Mrs Tannenbaum

In Accessories, Fashionistas, Older women on June 14, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Oh the joy of social networking.

Thanks to Facebook, my friend Stephanie Turner could show me this wonderful slideshow (link below, I can’t work out how to embed the bloody things in this blog…) of legendary fabulous oldie Iris Apfel’s apartment.

This is the stuff of John Pawson’s nightmares. I’m sure in one of the shots of the hall I can see pictures hung on pictures. I love it. Especially the mirror with the herons (I think they’re herons). I need that in my bathroom. Makes the two gold mirrors I have in there seem positively plain.

So I posted that on Twitter and emailed it to my friend William Petley, who sent me back the fabulous video here.

‘My mother worshipped at the altar of accessories…’

Oh, I love her. Oh, I wish I’d come out with that line.

Anyway, I call her Mrs Tannenbaum because when I met the amazing woman I am now sure was here, in a shop in Paris years ago she told me her name was Mrs Tannenbaum, which is German for Christmas tree.

I’m trying to find the column I wrote about that encounter, it’s around here somewhere on papyrus, or etched into a stone tablet. When I do, I’ll put it on here.

  1. Simply fantastic. I feel inspired and empowered and now I must make dinner. NOt a task. I love to cook! What a grand diversion a wet and gloomy New England day.
    Makes me want to organize my closets. Makes me want to have such a fashion sense and be her! . Gawd … I have to write some business stories for the local newspaper. At least one is an artist.

  2. hmmm … perhaps it is my blindness, butr I am notr sure my last comment went through.
    I love this post, maggie.

  3. Oh, those stacks of books … drool.

    And her glasses – I want, want, want, want glasses just like them!

  4. Maybe I am just noticing this sort of thing more, but it’s so exciting that the style of women of this age is being celebrated. I am addicted to Ari Seth Cohen’s “Advanced Style. It is for me the most inspirational and exciting thing going on in fashion. I love how these women are truly themselves. I’m turning 40 this year and looking forward not fading into the back ground over the coming years. I bought a Karen Walker blouse this season with beautiful silk detailed sleeves in a wonderful print of pegs and figured this is fab now, but will be AMAZING when I’m 70!

    (and I think the paintings are hung on framed mirrored panels)

    • Yes I love Advanced Style – I mentioned it when I first wrote about Foldies a while back. I think it is a bit of a thing right now, possibly because in the first world all the countries have ageing populations. The Baby Boomers are now all 50 plus and as the population bulge, they still set the scene.

  5. I think I remember that column – about a woman whose next decade would start with an 8 or a 9, and who carried nothing but a messenger boy pouch? (sounds a bit restrained for Iris) If I remember it so well, I’ve probably read it recently which means it’s probalby on the back of a recipe cut from Good Weekend. Would you like me to look?
    It’s a delight to find your old columns from time to time. Your one on shopping for babies in Paris enable me to send my daughter down the Rue Vavain last year to by clothes for her sister’s new baby. Long live Maggie!

    • Hurrah about the rue Vavain one because when that came out I got the most HORRIBLE letter from some woman telling me I was just a horrible smug show off, gloating because I could buy baby clothes in Paris – so it means a lot to know that some people took it in th spirt in which it was intended! xxx I think the piece is in a book that’s in my office, so I’m going to copy it out xxx

  6. Maggie I took that column about the rue Vavain with me to Paris after I had my first child, loved your advice, loved the shopping. Sometimes jealousy rears its ugly head….

  7. Ah, thank you for telling me who she is – I saw this gorgeous photo – – by Jamie Beck yesterday in a post on her blog From Me to You and was wondering who that fabulous woman could be. Mrs Tannenbaum indeed! Thanks for another lovely post.

  8. Oh – I subscribe to Architectural Digest (thanks to some quirk of subscription cutting, its cheaper in Aus than some local publications) and when I saw your email I knew exactly who you were referring to!

    When I saw this magazine spread my eyes widened at ALL .. THE… STUFF.. in her apartment! However, when you look at so many of the homes featured in that magazine (and others) they are a homogenised, stylised “space” rather than a home. Good on her for living her own life and not giving two hoots what the rest of us think. I closed that mag knowing which home I’d love to have a drink in!!

  9. If you can’t find your article about mrs tanenbaum I’ve got it. I loved it. I have it filed under ‘it’s not so bad getting old’ It’s one thing to look amazing when you’re young and smooth and shiny and quite another to rise to the challenge of dressing when there are four-score candles plus on your birthday cake…

    • oh you beauty – I can’t find a copy of the book that has it in anywhere. Don’t know what I’ve done with them all. I’m going to give it one more look… x

  10. Speaking of shopping in Paris. In 2000 you wrote an article in the SMH about shopping in Paris and it was fantastic. I went to London with my husband and baby for a few months and we spent a long weekend in Paris. I got my father to fax through the article and I used it in Paris. It allowed me to pin point areas and shops to go and it was a god send as my 9 month old baby had to go with me as well. I haven’t been to Paris since but I would still enjoy reading any follow up articles.

  11. I’m envying her gorgeous crop of hair – thick, white and well cut. Nice hairline, too. How fabulous!

  12. How great to be Maggie A and inspire such interesting and diverse comments. That Apfel is making my day or year or something. I am one of those foldies!
    It is curious to me, as a journalist, that I am finding more and more (as in my interview today with Zenstones) that we boomers are setting some marks. This company makes eco-friendly and uber green bath and kitchen basins, countertops etc but it is doing so with STYLE.
    I just love subscribing to this. Apfel is a miracle, isn’t she?
    By the way, I checked today, Maggie, to see if I could buy and download more of your books. No. Not yet. I hope at some point. I send them enough emails and spend enough money that I hope they will listen to me!!!!!
    I find that a great pair of very dark jeans and a sleek black tee shirt is great if you pair it with lots of Tiffany jewelry and vintage jewelry. Add some Dior sport shoes or Gucci loafers and a GREAT bag and you are set. I can go anywhere — although I must say that few notice such in this mostly provincial New England town. However, tonight we’re going to a new place called Street that is GLO BAL. Hello! I am so ready for global to meet local ….

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