COSMOPOLITAN LIVES

COSMOPOLITAN LIVES

Fall has never looked so luxurious, has it? We’re wide-eyed with optimism as we venture out again into the world, with these fresh looks, as well as some familiar favorites, will have you feeling warm all over as the temperature dips. These are some of the runway collection favorites, according to our fashion arbiter Jake Gaines, as you hit the town.

A GIRL NAMED VIVIAN

A GIRL NAMED VIVIAN

My Darling Vivian, the insightful documentary about San Antonio native Vivian Liberto Cash, the first wife of singing legend Johnny Cash, sheds a new light on a famous relationship, according to our own Lance Avery Morgan.

Photography courtesy of My Darling Vivian and Amazon Prime

In the days before the self-imposed spotlight of the media glare, fame looked different in the 1950s and 1960s. In the new documentary, My Darling Vivian, about the love affair, marriage and children of singer Johnny Cash and his San Antonio native wife, Vivian Liberto, a thoughtful look is given at how a deep love formed under the media scrutiny on the couple. The film’s title, an homage to the plethora of love letters sent between the duo, is a valentine to the life and fortitude of its primary subject, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, a vibrant Texas woman.

The project underscores Vivian’s childhood as the middle daughter of strict Italian Catholic parents, to her teenage romance (and subsequent three-year-long correspondence with the thousand letters) with Johnny Cash–in which she reveals to him an inferiority complex rooted in her exotic appearance. Her new life in Memphis as a woman in love; a first-time mother who finds out she’s pregnant with her second child just six weeks after the birth of her first; and as the wife of a door-to-door salesman turned-overnight-music- sensation all played out like an epic soap opera. Eventually, the family moves to Los Angeles and Johnny almost immediately becomes absent due to his devotion to performing, fame…and drugs. Told through rare home movie footage, as well as hundreds of vintage photos, the beautifully produced project, with a lush orchestral score, is devoted to their relationship as seen through the eyes of the Cash’s four daughters, Roseanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara.   

“My mother’s own story has often been lost or misinterpreted to serve a myth,” shared Roseanne Cash. “This elegant film about her–the real Vivian Liberto, not the Hollywood version–is painful but compassionate, wrenching but true. Even though she was an intensely private woman, I think she longed to have her story told, and her place in the history of my family acknowledged with respect and love. Matt Riddlehoover and Dustin Tittle have succeeded in giving her that place. My sisters and I are deeply moved by and grateful for My Darling Vivian.” The family affair element was firmly in place since Tittle, a producer on the project, is also a grandson of Vivian and Johnny Cash.

Many recall the 2005 OscarÒ-winning film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon and Johnny and June Carter Cash. The role of Vivian Cash, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, portrayed her as a psycho victim who was jealous of her husband’s musical career. As the documentary unfolds, nothing could be further from the truth and it’s easy to see how Vivian loathed being the “other woman” to Johnny’s career, which came first, before his family, and then, to June Carter, Cash’s second wife, with their very public relationship that helped sell millions of records. 

As in all lives, there are good times and often, just as many tragedies. The seven-year nightmare of the family living in Casitas Springs in Ventura County, with four young daughters, included sleepless nights waiting up for the husband who rarely arrived. In the midst of losing Johnny to June Carter, the all-hours visits from fans deprived her of any semblance of safety, compounded by a frightening race-related scandal in 1966, which led to threatening letters from the Ku Klux Klan, eventually pushing her to a mental breaking point.

The personal toll that Vivian’s divorce from Johnny took on her was immense, which included being excommunicated from the Catholic church, and the “unspoken bargain” that was her second marriage. Happily, her trying to regain her identity led to a social and creative blossoming, despite having to witness the aggressively perpetuated myth of Johnny and June’s love story.

The heartfelt film, full of the loving retrospective of Vivian Liberto Cash Distin’s life, is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and is served up perfectly in a beautifully told story with a musical and Texas perspective. “Her life was romantic and bewildering, difficult and significant, and wholly filmatic–more than a mere footnote in the biography of Johnny Cash,” said Matt Riddlehoover, the film’s director. Visit Amazon Prime to access the film.

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SCENTS & SENSIBILTY

SCENTS & SENSIBILTY

The nose always knows. Here, the Yellow Nose of Texas, our own Gordon Kendall recalls what is really missing from virtual partying these days, as he sniffs out the biggest glitch in today’s ever-evolving online world.

 

THE ORIGINAL CLUB KIDS

Age appropriate, not high style, now informs our evening’s virtual fashion sensibilities. Back in the days of our youth, if we didn’t hear each other, it wasn’t some D.J.s fault…we just had somehow muted ourselves similar to today’s Zoom session. As is happening more and more, we like to reminisce. Like about the times we excitedly, but not ecstatically, made it into certain notorious dance clubs across the state. We had the beat, to paraphrase the Go-Gos. Strange how the olfactory to mind to memory connection works. All of a sudden, I blurted out Calvin…in the blue bottle. That’s what I wore. Calvin Klein, that is. From there, we went on and on about that one elusive thing virtual partying still can’t provide: the smell of it all.  

