Monday, July 25, 2011

To Dress Up, Perchance To Dream

Do you ever fantasize about what your life would have been like in an another era?

Say, the 1970's?
(via here)
Oh yes.
(Piero and me, 7/23/11, on our way to a '70's party)

I like to imagine it would have gone a little something like this...

* * * * *

It's the summer of 1971 and the Rolling Stones are recording their new album at Villa Nellcote in the South of France.
(Photograph by Dominique Tarle)

In a rented mansion heaving with glittering chandeliers and elegant wrought-iron balustrades, barefoot minstrels are birthing musical history.
(Photograph by Dominique Tarle)

Over the decades, every participant in that legendary summer has been exhaustively written about...
(Photograph by Dominique Tarle)

...except for these two.

At long last, their contribution to rock history can be told.

She was a free-spirited embroiderer brought in to embellish the bands' stage costumes.

He was hired to cook up a little dolce vita in the kitchen, tell a few jokes and keep a continual supply of espresso at the ready. Little-known fact: Keith would often tuck a wedge of Piero's almond spice cake into the front of his pants to ward off a low blood sugar spell.
(Photograph by Dominique Tarle)

As for Mick? There was nothing he longed for more after a long day of rehearsing than a big hearty bowl of pasta e fagioli.
(Photograph by Dominique Tarle)

Below, Keith relaxes in the Cote d'Azur sun while Lisa decorates his vest with a happy face and some rainbows.
(Photograph by Dominique Tarle)

Around 6pm, the band would start lining up for dinner. Those boys could eat.
(Photo by Dominique Tarle)

Little-known fact: One night, after a particularly delicious dinner of Provencal çioppino (recipe HERE), Lisa embroidered a pair of lips with a protruding tongue on the back pocket of Mick's favorite blue jeans as a humorous reminder of the meal.

Alas, when you're footloose and fancy-free, it's hard to stay in one place. Despite much pleading from the band, after just two weeks with the Stones, Lisa and Piero felt the urge to spread their wings and keep on truckin'.

"Why do I feel as though you're leaving us in exile?" Keith said as he hugged them goodbye. As their orange VW bus crunched down the gravel driveway, Mick called after them, "Don't forget there's roadworks up ahead -- avoid the main street!"

"Exile." "Main street," remarked Keith. "There could be something in that."

* * * * *
* * * * *

Now it's your turn...


Photo Credits: Dominique Tarle's incredible photos of Villa Nellcote HERE.
Costumes: Shoes, Jeffrey Campbell; dress and shirt, vintage; hairpieces, Hollywood Wigs.


Jane said...

Fantastic Lisa..I have always loved those RS images in France.

Mine goes like this: I am a slightly spoiled but Very Clever With Words daughter of a minor aristocrat, hanging around London in the late 1930s, lunching at Claridges, dining with friends in their 5 storey Georgian houses in Mayfair and partying all night in sequins and satin with the Mitfords and Evelyn Waugh.

When war breaks out I get a major dose of the 'I must do something to help' and I join the intelligence services and work as a code breaker at Bletchley Park, all flowery tea dresses and eyeliner up the back of my leg to simulate stockings.

I could go on but I fear this comment is too long as is. Suffice it to say I do love a good pencil skirt, cup of tea and a flowery silk shirt.


pve design said...

Always wanted to have a James Bond party.

Lily said...

1960 Tangier, Morocco, Barbara Hutton's palace, Sidi Hosni. Dinner party. I'm wearing a fantastically embroidered kaftan and suitable jewels and chatting with Paul Bowles on my right and Jane Bowles on my left. Cecil Beaton takes our picture. Tennessee Williams brings me a cocktail. Across the table William S. Burroughs just stares into space, mumbling incoherently. Life is good.

Emily said...

I'm going with 1920's Paris and the French Riviera. Hanging out with Gerald and Sara Murphy, attending their lavish parties and accepting their generosity to stay for weeks at a time in their expensive homes just as all the other great creative minds did at that time. Can you tell I have the movie "Midnight in Paris" on my mind? Loved that movie so much!!!!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Jane, Lily and Emily:


It's magical to have all these images in my head.


And what would your name be? Ian Fleming thought up some real doozies. :) xx

AlwaysMe said...

Perfect timing! Mick's birthday is today! You and Piero look fantastic in your 70s attire.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Well, this is a little known tale, and frankly, I’m reluctant to tell it... but, since I know I can trust your discretion, I’ll go ahead. In the summer of 1973, being eager to escape the waning days of the Nixon administration, I decamped to Lagos in Nigeria. Oh yes, family and friends were appalled, but I was undeterred. I wanted nothing to do with conventional society anymore - longed to sleep under the trees and live by my wits. So I sold my brown stone in New York and headed for Africa where I found a bit of verdant ground near the airport in Ikeja and set up my tent. I was utterly thrilled with my new digs. I was down in the jungle, living in a tent. I didn’t use money and I didn’t pay rent. Totally left alone, I was in pure bliss. However, I was soon discovered by a trio of musicians, of all things, who happened my way one hot afternoon. They claimed to be rather famous, just over from Britain to record a new album. One of them did look rather familiar, but to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled to see them and gave them a fake name of Mrs. Vandebilt. They seemed to find my life choice terribly interesting and the familiar looking one kept taking notes whenever they visited my tent, a most irritating practice indeed. With their visits becoming more and more frequent, my little paradise became less and less tolerable and I eventually packed up and left. Imagine my surprise when, one rainy afternoon I was driving through the San Gabriel mountains and heard a song on the radio called Mrs. Vandebilt! My fake name! And yes, the trio did prove themselves to be famous. You can hear the song yourself. It’s on an album called Band on the Run. Ah, the 70’s. What a decade!

Michelle said...

