September Debut

A deb donning Ceil Chapman
Fall is my absolute favorite season.  After suffering the indignities of  summer's cruel heat, it is pure heaven slipping on a cardigan and still feeling autumn's invigorating chill.  One can also return to black, navy, chocolate brown, and charcoal and no longer resemble a dark cloud of gloom lurking on the Lilly Pulitzer horizon of June.

While grey is one of my wardrobe staples, it's never occurred to me to use it in a room. When House Beautiful asked me to consider the glamour of grey for their September color issue for my first assignment for the magazine, I was intrigued.

A corner of the luxe, luxe, luxe sitting room designed by Raquet - the variations in tones and textures make it a difficult room to capture by lens

Designer Andrew Raquet was to be my guide of a New York residence he designed for a young family.  If you haven't already picked up a copy of the issue, beware - you may find yourself in a paint store by the end of the day.


My day with Andrew was months ago and I am still haunted by a Prelle silk he used.  My fellow fabric devotees know that Prelle is an ancient French manufactory producing the finest hand-loomed silks since the 18th century with the price tag to match its exquisite quality.  The lustrous lovely in question was Droguet Forlane en noir.  It's a small scale repeat of a stylized flower?berries? Whatever - it is charming.


Wallis Windsor thought so too and splashed out by covering this canape in the silk.

I've only recently gotten turned on to the thrilling possibilities of throw pillows.  As Andrew wisely pointed out, it might not make sense to spend several fortunes covering a sofa in Prelle or whatever your poison may be, but a pillow?  The world is your silk-lined oyster.

P.S.  September is also my debut as an independent design historian and enthusiast (aka Freelance).  Look for more regular EEE postings to come.

Top photo of Deyanne O'Neil Farrell by Horst P. Horst; #2 courtesy of House Beautiful; #3 from prelle.fr; #4 from the Sotheby's Duke and Duchess of Windsor sales catalogue