Our party times started quite young in the late 70s, well into the 2000s. Then, the “big browns” in men’s colognes like Revlon’s Braggi from 1966 and Lauder’s 1968 Aramis, remained favorites for many of our fathers. Where do you think Tom Ford is getting all the ideas for such current colognes as his very own? They harken back in time. Colognes may have lightened in color over time, but not in power, like Dior’s Jules of 1980 and Yves Saint Laurent’s 1981 Korous, both punchy, with citrusy bergamot somewhere in their formulation. Spicy Lagerfeld of 1978 that came in a lab-like bottle was everywhere. Chanel’s Antaeus, 1981, was for that guy who wanted it powerful but with a subtle twist of, get this, sage. It was as smoky as the venues 606 in Austin, Metropole in Houston, Eight-O’s in Dallas, and Bwana Dick in San Antonio. With apologies to oh-so-many others, two men’s colognes sum up the era: Lauren’s tobacco-y, citrus-y Polo, in the green flask from 1978 and Calvin Klein’s Obsession that made the world smell like spicy vanilla in 1986. Still around and going strong, but our generation had them first.      

SCENT OF A WOMAN

It was the ladies, though, who really could make their presence felt through fragrances of these times. Sure, big shoulders could carry off White Shoulders, for the lady who loved the classics, and there was and will always be Joy at any party (bought for many daughters by their fathers since it was then billed as the most expensive perfume in the world). The late 70s and 80s brought a whole new way of thinking about women’s fragrances. Sporty, sexy, and powerful. There was a fragrance for every personality. Lauder’s Aliage (1972) and Revlon’s Charlie (1973) were there along with Lauren (1978) to fit those moods. Then, there were the stand outs, the didn’t-smell-that-coming scents like Dior’s wickedly fruity Poison (1985). Later, Mugler’s Angel from 1992 is another. I swear it smells like State Fair cotton candy, even from across a SXSW venue. As with men’s, so many scents were offered then, but Yves Saint Laurent’s Opium (1977) and Giorgio Beverly Hills (1981)…did I even have to name it? They were the scents of that era.

We keep buying newer communication technologies but memory transports us back to our fragrant past. Your memories are likely as sweet as mine. So, let’s keep making more of them with new olfactory sensations the scent masters have in mind for us yet to enjoy. Because, you never know, when that next set of memories will inform your future.

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THE ABUNDANCE OF HOPE

THE ABUNDANCE OF HOPE

The greater the hope, the greater the outcome, a wise philosopher once said. Our intuitive self-help expert, Austin-based Resonance Repatterning Practitioner, Mary Schneider, shares ideas that can help us thrive and move forward.

What do you think it will be like post-COVID-19? Of course, everyone will initially give a huge sigh of relief, assuming the virus will disappear and go back where it came from. It may not. There are tons of possibilities and the only common thread among them is we just do not know. The scientists do not know yet, and the clergy, academicians, and politicians do not know yet. A large segment of the population still questions the very existence of the virus. It is a classic case of we do not know what we do not know.

For many of us, the presence of the virus has caused terror, grief and pain. Our hearts go out to all of those who have suffered in this situation. It is necessary, now more, than ever to have compassion for everyone.  The world at large has been touched by it in some way. And, yet, as in all difficult times, we human beings still have hope. Hope in a cure, hope in a vaccine, and hope for better days ahead. What is this strangely human state of mind that appears in the worst of times? It is a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen. Barbara Fredrickson, professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says, “Hope is not your typical form of positivity. Most positive emotions arise when we feel safe and satiated. Hope is the exception. It comes into play when our circumstances are dire.”

Despite prevailing pessimism, there are signs we could be cautiously optimistic. Having had time to evaluate what is important in life, people are making different choices. They are spending more quality time with their families and pets (it is reported that dogs are having the best time ever). Over the years in my practice, I have seen many families who lack real intimacy. Lives are filled with activities that appear to portray happy family systems. Busy-ness isn’t intimacy. Studies show when people experience more intimacy they become happier. Happy people are kinder people. This might just lead to a kinder world for us all.

Businesses are making different choices, too. It has become relatively easy to work at home over the past decade or so. Many people already do. But the necessity of having most employees work from home has made companies take a good look at how much money they are spending on expensive office space. A widely held myth claimed employees are not as productive working from the home as in the office. Recent research shows just the opposite. Now, management has proof  they can downsize. So, the work environment, as we know it, will be different in the future.

