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05 March 2011

Les Cerfs de Chanel

I had to go back and browse around at the source after writing about Chanel's salon in my Luxe, Calme et Volupté post. Here they are: those damned bronze deer that never fail to delight. The male with his ridiculously oversized antlers. When I first got my bearings, or training wheels, in the monde of design, they were among the first objets I came to lust after. I don't know why, exactly. I can't say that I'm especially fond of real deer, and I can't say that this stiff-legged pair is especially graceful, but there's just something about them. Do they represent a touch of innocence in an otherwise extremely sophisticated setting? Bambi in a brothel? Perhaps. Oh, wait. They have a certain je ne sais quoi, n'est-ce pas? That must be it. 

A friend who knew this room well suggested I show the rest of my Luxe, Calme et Volupté living room, so here it is:

While everything but the piano dates from the period between the wars, there were few actual art déco pieces in the room. You can just make out the chrome and glass torchères (or torchières, I can never recall which) on the piano, for example. The open armchairs are 1930s office furniture in what was called the "conservative modern taste", the painted gold-leaf screen is from the the '30s or '40s, the piano is 1902, the Rivera print is dated 1944, the slipcovers are hiding 1920's Louis XVI chaises volantes and the plaster bust of Hadrian II is of uncertain vintage and provenance. Hadrian's brutish mug provided that certain  je ne sais quoi to spare. I regret selling that screen, and would gleefully commit mayhem to have it back again. Je ne regrette rien? Moi?

Où sont les lys d'antan?

Say it with me:  je ne sais quoi

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