A quote from 'American Beauty' by Claiborne Swanson Frank
Bee Shaffer (daughter of Anna Wintour) and Claiborne Swanson Frank
A few weeks ago I headed to the beautiful home of Ruthie Sommers, interior maven, at a party hosted by Moda Operandi and Assouline, to fete the launch of Claiborne Swanson Frank's book, 'American Beauty'.
The evening was quite perfect, the perfect temperature, the perfect crowd and the perfect host in Ruthie Sommers – seriously, I told her she made be ashamed to call myself a grown up – her home was the perfect balance of real home and style.
I felt oddly at home in this crowd of models, journalists and other icons. I've heard many, in their coverage of the event, describe it as a "wasp-y" crowd full of "Easy Coast-ers" – and yet here they were, on the West Coast – perhaps these are the same folks that also like decry L.A as a place with no culture and once they find themselves in a crowd of cultured individuals, exclaim it to be an "East Coast crowd". The ultimate in eye rolls and pet peeve of mine – the second a classy restaurant, bar, fashion collection, or event or building pops up "ooh it's very New York" – can it not be old or cultural without being compared New York?!
Nonetheless, it was a fashion crowd, many designers, including Jenni Kayne, who was photographed for the book, were present, rubbing elbows with actresses such as Lake Bell and editors such as Marlien Rentmeester of Lucky Magazine. For me it was a personal call to action to be a little more selective with the events I attend (confirmed further that evening by the bun fight that was the Nasty Gal party – love Nasty Gal…but that was how not to do an event)
The book itself, I was lucky enough to take one home, is a gorgeous and empowering collection of portraits, all shot by Claiborne Swanson Frank, of women from all walks of life, Lauren Santo Domingo, Solange Knowles and Minnie Mortimer were all photographed. The pictures were accompanied by short bios and story's and quotes along the theme of 'American Beauty' such as Oscar Wilde's "Beauty is a form of Genius and is higher, indeed, than Genius as it needs no explanation" and Jackie Kennedy's "I am a woman above everything else".
All in all, a wonderful evening, wonderful company, and a wonderful book.
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