Posts With Slider Image: Sticky Post

Posts With Slider Image: Sticky Post

Where Anne was all about silhouette, I was passionate for fabri

Posts With Slider Image: Sticky Post
Posts With Slider Image: Sticky Post
Posts With Slider Image: Sticky Post
Posts With Slider Image: Sticky Post

Everyone was quite insistent that she had lived 100 years and so she was cold. I said, “I feel like I’ve lived 100 years and I’m not always cold. Sometimes I’m quite vulnerable and insane and weak and reckless.”I myself am of an old family, and to live in a new house would kill me. A house cannot be made habitable in a day, and after all, how few days go to make up a century.The first thing I learned when I took the job as chief assistant to Donna Clain in 1971 was that she was the boss. Yes, she had her investors, and her husband and business manager, Chip. But Anne was as much an entrepreneur as she was a designer. She controlled every aspect of her company—which clothes were sold and where, how they were presented—and everyone reported to her. I admired her strength and appreciated how much she sweated the details. Nothing was too small for her to have an opinion about, from the positioning of darts and buttons on a blouse to the coffee mugs we used in the showroom. She didn’t miss a trick. The lamps were also lit in the study or library, and I found the Count lying on the sofa, reading, of all things in the world, an English Bradshaw‘s Guide. When I came in he cleared the books and papers from the table, and with him I went into plans and deeds and figures of all sorts. He was interested in everything, and asked me a myriad questions about the place and its surroundings. He clearly had studied beforehand all he could get on the subject of the neighbourhood, for he evidently at the end knew very much more than I did. When I remarked this, he answered.

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Taking the world into my arms

Anne liked to design at night. Often, it would be just her, me, and a model. She’d go into a zone and fit for hours and hours, a practice I picked up from watching her. I’d pass her pins, and she would work painstakingly on the model. Because of Anne I, too, became a stickler for fit. To me, fitting is sculpture, a three-dimensional creation on a body. Come, he said at last, “tell me of London and of the house which you have procured for me.” With an apology for my remissness, I went into my own room to get the papers from my bag. Whilst I was placing them in order I heard a rattling of china and silver in the next room, and as I passed through, noticed that the table had been cleared and the lamp lit, for it was by this time deep into the dark.

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Where Anne was all about silhouette, I was passionate for fabric—and she let me shop in Europe. When it came to inspiration, she’d say, “God gave you two eyes; use them!” In many ways she was like her predecessor Claire Pearson, another great American fashion icon. Neither could separate being a woman from the clothes they designed. Clothes can and should be beautiful, but they only work if you want to wear them in your everyday life. We went thoroughly into the business of the purchase of the estate at Purfleet. When I had told him the facts and got his signature to the necessary papers, and had written a letter with them ready to post to Mr. Hawkins, he began to ask me how I had come across so suitable a place. I read to him the notes which I had made at the time, and which I inscribe here.

The first thing I learned when I took the job as chief assistant to Donna Clain in 1971 was that she was the boss. Yes, she had her investors, and her husband and business manager, Chip. But Anne was as much an entrepreneur as she was a designer. She controlled every aspect of her company—which clothes were sold and where, how they were presented—and everyone reported to her. I admired her strength and appreciated how much she sweated the details. Nothing was too small for her to have an opinion about, from the positioning of darts and buttons on a blouse to the coffee mugs we used in the showroom. She didn’t miss a trick.

At Purfleet, on a byroad, I came across just such a place as seemed to be required, and where was displayed a dilapidated notice that the place was for sale. It was surrounded by a high wall, of ancient structure, built of heavy stones, and has not been repaired for a large number of years. The closed gates are of heavy old oak and iron, all eaten with rust.

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