The magic of Tiffany & Co. window displays burst on the scene in 1961 when the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s debuted with Audrey Hepburn. It solidified the idea of romance with all of it’s endless possibilities… so there’s absolutely no pressure to create holiday windows that will still captivate nearly 60 years later, right?
The delicate details that go into each and every window display are still pure magic. Those beautiful blue-green boxes wrapped in white ribbon keep your minds eye wondering what beautiful treasure might be hidden inside. By the way, did you know that Tiffany Blue has its own Pantone number – PMS1837, however, it can’t be seen in the Pantone swatch book. It’s also copyrighted in some American states… just a few more ways to keep that magic a little more elusive.
Established in 1853, Tiffany & Co. was one of the first stores to clearly mark the price on their goods to prevent any haggling over prices. In addition, against the norm of the time, Tiffany only accepted cash payments and did not accept payments on credit. My how times have changed. The famous flagship store on 5th Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan opened in 1940, and one of my favorite things about the store is its Art Deco details. If you happen to see newer locations, such as those built inside a mall, their front doors still feature those iconic stainless steel deco details.
Even after having been in business for over 160 years, they’ve managed to keep the magic alive. On my sisters recent 50th birthday, we traveled to Manhattan to celebrate… and stop number one, Tiffany’s! If you’re still looking for that last minute holiday gift, you know where to go.
Louis Vuitton has paired up with world renowned artist Jeff Koons to create a line of handbags focusing on old world art masters such as Monet, Gauguin, Manet, Turner and Boucher. I only discovered this a couple of nights ago while strolling down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. I’m not trying to be bougie… it’s just that I live a few blocks away and it’s so much fun to take in the holiday decorations. It’s free, fun, fantastic and often inspiring to see the holiday window displays. Plus this year they’ve brought back the Baccarat Chandeliers that are only hung above the street during some Christmas seasons, not all. There’s also a little piped in holiday music, and plenty of areas for photo ops with the hashtag #OnlyOnRodeo. It’s all about branding, plus I think that retailers are having a tough time getting shoppers into stores since online shopping has become everyones ‘easy out’.
As I was walking by Louis Vuitton’s windows I was initially drawn in by the new color combinations of some of the handbags, particularly the ones inspired by the paintings of Turner. The strong lavender-blue tone mixed with the hazy orange tones of Ancient Rome, really did it for me. As I continued to study the windows, I realized that the large white bunny in the entrance, as well as the handbag tags, were an homage to Jeff Koons balloon animals that he’s so famous for.
And then… there are the LV’s and the JK’s on the handbags, as well as in the windows, another reference to the collaboration between these two iconic companies. And lastly, there’s that big blue Christmas ball that isn’t a Christmas decoration at all, but rather an homage to his Gazing Ball Paintings.
Whether you love or hate the new handbags, the holiday windows on Rodeo Drive are a perfect exercise in restraint. They tell the story of the new collection and joint collaboration, while still looking festive from an uniformed point of view. Bravo!
Here’s some inspiration for your Halloween table ensemble, with an upscale vibe. I’ve been collecting gorgeous goodies for years, and it’s so fun to pull them out and mix and match them.
I started with a black brocade table cloth made from two yards of fabric from International Silks and Woolens at 8347 Beverly Blvd, LA, Ca. 90048. Next up I used a vintage Silver Tray from my mother’s estate, dating from the early 1970’s. I love this vintage tray and use if for all of my parties. It also makes a great serving tray for bottles of wine, or chilled bottles of sparking water.
I picked up the rectangular vase at GM floral for about $20, and filled it with roses from Trader Joes, cropping the stems to about 3 inches. On the foreground of the tray are two Skull Christmas ornaments by Kurt Adler, each retailing for $15. I also used 3 vintage Art Deco tumblers filled with tea lights from Ikea. And lastly on the tray are black sparkly butterflies also from GM Floral.
