22 July 2013


Nancy Lancaster

 the summer of 1965 must have been glorious at Haseley Court- the estate was in its heyday, the Lancaster heyday. Horst and Valentine Lawford had been there to record the idyllic place and ten pages of  Haseley magic appeared in Vogue's July issue. 

"AN ENGLISH DREAM" indeed- Valentine Lawford described Haseley Court's beauty as "STONE-DEEP..." 

Imagine the flurry amongst the staff when Vogue descended on Haseley Court. Nancy Lancaster-in many ways British to the bone-but with elbows always on the table in her beloved Virginia. Once a Virginian always so, and a Southerner too. The flag of the Confederacy flew over Haseley Court that summer and can be seen in the photograph above & below.  Almost fifty years later-and very politically incorrect, I  overlook the flag-but for Nancy I suppose it was a symbol of home as much as anything...of her aunts and grandfather who stood their ground on the soil where those Civil War battles were fought. What's more than that flag-Nancy brought to her adopted country the stateside enthusiasms for all things English. The decorating style she favored & put forward in her homes and later with partner John Fowler-came from her stylish but impoverished Mother-her Aunties and all were rooted in the family home of Mirador, in Virginia. This is how things are done in the South. I've written about Mirador here-and about Nancy's decorating style &  just Nancy over the years-but what strikes me at the moment as I revisit Vogue July 1965- is just Nancy. 

Stylish portraits dot the Horst feature and while she looks every bit Lady of the Manor, (she is dressed impeccably)-more strikingly so-practically- casually-and simply.She didn't overdo it for the camera-and who could have blamed her? It was HORST-famous for his orgiastic lens capturing society Chics so marvelously draped amongst their own things while wearing Balenciaga-or Dior etc etc.

Horst photographs the Staff Garden Party at Haseley Court

The sixty eight year old Nancy dressed beautifully for the Garden Party-tomato red dress with pearls at her throat-and a wide brimmed straw to keep the sun's rays from her complexion, another peach learned from her mother and aunties no doubt. I love Nancy's Style-it was authentic...

& just as fresh today as any daisy in the Haseley garden blooming in 1965- the day Horst was there.

all NANCY LANCASTER stories at little augury here



  1. Thank you Gaye very enjoyable! I do need to go to your other posts!

    2013 Designer Series

  2. I do love photographs of people with their staffs. The photo of my staff is me dining alone!

  3. HI, I am writing my first blog comment. I didn't know how this morning. I wrote to you on Pinterest that I thought you must be at least three people with all I see of your doings.
    You pinned some Dorothy Dunnett from me. Have you read her and do you like her stuff.
    You are unbelievably productive and your interests are so varied, I am looking forward to keeping an eye on you and your doings. Thanks for the fun. JC Eriksen

    1. I am so happy to welcome you and honored. I wrote a reply to you on Pinterest too. I have lots of interests-sometime to my detriment-with reluctance I started organizing some of my thoughts on pinterest-what a HUGE LIBRARY-I am hooked!
      I love the Lymond Chronicles and appear to be in excellent company from some of the boards. I am on my 3 reading-being about to finish Bk 1. So many things to rethink and such brilliant brilliant writing. I look forward to your reading along here and at pinterest. pgt

    2. jcandbj!

      You are a lucky duck! You have no idea the genius....you have "happened upon"! How about her welcome? Pure gold! Bravo!!! and she, you......you are completely wonderful!

      PGT.....we are all "lucky ducks"!!!




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