Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Young Designer in New York

My small flat in NYC,  DFID
My dear Mother found these old pictures recently, and shared them with me.  I was 27 or so when they were taken, by the now very well respected photographer, Stewart O'Shields.  Stew and I attended FIT at the same time.  I was working as an assistant to the society decorator, George Clarkson, and learning the ropes from him, a fantastic gentleman and mentor.  Most of George's clients were from old line Wall Street firms, and so, I was exposed to the finest English antiques and the highest level of taste and quality.  The gilt sunburst had been one of dozens, from the old Waldorf-Astoria ballroom, which we found one day in the basement of antiquaire Paul Martini~ the table was draped in a sheet, and my sofas doubled as beds, which I had custom upholstered in the Brunschwig chintz "faux bois".  My mother gave me the beige wool rug, and I painted the walls myself with a Benjamin Moore deck paint in high gloss.  I also added the mirrored wall, in squares.  Lamps, Hansen, toss pillows, Rose Cumming.  

1980's glamour in Manhattan  DFID

That fabulous black lacquer desk I'm standing next to, was attributed to James Mont*, and I discovered it at a wonderful downtown dealer called Robert Gingold...he would go to Paris and find things.  I think the small low table was from Macy's.  Notice the cigarettes!  I used to play Alberta Hunter songs and smoke time Tice was there, and he accused me of copying the apartment that Albert (Hadley) had helped him with, which was even smaller than this one!  Then he re-arranged the furniture and left! Parkin Saunders brought my chandelier, which I never was an old gilded brass late Victorian number.  And, I never quite got around to ordering the red taffeta festoon shade for my one window.  But, I always saw it as if it was there.  Imagination is a very powerful thing, and I still use it today as part of my way of living and dealing with daily life. Enjoy! DF *****

*Read more about James Mont here
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  1. You look like James Bond! Such a fabulous apartment!!

    The Glam Pad

    1. Andrea,

      Thanks! I never liked these pics, since I looked so SERIOUS...
      That "apartment" was little more than a maid's room! :)