Thursday
Mar202014

A Self-Portrait Essay by Jacqueline Bouvier 

"A self portrait written from the author’s viewpoint is liable to be a little biased. Written from the viewpoint of others it would probably be so derogatory that I would not care to send it in. I have no idea how to go about describing myself but perhaps with much sifting of wheat from chaff I can produce something fairly accurate.

As to physical appearance, I am tall, 5’7”, with brown hair, a square face and eyes so unfortunately far apart that it takes three weeks to have a pair of glasses made with a bridge wide enough to fit over my nose. I do not have a sensational figure but can look slim if I pick the right clothes. I flatter myself on being able at times to walk out of the house looking like the poor man’s Paris copy, but often my mother will run up to inform me that my left stocking seam is crooked or the right-hand topcoat button about to fall off. This, I realize, is the Unforgiveable Sin.

I lived in New York City until I was thirteen and spent summers in the country. I hated dolls, loved horses and dogs and had skinned knees and braces on my teeth for what must have seemed an interminable length of time to my family.

I read a lot when I was little, much of which was too old for me. There were Chekov and Shaw in the room where I had to take naps and I never slept but sat on the window sill reading, then scrubbed the soles of my feet so the nurse would not see I had been out of bed. My heroes were Byron, Mowgli, Robin Hood, Little Lord Fauntleroy’s grandfather, and Scarlett O’Hara.

Growing up was not too painful a process. It happened gradually over the three years I spent at boarding school trying to imitate the girls who had callers every Saturday. I passed the finish line when I learned to smoke, in the balcony of the Normandie theatre in New York from a girl who pressed a Longfellow upon me then led me from the theatre when the usher told her that other people could not hear the film with so much coughing going on.

I spent two years at Vassar and still cannot quite decide whether I liked it or not. I wish I had worked harder and gone away less on weekends. Last winter I took my Junior Year in Paris and spent the vacations in Austria and Spain. I loved it more than any other year of my life. Being away from home gave me a chance to look at myself with a jaundiced eye. I learned not to be ashamed of a real hunger for knowledge, something I had always tried to hide, and I came home glad to start in here again but with a love for Europe that I am afraid will never leave me.

I suppose one should mention one’s hobbies in a profile. I really don’t have any that I work at constantly. I have studied art, here and in Paris, and I love to go to Art Exhibits and paint things that my mother doesn’t put in the closet until a month after I have given them to her at Christmas. I have written a children’s book for my younger brother and sister, as it amuses me to make up fairy tales and illustrate them. I love to ride and fox hunt. I will drop everything any time to read a book on ballet. This winter I am trying to catch up on things I should have learned before. I am taking typing and Interior Decorating outside of college and learning to play bridge and trying to cook things from recipes I found in France. I am afraid I will never be very successful over a hot stove.

One of my most annoying faults is getting very enthusiastic over something at the beginning and then tiring of it half way through. I am trying to counteract this by not getting too enthusiastic over too many things at once. I want above all to become a working girl who earns her own living."

Written by Jacqueline Bouvier for Vogue Magazine's 1951 "Prix de Paris" contest. 
Appears as published in the August 1994 issue of their publication. 
Wednesday
Mar192014

on this day in history...

1995:
My pretty little sister, Danielle,
was born. Happy 19th Mitzy!  

Wednesday
Mar192014

the boat and tote

Confession: I’m 25 years old and I don’t carry a real purse. I’ve owned a slew of beautiful bags, but I always end up trashing them: a cap-less lipstick will Jackson Pollock the lining, I’ll spill something and stain the leather, I’ll mysteriously tear it, etc. After the last miserable instance, I had had enough. Call it regression, but for the past year I’ve carried an L.L. Bean canvas tote bag and I couldn’t be happier. I’m not afraid to place it on the ground at restaurants, it can be thrown in the washing machine, and it literally will. not. tear. It’s started to fray a bit on the bottom and the black handles are fading, but I find it somewhat charming. Oh, and because it’s open it never becomes a black hole. My friends make fun of me because they obviously don’t know how cool it is. If Chloë Sevigny carries one, it’s certainly good enough for me! 

(one, two, three

Tuesday
Mar182014

at work with sofia coppola 

I have no idea how I stumbed across these photos on Le Monde, but I'm glad I did. I've never seen Sofia's New York office before and I'm feeling quite inspired. I'd like to think that you could bring this space ten years forward or backward, and it'd still make sense. Don't you agree? In my opinion, this is largely due to the personal objects and trinkets scattered about. Sofia didn't buy her books in one go on amazing nor did she purchase all pieces of art one sleepless night on Etsy. In the accompanying interview, she notes that she actually snapped many of the photos herself. They look quite lovely and professonal simply because they are beautifully framed. You, too, can do this! And you don't need an expensive camera to follow suit :) 

Also: I'm beginning to think that a watermelon-colored desk is the secret to greatness. For all you die-hard Jenna Lyons fans, you know what I mean. I was already planning to repaint my black desk a pure white once the weather warmed up, but now I'm rethinking everything.   

Put your high school French skills to use and read the article here. Bonne journée!

Monday
Mar172014

une citation

"She has
Inner Resources."

-Kay Thompson, Eloise 

(via)