Château de Rambouillet in 1987

My Porcelain Bucket List

When I am planning literary design adventures, I look for experiences that give me the feeling of transcendence—encounters during which I am conscious of having…

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An engraving of Hotel Rambouillet

A Conversation on Trends in Textiles

I’m thrilled to announce that I am producing the first in my Modern Salonnière series of events during High Point Market next month. With this…

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Chambre Bleu painting

A Backward Glance on rue de Varenne

The narrow sidewalks push their black iron batons up out of the ground to protect the buildings hemming them; the rain turns the cobblestones to…

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Henry VIII swathed in cloth

Henry VIII’s Cult of Cloth

A trip to Frankfurt to attend Heimtextil a week from today has inspired me to share one of my favorite anecdotes about Henry VIII and…

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Peace Bringing Back Abundance

Vigée Le Brun’s Passion for Painting

A Passion for Painting Billowing ruched fabric, pointy toes of dainty shoes visible from beneath flounced skirts hemmed in gold fringes and ornate trims. A bejeweled…

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Reception at Malmaison in 1802 François Flameng

Transitory Spaces

The beginning of one of Napoléon Bonaparte’s earliest letters to Joséphine de Beauharnais simply oozes sensuality: “Seven in the morning. I awaken full of you…the…

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The gardens at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte

Heaven Shall Be Here

In the film A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman, who plays an unlikely Louis XIV, declares, “Heaven shall be here.” He’s speaking of a ballroom he…

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