Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Chignon…

No matter the time you lived in or live in now, everyone would agree that a Chignon is and will always be an undisputed  sign of Haute Couture Style ¿no? For me, it has always been the definition of High Drama, Haute Couture and a mayor source of inspiration.   All the women I have ever admired have worn their hair in this fashion at one time or another.  

Grace Kelly

Maria Callas

Lola Flores
Lady Pamela Hicks - A very day time chignon

¿How can one look at the above photos and not feel inspired to entertain and get dressed beautifully?
Of course there are daytime chignons and evening ones.  Around our fair Garden, there are a few examples of women who by definition of their chignon are incredibly Chic.  There is Madame Mary Zipser always elegantly as coiffed as she is dressed,  Jackie Capra always had the most amazing chignon styles involving braids & Chanel barrettes! (so sad she moved away!).  There was the fashion Dowger Countess Midge Rossini, who would add just a little more drama to her amazing day & evening chignons (a daily staple for her) with feather collars & cuffs to match!  My dear, La Condesa, whose blonde chignon is always dressed by the addition of fresh cut petit roses from her beautiful courtyard garden and of course there is one of my all time favorites über –chic women Ms. Susan Mason. Though I have never seen her in a chignon, I always imagine that she secretly does so at home. She is by far one of the most sophisticated, FAB southern women I have ever met (perpetually adorned in all manor and styles of absolute favorite jewel!).

Evening Chignon ¡Perfección!
For as many examples of ahhhmazing chignon’s done properly, there are, sadly many more examples of people who, apparently, have no mirrors or friends in their lives to tell them not to leave the house looking crazy! If not for you, at least for us! ¿no?
The most infamous of this set, is of course the Mistress of the Keys, with a chignon that has morphed into a huge helmet coiffe.  Say nothing of the red lipstick, that God Save You, of having to watch it stain the outside of a hamburger bun before being devoured by the said Mistress…. then you have the "tired & abused" chignon look that old Madame Iguana prefers, and there are many more sad, grey, dowdy dead chignons running loose around the Garden…

But as I do dahhhling, should you come across such atrocity, immediately consider them part of the walking dead who like spirits roaming the Garden, are never heard, their presence is never acknowledged & above all they are barely visible, if for a second.
Until soonest…

The Duchess of State

The perfect daytime Chignon, sans the gold facial of course...we don't want it to be too much ¿no?

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Hello Dahhhhlings....
On this grey cold day, ¿Oh who am I kidding?, such weather would be a welcome break in fact. ¿Am I living in the Tropics or in India? This balmy, humid weather reminds me of many teenage summer years spent in the summer maisôn mother had in Tapachula, Chiapas where it was always hot and humid day and night non stop.  The fragrant sweet air, a mixture of lime and mango trees would lull to sleep at night, BUT,  I'm supposed to be living in a Garden in the deep South!
And what a Garden it is.  Full to the brim of such interesting mixture of characters most people only read about in books.  Here daily life is a whirlwind of afternoon teas, lunches, cocktail parties, formal dinner parties, picnic in the park under a crystal chandelier, all & all, a life of wondrous adventure, discovery, high drama and above all, elegant design. 
Here I will share my own path with tips for you to also live a FAB elegant life too! (such a democratic Duchess, I know!..but hardly)
At the end of the day, so true you can never be too thin or too rich, BUT, can you ever live without good design? I think not.

Until soonest....
The Duchess of State
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