Category Archives: Fashion

La Dolce Vita — A Classic Remastered

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Federico Fellini, one of the truly great filmmakers of the 20th century. To commemorate the occasion, the British Film Institute is sponsoring a major two-month retrospective at BFI Southbank and the release of a restored version of the director’s 1960 masterpiece, La Dolce Vita.


The film opens with a scene in which a helicopter transports a statue of Christ over Rome to St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican was not amused by the Flying Jesus, and condemned the movie, which probably contributed to La Dolce Vita’s record-breaking box office success.


In one of the most memorable sequences from the film, the disillusioned journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) and the Swedish movie star Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) make a late-night visit to the Trevi Fountain.


Anouk Aimée, magnificent and breathtakingly beautiful, played the heiress Maddalena.


This remastered version of La Dolce Vita will eventually make it to the US, but a date for its arrival has not yet been announced.

Sotheby’s Auction Results: That Mario Buatta Chinoiserie Wallpaper Screen

I mentioned in an earlier post how much I lusted after one specific item from Sotheby’s auction of Mario Buatta’s personal possessions, the  “Louis XV Five-Fold Blue and White Chinoiserie Wallpaper Screen, the Wallpaper 18th Century”. I promised to post the sale price after the auction.

The auction is over now, and it was a huge success, bringing in $7.6 million, about 2½ times the official Sotheby’s high estimate.

And the screen? The pre-sale estimate was that it would go for $4,000 to $6,000.

It went for $15,000.

Sotheby’s Auction of the Mario Buatta Estate

Mario Buatta, affectionately known as “The Prince of Chintz”, died in October 2018 at the age of 82. On 23 January 2020, Sotheby’s will host an auction of his personal possessions, under the title Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors.

Here’s a pdf of the full 236-page catalogue for the auction, suitable for downloading.

If I could pick just one item from that catalogue, it would be this:

The catalogue describes it as a “Louis XV Five-Fold Blue and White Chinoiserie Wallpaper Screen, the Wallpaper 18th Century” The estimate is between $4,000 and $6,000, but auction house estimates for this sort of thing are always absurdly low, so as not to frighten away potential buyers. I’ll post the real price after the auction.


Mario Buatta’s interiors were designed to be reminiscent of the rooms in an English country house. Here are some samples, found on the Web:


I’ve always thought of Buatta as the Ralph Lauren of interior design.

Ralph Lauren (né Lifshitz) was born in The Bronx in the 1930s, to first-generation Jewish immigrants from Belarus. Lauren has built his empire by styling clothes that reflect a classic old-money WASP sensibility, very different from the world of his youth.

Mario Buatta was born on Staten Island in 1930s, and grew up in a house where the living
room “was off-limits so that the vacuum tracks might not get disturbed.” Buatta became the master of a style that captured the look and feel of the English country house.

Wedding Picture of the Year

I think the word you’re looking for is “Epic”. Or maybe “Fierce”.

When the owner of the @soysaucetime Twitter account posted an image from “the lesbian wedding I went to back in September”, it went viral.

The brides themselves later posted a few more pictures from the wedding.

Gwendoline Christie in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Live from London

Gwendoline Christie as Titiana in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Gwendoline Christie as Titiana in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

National Theatre Live, which brings the best of British theatre to movie screens around the world, will broadcast a live performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to cinemas on Thursday, 17 October 2019. The Bridge Theatre’s immersive, gender-bending staging of the play has won near-universal raves.

Playing Titiana is Brienne of Tarth herself, Gwendoline Christie.

Check here to see if this production is playing near you, and to buy tickets. The live version is one night only, but many sites are offering encore screenings.


Bonus

As she tends to do, Christie absolutely rocks a red carpet appearance.