Letter to Vanity Fair: The Unexpurgated Version


Indeed, I did greatly enjoy Mr. Tyrnauer's piece on Hollywood Regency architect John Woolf in the February issue of Vanity Fair, but the abbreviated version of my letter to the editor made me think - they can certainly dish it, but can they take it?

What you didn't read:

"Woolf, who as Tyrnauer notes had a star-studded and very productive career, was so derided by the architecture community that his application to secure an architect's license in California in 1956 was denied! [Surely the VF researcher should have uncovered this important fact!] To offer a more balanced perspective of taste by casting light on those architects and designers who mined from the past was one of my main motivations for writing the book Regency Redux, which devotes several pages to Woolf's work. [Can you blame me for a little self promotion?]

"May I also gently suggest that Mr. Tyrnauer might benefit from reading my book so as to fully understand why the phrase "French Regency" is so wrong and sends shudders down the back of any student of design history."


"French Regency"?! Oh dear. Maybe Mr. Trynauer should stick to fashion reporting - his documentary Valentino: The Last Emperor is a sensitive and even-handed portrayal of the legendary designer and is worthy of high praise - no ifs, ands, or buts.

Letter printed in May 2009 issue of Vanity Fair.