a tiny moment of parisian heaven in studio city.


we were in Studio City at teatime, interviewing a very glamorous person for an upcoming column (you may have guessed, yes, we’re stockpiling articles because we’re about to start on a New Project as who-we-are-in-RL and get Terribly Busy) and There it was – – – –

– beauteousness


and about five chandeliers.

in a shop called “swag”.

we stopped dead in our tracks and slipped inside and in a reverie sought out the owner (a certain Diane Peiffer, interiors expert/designer/collector/genius for the last thirty years in this Tinseltown) and said (in a hushed whisper so we didn’t disturb the chandeliers)

may we take pictures?

and she said yes.

so here they are – isn’t it a GORGEOUS place?!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwhite and creme floaty fabric roses for a Décolletage on a sumptuous ballgown.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsoft linen wraps and bijou-bijoux.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAah, notes for a billet-doux.

so – we asked Diane – as we floated around the shop taking photographs –

how often do you go to Paris on purchasing trips?

there was a pause.

Diane smiled.

I’ve never actually been to Paris.


but everything in here is so-very-Parisian!

we said, with delicate confusion, and surprise – the entire shop was a tiny corner of Parisian late 18th century boudoir-gloriousness.

my grandmother was French……..

said Diane.

clearly it’s in your blood

we smiled.

and it Is.

there’s no way someone without French blood could put together that particular combination of glittering lustre, gilt mirrors, cherubs, crosses-be-jewel(l)ed and a low glow as if from candlelight behind a Chinoiserie screen a la Madame Chanel.







there was even this adorable glimpse into 1930s english “gels”. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

now this made us *shiver*

do you know why?

it’s a shop in the very town where We Are From in RL..


which is (according to mr. google) 5437 miles (or 8750.35 kilometres if you’re european) away.

how did it get HERE?

and it is over one hundred years old (all the prints are at witch ball print shop)

so there must be a story.

or at least a story.

for some reason we didn’t buy the print.

not sure why.

perhaps because we knew someone will be in soon and it’s theirs to buy (yes, we think like That).


now you can’t go On the interweb and look at swag because, well, there’s not an interweb site per se (as yet) but Diane has some Pinteresting Items for swag Here.

and if you want to visit swag in RL – here’s the address and a helpful map.

4332 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 6.44.02 PM

and if you Do visit – let us know and we’ll drive over the hill and meet you and we’ll have a cafe creme here – it’s just down the road from swag.


not the only spot of parisian paradise in studio city as you can see – the whole street is full of frivolous delicious beauty and the aroma of chicory-laden sweet embrace of caffeine.

who knew?


the glamorous person we were interviewing today for an upcoming column, that’s who.

it help to know people who know where the chandeliers are kept in this town.

just saying.


and now if you’ll excuse us, we must retire with a suitably naughty companion to tell us scurrilous tales of the louche life (and, coincidentally, we’ve just got to the chapter on Paris……)


we shall return tomorrow with an Extract.

either from Rupert’s book – or from one of our (forthcoming) tales.

goodnight, darlings

let’s all dream about Paris tonight.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhere’s a little night music to soothe you into the slumbering hours……..

[just in case Your Country doesn’t allow you to see this clip – it’s the glorious Cecilia Bartoli singing “Ombra mai fu” is the opening aria from the 1738 opera Serse by Maestro Handel.]

le preview of @ParisPhotoFair


there’s something Rather heady and splendid and sort of *sharpintakeofbreath* about seeing a Man Ray up close or a Helmut Newton from a distance, a William Klein mirror photograph and the Irving Penn series of men-in-uniforms (no, not that sort of pictures, love – calm down – honest, working class, hono(u)rable-days-work shots) and one can see both at Paris Photo over the next few days.

apparently Ms. Opie is also showing (and speaking at one of the events) but we could not see many Lady Photographers on display – twas the canon of the greats – unless all the Ladies are doing strange abstracts (entirely possible and most rewarding we’re sure they are too) but we’re so attracted to Beauty and beautiful people that we would have Missed those Booths (sorry).

and then there were the odd shots that one had to turn one’s head up the other way and sort of squint and Try to Imagine what (on earth) the artist was thinking inspired by (always amusing to stand behind a Very Blonde and Private school educated wispy type who is Explaining the Title of the Piece at these junctures).

thanks to the lovely M we got an extra special V-I-P pass (don’t you adore a VIP pass?) and so snuck into the Preview this afternoon (on the Paramount Studios Lot, no less) before the glamorous crowds arrived avec entourage (in pork pie hats mostly, it seemed) for the evening’s festivities.

there’s something so delicious about a Back Lot and a crowd of terribly thin people in black who greet each other with lines like:

darling! I last saw you in Munich for the screening of your documentary about the red light district in Amsterdam!

we loved that moment in particular.

