Dream Job – Private Libraries Curator
Now this is a dream job for a book lover if I ever saw one! Curating private libraries, from books, decor elements, shelves and how best to display everything, with a starting budget of around £18,000. Sign me up, please!
I suppose I shouldn’t hold my breath, after all I am no Alex Assouline, son of the founders of the eponymous publishing house, famous for its high-end coffee table books about artists, fashion houses and travel. On top of being the vice-president of his parent’s business, which must be a dream job in itself, Assouline has also gotten into the business of curating private libraries and a lifetime spent among books is evident in how much importance and care he attributes to this element in people’s homes: When friends enter your apartment and see your library, they need to be able to understand who you are in a minute.
I will always argue that there is no better person to curate a home library than the owner(s), and that it takes a lifetime, being a fluid process and reflecting one’s journey. But I also know this is a valid trend for certain locations, like hotels or office buildings, and for certain people too.
What’s more, I would be extremely curious to see what a professional would stack my shelves with! Wouldn’t you?
Inspired by the article shared above, I thought there’s no better time to spotlight the Assouline publishing house and the story of this beautiful family. When they started off, they wanted to create the first luxury brand in culture as they believe culture is the finest accessory. I admire their perspective and dedication to culture, although it must be said that culture is not a luxury, it’s something anybody can enjoy, luxuriously or not.
They describe their boutiques as places where one can discover a world of good taste, excitement and intellect and they have gone from Paris to New York, to London and Seoul and beyond. A true family business, watch this video about their journey and discover even more captivating short videos about their craftsmanship, their distinctive gift packaging and their covetable books and collections here.
Just some of the Assouline books I’d love to own
RIP Alber Elbaz
This week was unfortunately marked by the passing of an iconic designer, best known, at least to me, for his 14 years stint at the head of Lanvin. I like to take sorrowful occasions like this one as opportunities to celebrate and learn a bit more about who was and what defined the work of the celebrated creator, in this case, Alber Elbaz.
When I read the obituaries, I am after the quirks, the things that made their genius, their unmistakable personal traits. I loved reading in The Times how the bespectacled Elbaz was a diffident, awkward figure who rarely used social media and was paralysed by angst at everyday decisions such as the right shade of blue for Lanvin’s boxes, how he refused to promote himself nor would he put the company’s logo on the outfits and how he even designed the windows of Lanvin stores, quaintly giving the mannequins names and writing down their life stories.
I also found this anecdote a touching proof of the power of clothes, especially for women: One time a friend of mine left me a message saying she’s getting a divorce . . . She was going to court, wearing a Lanvin suit that made her feel so protected . . . the only form of protection I can give women is beauty.”
Source: Looks from Alber Elbaz’s first and last collection for AZ Factory, a project he launched in 2019
If you’d also like to learn more about the late Alber Elbaz, watch here a documentary shot during Fashion Week Madness some years ago, and here a candid monologue about himself and his art, admire 30 of his most iconic looks for Lanvin and read more about fashion’s kindest designer.
Hands in Jewellery
Source – Wrath ring, part of the exquisite Seven Deadly Sins collection by Stephen Webster
A while ago I saved a couple of images of jewelry featuring tiny hands, and now Pinterest keeps suggesting more and I can’t stop pinning them. There is something so delicate and charming about these heavily adorned little doll hands holding precious stones, isn’t it? I would love a brooch or a necklace like the ones below!
Source: Alexander McQueen Earrings, Carrera y Carrera Necklace and Earrings, Coro Craft Sterling Hand Fur Clip and Earring Set
Speaking of hands in jewellery, bonus exquisite find are these images from a jewellery photoshoot entitled Magic Hands, which is so different and absolutely fabulous. Read more about it here.
Look at this beautiful studio made entirely of salvaged windows, isn’t it absolutely dreamy? Watch a short documentary about its owners and how they came to create it, and if you’re feeling inspired, as I did after watching it, browse more repurposed windows designs here, from garden sheds to aviaries and treehouses. Maybe not a weekend DIY project, but certainly one that would be well worth the time investment.
Pejac’s Window Installation
Thinking of windows I was reminded of this striking installation by artist Pejac, a tribute to René Magritte. Using the negative, the absence of something, to create a beautiful story. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – art doesn’t have to be complicated!
Follow him on Instagram for more of his art, his drawings, paintings and other ad-hoc installations.
Rare Word – Kalopsia
Here is a delusion I wouldn’t mind suffering from, to be honest. Kalopsia (the greek καλοψία, from καλός (kalos – good, beautiful) + ὄψις (ópsis – view) is a condition wherein things appear to be more beautiful than they are.
While experiencing Kalopsia can certainly have negative causes or effects, there are surely positive ones as well. Imagine when you are newly in love and everything is simply perfect, or when something goes well and everything else after seems to be falling into place to make you happy. These are priceless moments and I have vivid memories of such days or experiences.
Take some time to remember some of your kalopsia moments today!
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.
Follow Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds on Instagram and Pinterest.