Saturday, March 18, 2017

LOOK BACK: Muse Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg- FORWARD: Todd Alexander Romano

Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, Horst

I think the first time I ever met Todd Romano, was in the office of the late decorator Parkin Saunders- and I recall being impressed by his personal style, very 1930's playboy, very Baron de Gunzburg!  (He was wearing an ascot perfectly knotted)  I'm sorry to say, we haven't had a chance to reconnect since that first meeting which must have been about 1995.  

Interesting to note, that the Baron, a stylish figure in European and (North) American society, first settled in Hollywood- and later went to New York. 

Todd is now based in San Antonio, Paris, Los Angeles and New York- Click aqui to find out more about the ultra glamorous and very interesting Nicolas de Gunzburg.  Check out this fabulous portrait of Todd Romano which reminds me so much of the Horst photograph of Nicolas, who was known as "Nicky".  (aka Nikki)

Todd Alexander Romano

In researching the Baron, I learned, not surprisingly, that he had been a muse and inspiration to designers Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and especially Calvin Klein, who considered the Baron to be a style mentor.  When, after his first big fashion show, Calvin approached the Baron to ask his opinion, whether it was a success or a flop- the Baron said "You showed great courage".  Wow!  Can you say "concise" ?

Adding further parallel interest to my story of two gentleman of great style,  Todd has done extensive work for Suzy Hilfiger, a wife of the fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.  Check out Todd's beautiful site here and you can see for yourself the extent of his talent and fabulous point of view.

I had posted previously about Todd's recent completion in Naples, Fla. of the former cottage of Albert Hadley- which made the cover of House Beautiful, for the second time!  (first time was when Albert was still the owner)  This then reminded me of how my other decorator friend, Mario Buatta, had designed a maisonette previously belonging to Sister Parish - for his client Patricia Altschul.

I recently was riding my bike down the alley where the entrance to Albert's former small guest house is located, and took this snap of it- after I showed it to Mario, he noted  "Very New England" - and indeed there is that quality to this charming property, located in the historic district of Naples.

I-fone photo by Dean

And here's the main house living room when Albert had it- a place where I spent many happy evenings of cocktails and long conversations!

via House Beautiful

And here is the same room from the Todd Romano decoration- some of the renovation had been done by previous owners who were subsequent to Albert's ownership.

Todd Alexander Romano, House Beautiful

What fun for me to have these talented gents in my life, and to have the Baron for inspiration- he makes me want to smoke so badly!  But, I did give up using Tenax in my hair back in the late 70's-
Don't you love how Nicky's hair is slicked back?  Not an easy look to pull offBut in his day it was THE LOOK !  Check out Todd's Instagram too! DF *****

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