Elsie de Wolfes Paris
The American decorator Elsie de Wolfe (1858–1950) was the international set’s preeminent hostess in Paris during the interwar years. She had a legendary villa in Versailles, where in the late 1930s she held two fabulous parties—her Circus Balls—that marked the end of the social scene that her friend Cole Porter perfectly captured in his songs, as the clouds of war swept through Europe. Charlie Scheips tells the story of these glamorous parties using a wealth of previously unpublished photographs and introducing a large cast of aristocrats, beauties, politicians, fashion designers, movie stars, moguls, artists, caterers, florists, party planners, and decorators. A landmark work of social history and a poignant vision of a vanished world, Scheips’s book belongs on the shelf with Abrams’ classics such as Slim Aarons: Once Upon A Time and Tony Duquette.