Paris to Palm Beach: Past Meets Present

freyFrom Paris to Palm Beach, the past and present collide, bringing inspiration from the 1960s to design aficionados on both sides of the pond.  On a recent trip to Paris Deco Off this was apparent in showrooms, salons and galleries. Pierre Frey opened its archives for the first time, to celebrate a collection of archival inspired prints by designer Vincent Darré, (shown above) and it was like being a kid in a very groovy candy store.
From there, a visit to the Cartier Exhibition at the Grand Palais  proved a feast for the eyes. I was amazed at how many American Beauties, from Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly to Lee Merriweather Post, were fans. And yes, that proverbial cat, the panther, came to life on brooches, bracelets and necklaces .
The ’60s seemed to be a common thread throughout the journey – from fabrics to jewelry to fashion. At a dinner at the Alcazar in St.Germain my circa late sixties vintage Mondrian-style dress fit right in with a groovy and eclectic assortment of editors and style makers from Avery Boardman President and man-about-town Dennis Scully to new Oscar de la Renta Home Creative Director Carolina Irving.
Dinner Alcazar
French Artist extraordinaire Philippe Berry was also at dinner. His art (such as the famous Trois Beaux Ballons sculpture, below) and furniture-as-art (such as the Giaccometti-inspired bronze cocktail tables as seen grouped dramatically in ELLE Décor, below) exude a lot of sixties-ish influences:
Sixties style made an appearance again at the opening of the Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show. The show was definitely a step back in time with more than 100 exhibitors. One of our favorites, estate jewelry icon Camilla Dietz Bergeron had truly great pieces from the 60s from David Webb:
David Webb Palm Beach Show
Of course I can never have enough vintage jewelry inspiration, so we popped over to one of my favorite museums The Norton Museum of Art which is nearby the show. It is small and manageable with consistently great special exhibitions. This time there was David Webb: Society’s Jeweler featuring his masterful jewelry (all made in America) worn by so many stylish women in the 60’s. These pieces graced the swanlike necks and slender wrists of legends including Jacqueline Kennedy, Doris Duke and Diana Vreeland.  I’d forgotten how much editorial space magazines gave to jewelry in the 1960s. Here’s a taste of what we saw. I imagined others who saw this exhibit running over to Camilla’s spot at the show to scoop up some great pieces.


Back at the Show, at Cavalier Galleries, Ron Cavalier had so much coolness from the era, including one of the last copies of Taschen’s beautiful Beatles limited edition boxed sets of “those” photos by the extraordinary Harry Benson. There were even 1965 Rolls Royce parts reconfigured to be coffee tables and wall art – the ultimate in recycling.


Bringing things full circle things full circle, back at the Norton, we adored To Jane, Love Andy: Warhol’s First Superstar where that icon of the ’60s, Jane Holzer the muse/fashionista turned up everywhere from magazines to movies, and yes, she still lives in Palm Beach!
Fittingly, we finished the day of with a piano performance piece by John Cage called 4’33” where you sit silently for 4-plus minutes and the audience
ambiance creates the piece.
If that isn’t something from the 1960s, nothing is. Hope you enjoyed. – Beth
Photos in this post:,, interior, architectural,  Beth Dempsey, Camilla Dietz Bergeron, ELLE Decor, Philippe Berry.