a collection of things I am loving at the moment.
When am I not loving Bloomsbury? That answer is never. I’ve actually done a “bloomsbury inspo” post before, which is poorly formatted as it was imported from my last blog. But inventory is a little different than inspo. It is about you can do/buy/experience NOW. opposed to just look at.
1. Temperley London
is always wonderful. And is one of the easier designers to see direct Bloomsbury influence. If you don’t have $3000 and a ball to go to, there is Alice by Temperley, which is the edgier younger (still splurgy, but less so) sister, still ripe with romantic, historic influences.
2. Mrs. Dalloway
, cover by Vanessa Bell, which is my header for this blog. Though I imagine you won’t be stumbling upon any first editions, you can still read Woolf’s novels. My favorite is Mrs. Dalloway
, but everything by Woolf is wonderful.
One of my all time favorite non-fiction books Uncommon Arrangements
by Katie Roiphe is about seven marriages between 1910-1939 and looks at how those marriages worked (or didn’t.) Included is the marriage of Clive and Vanessa Bell and their relationships with Duncan Grant, as well as many relationships of their friends and those on the edge of Bloomsbury group.
4. Charleston House
, was the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant and the center of Bloomsbury social life and you can go visit it. Bell did all of the interior decorating. They also have a pretty stellar gift shop online. If you can’t visit Charleston anytime soon, a quick google search of “bloomsbury style” gets lots of images of Charleston House and Bell’s designs, and there are a great number of books about Bell’s designs.
There was a lot of Bloomsbury art. a lot
. Because the artists did a lot of sketchs and prints and what not. And pieces can be purchased (or ogled at) at Bloomsbury Workshop
I just really like these shoes
and they seem so fun and appropriate for a garden party. Also they are on super sale!
An article from the much mourned Domino
magazine was about this woman who decorated her tiny little apartment after Charleston House. Online documentation of Domino
archives are a little tricky, but the images are rampant so here’s links to a blogpost
with the images.
My all-time favorite book covers
The Eyre Affair
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
AHhhhHHH. This is great book cover design. My mother and I found this book at Barnes and Noble and were just drawn to it. The faceless woman walking in to the book. The ink stained title. Fforde’s odd spelling jumping out in neon lime green. I had no idea what the book was about, though it turned out to be quite clearly explained in the cover (a woman jumping into a book), I knew I would love it. And I did.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
When I first saw this cover it was in a magazine with a positive review. Then I saw it at Barnes and Noble and finally my father bought it for me at a book sale with a water damaged cover. Maybe I am just a fan of ink blots. This cover bores on the plot even less. Between the sort-off goofy elementary school letter home print and really simplistic image, this cover might not work. But it does and is beautiful just like the text.
The Complete Works of Flannery O’Connor
The Complete Works of Flannery O'Connor
I love peacocks. So did Ms. O’Connor. This is one of those covers that feels powdery that I talked about once before. I really love the dual imagery of eyes and peacock feathers. And the combination is not forced, visually or meaning-wise.
Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles
Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles by Katie Roiphe
My love of Bloomsbury is not a secret one. This is the book that started it all. I read it while doing my research paper on Virginia Woolf during high school and I fell in love with the people stuck between their parents’ Victorian ideals and their own progressive ideas about sex and gender. There has since been another cover introduced that I don’t like as much. I love the clarity of the blue and the clear divide between the fonts, one inspired by the swirls of Art Nouveau and the other the streamline of Art Deco, and somewhere in between these two art movements seven couples existed.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, cover design by Vanessa Bell
Everyone should recognize this cover. My header on the blog is cropped from this design. Vanessa Bell, Woolf’s sister, painted this cover. I love the simple color scheme and the abstraction of the bouquet and stage?.
Filed under Art, Literature
John Singer Sargent's Madame X
I just got a library card from my local library. My first check out was Strapless: John Singer Sargent and The Fall of Madame X, and it was so wonderful. Whatever this genre is, it is just about my favorite to read, outside of novels. That genre being books that look at the art/literature of the time and then explicate the lives of the people surrounding it. Like in Strapless you don’t just get a description of the painting and people’s reactions to them, but you also get a biography of Sargent, Gautreau (Madame X), and other subjects of Sargent’s work, as well his friends and peer artists of Belle Epoque Paris.
I really do just love Sargent. And I love this painting so much, but still it isn’t even my favorite. I prefer Sargent’s painting of multiple people, usually women in one family like The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, which I have raved and ooohed over before, or a picture of a mother and daughter in white and red which I cannot find right now. Still Madame X is a gorgeous painting, and I cannot wait until I get to the go to the Met again and see it.
Daughters of Edward Darley Boit
Another example of the genre I was talking about is Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Portraits of Married Life in London Literary Circles 1910-1939 by Katie Roiphe, which looks at married, committed, and adulterous couples in people associated with, and around the Bloomsbury group. My dad got me this book The Bolter about Idina Sackville, cousin of Vita Sackville-West, seems to be of a straight biography but I do love all Sackvilles/Edwardian people.
I also checked out Adam Bede by George Eliot, and I loved Middlemarch and Mill on the Floss was checked out. So that will be next on my summer reading list. Whoo!
obsessed with bloomsbury, I am.
It’s not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases, that age and kill us; it’s the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of omnibuses. – Virginia Woolf
some inspo for you
fashion photos from style.com dires von noten 2004 spring ready to wear collection
1. these violet flowers looks like it was taken directly from vanessa’s painting; 2. this mustard is the color of vanessa’s kitchen; 3. morbid but…this coat reminds me of how virginia woolf killed her self, [put stones in a long jacket and walked into a river] 4. more american inter-war period but still deco, this color reminds me of daisy buchanan from the great gastby.
1. Charleston House, home of Vanessa Bell and Clive Bell-photo from Tate Museum website, 2. Virginia Woolf-Tate 3. Bloomsbury-group 4.Vanessa Bell’s cover of Mrs. Dalloway, her sister’s, Virginia Woolf, book 5. interior by vanessa bell 5. first menu from the omega group’s dinner
behr color palette: serene sky 540c-2
daylight lilac 660b-6
plum shade 100f-6
chamois cloth w-f-110