Eve Lavalliere by Helleu
Everyone begged to paint her-Paul Poiret dressed her- Sarah Bernhardt exalted her-Eve Lavalliere was the most celebrated comedienne of her day in Paris, the Belle Epoque. At the height of her powers she lavishly decorated her Paris home with the help of decorator Jils Garrine.
She was a dark beauty interpreting her roles as if they were her life and would extemporize much to the chagrin of her fellow actors. Sought after by artists, politicians and royals Mme Lavalliere was a capricious sprite and her rooms reflect her sense of living in the moment-in the modern and with soignee.
The most Parisian of Parisiennes-Eve-with the most feminine of names- had her dining room swathed in shade of gunmetal grey and pink. The walls and ceiling merge with a curving cornice all in the same shade of grey. Slender columnar panels hold basket of fruit in relief-and a pair of them flank the carved console with urns of fruit in abundance-& fully gilded . A painting of Eve's temptation in the garden by fresco painter Janko Varda in shades of deep blues and fresh greens hangs over the elegant console. The room's mood is of the period between Art Nouveau & Deco with chairs covered in a heavy silk rose & sinuous shapes indicative of things to come in the Art Deco movement. The chairs are set about a dining room that is used for conversation as well as dining.
Lavalliere's lavish Dining Room in shades of grey and pink.
The Bedroom with bath en suite is perhaps the most unique and modern room in the house. Done up by Eve and her designer Garrine in pale shades of blue with ebony woods & hints of mauve. The large bed is made of a ebony and covered head to footboard in a delicate blue. The sleeping area is separated by a single mauve curtain panel and two massive granite columns from the elaborate bath-just beyond. A sunken pool is central in the bath and all the furniture in a bleached sycamore is covered in washable slipcoverings.
The dressing room is ebonized and each door is covered in a mirror. The designer and client have again assembled a interesting mix of furniture periods in the wardrobe's center.
Domergue's portrait of Mme.-the dress she is wearing hangs in to the left of the photograph in her closet.
It's an interesting side note to the soignee of Eve Lavalliere's Paris apartment that as she was not a happy woman. The rest of the story:
"Gold ran through my hands,I had everything the world could offer, everything I could desire. Nevertheless, I regarded myself as the unhappiest of souls."