Saturday, May 18, 2013

LDN: Treasure Trove

Deanne writes...

Sometimes, my aimless internet browsing allows me to stumble upon good finds. I forgot which website let me to it (whoever you are, bless you!) but when I heard that Assouline recently opened a permanent space in Claridge's Hotel at Mayfair, I immediately wrote it down on my "London To-Do" list.

The afternoon I did choose to tick it off was a particularly bleak one, unfortunately. It was cold and wet (Hello London weather!)... I lost my way for a bit... and I was wearing a pair of flats I didn't want to ruin. But the bookworm in me desperately wanted to get there no matter what the circumstances! After an upheaval in direction (thank God for Google Maps), I found it.

It was a literary treasure trove! So many glorious design books! I was like a little girl in a candy store. The Mondrian-style bookshelf was filled to the brim with totems on art, interiors, fashion, cocktail recipes, travels. I was spoilt with choices, I didn't know where to begin. 

Just kidding, I knew where to begin: the fashion books which were right smack in the middle of it all.

On the other side of the room were the limited edition books, the Rolls-Royce if you may, of the Assouline collection. I was attracted to the Windows at Bergdorf Goodman one, which I have been eyeing for some time now. When I asked the lovely assistant the price, I was taken aback (around 460 pounds). She probably noticed the expression on my face as she began to justify the steep tag... "All the pages are handmade and it's hand-bound... Just look at the quality of the photos, the cover... So much attention to detail!" And as I leafed through the pages, with the images jumping right out of them, I understood completely.

While the quality is meticulous, the content is tastefully curated. Ballets Russes, jewelry, cars, and even Barbie! Leona, the assistant, told me that this is where art book collectors come... Last week, a lady came and bought a vintage book on the Tiffany & Co. window displays at Fifth Avenue. That would have been nice to have.

Actually, everything would be nice to have. Someday, someday.

If you make a purchase, you get a canvas bag as well! I spent a good hour in there. And while it was rainy outside, it was beautiful in.


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