Category Archives: Hospitality

Barney

Wild hearts at midnight

Flickering lanterns in the Temple d’Amitié…

Barney

Wild hearts at midnight

Flickering lanterns in the Temple d’Amitié…

ball preview

Artists’ Ball

“…the Artists’ Balls were a steamy stage on which to exhibit new freedoms in sexuality and the body.”

ball preview

Artists’ Ball

“…the Artists’ Balls were a steamy stage on which to exhibit new freedoms in sexuality and the body.”

Wilde

Pages: Passionate Attitudes

“Beardsley, like ‘decadence’, was new, diseased and curious in form – and, like the century, he was hastening towards his end.”

Wilde

Pages: Passionate Attitudes

“Beardsley, like ‘decadence’, was new, diseased and curious in form – and, like the century, he was hastening towards his end.”

The Baron

‘Hundreds of pages of nonsense?’

…or, the autobiography of the Baron de Redé, subject of a lecture by the book’s editor, Hugo Vickers.

The Baron

‘Hundreds of pages of nonsense?’

…or, the autobiography of the Baron de Redé, subject of a lecture by the book’s editor, Hugo Vickers.

Étienne de Beaumont

Dress-down Friday: Étienne de Beaumont (and guests)

This is a largely context-free gawp at Beaumont’s famous balls and the guests who loved them, a celebration of fancy dress and just plain dressin’ fancy…

Étienne de Beaumont

Dress-down Friday: Étienne de Beaumont (and guests)

This is a largely context-free gawp at Beaumont’s famous balls and the guests who loved them, a celebration of fancy dress and just plain dressin’ fancy…

MontesquiouCasati

Places: Palais Rose, Le Vésinet

Montesquiou first laid eyes on the house in 1908 and announced that he would die if it were not his the following day. Well, it took two days to secure a sale agreement but the silly old drama queen somehow managed to cling to life.

MontesquiouCasati

Places: Palais Rose, Le Vésinet

Montesquiou first laid eyes on the house in 1908 and announced that he would die if it were not his the following day. Well, it took two days to secure a sale agreement but the silly old drama queen somehow managed to cling to life.

Bunny Roger P

Dress-down Friday: Bunny Roger

“Sometimes I took friends from school with the express purpose of showing Bunny off; they would gasp at his square-shouldered suits, the corsetlike waistcoats over exaggeratedly skirted jackets and narrowest drainpipe trousers…”

Bunny Roger P

Dress-down Friday: Bunny Roger

“Sometimes I took friends from school with the express purpose of showing Bunny off; they would gasp at his square-shouldered suits, the corsetlike waistcoats over exaggeratedly skirted jackets and narrowest drainpipe trousers…”

Marie Menken

Look back with Anger

We saw Kenneth Anger yesterday, kicking around the semi-ruin of Aleister Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema. He’s also been on my screen in Martina Kudláček’s brilliant 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which I’ve watched twice over the last few days.

Marie Menken

Look back with Anger

We saw Kenneth Anger yesterday, kicking around the semi-ruin of Aleister Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema. He’s also been on my screen in Martina Kudláček’s brilliant 2006 documentary Notes on Marie Menken, which I’ve watched twice over the last few days.

P_12Feb_marquos

The Marquis

Among the guests at the 18th century-themed ball were “50 princes, 35 marquesses, 95 counts, 20 dukes”, a collision of cluelessness and noblesse of a kind not seen since Louis XVI opened his Filofax on 14 July 1789 and jotted down “rien”.

P_12Feb_marquos

The Marquis

Among the guests at the 18th century-themed ball were “50 princes, 35 marquesses, 95 counts, 20 dukes”, a collision of cluelessness and noblesse of a kind not seen since Louis XVI opened his Filofax on 14 July 1789 and jotted down “rien”.

P_12Jan_more

Places: Under the Hill

More Adey had all the attributes essential for 1890s English A-gays. Friendship with Oscar Wilde: tick. Conversion to Catholicism: tick. Rarefied tastes in arts and letters: tick. But he was at once more scholarly and less flamboyant than most of the Wilde bunch he rolled with.

P_12Jan_more

Places: Under the Hill

More Adey had all the attributes essential for 1890s English A-gays. Friendship with Oscar Wilde: tick. Conversion to Catholicism: tick. Rarefied tastes in arts and letters: tick. But he was at once more scholarly and less flamboyant than most of the Wilde bunch he rolled with.

P_11Mar_Eric

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3

The choice of blue plaque honourees is leadenly conservative and sometimes bafflingly perverse, celebrating lesser colonial administrators known only to their mothers. Or it may be that current residents would rather not have their homes associated with drunks, deviants and diabolists.

P_11Mar_Eric

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 3

The choice of blue plaque honourees is leadenly conservative and sometimes bafflingly perverse, celebrating lesser colonial administrators known only to their mothers. Or it may be that current residents would rather not have their homes associated with drunks, deviants and diabolists.

