Thursday, March 30, 2017

Celebrating "Signature Spaces" at Gerald Bland

Yours truly with decorators and authors Philip Vergeylen and Paolo Moschino at Gerald Bland. 
My friend Michael Boodro, the editor of Elle Decor, recently invited me to celebrate the publication of a sumptuous book called Signature Spaces - Well Travelled Interiors by the London-based decorators Philip Vergeylen and Paolo Moschino –

The book party was held at Gerald Bland, which is a well-known gallery on East 59th Street that features a striking collection of furniture and art. At Gerald Bland, guests pressed into a smaller gallery to greet the authors and buy the book –

     I had the chance to meet the charming designers and congratulate them on their luxurious book, which was published by Vendome Press. With an introduction by Min Hogg, the esteemed former editor of The World of Interiors, the book includes lavish photographs by Simon Upton of the firm's interiors created for clients around the world. Interspersed throughout the book are arresting images like an iconic photograph of Babe Paley and a favorite Balthus painting, plus inspiring quotes including:
"I'm going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life."  - Elsie de Wolfe
"Style is a simply way of saying complicated things." - Jean Cocteau
"We think the book is a lot of fun," said Paolo, and it is. Since the tome is subtitled "Well-Travelled Interiors," I asked them what their preferred destination is. Marrakesh is their favorite, where they have a home that is easy to fly to from London.
     Afterwards, I had a look around Gerald Bland, which is quite a beautiful gallery that I had not visited before. Mr. Bland ran the English furniture department at Sotheby's before opening his own business in 1987. Now his gallery presents an eclectic collection of antique and modern furniture and contemporary art. Just as Philip Vergeylen and Paolo Moschino mixed interiors and portraits and quotes in their book, Gerald Bland arranges furnishings and art from vastly different periods in several large galleries and rooms, and the effect is very sophisticated. You have to know what you're doing to mix it up that well. The lighting throughout was alluring, and many of the rooms and vignettes featured a green plant or tree. A touch of nature is a welcome addition to elegant furnishings and art. Between the book and the gallery, the whole trip was an eyeful. After a glass of red wine, I headed downtown to meet TD at a friend's home for dinner, marveling at the treasures that New York has to offer.