Miles To Go

I can go on, do gush, and fail to force myself to slow the heck down on some occasions.  I can be what I'd like to define as "passionate," but others may see as undone.

I was, to say the least, excited to see Miles Redd's new book, The Big Book of Chic.  It helped that it does not have a whiff of some wistful reverie of home, though that's something I tend to fall into around here every now and again, and is a big, fat fit of fabulousness.

Indeed, both the title and the book announce their intent, which is to bring us something fantastic, as Miles tends to do.  When I read the opening letter, the only real text in the book, I could hear the designer's voice, which is something I like. ("It sounds as if you just sat down and scratched it out in your notebook," I said to Mr. Redd.  "I basically did," was his response and I was happy to hear it.)  If the rest is a stream of consciousness monologue on creativity and inspiration, I'm ever so glad to be along for the ride.

The images are a compilation of the references that have stuck in the designer's mind and the rooms they influenced.  Scattered about are quotes from Mitford, Waugh, Fitzgerald and other favorites.  "They are things that caught my mind," he told me and I asked him if he wrote in his books, something I still cannot do because of some misguided sense of reverence.    He does not.  "I remembered them and then had to go back and try to find."

I like that they have played around with the combination of color and black-and-white photography, the later not being used in solely the vintage images, but sometimes echoing Redd's rooms that are featured in full-on color.  It helps to see the structure.
As we chatted, we wandered the garden path of luxury and style and inspiration.  "We're all influencing each other," he said, "You can just tap something and up it pops."  Still, "Luxury can walk hand-in-hand with the hard to get.  It's terrific to have accessibility, but it makes you aware of how fun it is to walk into a shop and have someone say, 'I have something great for you,' as they are pulling it from the back room."

Don't mess around here.  You can buy the book now or be bidding the rent for it on ebay someday.

All images courtesy of Assouline.

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