Assouline luxury coffee table stacks add a chic personalized touch to any room. A fabulous trio of books displaying brightly colored front covers and spines. Featuring Italian cuisine to culture, a look into Fashion designer Valentino's love of beauty in the home, and photography from Cecil Beaton.
Italian Dream- For more than three years, Aline Coquelle, the well-known globe-trotting photographer, and Count Gelasio Gaetani d’Aragona Lovatelli, a member of one of the oldest aristocratic Italian families, have followed the map of Italy’s best wines. Guided by Gelasio, readers are introduced to a tribe of artistic and wine-loving amici who share their passion for their country’s heritage and bounty. The Italian Dream: Wine, Heritage, Soul is an escape into the effortlessly elegant Italian lifestyle, savoring wine behind the private gates of family castles and vineyards, from the foothills of the Alps to the hill towns of Tuscany to the relaxed southern seasides.
Valentino- As fashion editor and friend André Leon Talley writes in the introduction, “Valentino Garavani designs his luncheons and dinners, in all of his homes, the way he has created crescendos and allegros vivace throughout his forty-plus-year career as one of the greatest haute couture designers and high-fashion leaders in the world.”
Beauty and entertaining have long been passions of Valentino. “I am in love with beauty,” he admits in the book’s opening. “I have always loved beautiful objects.” Though beyond the tangible objets d’art housed in each of his residences, Valentino’s excellence as a host is defined by the warmth and joy he creates for his guests.
“When you enter his world, you enter the world of luxury; you enter a rare and opulent, yet warm space,” adds Talley. The atmosphere evokes the “joy of sharing, and the joy of delivering a magnificent dining experience in a setting of wonder and originality; sharing with family, friends and guests; sharing good conversation that is quite often animated; and sharing beautiful flowers, especially from Valentino’s own gardens,” he continues in his introduction.
Beaton- As one of the twentieth century’s most important photographers, Cecil Beaton helped invent the cult of the celebrity image while pushing the boundaries of his art form with innovative techniques and staging. In the course of his decades-long career as a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as a British war correspondent, Cecil Beaton documented lives both famous and quotidian—including his own, in dozens of scrapbooks now held by Sotheby’s London.
In these pages, reproduced here for the very first time, the inner vision of the man behind the camera takes center stage. Composed of his own prints and of clippings from magazines, newspapers, and playbills, the pages are an instructive record of his creative process. His famous eye alighted on society figures, royals, dancers, actors, statesmen, and natives in ceremonial garb, picking out visual rhymes and witty juxtapositions. To flip through the pages is to enter a fabulous and surreal party where Tallulah Bankhead rubs shoulders with a bust of Voltaire and a portrait of Stravinsky; where Beaton’s first trip on the Queen Mary coincides with Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. The precursor to the “mood board,” Beaton’s scrapbooks allowed the artist to play with pictures he had taken (and perhaps those he wished he had) in the dreamspace of artifice that was always his favorite setting.
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