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VERSAILLES: A PRIVATE INVITATION

VersaillesPrivateInvitation_newedition_cover

Being forever fascinated by Versailles, I’m beyond thrilled to bring you Flammarion’s fabulous new book, Versailles: A Private Invitation by Guillaume Picon with photographs by Francis Hammond.

Of course there have been quite a few books on the subject, but I can say that this latest endeavor truly stands out with its many new and rarely seen before vantages – and it is a fascinating read as well. Photographer Hammond has been given unrestricted access to every possible point on the property (this is indeed a private invitation) and brings to bear all of his own creative sensibilities to capture the power, splendor, and grace that so pervades all of Versailles. And with complementary aplomb, writer Picon provides deep scholarly insight into the Kings and court life of France and presents fresh and illuminating source material that captures the very essence of Versailles.

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

photo by Francis Hammond from the book, Versailles: Private Invitation. Flammarion

As you may know, one of my favorite maxims is “imagination becomes reality,” but when I say this, I don’t mean to imply that things manifest without proper causes and conditions. Any great unfolding requires some fundamental (read: elemental) ingredients like singularity of vision, sustained effort, and of course material resources. The meeting of Louis XIV with the genius of André Le Nôtre, and the subsequent forty year undertaking to transform nine hundred and seventy-seven acres of marshes, grasslands, and forests into the crystalline grounds we experience now in the gardens of Versailles is one of those superlative examples of total alignment. And if we are considering my aforementioned maxim, then I have to say my experience at Versailles via “Versailles: A Private Invitation” has me thinking BIG! How about you?

Versailles: A Private Invitation is incredibly inspiring and a delicious read. Do snap up a copy! You won’t be disappointed.

Eden

My South of France fantasy ends at the legendary Hotel du Cap Eden Roc, in Cap d’Antibes. This pinnacle of ultra chic retreats remains perfectly preserved in the heart of the Cote d’Azur. Here I am standing amidst the Cap’s halcyon grounds before dinner.

Gucci white pinstripe cotton suit, Tom Ford pale blue glen plaid cotton shirt with french cuff, Seamen Schepps black pearl and white gold cuff links, YSL pocket square, Hermes blue leather belt with silver buckle, Dior sunglasses.

Photo by Scott McBee.

Heaven on Earth

Ever dreamt of swimming beneath a giant Calder mobile? – or of living and dining surrounded by the art of Leger, Picasso and Matisse? Dreams do come true at the heavenly Colombe d’Or Hotel in Saint Paul de Vence, France.

Here I am posing in front of a ceramic mural by Leger after having an outrageously delicious lunch at the terrace of the Colombe d’Or. I am wearing a Gucci navy blue cotton safari jacket, Balenciaga chambray shirt, Gucci khaki slim pants, and Hermes navy blue leather belt.

Photo by Scott McBee.