17 September 2010

He Said She Said

"The great danger for an American woman married to a Frenchman is to become too French. To assimilate too much of another nationality weakens you. Though on the surface I might not seem to be 100 percent American, I have tried to remain as shaggy inside as possible." - Pauline de Rothschild (1908-1976), style iconIn the 1950s, Mrs de Rothschild purchased a set of antique Chinese wallpaper from a cash-strapped young widow. She papered her Paris bedroom with it - her husband lived across town throughout their nearly 22-year marriage - and its verdant exoticism dominated an iconic photo of the baroness by Horst.
Reclining was Mrs de Rothschild's favored position.

When not greeting guests from bed, she rested her lanky 5-foot-9 frame on Billy Baldwin's ground-hugging slipper chair, reportedly developed with her shapely extremities in mind. Philippe de Rothschild once called his wife ''a glorious piece of woman, long-legged, deep-breasted.''Her personal tastes were quite simple. On her floors, for example, she liked the peppery scent of wax mixed with a bit of turpentine. On her person, she often wore a man's cologne - West Indian Extract of Limes.


  1. 'her husband lived across town throughout their nearly 22-year marriage'

    how civilised. that's exactly how any long-term relationship - of gay straight or whatever persuasion - should be conducted: with ample space for both partners to grow at their own pace & not crowd each other unnecessarily.

    now if only everyone could afford to live like that...

  2. Dear Anon: Isn't it? So very civilsed to recline in a green papered with your husband living across paris... for 22 years!
    I'm afraid people who can, these days, afford it, are often the least civilised. They want too much.

  3. sigh...more cash than dash - or is it more greed than grace? - as usual...:(

  4. Dear Anon: The latter case I'm afraid. I was just thinking that they probably don't have this concept of civilization because they are out every night of the week and thier idea of a swell time is dressing up as vulgarly as possible to go to a vulgar 'event' and be photographed at it. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Vulgarity is the new black.

  5. Pauline de Rothschild was never vulgar for a moment in her charmed life.