I'm big on signs. Not signs as in signage, but rather an indication that something is meant to be. You know, like there are no such things as coincidences. That kind of thing.
So late last week, I received an email telling me that Chanel has a new fragrance, Beige. Now, when some companies use the word beige to describe a product, you can be fairly certain that it's dull. Kind of dingy and like dishwater. But when Chanel uses Beige as the moniker for their new fragrance, well, it seems kind of chic. There's beige, and there's beige. You know what I mean?
Interestingly enough, the first thing to pop into my head- after the thought of "Wow, Chanel has a new fragrance", of course- was the image of Kitty Miller's London living room as decorated by Billy Baldwin. There's beige in that room, but there is nothing vanilla about it. That room sizzles in an elegant kind of way. I always said that if I were to go neutral in my home, I would use the Kitty Miller room as inspiration.
My favorite beige room ever, that of Kitty Miller.
And then, guess what arrived in the mail later that day? The review copy of Billy Baldwin: The Great American Decorator by Adam Lewis. I've been anxiously awaiting this book as has everyone else. I'm in the thick of it as we speak, and it's good. Really good. Lewis notes that this book completes his trilogy on what has to be the most talented group of friends ever: Van Day Truex, Albert Hadley, and Baldwin. I revere all three.
A new favorite book.
What's interesting is that I associate the word beige with Baldwin. Sure, Baldwin used some beige in his own apartment and in projects for others, but he also loved color. Really intense color. And he was quite good with it. It was Truex who was the master of beige. In fact, Lewis writes that Baldwin once said "Someday Van is going to beige himself to death."
Truex's beige living room; certainly not deathly looking to me.
So, what's the sign here? Does all of this portend that I'm supposed to go beige in my apartment? Maybe, but my high-gloss Farrow & Ball blue walls cost a fortune, and I'm not changing them anytime soon. Perhaps I should start wearing the new Chanel fragrance? (I don't know as I'm about to take the plunge with Gucci Guilty which I wrote about a few months back.) Or maybe this was all a big build-up to the arrival of the new Baldwin book which I'll review soon. Who knows? But one more thing: I'm going to hear Adam Lewis speak on Billy B. in a few weeks at the San Francisco Antiques Show. You see? It's a sign.
(Baldwin photo from Billy Baldwin Decorates; Truex photo from Van Day Truex: The Man Who Defined Twentieth-Century Taste and Style by Adam Lewis.)