A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Couple

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Couple

Photo: Lee Clower for The New York Times

I had an entirely different post planned for today, but after reading this article in the New York Times yesterday, I knew I had to chime in. If  you didn’t see the piece, it is about artists Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, “the most potent marital pairing since Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner.” The article struck a chord with me because I have long also had mixed feelings about the couple myself. It brings forth many questions about our conceptions of what artists are, how they should live and what success should look like.…

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Posted in art, art history, fashion, learning | Tagged , , | 31 Comments  

Set In Style Gallery Tour

Set In Style Gallery Tour

As you know, I was entranced by the Cooper Hooper Set In Style Van Cleef show. (For any new visitors, please see my original post on the show from last Tuesday.)  I am excited to be able to share with you this video of Patrick Jouin, the designer of the exhibition, giving a gallery tour explaining his ideas for the space. It gives you an insider peek at this magical installation. The museum is lovely, jewelry is gorgeous, installation fabulous and he’s not so bad either!!  So for all of you who won’t be able to get to the Cooper Hewitt, enjoy!…

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Posted in art, jewelry, learning | Tagged , , | 16 Comments  

At the Movies: To Catch a Thief

At the Movies: To Catch a Thief


Considering this week’s theme of luxe jewels and France, I didn’t really have much choice but to pick one of my very favorite movies, To Catch a Thief. I realize that most of you have probably seen it, but to be honest, I could watch this movie every week and never tire of it. Like some people have comfort food, this is my feel good visual feast. And although I own an older version, this collector’s edition DVD evidently has improved audio and much enhanced new video produced from the original VistaVision, as well as a bonus audio commentary with former film critic and director Peter Bogdanovich.…

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Posted in film | Tagged , , , | 37 Comments  

Where to Keep the Jewels

Where to Keep the Jewels


So I guess you have all now realized that the Set In Style exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt has inspired my week!! After seeing the spectacular Van Cleef jewels, I began to wonder what I would do if I had a valuable collection of baubles. Keeping everything in the original boxes is not an elegant solution and although a safe deposit box is, well – safe, it certainly isn’t practical in terms of having things on hand. A home safe is the best of both worlds but they tend to be rather unattractive. So in my search for a more aesthetic version, I came across the ultimate solution.…

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Posted in furniture, interior design, jewelry | Tagged | 25 Comments  

Cognac 101

Cognac 101

After reviewing the elegant Van Cleef exhibit yesterday, I wanted to do a wine post with the same sense of refinement. Cognac seems to fit the bill perfectly. Here Terry presents a complete Cognac 101 course on this delicious libation. We start with the explanation and making of cognac, then Terry’s cognac pick with a great back story and finally where to go and what to eat if you are planning a trip to this wonderful area in France. By the end of this post, you will be a cognoscenti on the subject. Feel free to bookmark to have on hand.…

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Posted in food and drink, garden, holiday, wine | Tagged , | 23 Comments  

Set in Style

Set in Style

What can I say, yesterday the stars were aligned. My sister and I had arranged to meet in the city for a fun museum day and birthday lunch (hers – I no longer have birthdays). We planned to see the Van Cleef “Set in Style” exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt followed by the Vienna exhibit at the Neue Galerie where we were going to also have lunch. But things didn’t go exactly as planned – they actually exceeded expectations!

I hadn’t been to the Cooper Hewitt for quite a while – too long. So while I awaited my sister’s arrival, I decided to check out the gift shop, which turned out to be a dangerous proposition.…

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Posted in jewelry, learning, technology | Tagged , , | 37 Comments  

A Country Life

A Country Life

Bunny Williams’ chicken coop via Vignette Design

There is a new trend it seems for those of us who live in houses with backyards that goes a step beyond buying organic food at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. And that is chickens, or more specifically, hens. My next door neighbors have them with a lovely coop. Martha has them as does Bunny Williams. Brooke Giannetti has written about hers over at Velvet and Linen and I recently read that Delores at Vignette Design was also considering adopting some. They are certainly adorable. My daughter frequented my neighbor’s basement often when the baby chicks were under the incubator lights.…

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Posted in books, food and drink, garden, learning | Tagged , | 28 Comments  

Exciting Offer

Exciting Offer

Exciting news!! Imperio jp is offering Quintessence readers a 10% discount through March, just mention Quintessence in the order, or email them to inform them of your order at [email protected] It’s the perfect way to start your spring fashion season off in style!

See my article here to learn more about this fabulous luxury company’s products. And no, this is NOT a sponsored feature – I just love what they do!!

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Posted in bags, fashion | Tagged , | 4 Comments  

At the Movies

At the Movies

How appealing is Colin Firth!! I think many of you would agree that he is a very captivating combination of handsome, talented and charming – doesn’t get much better. And I was thrilled, but of course not terribly surprised, when he won the Oscar last weekend. So, in his honor, my movie pick this week is a somewhat under-the-radar film of his, that I serendipitously found years ago and loved.

Released in 1999, My Life So Far, is a charming coming of age story based on Sir Denis Forman’s childhood memoirs “Son of Adam”.  Forman was a TV executive in England, responsible for such programs as The Jewel in the Crown and then served as deputy chairman of the Royal Opera in London.…

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Posted in entertainment, film | Tagged , , , , , | 32 Comments  

Impeccable Imperio jp

Impeccable Imperio jp

all items in photo available at Taigan.com

Ever since I discovered Imperio jp, I had been trying to get to their showroom because I was so intrigued. This finally came to pass last week and let me tell you, the wait was worth it! After three hours of endless bonding and show and tell, we had barely scratched the surface! Imperio means empire in Spanish and this company is indeed an empire in terms of the depth, breadth and quality of its products. From beautiful leather bags as above to alpaca/silk gauzy shawls in a rainbow of irresistible hues as shown below, there is something for every aspect of a stylish life, from clothing and accessories to decor.…

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Posted in bags, fashion, interior design | Tagged , , , , | 45 Comments