My alternate reality is not as worldly or glamorous, but just yesterday my 22 year old daughter and I were both fantasizing about what it would be like to go back in time, in period costume, to the early 1900's, and spend a night in an old (we believe) haunted mansion in our hometown of OKC. We would ride up in horse and carriage and be led to a grand ballroom where we would dine with adventurers and story tellers from the day and hopefully see a ghost or two. It's an actual mansion which is now open to the public. My daughter and I visited once on Halloween (which also happens to be my daughters birthday)and it holds a haunting allure.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

I am 20 in 1975 and move to the coast of Maine. By myself. I love words and surround myself with the classics. I have scads of paper and pens. I stroll for hours along paths, on the cliff's edge. The ocean roars yet it soothes my soul. I don't leave until my first novel is complete.

noreen said...

That is a riot! Thank you for sharing. I've never even considered this question. Hmm. I really love art, so I might study and work with deKooning and Rothko. Or in Cincinnati, work with the late and wonderful Jack Meanwell.

The photographs are just delightful.

helen tilston said...

I began as a cygnet swimming in the lake at Coole Park in Gort Ireland. The year would be around 1890. One day a poet was pacing back and forth, composing I suppose, and I decided to entertain him, he dabbled in the occult, his name was WB Yeats and he said some magic words and I became a young beautiful woman. I lived a very bohemian lifestyle, similar to the bloomsbury lifestyle Lisa, in this beautiful country house at Coole Park with Lake Gregory, WB Yeats lived about 4 miles away at a castle which still exists at Thoor Ballylea and he as a very frequent visitor and close friend to Lady Gregory and the famous dinner parties. The visitors included famous Irish writers, such as Synge, AE, Jack Yeats (painter) his brothe, my boyfriend WB Years, George Moore, Sean O'Casey, George Bernard Shaw. There is an autograph tree on the grounds with these famous signatures. WB Yeats composed 5 poems at Coole Park, one was to me and it is called "The Wild Swans at Coole" Remember me when you read this poem.

Helen formerly the swan

helen tilston said...

The Wild Swans at Coole
Poem composed by WB Yeats for Helen Tilston
1. The Wild Swans at Coole

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones 5
Are nine and fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount 10
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight, 15
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold, 20
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water 25
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away? 30

Anonymous said...

I would DEFINITELY have the orange VW campervan! In fact I'm looking for one to buy right now. Why live in the past? It can be the 70s every day!

penelope said...

I recently saw "Midnight in Paris" and this post brought it to mind. Fun!

Christy said...

Just want to say that I love the post about hanging out with the Stones in France. That's my dream too! :)

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Lily: Can I sit next to you at dinner??!! I just know we would have the best time together! xx

Pamela Terry and Edward: OMG, I am ENTHRALLED. When is the book coming out, you funny brilliant woman????!! xx

Michelle: That would make a great reality show!

Vava: Oh, that sounds blissfully romantic. Cold Maine weather, roaring fires, stacks of books - pure heaven. xx

Noreen: Yes, I was rather sad to take the wig off, actually. :)

Helen: Your fable is sooo beautiful! I love love love Yeats -- used to memorize his poems. Thank you so much for posting "The Wild Swans at Coole" on here. There is an aching loveliness to Yeats poems that always makes me swoon.

Such a lovely ode to relationships:

"Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still."

And such a foreshadowing of your children leaving home:

"But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?"

Lovely, lovely. xxx

Overdue: LOVE your attitude, baby. :)

Penelope: Wasn't that movie just delicious? I'm re-reading "A Moveable Feast" right now because I need more, more, more.

Christy: And what a dream it is. :)

Twyla and Lindsey said...

Are you kidding me? Who could top That?! Twyla

24 Corners said...

You deserve a gold record for this one Lisa...I knew that RS logo was your design...I just knew it! How on earth did those boys stay so skinny eating Piero's delectable creations anyway...?? must have been the rock n roll metabolism, among other things!
Speaking of rock-n...that's exactly what you're doing to those platforms...totally super fly!

Georgia... 1927, I'm hanging out at Carson Mccullers cute little bungalow (love the windows!), writing silly plays on her front porch about all the local town folk...and eating copious amounts of her mom's covered dish concoctions and homemade peach ice cream!

xo J~

Anonymous said...

delightful. we love the wigs too. and the whimsy of your story.

here's ours:

1926. a chill wind blew off the lake. she entered via the back door, dancing slippers in hand. to no avail. her grandmother stood tall and angry (and very thin) by the staircase. she thought about running away. "I didn't want to marry him" she said. we gasped. our sister was fearless. we want to be just like her when we grow up . "but why not?" thundered our grandmother. we fingered the delicate beading on our first ever grown up ball gown. "he's rich!" "exactly!" squealed our sister. "i don't want to be rich! i want to be a painter." she was done for. our grandmother slapped her sharply across her cheek. she ran upstairs crying. we made a decision right there and then that we were going to run away. we didn't want to get married either. we were going to write for a living. in paris. or london. or somewhere just GLORIAous. we slipped upstairs to start packing. and then she heard us...."were you listening?" we ran like hell.

carina said...

The post made me laugh so much and these comments are great too:-)

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

Your post is wonderful and I thank you for the giggles and the reminder to dream! Loved all of the fabulous comments, too!

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

24 Corners: Love your fantasy. It tells me a lot about you. :) xx

teamgloria: I'm entranced. Does the younger sister make a go of it? Does run away, rent a 5th floor attic garret in Montmartre and fall for a rakish sculptor? xx

Diane James: "Reminder to dream": you are beautifully succinct! xx

Susan's Snippets said...

Lisa -

Thanks and as always, I love the weave of your story!!

Mine might include a stint as a band photographer/smoke toking gal deep in all of the 70's glory!

Unknown said...
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