Connect

Latest Post

Queen of Sultry Style

08/11/2016

Sultry style in the Currey and Company Vegas showroom

The new Currey & Company showroom in Las Vegas, filled with sultry style. Photo Myron Hensel.

I’ve come across a number of events lately that prove sultry desert air has a way of turning exquisiteness into splendor. Most recently, it was the return of Currey & Company to Las Vegas during market, as the images of the showroom above and below illustrate.

Currey and Company showroom Vegas

The Currey & Company Vegas showroom debuted to accolades. Photo Myron Hensel.

The Sultry Style of Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, with sultry style

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, a beguiling and powerful performance.

Farther back in time, though no less illustrious, it was the 1963 epic drama Cleopatra starring Elizabeth Taylor as the Queen of the Nile. Craving a little glitz and glamour, I watched the film recently, marveling at the beginning overture, the heavy red velvet drapes drawn closed while anthemic music throbbed making it clear there was quite a spectacle about to unfold! Theater-going was quite different then if the audiences had the patience for such a long lead-in, though I must admit the sumptuousness would be a nice respite from the glaring ads that hold us hostage before a movie begins these days.

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton exuding sultry style

Liz Taylor and Richard Burton as Cleopatra and Mark Antony.

The film, which also stars Richard Burton as Mark Antony and Rex Harrison as Julius Caesar, clocks in at over four hours, and I was surprised at how quickly the scenes flew by. Filmed in Italy, Spain and Egypt, the sets and costumes were as over-the-top as Cleopatra’s personality. I was too young to see the movie in theaters when it was released and I had seen only snippets of it over the years so I didn’t know what to expect of Taylor’s performance. In all honesty, I was quite moved by the magnificence of her beauty as she played the ruler so commandingly yet beguilingly. It’s no wonder Richard Burton fell in love with her during the filming of this movie! I thought as I witnessed their chemistry and realized how steamy it was for its time.

 

I came across this article in Another magazine that claims the blockbuster nearly bankrupted the film studio when it was made, the only thing pulling them from the abyss The Sound of Music two years later! The piece, by Daisy Woodward, also notes that 26,000 costumes were created for the film, not a surprise given the number of extras there were roaming the countryside in fluted leather skirts and gladiator sandals—all male back then in case I inspired a visual on par with lanky female models flouncing down the runway in Alexander McQueen!

Sultry style is showing Liz Taylor as Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor in her Winner-take-Rome costume in Cleopatra.

Taylor had 65 costume changes in the movie, a record for a motion picture at the time; and the 24-carat gold cloth cape she wore during her grand entry in Rome, designed to look like the wings of a phoenix, was made of thin strips of gold leather embellished with thousands of bugle beads, seed beads and bead-anchored sequins. I suppose this explains the $194,800 wardrobe budget, which was a massive amount of money for the time.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra is sensual

Elizabeth Taylor is a sensual force in Cleopatra.

The studio admitted that highlighting Taylor’s sexuality took precedence over historical accuracy, a move that most biographers and film producers have made since the queen’s demise. This is a point Stacy Schiff makes in her survey of the woman’s reign in Cleopatra: A Life, deeming her one of the most famous women to have lived. “A goddess as a child, a queen at eighteen, a celebrity soon thereafter, she was an object of speculation and veneration, gossip and legend, even in her own time,” Schiff writes. “At the height of her power she controlled virtually the entire eastern Mediterranean coast, the last great kingdom of any Egyptian ruler.”

Elizabeth Taylor's wardrobe in Cleopatra is stunning.

Elizabeth Taylor’s wardrobe in Cleopatra is stunning.

If you want a view of Cleopatra that’s more eye-candy than substance, watch the film. If you want a truer perspective of her, read the book, as it is fascinating. “She was incomparably richer than anyone else in the Mediterranean,” Schiff notes. “And she enjoyed greater prestige than any other woman of her age, as an excitable rival king was reminded when he called, during her stay at his court, for her assassination.” But, the author adds, the more time passed, the more Cleopatra’s reputation amounted to wanton temptress: “not the last time a genuinely powerful woman has been transmuted into a shamelessly seductive one.”

Elizabeth Taylor at Vanity in Cleopatra

Elizabeth Taylor is dreamy seated at her vanity in Cleopatra.

As she delves into Cleopatra’s reign during a summer that found her in a desert camp “under the glassy heat of the Syrian sun with a band of mercenaries,” Schiff explains that the Nile is nearly two miles farther east than it was in her time; that only the dust, the sultry sea air and Alexandria’s melting purple sunsets remain unchanged. This is one of the scenes she set that brought Currey & Company’s return to Vegas to mind.

Las Vegas desert

In another desert not so far away, Currey & Company opened a Las Vegas showroom this summer. Image courtesy Wikimedia and Bert Kaufmann.

Another drew parallels with the design featured in the new showroom. Schiff explains that Cleopatra was not necessarily beautiful; it was her wealth and her palace that left the Romans gasping. To celebrate the resplendent taste of this prestigious woman, I’ve chosen some of Currey & Company’s offerings that I think would have appealed to her, many of them debuting in Vegas last week.

Cleopatra's Sultry Palace 1963 Film

Cleopatra’s palace in the 1963 film about the erstwhile queen.

Currey & Company Fit for Cleopatra

I’m weaving together thoughts by Creative Director Cecil Adams and Andrea Combet, the West Coast Regional Sales Representative for Currey & Company, about being back in the Vegas market and these products I’ve chosen with descriptions of them below. “Currey & Company is thrilled to have an outpost for our west coast customers to visit in Las Vegas,” Cecil remarks. “It is an opportunity for those who prefer to attend this market to see our product in person and there is no substitute for that. Meeting new folks and sharing a bit of our southern hospitality in a new location is always an adventure.”

Andrea adds, “The opening of Currey’s Las Vegas showroom this summer gives home furnishings professionals in the Western United States the chance to experience our product line in-person, and close to home. We were absolutely bowled-over by the enthusiastic response of interior designers and retailers, who told us that Currey & Company was the talk of the Market!”

Forest Light Chandelier

 

The Forest Light Chandelier in Currey & Company’s Aviva Stanoff Collection. “Earthy inspiration from our collaboration with Aviva Stanoff gave birth to the Forest Light Chandelier,” Cecil notes. ‘I can just picture it hanging in a modern day Cleopatra’s boudoir or Marc Antony’s campaign tent.”

Currey and Company Alvar Accent table. 

A moody shot of the Alvar accent table, the patterning remarkably similar to many of the reliefs in Cleopatra’s movie palace [Photo by Erica George Dines; styling by Thea Beasley.]. “The cast aluminum Alvar accent table, finished in Antique Gold, is our best-selling occasional furniture introduction,” Andrea tells us. “Our customers love its primitive sophistication.”

Seraglio table lamp

I see the Seraglio table lamp as a shoe-in for inclusion in a palace fit for Cleopatra; and what luminary could carry a better name to echo her reputation? “The tile motif applied to the base of the Seraglio table lamp is inspired by Moroccan tile,” Cecil explains. “These tiles are common across the Mediterranean and southern Europe. Gilding the piece and adding the dramatic black shade really felt like the right idea.”

Currey and Company vignette

This setting could have been extracted from a corner of one of the statuesque rooms in Cleopatra’s palace, don’t you think? [Photo by Erica George Dines; styling by Thea Beasley.]

Currey and Company's Aubade Chandelier

“Who can resist a circle of crystal and gold beads?” Cecil asks, referring to the Aubade chandelier. “Much like a collar around Cleopatra may have worn around her neck don’t you agree?”

Federico table lamp by Currey and Company

The Federico table lamp definitely has queenly DNA of the sort that would have sprung from Cleopatra. “This unique square base, embellished with botanical-form metal applique, is my personal favorite of Currey’s new table lamp designs for the season,” Andrea says. “Its subtle poise makes it appropriate for a variety of room settings.”

Forest Light Wall fixture

The Forest Light wall sconce in Currey & Company’s Aviva Stanoff Collection would have shone brightly in Cleopatra’s boudoir.

Sultry style with Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra

I hope you enjoyed this look at Cleopatra style à la Currey & Company. Let me know which products I’ve chosen that you think are the most fitting for the luxurious palace of this erstwhile queen, would you?

Saxon Henry is a new media strategist and content creator, who blogs on The Diary of an Improvateur.

+ LEAVE A REPLY

07/27/2016

Many a Garden Grows

“Successful gardening is not necessarily a question of wealth,” Vita Sackville-West wrote in her book In Your Garden. “It is a question of love, taste, and knowledge.” Over the years, we at Currey & Company have watched as many a garden has grown, including the lush acres owned by our founders Robert and Suzanne Currey […]

+ SEE MORE

07/06/2016

Aged to Perfection

We’ll be celebrating timeless treasures during The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market at AmericasMart next week, as the venue’s newest curated collection, Antiques, debuts. The offerings, which will occupy the Floor 2 exhibit hall of building one, will include an extraordinary range of authentic fine furnishings and classic home accents, all aged to […]

+ SEE MORE

06/13/2016

Furnishing for the Femme Fatale

I’m on a bit of a Mike Nichols jag of late, the second acclaimed film of his career sending me in search of modern furnishings for a femme fatale he created, and guess where I found them? In the new introductions by Currey & Company, which will be on view at the Dallas Total Home […]

+ SEE MORE

05/10/2016

A Little Slice of Heaven

A Little Slice of Heaven Alan Rickman uttered the words “heaven shall be here” in the film A Little Chaos. The declaration also applies to the aesthetics of Currey & Company’s new expanded showroom in High Point, which was glistening during the six-day design fest several weeks ago, which you can see in the video […]

+ SEE MORE

04/11/2016

Setting a Mood with New Debuts

Currey & Company knows a thing or two about setting a mood, and it’s no different with this spring’s new debuts being readied for High Point Market this week, the Aviva Stanoff Forest Light chandelier shining above the above vignette an excellent example. The handsome products are being unveiled in a newly expanded and renovated […]

+ SEE MORE

03/25/2016

Inviting You to Experience More

“Experience more” sounds like a simple directive but how many of us take the time to savor what is happening in the moment? I consider it a blessing that, as a writer, I live my life with a heightened perception and I feel quite lucky to have the opportunity to create sponsored content for a […]

+ SEE MORE

02/11/2016

Be First, Not Forced

Currey & Company’s Brand Ambassador Denise McGaha presented two terrific maxims during a talk in the company’s Manhattan showroom last week—“Find Your Red Carpet” and “Be first, not forced.” The point of her presentation, When Worlds Collide, was to inspire the audience of design professionals to consider the attitudes that make the fashion industry the […]

+ SEE MORE

01/12/2016

Art is a Great Thing

Guess who’s doing a takeover of the And Company Said blog again? That’s right—it’s Saxon Henry here with more news as to Currey & Company’s happenings taking place during the month of January. I won’t be introducing myself going forward as I have news of my own to share: I will be posting here once […]

+ SEE MORE

10/13/2015

Glancing Back to the Future

Hi, design fans: it’s Saxon Henry here once again, eager to share some incredible news that will unfold during High Point Market when Currey & Company will introduce a new collection based upon Edward Wormley’s original designs for Dunbar. Haven’t heard of these two paramount players in the mid-century modern game? Well, you’re not alone, […]

+ SEE MORE