In addition, the concept of intimacy comes up again. Connections that are made working in teams and with colleagues in the office may become more appreciated and valued. There is no way to predict what this unique and untried work arrangement will do for a company’s culture. It will likely be extremely beneficial to families, especially children. In my experience, what most children want more than anything is to spend quality time with their parents. Again, what this can do for the world at large could be transformative.

What is even more hopeful is seeing young Americans involved and engaged in what is currently happening in this country. This movement is spread so much wider than any other. It goes far beyond just those who have been affected by any type of discrimination. These transformations are the benefit of having hope. Barbara Fredrickson says that, “Hope comes into its own when crisis looms, opening us to new creative possibilities.” I hope this is what is happening now. How will you progress in your life moving forward?

STYLE FOR MILES

STYLE FOR MILES

As the season cools down, how about stacking your coffee tables and bookshelves a mile high with these latest style stunners? Our bibliophile Lance Avery Morgan recommends the best books to inform and inspire right now.

A HOME FOR ALL SEASONS
By Danielle Rollins

Tastemaker and designer Danielle Rollins invites readers to join her at home in this primer on living and entertaining in style. She shows you how to use home spaces for memorable gatherings, giving as much interior design inspiration, as she does share her secrets for all occasions. $50. At RizzoliUSA.

HARPER’S BAZAAR: FIRST IN FASHION
By Marianne Le Galliard and Éric Pujalet-Plaà

Fashion mavens and design aficionados are drawn to the bright, colorful, and playful patterns that are instantly recognizable as Lilly Pulitzer. But perhaps the name Suzie Zuzek is not as recognizable as it should be. The majority of Pulitzer’s fabric designs from 1962 through 1985 were based on artwork by the Key West-based artist synonymous with Slim Aarons, Jackie O, and the Palm Beach crowd. $50. At RizzoliUSA.com

YVES SAINT LAURENT

By Roxanne Lowit

 

Whether Saint Laurent was surrounded by beautiful models or peeking at the catwalk from the wings, Lowit distinctively captured the famed designer, along with his striking creations with her camera. Here, she creates a vibrant portrait of this towering fashion figure. $34.95. At ThamesAnd HudsonUSA.com

INSIDE MARRAKESH: ENCHANTING HOMES AND GARDENS
By Meryanne Loum-Martin

Contemporary design meets Marrakesh’s splendid artistic heritage in this beautiful volume that transports you to this fabled city and guides us through the extraordinary residences of the city’s leading tastemakers. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

THE PERFECT GENTLEMAN
By James Sherwood

This lavish publication celebrates the modern gentleman. It features six historical chapters, from the Regency period to the present. The new generation of designer artisans who are redefining notions of quality and handwork in the era of globalization and digital technologies are also included.$39.95. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

DESIGNING HISTORY
By Michael S. Smith

Not since Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic work on the White House has a designer of Michael Smith’s stature been commissioned to bring a new design spirit to the mansion. His updating of the Obama-era White House is unparalleled in style and grace. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

GABRIELLE CHANEL
By Miren Arzalluz

Chanel’s ideas on elegance and what it meant to be a modern woman created an immutable sense of style that still resonates today. Aralluz chronicles the designer’s life from birth through the evolution of her timeless style. $60. At At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

AN ENTERTAINING STORY
By India Hicks

Style icon India Hicks has a charming take on entertaining, featuring her dreamy tablescapes, recipes, and enjoyable family anecdotes. It’s brimming with inspiration, tips, and gorgeous photos of Hicks’ home and family. $50. At RizzoliUSA.com.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME
By Cath Kidston

This English country dream beckons us to visit in these pages. It’s both a personal glimpse into this dream home and the surrounding grounds and how they were created, curated, and nurtured, as well as being a design book and memoir. $45. At  RizzoliUSA.com.

THE SARTORIALIST: MAN
By Scott Schuman

Here’s the definitive menswear guide showcasing the diversity of today’s well-dressed man. The book, a true men’s fashion primer, is not a list of rules, but more of an update on style principles, design strategies, and practical lessons on all sartorial matters. From fit to fabric, from head to toe. $45. At RizzoliUSA.com.

ENTERTAINING BEAUTIFULLY
By Aerin Lauder

Accept this invitation into the endlessly inspiring and unique celebrations of the iconic tastemaker and hostess. This elegant entertaining book reveals how to bring beauty, style, and joy into milestone events, holidays, or everyday moments and meals. $55. At RizzoliUSA.com.

INTERIOR VOYAGES
By Matthieu Salvaing

Transporting readers to more than two dozen evocative spaces, and on whirlwind excursions to lush, overgrown corners of the world,  Salvaing’s lens also offers endless interior design inspiration. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

THE MR. PORTER GUIDE TO A BETTER DAY
By Mr. Porter Editors

A dawn-to-dusk instruction manual for men to live effortlessly and elegantly in the modern world.Interviews with the world’s most interesting and thoroughly well-put-together men, lincluding a few of your favorite male celebrities, are also included. $40. At ThamesAndHudsonUSA.com.

