a similar painting by Dali in Coco's apartment).
Reflected in the mirror is a stunning chandelier, on loan from a very special client, with lots of rock crystal drops added by the always-wonderful-to-work-with Greg Clayton from Pettigrew Associates.
On a French Louis XV style beechwood marble topped table from East & Orient we also displayed another piece from John Robert Clark Antiques, this one a fragment (which reminds me of a funeral mask) mounted on a stand, as well as rock crystals from our boutique to complement the rock crystal lamp from Embree & Lake Antiques. And the bronze hand from show dealer Ken Riney Antiques...
Reminds me of Coco's gorgeous bronze sculpture by Giacometti.
And who can forget Coco's gold wheat sheaf table... that inspired our wonderful find (which is now available in our boutique) positioned with a leather upholstered bergere from our boutique in front of another fireplace mantle, this one from Joe Minton Antiques. Framing the mantle are a pair of heavily carved architectural fragments from Inessa Stewart Antiques and hung above is a Charles X mirror from Brown & Company. Still more wonderful Coromandel screens from Oriental Treasures and The Mews with used in the salon.
The terra cotta bust from Embree & Lake Antiques over the fireplace mantle is alleged to be Edward the Duke of Windsor as a boy, who, along with his duchess were friends of Mme. Chanel.
We hope we did justice to Coco's roll top desk with ours, a Louis XVI style cylindrical desk from Embree & Lake Antiques, paired with a leather upholstered bergere from our boutique.
Behind the desk were more bookcases. Hung prominently is a Tibetan Mahakala Thangka from show dealer Lotus Antiques. In front, we placed a wonderful cloisonné Buddha, seated serenely, from Oriental Treasures.
Among the items on Coco's desk was a deck of Lenormand "divination" cards.
With the help of our friend David Alexandre, with whom we've worked on two special projects for the Crystal Charity Ball, we were able to secure a similar deck.
The final space was not directly inspired by Chanel's apartment, but rather by her fashion and fragrance. Every woman deserves a beautiful dressing room, especially the imaginary Coco that we dreamed of in this showcase.
The dressing table, a beautiful mirrored piece from Brown & Company Antiques, gave us ample space to display small accessories and a collection of perfume bottles. Hanging above was a mirror from Donghia that we surrounded with fashion sketches, theatre tickets, and snapshots that our Coco might have saved as mementos. Framing the dressing table is a four-panel screen from East & Orient Antiques. The arm chair, from Donghia, is sleek in silver.
The dressing table was so fun to accessorize. We opted for a pair of narrow rock crystal candlesticks from Embree & Lake Antiques topped with sleek black shades. On a bronze doré tray we gathered smaller bottles of Chanel fragrances: No. 19, 31 Rue Cambon, Pour Monsieur and, of course, No. 5. Porcelain camellias (Chanel's signature flower) also grace the tray. We were loaned several Chanel fragrance factices by our friends at Neiman Marcus. Another Murano glass frame from John Gregory holds a snapshot of yet another lover. And a collection of cut crystal boxes from Sherry Hayslip Interiors Boutique, Gerald Tomlin Antiques, and show dealer Eve Stone Antiques really magnify the glamour factor.
A wonderful addition to the space was a pair of mahogany vitrines borrowed from Brown & Company. Within the vitrines we displayed vintage Chanel handbags on loan from show dealer, Only Authentics, who also loaned us a vintage Chanel frock that we displayed on a dress mannequin on loan from one of our own clients.
We were also fortunate to display some beautiful jewels from show dealer Suzanne Syz including this gorgeous pearl necklace.
Finally, lighting the space was a beautiful crystal chandelier festooned with rose quartz grape clusters from Le Louvre French Antiques.
There's a quote by Norman Shidle that I particularly love, "A group becomes a team when each member is sure enough of himself and his contribution to praise the skills of the others." I couldn't have done this project without the wonderful support of so many. Everyone brought their special gifts to the project and so many of my long standing friends in the Dallas design community were so gracious and generous with their merchandise. I want to take a moment to thank and acknowledge everyone who contributed, in some form or another, to the success of this project (below I've also included links to their websites if possible):
• ASI Art & Antiques • Brown & Company Antiques • Country French Interiors • Debris Antiques • Embree & Lake Antiques • Donghia • East & Orient Company • Edelman Leather • Empressive GeoDesigns • Gerald Tomlin Antiques • Inessa Stewart Antiques • John R. Clark • John Gregory • Le Louvre French Antiques • The Mews Antiques • Nick Brock Antiques • Joseph Minton Antiques •Mineral Hunters •Oriental Treasures, Inc. • Pettigrew • Quadrille • Robert Allen • Carolle Thibaut-Pomerantz LLC • David Dike Fine Art • Eve Stone Antiques LTD • Lotus Art & Antiques • M. S. Rau Antiques • Only Authentics • Imperial Fine Books • Sonny Ideker Bookseller • Suzanne Syz Art Jewels • Whitesmith & Company • Smith Ekblad & Associates • Eveready Services •Stallings Art Services • Juanita's Draperies •Klassic Upholstery •Robert Turner Associates • Pallas Design Group •The Garden Gate •Botany 2000 •G. Clayton Allen • David Alexandre
My sincere gratitude to all. And remember...
“Fashion changes, but styleendures.” - Coco Chanel