Sunday, August 16, 2009

Octogenarian Aristocrats Gone Wild

As you may have heard, 85-year-old very old line aristocrat Gloria Vanderbilt has written a dirty book. Though it's receiving paltry reviews at best, more than a few people have noted how the dual image on the cover oddly resembles a certain prematurely gray talking head on CNN and, for that matter, the Diane Arbus creepy shot of him as an infant.

Although I would love to see that episode of the Love Boat where she and Halston appeared, I was never a fond of her "fashion design" era which was about as tacky as family member Amy pitching spray wax.
Most people seem to have long forgotten her more interesting design career as a collage artist. Back in junior high school I devoured her book on the topic and would love to get my hands on a copy again. Her above work for Liberace is an example of what she was capable of back then.

The idea of a member of American near royalty writing such a book at 85 is intriguing, and I have mixed feelings about her appearance at this age. She is a bit creepy looking at times, but also remarkable. More intriguing to me is that voice. We simply don't hear that kind of voice these days. For all his pedigrees, Anderson doesn't sound that different than a guy that grew up in suburban St. Louis. But Gloria speaks with the diction I associate with early teacup drama talkies and women (such as my mother) who studied with elocution coaches. In Gloria's case it's not likely constructed and the voice of a woman from a class a notch or two above the Beales and the Bouviers. Apparently she's also done a version of the book on CD, but I'm not sure I am quote ready to hear that voice reading those words.

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At 8:24 PM, Blogger jungle dream pagoda said...

I came across the most extraordinary article in ...perhaps the early 70's where she was into patchwork and this was her interior design aesthetic as well. Remembering this is making me want to google image Gloria V.+ patchwork!

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jungle Dreamer - It's definitely worth tracking down her work from the '70s. They hold the test of time. My sister and mother were obsessed with her work back then, and I still love it.


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