869269b6ae0211e2a73722000a1f9317_7 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe didn’t even mind waiting quite a long time in the valet line/queue/gathering (we usually don’t Valet for this reason but there was no way to “self-park” on the Lot this afternoon) because there were such Glorious people arriving in baby blue thunderbirds and the last remaining muscle cars left in Los Angeles (because the rest of us are all leasing Prius types now).

and then a lovely evening driving-into-the-sunset, going West.

a little light reading, a chandelier and a movie by night #silverliningsplaybook

darlings a Packed friday-teatime-to-evening-into-saturday-day-into-night pictures with commentary as we recall the events…. a brainstorming (and TErribly Elegant) tea with some Very Glam people. why yes, there was a scone to hand and we also ordered a plate of Cucumber Sandwiches (because one always needs an Oscar Wilde reference at High Tea). on Friday morning we went to a very anonymous hotel which just happened to have a glorious CHANDELIER. and, as you know, #weadoreachandelier, darlings we didn’t stay long at the hotel (it was an event but something else Called Us Away) and after we did what we needed to do, we popped into the New School because they were having a conference on Danish Design (which is the sort of thing they do a Lot we hear at the New School). as one might expect, there was some very chic and spare and elegant people in black. many of them Danish. bit of a Danish theme this week, it seems. curious. then we took to our boudoir to catch up on some more research – one must stay abreast of current goings-on in the world of elegant executives. because we know so many of them…. always lovely to catch up with Jean Muir (we didn’t say that all the elegant executives we love are still on this side of the veil. but many of them are). this is a Jane Bown shot from The Observer – we just received a lovely parcel containing one of her books. we poured over the introduction to gain insight and inspiration because one can learn a Lot from the Lives of others. then we read Acne from cover-to-cover. as would really ought to if one lives in Manhattan (or Berlin or Stockholm or in the most central regions of Chelsea, London or NYC, Chelsea we must clarify).   we admired interviews with people-we-admire (and are a tiny bit scared of, more in awe, perhaps) like Fran.   and simon. then we paused to admire the sunlight dappling on the terrace outside (the landlords call it a fire escape, apparently). finally it was time to rise from our reveries and get ready with the usual saturday-night-manhattan-accessories…..and emerge into the late twilight for supper-and-a-movie. what did we see? oh. it was superb! we said to our companion that the snappy dialogue and general wacky-sexy-strange mannerisms of slightly unhinged but adorable people reminded us of Nick and Nora Charles.  but our companion said it reminded him of Quite a Different Movie.  we think he might well be right….. and now it’s sunday. how delicious. what are your plans today? do. tell.

skyscrapers, killer heels and sequined boots.

a few glam shots from today before we head home to get changed and into an approx attempt at a somewhat evening outfit – sigh. Tis the Party Season. And this one is a three-line-whip (does that translate outside Britishness?)




more later, darlings.

apparently the hip joint has Quite a View.

glam. inspirational. international. and all with fabulous hair.

today (so far) has been delicious.

If we were to illustrate it (and could draw, which is Not one of our Talents), we say today’s feeling is fierce and glorious, like this picture.


*illustration: on a hoarding protecting a retail establishment on Fifth circa 44th. (just in case you’re curious – and we never want to use someone else’s work without attribution but there was no signature thereon :( sadly. But it Is Fierce, isn’t it?

It started with a breakfast to Discuss International Matters (for the Day Job, naturally) on the upper east side – the Regency, no less, love.


rather amusingly our hairdryer decided to die (arghhh) and attempting to dry-with-flatiron was a Very Bad idea (the sound of singeing). So we towel dried and tied back like a ballet dancer and rushed to catch a cab.

Upon arriving at the Regency we did something achingly Elizabeth Taylor-inspired.

“could you call the salon please?”

