11 November 2016

Rosamond Bernier- Requiescat In Pace

One of the most delightful memoirs I've read in months is the Rosamond Bernier's book Some of My Lives-
DO read it.
It's magical.
I gave the book for Christmas years ago-and I received my copy from Charlotte Moss-with the inscription-"enough Inspiration here for several lifetimes."
Bernier does inspire.

Rosamond Bernier died November 10th at the age of 100. Her storied life was an inspiration for so many-proof noted with tributes all over social media.

Bernier in 1996, photographed in front of her 1948 Dior dress, chosen as the 'Poster Girl' for the Dior exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. (I am wearing Chanel!)- caption from her site Rosamond Bernier here

So fashionable — So lovely– So intelligent, proof  positive of that phrase "style & substance."

The beautiful Rosamond Bernier met everyone that was anyone and shared bits only she could know about the BIGGEST artists, designers and style makers of an era never to be seen again. She's chaptered the book into dishy memories-as she calls it "A Scrapbook Memoir"-with Picasso, Miro, Matisse-Chanel, Lelong -they're all there. She travels to Paris after the second World War with artist Eric to cover fashion (this chapter is excerpted at the Paris Review here  along with some of Eric's drawings from their trip)

  a 1943 Vogue drawing by Eric of a Hattie Carnegie evening blouse
I have this Eric drawing in my collection-(from the pages of Vogue 1943)

 This is one of the Eric drawings I've collected from the pages of  Vogue 1943.

Eric's Taxco Summer Dresses made me think of  Rosamond Bernier's chapter on landing her job with Vogue in 1945. Though she hadn't met Eric- Eric Carl Erickson, Bernier could easily have posed for the drawing. While in New York, she met Edna Chase, Iva Patcevitch, Alexander Liberman and his wife Tatiana, 'the Conde Nast high command.'  Bernier recalls- 'I was wearing a Mexican skirt and white blouse. Tatiana growled at me in French, "You ought to wear a black blouse with that skirt.' It didn't seem to phase Chase- who as Bernier explained 'that she had been on a beach in Acapulco for five years & knew absolutely nothing about fashion,' replied 'tartly,' "My child, I know a fashion editor when I see one."

Berniers crisscrosses in Some of My Lives from Mexico-to Paris-to-New York wearing couture and collecting memories. She recalls her long friendship with Leonard Bernstein,  the founding of her influential art magazine L'OEIL and her marriage to love of her life- John Dickinson, all of it's there. She tells us stories & we feel as if we're eavesdropping-but she's keeping confidences too- exuding an elegant presence-cool- collected. The lady.
I didn't want it to end.

There are just the most wonderful photographs, lectures, Everything at her website It's a dream- visit here. 



  1. Love that memoire. Had to travel when I was in the middle so I also got it for my kindle! Thanks for the website...I'm hooked.

  2. Thank you so much for this recommendation. I will definitely be reading it!

  3. I am almost finished...I do not want to go too fast. I am savoring it -exchanging pens with Matisse,visiting Picasso's family, a bathe with Moore, isights by Miro, Berthe's Morisot's daughter, Louise Bourgeois and flying pottery and scissors...it is incredible. A friend had recommended this, and then I forgot with one thing or another...then I saw your post, last wednesday and that did it, and I purchased right then and there...It arrived the day after. Love your recommendations, sure to be winners. Warmest,

  4. Philip- Sandra-Emily. I want to keep doing these little love letters to Ms. Bernier. So many Memories-as CM said, for several lifeTIMES.Hope more is to come! pgt

  5. As I sit in Paris, spending my last day here visiting the Musee Picasso to see the Giacometti exhibit, and seeing Mexico honored at the Grand Palais...I am glad that she is not alive to see our election results - total disrespect for Mexicans and Americans. She lived a fashionable life, her ex married the gorgeous Delores del Rio, and her love of the culture influenced her entire life forward. As a Mexican American, with a Great Great Aunt who founded a Convent and Hospital over 100 years ago, who is the 1st female Saint of Mexico Canonized by Pope John Paul in 2000...I can say she would've gone up to this ignorant racist despot unfair to give him a piece of her mind. She gave a lecture at the Met a few years ago where she wore a beautiful 'Indian Feathers' print 1970s caftan by Zandra Rhodes, which I have the same...this ensemble reflected her soigné World...now lost...the days of someone cultured, elegant and learned are now over in America! I'm so sad, but happy she didn't witness the final outcome.

  6. I do as I am told so I am getting the book! Plus I have exhausted Netflix.

  7. Just ordered a copy of the book -this is fantastic. Thank you!

  8. Fashion Illustration a lost art?



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