In 1926 the New York Times described de Wolfe as " one of the most widely known woman in the New York social life", and in 1935 as " prominent in Paris society".
Elsie de Wolfe’s marriage to diplomat Sir Charles Mendl was on page one of the NEW YORK TIMES ( March 9th 1926 ) and it read, “Elsie de Wolfe to Wed Sir Charles Mendl; Their Wedding Is Set For Tomorrow in Paris”.
1935 – Considered to be the best dressed woman in the world !
Elsie de Wolfe did not become an Interior Decorator until she was 40 years old.
Her youth was spent as a stage actress, which was considered not too very lady like, when you had grown up in the Victorian Era.
the Duke of Windsor ( who gives up his throne as the king of England for an American woman )
and Duchess of Windsor ( THE AMERICAN WOMAN ),
and Adelaide and Henry Clay Frick ( of the Frick museum ).
Wanting to be with the royalty of America, which were the movie stars, Elsie and Sir Charles purchased a home in Beverly Hills and named it "After All".
When Elsie de Wolfe - Lady Mendl was 80 years old and in Beverly Hills,
She met an artist named Tony Duquette, she and her husband liked him very much and introduced him to absolutely 'anyone' that was Anyone' . She had him carry out her wishes on the design of 'After All'.
Go here to see pictures of ‘After All’; http://tonyduquette.com/elsie.htm ( and his consequent success's )
New York was the most exciting city in the world, the cradle of Modern Times, where milk was still delivered daily in horse-drawn wagons to every doorstep while at the same hour socialites and showgirls were being delivered to their doors in shiny new limousines called motor cars or automobiles or machines with names like Pierce-Arrow, Packard, Cadillac and Lincoln. There was no television for the masses. Radio and the movies were the rage as popular entertainment.But the high life and the nightlife in New York meant theatre, nightclubs and parties, parties, parties. The rich had no embarrassment about being rich, despite the ubiquitous presence of soup kitchens and men selling apples on street corners.
Elsie de Wolfe was not only America's 1st Interior Decorator , but she went on to write the 1st book written in the United States on the subject.
One of the color schemes she popularized was the inspiration for the Cole Porter
song "That Black and White Baby of Mine" (whose lyrics include the lines "All she thinks black and white/She even drinks black and white")
......Also "ANYTHING GOES".
Her Famous Sayings:
"Never complain, never explain."
around me beautiful,
That will be my life."
Go to this site to read the online book:
This one is great :http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/3603
Another suggested site : http://www.canadianinteriordesign.com/kwi/Page_2/Elsie_De_Wolfe.htm
There is a great deal on Elsie de Wolfe, like the homes she lived in , etc , etc.
No doubt about it, Elsie certainly had a fascinating life.
( click on any picture to enlarge )
Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her blog of her Adventures in Design