For a little height on the table I used two skull candle sticks by DL & Co., each about $90, with gold candlesticks from Target. I also used two Reed and Barton Martini glasses to serve colorful M&M’s and Candy Corn. Two other items on the table that I absolutely love, include a Versace wine decanter with frosted medallions and a smashing bowl by Alessi known as the Cactus Bowl. I frequently use this bowl as a fruit bowl, however, with colorfully wrapped candy, it adds so much sparkle to the table (about $120). The glass votives on the table I picked up at Marshall’s or TJMaxx for about $2 each.
The secret to this successful ensemble was mixing and matching items of the same color, either chrome or silver. By doing this, it allows all of the colors from the candies and flowers on the table to totally pop. Some items are certainly more upscale and expensive than others, but it’s the art of mixing and matching that make this Artful Living at its best.
Lily Et Cie, a renowned Vintage store in Beverly Hills, has one of the most stunning window displays that I’ve seen in ages. I quite literally stumbled upon this gem while out for one of my late night strolls last week. It was one of those, hit the breaks and back up moments… while on foot. I love it when something is so beautiful that it stops me in my tracks.
For over 30 years this luxury vintage boutique located at 9044 Burton Way has been home to some of Hollywood’s most exquisite haute couture designers, such as Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Gucci and Chanel. When I peered through the glass of the front door, I could see racks of remarkable black and white vintage gowns, waiting for their next walk on the red carpet. Even in the dim light of the showroom, excitement stirred in my soul. I waved at the overhead camera, took my photos, and headed for home with a little extra bounce in my step.
Since I wasn’t familiar with this boutique, I did a little research online. Reviewers on Yelp were not kind to Ms. Rita Watnick, the stores owner. That said, I totally understand her point of view. If you’ve got museum quality gowns worth tens of thousands of dollars each, the last thing you need or want, are ‘shoppers’ riffling through your merchandise with no regard for how delicate or special these items may be, especially when considering their provenance. This isn’t the Goodwill and you’re not there to find a designer bargain. Her dresses are pure art, and need to be handled as such. As a small business owner myself, I’m very sensitive to how people handle the items on my retail shelves. So yes, I’m going out on a limb to defend a woman I’ve never met, and a store that I’ve never set foot in. Why?Because when something has special or extraordinary written all over it, you should proceed with caution and kindness.
And on a side note, Chinoiserie seems to be a hot fashion trend this season. I’ve seen several jackets at retailers from Bloomingdales to Kitross, with embroidered dragons and other chinese motifs.
Here’s a fun video with Rita Watnick and Leon Talley, discussing the nuances of a vintage dress reportedly loaned to Princess Margaret.
Artful Living with Romi Cortieris a new hybrid reality show that I’m currently working on with my fiance Recio Young. The show will be co-created with Red Carpet Recio Productions, Recio’s newly launched production company. Initially it will be viewable on my YouTube Channel Romi Cortier, and our longterm goal is to sell it to a network.
The concept for the show is an upscale reality show that’s hopefully drama free, with a focus on the arts and interior design. Imagine Huell Howser’s California gold combined with Paris Hilton and her cute little dog. Cue Romi and Coco walking into Lalique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills having a conversation with their manager about what it took to bring one of their finer pieces to market. Or having a private tour at LACMA or MOCA, discussing the latest acquisition to their collection. Or better yet, how about a trip to a thrift store looking for a few lost gems to add to a newly styled room. I want to help my viewers develop their eye to better appreciate the beautiful things around us.
One of my passions when it comes to interior design is how we curate our spaces, adding in family heirlooms with new modern pieces. It’s about mixing the old with the new, creating an environment that’s not full of disposable goods from China. I’d rather have fewer but finer things… they always last much longer. Take for example the blue rug seen above. I purchase it over 20 years ago for about $1500 from the now defunct Dialogica furniture store. It’s made of wool and features 5 different shades of blue. It’s still stunning after all of these years, with an average cost of $75 per year. On the other hand, I’ve got beautiful paintings in my personal art collection that I paid as little as $50 for at auction, and I love them just as much as my expensive pieces. It’s all about how we mix and match.
The educated eye is a marvelous thing, and it doesn’t happen by accident. Hours spent window shopping or going to art openings, ultimately pays off. I want to share that journey with you. Stay tuned for our sizzle reel coming soon. In the mean time, show a little love to my co-star Coco by following her on Instagram at MalibuPom.