By now, you have probably read at least a few articles on the late, great Ann Bonfoey Taylor. (In fact, Charlotte Moss wrote an interesting article about her in the WSJ a few weeks back.) Just in case you've missed any of the coverage, I'll brief you quickly on Taylor. She was a Denver grande dame, a champion skier, an athlete, a ski wear designer in the 1940s, an aviator, and one of America's most stylish women. In fact, her family recently gave Taylor's impressive collection of couture and ready to wear to the Phoenix Art Museum, where much of the collection was recently exhibited.
I just finished reading the exhibit's accompanying book Fashion Independent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor, and I urge you to read it too if you get the chance. This woman was utterly fascinating. Oh, and fearless too. Fearless when it came to skiing (she was known as "Nose Dive Annie" for much of her adult life), and fearless when it came to fashion. Only a confident woman can wear a Scottish sporrans and a Civil War soldier's hat while skiing- and pull it off with aplomb. Actually, I think it takes more than confidence to wear an ensemble like this. And her shooting clothes? Some of the chicest outfits that I have ever seen. For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have read my breathless exclamation that her Hermès sporting outfits made me want to get SPORTY! Trust me, that is saying a lot.
But I don't really want to focus on her clothes in this post. Rather, let's take a look at both her Denver and Vail homes. Her houses were obviously well-appointed and just what one would expect from one of America's most fashionable women. The rooms are proper and formal, but more importantly they look quite comfortable. That takes flair, you know, to achieve just the right balance between high style and comfort. And flair was something that Ann Bonfoey Taylor had in spades.
I love this twilight shot of the Taylors' Denver home circa 1967.
Taylor lounging in ski wear in her Vail home.
I told you she was into all kinds of sporting endeavors.
Don't you admire that marbled paper on the walls?
Taylor's collection included stunning evening gowns.
A detail shot with a Ginori "Fiesole" cachepot.
The table set with charming lily of the valley napkins and mats.
Her potting room filled with flowers, including carnations. I feel vindicated seeing the number of carnations that Taylor used around her home.
Taylor also had a yen for military jackets and uniforms. Doesn't that tea look delicious?
A 1967 photograph of Taylor wearing a silk satin Madame Grès gown with chinchilla cuffs. She is standing in the hallway of her Denver home.
These two images were actually taken at photographer Toni Frissell's home in Long Island. I couldn't resist including them because of the pretty Porthault cloth, the lettuceware salad plate, the ceramic lemon used to serve sorbet (so terrific!), and of course Taylor's safari outfit.
I can't improve upon the caption that accompanied this 1965 photograph of Taylor that ran in the New York Herald Tribune: "Wearing a little gray Balenciaga suit and quite marvelous eyelashes she is eating a quick breakfast in her suite at the Carlyle. Since she is lighting there only temporarily- she just flew in from Paris the night before- there are eleven pieces of elegant, Vuitton luggage in the background, Vuitton is so sturdy and it was wonderful in Uganda last summer, she says." Does it get any better than that? Not a chance.
All images from Fashion Independent: The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor.