one of my favorite photographs of M.Castaing from the book,courtesy of Rizzoli
(the author says it is one of hers too)
It is Just what this sort of book should be- Enchanting.
Can a book be all things to all people? I think not. If you are looking for a dry detached text-stodginess- do not enter the World of Madeleine Castaing.
This book is for the scholar or student yes, perhaps- but Madeleine herself would have abhorred such a reading. It is after all- Madeleine's World. Here you will find magic-Madeleine seems to be walking just ahead of you in that red hooded cape on the grounds of Leves-her treasured home, where everything seemed possible.
Emily Evans Eerdmans has invited us into that World and at times I feel as if she has spent hours interviewing her subject- hearing a story perhaps for a second or third time with a different embellishment or two.The book captures the magical rooms and life this woman managed to create while swimming against the tide of design and art in her era. This was a women who was inspired by Proust's work and nothing would do until she imbued her rooms and shop with the sense that time was suspended in the World of Castaing. The layers of design research with Castaing as the Maestro, and her followers, Emilio Terry, Cocteau- whether designer or artist- entered that World willingly-soliciting the aid of the Muse herself or interpreting her work with their won.
In today's world of "a design book a year" from countless designers plying their trade,I found this book to be a welcome treasure. Both the author and the subject are fully confident in her abilities, coupled with inordinate charm & gratefully in no way prosaic. For all that enter the world of Madeleine Castaing-prepare to spend hours with a most bewitching woman-& book, revealing just enough for us to feel we know this enchantress.
Must we know all the minutiae of a magician's tricks to know it is magic? The World she created for herself -others desired and mimicked by the dozens- however none succeeded like the original-for it lacked one thing- the presence of the magician, and like magic this book enchants and delights.
I loved it, and you will too-since you are reading this blog..
It is yours, & it is signed by the author. Fortunately I was at the launch of the book and had Emily sign a copy for you and several for other friends as well.
What you have to do.
Leave a comment for me, and Madeleine, and Emily.
updated to this post from the author- "Because Castaing placed so much importance on love and two is clearly better than one, I'd love to throw in another copy of the book for you to give to your readers. More is more! xo, EEE"
how wonderful is that-
You have until Tuesday December 7.
merry christmas early, Twice.
your book and the author signing
Can't wait ti hear what you think about Madeleine Castaing- and Emily's deep purple gloves.
more little augury posts on Castaing here
more on EMILY at her blog and read her Castaing outtakes and side bars too, here