"The dreams, that wander to and fro among mankind, I will tell thee of what nature they are,--I who have seen so many more years than thou. Whatever a man has been thinking of during the day, is wont to hover round him in the visions of his dreams at night. Now we during these many days past have had our hands full of this enterprise. If however the matter be not as I suppose, but God has indeed some part therein, thou hast in brief declared the whole that can be said concerning it--let it e'en appear to me as it has to thee, and lay on me the same injunctions. But it ought not to appear to me any the more if I put on thy clothes than if I wear my own, nor if I go to sleep in they bed than if I do so in mine--supposing, I mean, that it is about to appear at all. for this thing, be it what it may, that visits thee in thy sleep, surely is not so far gone in folly as to see me, and because I am dressed in thy clothes, straightway to mistake me for thee. Now however our business is to see if it will regard me as of small account, and not vouchsafe to appear to me, whether I wear mine own clothes or thine, while it keeps on haunting thee continually. If it does so, and appears often, I should myself say that it was from God. For the rest, if thy mind is fixed, and it is not possible to turn thee from thy design, but I must needs go and sleep in thy bed, well and good, let it be even so; and when I have done as thou wishest, then let the dream appear to me."
"Walls shape our lives. Most of us live by house rules in rooms whose nature is dictated by their names. We sleep in the bedroom, we bathe in the bathroom, we cook in the kitchen. Yet, historically, the house has always been a fairly amorphous organism that changes in response to society. In the Middle Ages, domestic activity took place in one room, centered around a hearth (so much for open-plan being a modern concept). Two hundred years ago, it was the customary thing to receive company in your bedroom. One hundred years ago it would have been unthinkable not to have a dining room. Times change; walls, metaphorically, dissolve."
"For a while now it has been obvious that shelter magazine editors and by extension we the readers are not satisfied with a mere portrayal of rooms - there must be a story. Whether a story of celebrity, notoriety even, or just plain old-fashioned worship, a story there shall be. The plot, or subterfuge, if you will, is frequently the same - someone just walked out of a room that is littered with aesthetic and cultural detritus emblematic of riches and free time. An alliance between theatre and fiction, no less, the scripted yet supposedly extempore situation is the decorating world's equivalent of reality television.
I wonder if this making of backgrounds, stage sets really, for the mini-dramas of the rich and notorious is compensation for the neutralizing - one might say the dumbing down - of interiors that has happened over the last two decades? Interest must come from somewhere, after all, and the more complex the storyline, the more layers are applied to the room; thus the greater the opportunity for product placement - not in itself a bad thing, I'm sure you would agree."
"I wonder also where stylists go from here. To those modern sanctuaries, so-called retreats from the stresses of modern life - the bedroom and the bathroom, perhaps? In the cause of creating camera vérité, could a disheveled bathroom with its toothpaste bespattered mirror, a toilet seat not returned to a genteel horizontality, and a pair of his and his robes, room fragrance by... not be emblematic of a life well-lived? Or the bedroom, perhaps, with a trail of discarded clothing leading to a bed déshabillé - while we're there, why not three trails and a set of handcuffs on the bedposts? Now there's a story!"
"It appears to me that in our little outpost of the blogosphere there's a tendency to write adoringly about previous generations of aristocracy and royalty, be it actual or plutocratic, without overt cognizance of history, character, or politics. They are presented simply as style icons, their often deplorable behaviour and affiliations being totally disregarded. They are, merely by virtue of being old, rich and (mostly) dead, fabulous. In such a way is history rewritten, for in my opinion, there cannot but be a dimension beyond the superficial and the iconic.
I don't want to appear overly serious about what I see as the fictionalization of interiors, but I wonder what happened to require such a change. A change perhaps that came hand-in-hand with an apparently ravenous purience about the lives of people who are highly unlikely ever to be our intimates. Perhaps an appetite so strong it needs to be fed, however blurred the lines between reality and fable."
PHOTOGRAPHS OF KATE AND ANDY SPADE'S APARTMENT BY TODD SELBY, VIA THE SELBY; PHOTOGRAPHS OF MEXICO'S TELEVISA STUDIOS BY STEFAN RUIZ, FROM THE "FACTORY OF DREAMS" SERIES, VIA THE ARTIST'S WEBSITE [IMPETUS VIA RHIZOME.ORG]; TEXT TAKEN FROM "FAKIN' IT", AS WRITTEN FOR THE BLUE REMEMBERED HILLS