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It is of course very one-sided of me to say that this is a very special issue but I dare to say it anyway. The following pages congregate a great many of our favourites: favourite writers and artists, favourite photographers and filmmakers, favourite places and locations and, of course, gracing our fashion stories, favourite designers too.
I must refer to one rare privilege conceded to us in the making of this issue: the exceptional opportunity of shooting our cover story inside, and outside, the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris. I can’t stress enough that it really is one of the most extraordinary locales in all of Paris and one that keeps fascinating each and every aficionado of architecture and decoration. We are no exception and, while visiting the museum months before this possibility even surfaced, my team and I were left wondering how wonderful it would be to create a series of photos at such a wondrous place. Little did we know that an invitation to do so would be presented to us in the near future... To the completion of this story I want to extend friendly thanks also to Chanel that magnanimously supported all of our requests and provided us with the most beautiful of clothes and accessories.
Another highlight of the issue is the interview conducted by Julien Landais, a longtime friend of this publication, to James Ivory. The director of classics such as A Room with a View, Maurice, Howard’s End and The Remains of the Day keeps unstoppable at the age of 90.
I would like to emphasize that a genuine appreciation of the intrinsic value of each individual and each matter that we feature has been condicio sine qua non to be admitted into our pages since the very beginning. That, together with a continued effort to improve our qualities, gives us confidence that this new issue will not defraud your expectations.
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CHANEL AND MUSÉE NISSIM DE CAMONDO
A film by R&D, Paris
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PLENTIFUL ART, HISTORY AND INTERIORS
"We wish to render objects in their full reality, not in an ideal state... We celebrate particularity, the textures of materials, the effects of light and the traces of age and dirt and life
ARCHITECTURE IN PAINT AND PAPER
Illustrations and words by Andrew Zega & Bernd H. Dams at Architectural Watercolours
Anyone willing to dig the lost and long disappeared architectonic caprices in which the 18th Century Louises of France—and their architects—indulged, will inevitably bump into Bernd H. Dams and Andrew Zega. The renderings of such constructions are only a fraction of their extensive artistic production and to discover Andrew and Bernd will be, or at least for us it was, like opening a Pandora’s Box, a trove of all things beautiful, from where palaces, pavilions, follies and other architectonic ornaments flow in sumptuous procession. Combining knowledge, skill and talent they founded Architectural Watercolors nearly 25 years ago and together, by fusing the conventions of architectural delineation with a highly realistic technique that has become their trademark, they succeed in reproducing in paper the likes of some of the world’s most extraordinary buildings.
"As denizens of the monde, as patrician society in Paris was known, the revelers were the city’s ordained exemplars of breeding and good taste. Tonight, however, they played against type
IN THE BALLROOM OF BEASTS
INCURSION INTO AN ARISTOCRATIC REDOUBT OF PARISIAN FIN DE SIÈCLE
Words by Caroline Weber and illustration by Diogo Mayo
Diana Vreeland famously said once in an interview that one “can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes”. In fact, throughout history, great changes have consistently been preceded by periods of excess and extravagance in which boundless creativity appears to have reigned supreme. It’s almost like dancing on the edge of a cliff: A civilization will refine itself to the point of becoming frivolous while its luxuries and eccentricities reach their shiniest spot. Henceforth, quickly and inexorably, almost biblically, degeneration and decadence are to be expected. It’s almost a rule. At that exact point, while listening to the swan song of a defunct era, a path in direction of a new order starts to be drawn. It’s a circle that ends only to start gaining shape once again. In this text adapted from her most recent book «Proust’s Duchess», Caroline Weber takes us on a time travel to Paris, to a period perched between the last cries of the Ancien Régime and the new paradigms of the 20th Century. "Ballroom of Beasts" is a portrait of an anticipated death, a memento mori of an entire world.
"People who do not have strong loves can still have strong lives
LESSONS OF A CRAFT
JAMES IVORY INTERVIEWED BY JULIEN LANDAIS
Photographed by Dorothée Murail at Le Grand Véfour
We met Julien Landais for an interview a few years ago and, keeping in contact ever since, we challenged him this time to an intimate chat with the acclaimed film director James Ivory. More than sharing a profession and a great love for cinema, James and Julien also have in common a perfected ability for sumptuous storytelling and the skill to refine narratives of eternal grit into films of eternal beauty. The two were introduced on the early stages of the production of Julien’s most recent film, The Aspern Papers, and the friendship that was then born went as far as prompting James to become its executive producer. We met them for photos at Le Grand Véfour in Paris and a conversation ensued.
"The resulting picture, while not always a documentary record, conveys an unusually potent sense of atmosphere and beloved objects
THE SPIRIT OF THE ROOM
REMEMBERING THE TALENT OF JEREMIAH GOODMAN
Words by Dean Rhys Morgan
A few years ago, when we launched Scala Regia #0, an interview to Jeremiah Goodman constituted one of its articles and one that we still hold dear. Today, after the recent passing of Jeremiah in 2017, we revisit the artist’s work with the help of his friend Dean Rhys Morgan. For near a decade, Dean accompanied Jeremiah, witnessing and experiencing the presence of a true genius. Now, as he is closing his book «Jeremiah, Inspired Interiors», Dean agreed to share with us his writings about the essence of Jeremiah’s paintings and what makes them so singular.