P_11Mar_Nina

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 2

Fitzrovia was a stone’s throw from Bloomsbury but a world away in temperament. According to the Times Literary Supplement, Fitzrovia was “a world of outsiders, down-and-outs, drunks, sensualists, homosexuals and eccentrics”. In short, the spiritual home of Strange Flowers.

P_11Mar_Nina

Strange Flowers guide to London: part 2

Fitzrovia was a stone’s throw from Bloomsbury but a world away in temperament. According to the Times Literary Supplement, Fitzrovia was “a world of outsiders, down-and-outs, drunks, sensualists, homosexuals and eccentrics”. In short, the spiritual home of Strange Flowers.

P_11Jan_Ronald

At home with Ronald Firbank

“…when Sacheverell spoke appreciatively of his latest novel, Caprice, he turned his head away, and remarked, in a choking voice, ‘I can’t bear calceolarias! Can you?’”

P_11Jan_Ronald

At home with Ronald Firbank

“…when Sacheverell spoke appreciatively of his latest novel, Caprice, he turned his head away, and remarked, in a choking voice, ‘I can’t bear calceolarias! Can you?’”

P_Dec10_Denham

Homme fatal

Denham Fouts arrives as a flat-pack of facts, fables, anecdotes, rumours and bald-faced lies to be assembled as desired. The finished product, though intriguing, won’t bear much weight nor close scrutiny.

P_Dec10_Denham

Homme fatal

Denham Fouts arrives as a flat-pack of facts, fables, anecdotes, rumours and bald-faced lies to be assembled as desired. The finished product, though intriguing, won’t bear much weight nor close scrutiny.

P_10Aug_Lotti

Lotti Mame

Her first film boasted Marlene Dietrich among its cast list. Which should have been a good thing, except the film in question was Just a Gigolo, a hilariously misjudged mess starring David Bowie and also featuring Kim Novak.

P_10Aug_Lotti

Lotti Mame

Her first film boasted Marlene Dietrich among its cast list. Which should have been a good thing, except the film in question was Just a Gigolo, a hilariously misjudged mess starring David Bowie and also featuring Kim Novak.

baron preview

The baron’s balls

The Baron de Redé was one of the city’s great hosts, standing in a tradition of party-givers strung across 20th century Paris like fairy lights: Étienne de Beaumont, George de Cuevas, Charles de Beistegui, Marie-Laure de Noailles. Redé knew them all, and took notes.

baron preview

The baron’s balls

The Baron de Redé was one of the city’s great hosts, standing in a tradition of party-givers strung across 20th century Paris like fairy lights: Étienne de Beaumont, George de Cuevas, Charles de Beistegui, Marie-Laure de Noailles. Redé knew them all, and took notes.

Dolly Wilde

Goodbye Dolly

The study of Dolly Wilde belongs to a discipline that doesn’t exist. While nominally listed as a “socialite” in biographical entries, she didn’t entertain on a grand scale, patronise genius or pioneer new ways of living, so you won’t find her mentioned in social histories of the 20th century.

Dolly Wilde

Goodbye Dolly

The study of Dolly Wilde belongs to a discipline that doesn’t exist. While nominally listed as a “socialite” in biographical entries, she didn’t entertain on a grand scale, patronise genius or pioneer new ways of living, so you won’t find her mentioned in social histories of the 20th century.

Stephen Tennant

A medley of extemporanea

Stephen Tennant’s narcissism was so pure and open and unabashed that it belongs almost to a different category. “You were very beautiful this evening Stephen,” reads one diary entry.

Stephen Tennant

A medley of extemporanea

Stephen Tennant’s narcissism was so pure and open and unabashed that it belongs almost to a different category. “You were very beautiful this evening Stephen,” reads one diary entry.

Boni de Castellane

Boni and the Palais Rose

After bagging his heiress in 1895, Boni de Castellane embarked on a spending spree which stood out even by the profligate standards of the Belle Époque, snapping up a schooner and a couple of chateaux and once hiring the entire Bois de Boulogne for a party.

Boni de Castellane

Boni and the Palais Rose

After bagging his heiress in 1895, Boni de Castellane embarked on a spending spree which stood out even by the profligate standards of the Belle Époque, snapping up a schooner and a couple of chateaux and once hiring the entire Bois de Boulogne for a party.

Natalie Clifford Barney

Salon queen

Natalie Barney would become the 20th century’s greatest saloniste. Visitors to her Friday afternoon meetings included Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, Colette and Rainer Maria Rilke.

Natalie Clifford Barney

Salon queen

Natalie Barney would become the 20th century’s greatest saloniste. Visitors to her Friday afternoon meetings included Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, André Gide, Jean Cocteau, Colette and Rainer Maria Rilke.