Shoe Shine

Shoe Shine

The other day, my sister was waiting for the elevator and happened to admire the shoes the woman next to her was wearing. It turns out the woman, Andrea Vargas Deippa, just happened to be the designer of the shoes and is half of her eponymous company, Dieppa Restrepo. After checking it out, I knew I had to share.

Vargas Dieppa and her partner, Elisa Restrepo hail from Columbia. Inspired by classic menswear styles, their unisex shoes are “refined, androgynous and elegant…beautiful and simple enough for the chic and fashion-minded, yet comfortable and durable enough for their contemporary urban lifestyle”.…

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Dazzled at Dior

Dazzled at Dior

While researching my pink post yesterday, I wandered over to Dior to see what they had to offer. I was so amazed with everything, that I had to post about it. Much of the Dior jewelry is unrestrainedly fantastical. It is the stunning work of creative director Victoire de Castellane, with whom you may already be familiar for her devil may care attitude on the Parisian social scene.

She was brought to Dior’s Haute Joaillerie department in 1998 after fourteen years designing costume jewelry at Chanel. Since then, she has continued to create the most inventive collections that range from elite sophistication to childlike wonder.…

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Posting Pink

Posting Pink

I missed the big day for posting pink last Friday in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But, inspired by Mrs. Blandings, who initiated the annual campaign, and all the other bloggers who participated, I believe late is definitely better than never. Although you’ve heard this a million times, I must say it again – it is so very important to support this worthy cause and to keep up with your regular exams both at home and at the doctor’s. I lost a dear friend to this disease several years ago who said she had been too busy at work to get her regular mammogram.…

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What Type Are You?

What Type Are You?

Pentagram is one of the most prestigious and creative design firms in the world (you might say the quintessence of design firms). They create everything from books to architecture to packaging – really everything. And it’s all incredible. If you check out their site you will be amazed at the breadth and quality of their work. I happened upon this clever  little creation of theirs – whether you are a design type or not, I think you’ll enjoy it. :-)

what-type-are-you

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Moving Madness Sale

Moving Madness Sale

For those of you who still mourn the loss of Takashimaya, I have a bit of good news. Imperio jp, the lifestyle company which was Takashimaya’s best seller in the bag department, is having an enormous moving sale. They are relocating to a new space, which will be a retail store/gallery, open to the public year round. Imperio jp’s goal is to “seek out small craftsmen, artisans and workshops in developing countries that previously have never exported, and use local materials”. Today and tomorrow ALL of their collections will be 40-90% off retail. They carry not only bags, but jewelry, evening accessories, home decor items and beautiful shawls.…

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Gil Schafer – In Vino Veritas

Gil Schafer – In Vino Veritas

I don’t need any wine to speak the truth about this project. It’s simply spectacular. If you were to plan a wine cellar in your home, what would you imagine – perhaps a modest room in your basement, with, if you’re lucky, a small place to sit and sample your wares. Well Gil Schafer and his client envisioned this!

“We want our houses to have charm, character and warmth, but without being gimmicky about it.” says Schafer. Well I would say they exceeded those expectations and more. One of my favorite aspects of his work is that in these very large, expensive homes, there is no sign of ostentation.…

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Gil Schafer – Part Deux

Gil Schafer – Part Deux

The featured project on Gil Schafer’s website currently is the William C. Gatewood House in Charleston, SC, which won an AIA award for historic preservation last year and was featured in Town & Country in May.

The story of the renovation is a fascinating one and there are two wonderful videos (both from the same occasion) included on the site if you are interested. I’ve linked to the one of the Roundtable Discussion at the Institute of Classical Architecture in NYC last April which included Schafer, the homeowner, Sarah Horton and the builder Richard “Moby” Marks, Charleston’s preeminent restoration contractor. It is both informative and entertaining.…

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Gaga over Gil – Part 1

Gaga over Gil – Part 1

OK, I confess, I have a bit of an obsession (the oxymoron is actually understatement) with the work of architect Gil Schafer. Ever since I first saw images of his weekend house, Middlefield, in Elle Decor almost ten years ago, I have routinely stalked his site, waiting for new projects to be published. Over the years, I somehow felt, erroneously of course, that I alone was the single anonymous member of his secret fan club.  But since the Town & Country article in May and the announcement that he has won the Veranda Art of Design Award for Architecture, I fear there will be many others vying for his (illusory) attention.…

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Exciting Offer

Exciting Offer

David Easton’s studio is offering Quintessence readers bookplates, signed by David, to put in their copies of Timeless Elegance. E-mail your name and mailing address to [email protected] – don’t forget you must mention Quintessence! What a wonderful treat for yourself or for a lucky someone on your list!

If you missed my review of the fabulous book, go here: http://quintessenceblog.com/2010/09/timeless-elegance/

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Andre the Giant

Andre the Giant

Giant of photography that is. As if there weren’t enough reasons to go to Paris already, there is now another. The Jeu de Paume Museum is showing the first major European retrospective of Andre Kertesz, one of my all time favorite photographers.

Born in Hungary in 1894, Kertesz started to explore with a camera when he was 16, while working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange. Inspired by life itself, Kertesz used his camera as a sketchbook, recording the majesty of everyday scenes. He explained,  “I photographed real life—not the way it was, but the way I felt it.…

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