Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Love the Quirkily Fab... Rose Cummings

The wonderful Rose Cumming


The designer's famous "Zebrine" printed wallpaper lives on today in fabulous homes...


Cumming's magical living room...



another room of Roses, with "Birds of Prey" boldly displayed...


Rose's "Birds of Prey" prints today...


A young Rose, on the left, fighting for her rights as a gorgeous suffragette!


The violet haired wonder later in life...


Rose Cumming, the legendary interior designer who fabulously said, "You either have a flair, or you haven't" is one of my very favorite women in history. The young beauty hailed from Australia where she grew up on a sheep farm. When she reached the age to marry she and her sister traveled to England; however, due to the onset of WWI the two girls found themselves stranded in New York. While many women would shudder at this turn of events, Rose embraced the delay, taking the New York social scene by storm. With a little money, good looks and endless charm Rose found herself running in crowds with high society folk. It wasn't until this tired a bit that she consulted her friend and editor of Vanity Fair, Frank Crownenshield about beginning a career. His brilliant suggestion? A decorator. Thus the beginnings of a phenomenal career and empire (Cumming designed prints and patterns that are still in production today) began. Opening shop on Park Avenue, Cumming sold furnishings and decorated out of her store in a befitting style to her personality, using flamboyant colors, chintz's, and metallic wallpapers (something that was unheard of until she came on the scene) and quickly garnered the respect of clients like Mary Pickford, Norma Shearer and Marlene Dietrich. Famous for her brightly dyed violet locks and enormous presence, Cumming was known for pushing what was accepted in design, covering walls in Mylar, creating drapes out of cellophane and painting entire rooms aubergine! Both Cumming's design aesthetic and personal candor are unforgettable and we should all be so lucky to meet someone like the periwinkle-headed ingenue!

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