“why yes Madam

And so the Concierge booked us a wash-and-blow-dry post-business breakfast so we looked presentable for the rest of our jam-packed lady-of-business day.

so Glam

There’s nothing like a really good meditation during a soothing blow-dry-in-a-private-room at the salon. So discreet and delicious.


Very Hollywood.

We can’t tell you anymore details about our day but there was a Very Inspiring Lunch. And some Jolly Interesting Talk of future plans.

and that’s all we can say

But there was a chandelier.


And a goddess or Two.


And people who know how to dream in metaphor and slip into a sonnet or two.


And there was tea.


And if you’ve been here before you know that we Adore goddesses, chandeliers, writers-and-editors who love words and most especially Tea.

Today had All of these.

Bliss, darlings.

Isn’t life exquisite?

medical leave day 6: people who need people: #sigh. team gloria becomes an archipelago.

medical leave day #6.

lessons learned yesterday – people who need people (thank you J_actor_friend for lending us the EXCELLENT Barbra TV specials from the 60s+) and our slow realization/awareness that we are ceasing our island-ness-self-sufficiency-we’ll-do-our-own-lists-darling-thank you……to team gloria becomes an archipelago – we can’t even walk outside the apartment on our own (too pathetically – in a Victorian maiden sense – not a cruel one – weak and wounded) and so a troupe (a veritable troupe! of real and virtual friends) are needed to get us through the day (the mental health being verging on dubious at the best of times – akin to genius they told us in our extreme youth as adults gathered around to watch us play chess – not always the most helpful upbringing to be fully socialized with other (well, normal) children (we always found the outcasts and the wounded and still love Their Company, naturally ;-)

so here was yesterday’s delicious group of friends who came to call – they spoke – we whispered – they walked us round the block and let us pause ever so frequently on a wooden bench outside a small cafe while they got us a decaf iced no sugar to soothe our VERY SCRATCHY AND SORE THROAT (just in case you didn’t get that – it bloody hurts):

we awoke late – (didn’t) admire the bruises appearing on our body from the calcium draining away (we keep popping the interminable amount of pills but apparently this is normal) – we supposed we DID just go through a hellish surgery and the heart monitor burn is now a veritable battle scar and we’re sort of Proud of it – which is worrying – (but not to our friends who saw us in the very late 80s in dodgy clubs in sarf’ london where-the-cabs-don-t-go) and finally got dressed (who knew it took that long when it’s not as if we have a vast array of wardrobe choices being more of a uniform sort of a person in the Jean Muir sense, darlings).

Jonathan (our actor friend) came first – gave us beautiful gifts – and then, after a short walk, we curled up beneath our black (yes, hard to find, but so much nicer) pashmina and the grey/gray cashmere scarf that Cindy sent us from the Other Coast but Further Up (yes, SF) on the sofa and he read to us from Armistead Maupin (this will be one of the themes of our recovery from surgery so bear with us).

then one of our Very Glamorous/Chic Friends (from Abroad) came by (delivered by a driver – isn’t that too delicious?) and we looked dubiously at her feet while asking her to take us for a walk (see picture – HERMES – we know – So Rare in the house of Doctor Martens ;-)

“no problem, dah-ling” she said and reached into her (chic) bag and brought out some Capri type sandals (yes, they Were Chanel) and took us for a walk.

then we sat for a while and she talked and we twinkled at her most excellent anecdotes.

MORE FLOWERS ARRIVED: it was like Gertrude Lawrence’s dressing room here yesterday (and we have to say we are a tiny bit – ok – a lot – sad that not a peep from the Day Job)

and then we had to sleep for a long time – this illness as a metaphor is little more than extreme exhaustion not sure how Susan S got an entire book out of it.

much later in the evening, our lovely friend B (one of the Bs – this one is of the very chic shirts and slim denim look – when he’s not in drag, that is ;) came to take us round the block again and then we had a little supper. we were “totally over” the rabbit food and needed a luscious omelette and a (small) side of (cut up into tiny slices) fried potatoes with salt (the salt being a crucial ingredient).

so there you have it – not a lot of action – but a Ton of Friends.

see – we’re not so much of an island anymore.

a rather Cute Archipelago if we do say so ourselves.

let’s not forget this when we have to return to the sniper fire of midtown manhattan.

(btw, we cancelled/canceled a few subscriptions to periodicals that just aren’t us and it felt liberating – we really don’t care – it seems – who knew?)