Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter?




Isn't it interesting to think about what influences the way we choose to live? There are obviously many factors involved, but in my mind one of the biggest is how one was raised. I grew up in a traditional home with early American antiques and Chinoiserie. Now, I could have rebelled as an adult and ventured down the path of modernism. In fact, I was a die-hard modernist for all of ten minutes when I was 23 years old (yes, I know it's hard to believe). Instead, I've chosen to embrace the traditional, always mindful of adding modern pieces to keep the mix fresh and young.

So, what about you? Were you a rebel with a design cause? Or, did you did not leave the family fold? I thought it would be interesting to show images of some famous mothers and daughters to determine if the daughters' styles were shaped by their mothers. I've chosen Annette Reed de la Renta and Eliza Reed Bolen, Maxime de la Falaise and Loulou de la Falaise, and Irma Schlesinger and Nan Kempner. I think you can definitely see similarities between each mother and daughter, but I'll leave that for you to decide.


The home of Annette Reed de la Renta, c. mid-1960s (the young daughter pictured below is Beatrice, not Eliza):







And that of her daughter, Eliza Reed Bolen. I believe Bolen's apartment was decorated by David Netto:







Maxime de la Falaise, former model, international jet-setter, and writer is an English woman who married a French count. Her bohemian style is evident here in her New York apartment:







Her French born daugher Loulou de la Falaise was the longtime muse and best friend of designer Yves Saint Laurent. The images below are Loulou's Paris apartment:







Irma Schlesinger was the mother of style icon and socialite Nan Kempner. The Schlesinger's San Francisco apartment was decorated by Frances Elkins:





Interestingly enough, Nan Kempner employed Michael Taylor to decorate her Manhattan apartment. Taylor was greatly influenced by Elkins' work, so I suppose it's no surprise that Kempner hired him:







Image at top: "Mrs. Mayer and Daughter" by Ammi Phillips, c. 1835-40. In the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

30 comments:

  1. Brilliant post Jennifer. I've always loved seeing the screen connection (and other similarities) between Annette and Eliza!

    And what a treat to see those textiles on Maxime's bed. Great parallels. Thanks!

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  2. Courtney- That certainly is an array of prints on that bed, isn't it!

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  3. Emily Eerdmans10:20 AM

    MAGNIFICENT post - thank you, Jennifer. Next time - Babe and Amanda!

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  4. There's nothing more satisfying than to trace the influences of taste. It would seem that most of the daughters in these examples chose to carry on the traditions of their stylish mothers. Loved seeing the Dutch leather screen in Annette Reed's apartment used again as backdrop to Eliza Reed Bolen's bed!

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  5. Anonymous12:06 PM

    Thought and aesthetic provoking! I think you have a book here. I find my self gravitating toward the style of my paternal grandmother - colonial revival meets book buying addiction – yes I am 29 going on 80. KDM

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  6. By any chance- do you know what magazine/ back issue Eliza Reed Bolen's apartment was featured a few years back?

    I remember her apartment was done in Oscar's fabric and she owned a fantastic Thomas Struth photograph.

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  7. Anon- That's too funny! I can relate to the book buying addiction, and I have been accused of acting a bit older than my age :)

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  8. Nate- I remember that article well b/c I loved all of Oscar's fabrics. I believe that article was in House Beautiful. I'll look at my copy this evening and will let you know which issue.

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  9. Question: Isn't the first picture labeled as Loulou's apartment that of her mother, the image with the big chandelier in the foreground? Though I could be wrong, I seem to remember this as Maxime's NYC apartment, featured in House & Garden I think, wherein the writer described the decorating style as looking like several antiques shops had been turned upside-down and shaken very hard.

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  10. Anonymous4:25 PM

    J,

    Do you know if Nan Kemner's "Michael Taylor" is the same as the Michael Taylor who designed a line of furniture for Baker (in the 1950s, I think, but am not positive)?

    Thanks,
    pt

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  11. I was reading your blog and thinking the same thing - would be a great book! There are enough mother/daughter figures out there worth talking about. Would love to see more!

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  12. Aesthete- It's entirely possible that I've gotten them mixed up. I'll check this evening and let you know.

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  13. PT- I think it's one in the same. Go to michaeltaylordesigns.com and there might be some info on that line. I'm not familiar with his Baker designs- sounds interesting.

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  14. Tonic- I'll try to find some other chic mother/daughter combos!

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  15. My mother didn't care too much for style ...the house was always pulled together and clean but never something to write home about. I learned all about style from my grandma but I did choose modernism for many years and I am just about growing out of it now. I do love the clean lines of the 60's though, I may always have a touch of mod here and there.

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  16. Re the Kempner living room ... methinks Michael Taylor was heavily inspired by the banquette room that Stephane Boudin created for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor's house in the Boulevard Suchet in Paris ... it's all there, almost in perfect replica (though the colors are different) ... very large L-shaped buttontufted banquettes, blackamoors, low Chinese lacquer tables ...

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  17. excellent post and I agree - great book idea - write the proposal tonight!

    you don't have anything better to do - do you?
    Joni

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  18. Maegan- I think you're wise to keep some 60s pieces in your home- it's nice to mix things up a bit!

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  19. Aesthete- I checked the "Paris Interiors" book and that photo is Loulou's Paris apartment. Perhaps she borrowed the chandelier from her mother? Good point too about the Boudin inspiration. I would not have made the connection, but now I can see it.

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  20. Joni- No, I have all the time in the world! ;)

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  21. Anonymous9:23 AM

    The insanely beautiful chandelier was a wedding gift from St.Laurent to LouLou.The photo of Maxime's bed was so amazing! Thanks for posting it.

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  22. Anon- Thank you for that info; I'm sure that chandelier means a great deal to her as it was a gift from a friend. Interesting that the photo of Maxime's bedroom was taken around 15-20 years ago-looks like something you might see today.

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  23. Thanks for checking, Peak.

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  24. You're welcome Aesthete :)

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  25. Listen to the book idea.... interesting topic. "The Evolution of Taste."

    Although my mother's style (think 1960's French influences ...) and mine are radically different (Mrs. E. and I went for 1930's, somewhat successfully -- it's a work in progress) I'm beginning to gravitate towards that more classic look.

    Hmmm... This is why one needs several homes. Must be the Gemini in me.

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  26. Michael Taylors room for Nan Kempner is wonderful to see. There are some San francisco/Elkins touches here. Michael had early on worked with Francis Mihailoff who took up where elkins left off.Nan's father lent Taylor money for his first shop on Sutter street. The lamps are Han dynasty jars, low fire glazed dated 206 BC-220 AD, )wired and fitted with paper parchment shades.
    Wonderful post!
    Best,
    Philip

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  27. the older i get, the more my taste becomes that of my mother (eclectic, heavy on the chinois, saturated color). the thought of it at one time would have scared the pants off me, but now i find it rather comforting.

    nice post, as usual.

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  28. wonderful post. i just returned from the weekend with a dear english friend, who's interiors definitely reflect his father's. i'm planning to post more photos on my blog.

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  29. Great post ! It is very amazing to see the influences ! I can say also I was influenced the way I was raised ! My dad is an upholsterer and interior decorator so ...I don't have to explain to you !
    I've always loved Loulou's style but I had never seen his mum's decoration , now I know !

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  30. I think I have seen Eliza Reed Bolen home (and this protrait) in Bright Young Things, the book of Assouline.
    Please I beg you a post with pictures of Denise Hal flat in San Francisco. I remember had seen it in spanish HOLA about fiveteen years ago.
    Yes, I'am spanish, sorry for my bad english.

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