NAAEM KHAN: EMBELLISHED
By Naaem Khan

A favorite of so many socialites, celebrated fashion designer Naeem Khan unveils a world of chic opulence that includes bridal gowns, and beautifully beaded and embroidered statement pieces in this must-have tome. $85. At RizzoliUSA.com.

A TALE OF INTERIORS
By Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward

These expertly crafted, layered, and lush interiors for rock stars and Hollywood types are over the top in all the right ways. With a flair for artful, organized abundance that is always glamourous, this first monograph is not to be missed. $60. At RizzoliUSA.com.

GOLDEN LIGHT
By Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe

Top designers Todd Nickey and Amy Kehoe are fascinated by how a room can come together to express its own persona, as though the design just happened. The result is their interior design  appears as if it were a personal collection of the randomly put together, when in fact it is the product of their very mindful curating. $55. At RizzoliUSA.com.

WHO CARES WINS
By Lily Cole

A rousing call to action, this book will leave you feeling hopeful that we can make a difference in the midst of an age of turmoil, destruction, and uncertainty. It is up to each of us to actively choose optimism, collaborate, make changes, and define what is possible. Start here. $35. At RizzoliUSA.com.

JAMES HUNIFORD: AT HOME
By James Huniford and Stephen Treffinger

Stylish and oh-so-elegant, here’s an in-depth look at the design process of Huniford, who is renowned for his skill in juxtaposing opposites like contemporary and traditional, rustic with refined…to create a timeless whole. $50. At MonacelliPress.com.

THROUGH A DESIGNER’S EYE: A FOCUS ON INTERIORS
By Matthew Patrick Smyth

Smyth is renowned for his elegant, sophisticated rooms that combine sumptuous fabrics, well-selected antiques, and contemporary comfort. In this new book, his engaging, first-person narrative focuses on the five elements of interior design that contribute to successful spaces. $60. At MonacelliPress.com.

CRYSTALIZING HOPE

CRYSTALIZING HOPE

 Helping Hand Home Hosts Annual Crystal Ball Presentation And Gala

By Rose Betty Williams     Photography by Jetter Photography

THE SETTING: Before COVID-19, the Helping Hand Society celebrated the 77th annual Crystal Ball with a brunch and fashion show and the black tie Debutante Presentation Gala 2020 at the Palmer Events Center. Thirty-four debutantes, their escorts and junior escorts were presented along with 151 ninth grade Helping Hand Girls and Boys and 39 First Grade Princesses.

THE STYLE: Julian Gold and Webber Productions presented the fashion show at the luncheon. Emcee Jim Spencer introduced the Princesses, HH Girls and HH Debutantes. HHH Executive Director Ted Keyser and HH Society President Becky Roche welcomed and thanked the HHH supporters, event sponsors, underwriters, auction donors, the participants, their families and HH Society members for their talents, tireless efforts and generosity. The capacity crowd applauded loudly when nine former HH presidents made a surprise appearance, modeling the latest fashions on the runway. The gala featured the debutante presentation, a silent auction, a buffet dinner by Catering by Rosemary and dancing to the music of Blind Date.

This year’s Helping Hand Crystal Ball debutantes are: Catherine Amlar Adams, Kathryn Paige Anderson, Saylor Grace Barton, Larson Lane Beck, Lara Reyne Bell, Eloise Jane Breckbill, Emma Rose Breckwoldt, Caroline Merritt Pasfield Brigham, Jennifer Sara Chafizadeh, Caroline Alexander Daniel, Allison Spencer Durrett, Megann Simms Ehrlich, Hailey Elizabeth Gove, Ann Campbell Griffin, Julie Morgan Howden, Katherine MacLeod Huffstutler, Mary Claire Kemper, Avery Elaine McCall, Julia Barnes McIntyre, Louisa Michelle Nash, Mary Margaret Oden, Jillian Renee Perry, Isabella Grace Porter, Caroline Avery Ryan, Sallie Ann Seiders, Kathryn Alexis Shirley, Samantha Larke Smith, Avery Paige Smitheal, Rachel Elizabeth Stewart, Mary Caroline Taaffe, Zoë Michelle Taylor, Evelyn Clara Voelter, Anna Elinor Whitehead, and Rory Suzanne Williams.

THE PURPOSE: The 2020 Crystal Ball was co-chaired by Julie Baselice and Ginnie Wilcox, along with a gala committee comprised of more than 70 Helping Hand Society member volunteers. It is the largest fundraiser for the Helping Hand Home for Children, raising more than $1.4 million in support of the Helping Hand Home’s mission: to provide a nurturing and therapeutic home for children and to restore each child to a healthy family setting. The goal of the organization is to protect and restore the lives of victimized children so that those without hope may reclaim their futures.

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