Knick's Picks: Cookbooks That Harvest Fall's Bounty


Comments

Knick's Picks: Books For Everyone, Naughty or Nice!


Comments

Knick's Picks | Oliver Messel: In the Theatre of Design



With an introduction by Lord Snowdon (aristo-scion-photographer), Rizzoli's exuberant publication of Oliver Messel's work throughout the 20th century is exactly what it ought to be: richly hagiographic to the point of technicolor splendor. There are few things more frustrating for fans of bygone decorators than a dearth of color imagery that leave us conjuring colors in our own limited lobes. While the archives of Country Life magazine are a glorious resource, it strikes one as sheer sloth when a publication leaves a renewed exploration of the past at that. Lord knows many of these rooms have survived well into the reign of color photography; would it were the editors of such compendiums sought out those later images. Thankfully, In the Theatre of Design has made the effort. And, somehow, where those gelatin prints are all that survive, even these sing with the full tonal range of conviction in which they were originally conceived.

Messel was a contemporary of Cecil Beaton, Stephen Tennant, inter alia and made his name as a set and costume designer for the Royal Ballet and other London stages. In addition to his interiors, many of these sets and their costumes are colorfully exhibited in this book, as is his later work in the eastern Caribbean.

$75.00

Comments

Knick's Picks | Oberto Gili: Home Sweet Home

 

 

Proportion. Color. Proportion. Ornament.

 

It's quite possible to open Home Sweet Home and assume that Oberto Gili is a designer, so consistently are these interiors visually narrated in happy dialogue between architectural proportion and decorative application. In fact, Gili is a photographer whose work in this book has been featured in publications from House & Garden to Town & Country and Vogue. These are very candid, honest interiors that capture the spirit and often bohemian character of their creative owners such as Isabella Rossellini, Milly de Cabrol, and Jacques Garcia, without even faintly sacrificing taste in favor of kitsch. Of course, good taste has its kitsch, and such a balance is again as evident as the fundamental dialogue between proportion and decoration in these rooms.

 

As sensitive as Gili's lens is to the foundations and moving parts of decoration, the camera and his photography is an extension of those visions he captures. His framing and his light are impeccable. And coffee tables or work surfaces aren't arbitrarily gussied up with a stylist's heaping of plus-size photo-books for the sake of relaying some sense of life to otherwise soulfully denuded environments. None of the walls have the hideous glare of cheap paint in an eggshell finish; none of the ob-jets emerge from an up-to-the-minute "Hot" list. As at home in modern spaces by Richard Meier as in a Tuscan villa (one see the fluidity of golden rules), the pages turn with an engaging rhythm of styles and influences.


This would be a beautiful companion to Gili's The Luxury of Space, which is tellingly more interested in the inspiration behind execution rather than the outcome or lived environment itself. They're two sides of the same lustrous coin.

$85.00

Comments

Knick's Picks | The Invention of the Past: Interior Design and Architecture of Studio Peregalli

Fresh from the presses, The Invention of the Past subtly brings to mind the dimly recognized truism that originality is merely a failure of memory. While that chestnut is at risk of becoming a cynical accusation that mires creativity in fear, Studio Peregalli has allowed that hard nut to flourish into a noble, aged tree that honors the past rather than dismisses it. Given that cynicism, Laura Rimini and Roberto Peregalli are utterly fearless in their romantic and directly referential interpretations of the past, ranging from modest projects in Milanese skyscrapers to chalets in Switzerland and palaces in historic trust throughout Europe. But, thankfully, theirs is not a style that blindly pledges fealty to gilt-edge invocations of Mammon or lamely fabricates fiber-board mausoleums for megalomaniacal clients who'd prefer guests to enter their "homes" in a blunted state of supplication. To be sure, these projects take money and plenty of it. But not too much; just more than enough. The His and Hers wash basin is mercifully unknown in their world, which is not to say there isn't a trompe l'oeil vista onto Roman ruins here and there. (But hey, they're *ruins*, if you catch their heed of hubris.)

The Hamish Bowles certificate of authenticity is provided in his forward. His is an increasingly ubiquitous presence in the publishing world, but still maintains an unequivocal discernment, certainly warranted here. The Hollywood pitch would read: Renzo Mongiardino resurrected. Of course, the past is never dead; It's not even past.

$75.00

Comments