"Chippendale was a creative and astute man who had the rare ability to transform his whimsical designs into superbly executed pieces
WORKER OF WONDERS
EVOKING THOMAS CHIPPENDALE ON THE 300th ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH
Words by Robert Copley
Thomas Chippendale is, beyond shadow of doubt, the most well-known of English cabinet-makers. His designs of unmatchable quality, innovative in their day for combining Rococo and Neoclassical influences, are as appealing today as they were desirable in the 18th Century. Proving and supporting our point are the astounding sums, that break and amount to new records, that original pieces by Thomas Chippendale reach each time they surface in the auction market. In the year that celebrates the 300th anniversary of the birth of Chippendale we invite Robert Copley, International Head of Furniture and Deputy Chairman of Christie's UK, to tell us more about the man whose work became his legacy.
"Being an artist, or having become an aesthete, is a curse as one likes to surround oneself with all things beautiful
THE EXCEPTIONAL CABINET
JAN DE VLIEGHER AND HIS UNCONVENTIONAL COLLECTION
Interview by the team
The first time that we came across the artwork of Belgium artist Jan de Vliegher, we were both enchanted by the effortless detail of his compositions and amazed by the dimensions of such works, frequently built over floor-to-ceiling canvases. From the various subjects that Jan enjoys exploring, one particularly had the ability of seducing us: rows of magnificent plates and other extraordinary porcelain utensils alike that, in gargantuan scale, aim to emulate the likeness of small, frail objects. Such a contrast proved itself irresistible, prompting the conversation that follows.
"A recreation of an 18th Century home, completed with all modern conveniences, such as a high-end kitchen, modern bathrooms, electricity and telephone
LEFT IS THE SIDE OF THE HEART
Words by Pedro Rei and photography by Francis Hammond and Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery
Hôtel de Camondo, a triumph of the French decorative arts, is located in Paris on the 63 rue de Monceau. It was built in 1911 as the residence of Count Moïse de Camondo, a preeminent Jewish banker become collectionneur extraordinaire. Within the interior of this building, which exterior appearance mirrors the designs of Ange-Jacques Gabriel for the Petit Trianon at Versailles, are confined some of the finest examples of the French artistic expression of the 18th Century along with the latest innovations in technology and comfort of the early 20th Century. The words that follow tell us about the Camondo family saga, starting in Constantinople and ending in Auschwitz, and the events that ultimately resulted in the creation of the Musée Nissim de Camondo.
BRINGING CHANEL AND MUSÉE NISSIM DE CAMONDO TOGETHER FOR THE COVER STORY
Photography by Dorothée Murail and art direction by Diogo Mayo & Pierre Roffe
Musée Nissim de Camondo reunites some of the most outstanding interiors of Paris and the chance of photographing a fashion story at such a place asked for an extraordinary fashion collection. Calling Chanel in for this project was our immediate instinct since both institutions have existed for over a century and each one of them has, on its own terms, contributed to shape and define Paris as a world reference of taste, luxury and sophistication. Building up from that assertion, we essayed this fashion story as an exercise on beautiful objects and sublime craftsmanship.
"The fact that I exchange my works for money has a somewhat Faustian flavour
THE ARTWORK OF LORIBELLE SPIROVSKI
Interview by the team
We’re firm believers that there is still good art being made. Through the ups and downs within the history of painting, there were always good painters, better or lesser known. Such hasn’t changed and never will; at any time, and at any place, there will always be a creative mind capable of the extraordinary. Ergo, despite our patent penchant for the classics and the old masters, we make it our pleasure to find the good painters of today. Certainly, the road is tricky as it is very polluted; yet we manage ourselves through the dirt and often find a fine work, one that is beautiful and resonates with our time. That work will guide us to others and, if successively and successfully seduced by them, we will make it our purpose to spread them. Then, perhaps, another soul, leafing through our pages, will also be seduced. We believe that Loribelle Spirovski palpably has that charm. Her mysterious portraits are magnetic, surreal and often aggressive, much like dreams. They also seem to be a quick grasping of her fleeting impressions and memories, of what she finds beautiful and what she once forgot but now reclaims. We felt attracted by this strangeness, and we now present it to you.
STATE OF SCENT
A WONDERFULLY SMELLING NEW TRAY OF FRAGRANCES AND COSMETICS
Photography by Pierre Roffe
One grows up hearing that a scent should be adapted to a specific time of day, if possible to your company, and, above all, to what you are wearing. But what if that wasn’t all, and choosing a scent in agreeance to your state of mind is also important? Because if you’re feeling moody, you can aggravate it with a restless musk parfum; if enthusiastic, it’s possible to intensify your excitement with a happy herbal eau de toilette; and if serene, nothing helps more than a placid citrus eau de cologne... On the other hand, the opposite also seems to work as when sulky, a placid cologne acts wonders in restoring your good nature. That said, it appears that a particular scent can own a specific personality that’s able to either intensify or attenuate your spirit... Should you have such notion in mind next time you spray or splash or sprinkle a scent on yourself, and perhaps you will let your state of scent rearrange your state of mind.
MARRYING OUR ADMIRATION FOR FINE FABRICS WITH OUR APPRECIATION FOR BEAUTIFUL CLOTHING
Photography by Maria Rita and art direction by Diogo Mayo & Pierre Roffe
Style isn’t just about the clothes one wears but also about the environment that surrounds oneself, as it is clear that a beautiful frame enveloping a beautiful dress can only but enhance it. To provide solid proof of such idea, we brought together what decorates the body with what decorates the home. The result was quite exquisite with bold textures, patterns and colours. Girls in alluring silks and velvets, posing hieratically against fine fabrics and tapestries, looking so still and yet so lively. Almost like deep-coloured pinned butterflies set inside shiny glass domes.
"Benedita was a magnetizing woman, holder of a tender voice and a sweet character
THE ADVENTURES AND MISADVENTURES OF MARIA FRANCISCA BENEDITA, PRINCESS OF BEIRA AND BRAZIL
Words by Tiago Lorga
"I am I and my circumstance; and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself" is a famous axiom devised by Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset in his book from 1914 «Meditations on Quixote». Such words, so individualistic and yet so universal and ageless, sharply summarize the life of Maria Benedita of Braganza who was born into one of the oldest ruling houses of Europe in the acme of the Ancién Régime, a time that was thought to be unaffected by change. This princess, who was once expected to become a queen, witnessed in the course of an existence that spanned for over eight decades to more transformation than most. From surviving to one of the most devastating earthquakes in history and seeing a crown running off her hands to experiment the terror of the impending invasion of her country by a foreign power and participating in a spectacular transatlantic escape, the life of this Portuguese princess can fairly be described as a personal odyssey, one of those rare stories that bring together all the main ingredients of the classic tragedy.
"His poems offer timeless glimpses of momentary pleasure in a Mediterranean light—a monument to a personal, yet universal, taste for everyday indulgence
SENSUAL PLEASURE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN FIN DE SIÈCLE
THE POETRY OF CONSTANTINE CAVAFY
Words and translations by Kyriaco Nikias
In a delicate dance between pleasure and modesty, Constantine Cavafy was a man that secretly and for himself alone indulged in the creation of sensual poetry. Contrary to Oscar Wilde, as the author explains, Cavafy's own decadence didn't reflect on his everyday actions, surroundings or happenings, appearing solely, instead, in his writings—poems about luxury, tragedy and sensuality, so very contrasting to his vulgar profession and unextraordinary life.
"It was precisely during the intimate moments that Milton began—without haste—taking photographs
THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE AND PHOTOGRAPHY OF MILTON GENDEL
Words by Barbara Drudi
A larger-than-life character, Milton Gendel was the right man at the right place and at the right time throughout his life. And what a life! Originally a New Yorker, it was coincidence that brought him to live in Europe when politics impeded a travel to China; had he had the chance to undertake that project and his entire life may have been completely different. Coincidence too, once more, operated its charms and put a camera on his hands... Once that happened, an artist was born. Mr. Gendel died recently in Rome, the city he chose as his almost seventy years ago. The ensuing article, meant to commemorate his 100th anniversary, that would occur this December, had already been prepared and was ready to be printed by the time of his passing. With his body in absentia but with his spirit in full presence we decided to stick to our plans, and to commemorate and to honour the man and the artist.
Elodie L in Chanel at Musée Nissim de Camondo. Dorothée Murail, 2018
Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director
Andrew Zega & Bernd H. Dams | Barbara Drudi | Caroline Weber | Dean Rhys Morgan | Julien Landais | Kyriaco Nikias | Pedro Rei | Robert Copley | Tiago Lorga
Dominique Provost | Dorothée Murail | Francis Hammond & Christiane de Nicolay-Mazery | Hugo Maertens | Leonard Kheifets | Maria Rita | Pierre Roffe
Andrew Zega & Bernd H. Dams | Diogo Mayo
James Ivory | Jan de Vliegher | Loribelle Spirovski
Featured Artists and Personalities
Constantine Cavafy | Giuseppe Troni | Jeremiah Goodman | Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida | Maria Francisca Benedita of Braganza | Miguel António do Amaral | Milton Gendel | Thomas Chippendale
Christie's UK | Christopher Moore | Diana Fenouil @ Chanel | Fondazione Primoli | João Rôlo | Joana Bernardo & Les Filles | Le Grand Véfour, Paris | Musée Nissim de Camondo | Rubelli | Schuyler Thompson @ A Cicognani Communications | Soane Britain | Taroni | The Metropolitan Museum of Art NY | The State Hermitage Museum | Tricana | Zuber