maison21 feels like he's finally arrived on the design blogging scene! no, i'm not referring to habitually chic's gracious post introducing me to the readers of her fabulous blog (though i loved that- it was crazy going from 11 hits one day to hundreds the next- i'll always be grateful, chic!). what i'm refering to is my first hate email- well, i guess hate mail is waaaay too strong a term for a comment left on a recent post that begins "Maison, love you darlink", but it was the first negative comment left on my blog, and i loved it! maison21 has arrived! he has haters!! i knew the post on my love for a bedazzled zebra would befuddle some readers who wouldn't "get" the statue, and i was proved right: here are the comments left by "anonymous":
Maison, love you darlink, but you're better off without the zebra. I'll incur the wrath of all the zombie Wearstler devotees here for saying this, but somebody has to address the elephant in the room: Hollywood regency is over! And all this animal shiz is seriously tacky. Get over your addiction!
Of course bad taste is better than not taste. Yada, yada, yada. But don't waste tears on that zebra. Ugh! I shudder to look at it. That thing looks like it belongs in the Reverend Ted Haggard's apartment.
OMG, I just saw your tiger (cub?)! Yikes! I'm thinking you need a design intervention. [cue Amy Winehouse] There's gotta be a Promises in Malibu for animal tchokes addicts.
where to begin? first of all, anonymous, i'll let you know when something is over! maison21 is THE DECIDER in matters of style! but seriously, much as maison21 hates to be compared to the reverend ted, or to amy winehouse (ouch!), maison21 must admit that "anonymous" does have a point after a fashion- while far from over, the hollywood regency look has been over-exposed, and frequently over-done, as well, but over-over? hardly- not in this decorator's opinion anyway.
maison21 has never been in favor of the hollywood regency label to begin with- it's a little gimmicky and evokes costume-esque connotations. he prefers the style he favors- a mix of chinoiserie, 70's modern, some french 1940's, a little rococo, a dash of deco and a hint of safari exotic- just be labeled "eclectic", though a decidedly glamorous version of "eclectic".
as for the "over-ness" of hollywood regency as a viable decorating style, recently a spread in a national publication featured a home vaguely reminiscent of the style of maison21's own, but not in a good way. the feature caused us to have a crisis of decorating confidence and literally think about getting rid of everything we owned. the crisis passed, thankfully, because after all, it's just decorating- and it's fun! we love what we love, and don't really care to change it because others are using a similar point of view, albeit somewhat less tastefully than we would like. styles of decor fall in and out of fashion, just like everything else and as things become more popular, people without a lot of taste or vision will jump on the bandwagon. but just because someone else is working a similar style, but at a different level of taste, doesn't make everything associated with that same style bad. the current hot trends in decor will change and evolve, and we will all evolve along with them, while along the way we'll learn what to to keep and what to pack away. right now, most of us think ms. wearstler's uber-hot "trellis" fabric & wall paper (above) is absolutely gorgeous, but i betcha in 10 years, we will probably be looking at it and gagging. some people though, will continuously use "trellis" and when it comes back into style in another 10 years, they will be hailed as visionaries, while those that turned our backs on it will look foolish. see what maison21 is getting at here? things go in and out of fashion but style remains, just not always the same style at the same time for the same person. a timeless classic to one person is stuck in a time warp to another.
as to anonymous' admonition "And all this animal shiz is seriously tacky." once again, there is no right or wrong opinion here- that's why we have both modern home and country home publications on the newsstand. this is a situation where you either "get it" or you don't. no right or wrong, no tacky or tasteful. it brings to mind jeff koons' "rabbit"- maison21 thinks it is true genius, a work of transcendent beauty at once both ironic and profound, tacky and sublime. in his fantasy career as an art collector, it is the one sculpture that maison21 would pay anything for (if a koons balloon heart sold recently for $23.6 million, what would a bunny go for? 50 mil? maison21, fantasy billionaire art collector, might even have to sell his private 747 or english country estate to afford a bunny, but he'd do it in a heartbeat- he loves it that much). maison21 can also see the point of people who just don't get the bunny- "it's an inflatable toy cast in steel- big deal". it's pretty easy to miss both the irony and beauty, and just see a toy bunny. not their cup of tea, and they won't be the fool paying 50 million for it.
so when "anonymous" doesn't get maison21's "tiger (cub?)" (sic), m21 doesn't think she's wrong, but that she doesn't have the same frame of reference to appreciate the darling cub (i know, an italian porcelain cheetah cub figurine and a koons' bunny ain't exactly in the same class of "art", but i think you can easily draw a line from one to the other). m21 thinks perhaps ms. wearstler, being approximately that same age as moi-self, probably gets both the irony and the beauty of the cub, which is why she's used similar statues in her interiors (see below). she probably gets the koons' bunny too. as a child, maison21, watched "valley of the dolls" on the late, late movie and thought it was super-chic, only to grow up to discover that it was more campy than glamorous, but still, the aura of glamor of the period can't be denied. and i remember thinking a giant porcelain tiger glimpsed at gump's while visiting san francisco, was the coolest thing i'd ever seen, only to find out as an adult that it was probably aimed at a market with more money than taste. but knowing the tiger is a little tacky doesn't take away it's glam factor, just adds another layer of nuance and appreciation- it's valued for it's beauty and craftsmanship as well as it's slightly dubious origins- the irony is part of the appeal. that might not make sense to some people, but maison21 gets it, and kelly wearstler gets it, and so do many, many, others. "anonymous" doesn't get and that's ok too- anonymous just has a different frame of reference for her design sensibilities, maison21 might not "get" her look either. maison21 says to each their own chic!
and thanks for the comments, "anonymous"- maison21 hopes you'll keep 'em coming!