Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Real Lee Radziwill.

While she has long captivated the public as one of Truman Capote’s swans, the sister of Jackie Kennedy and a European princess, with romantic liaisons from Peter Beard to Aristotle Onassis, not one of those labels begins to capture the true woman. The inimitable Radziwill — direct, free spirited and true to her own ideals — offers a rare, personal glimpse into her remarkable world.
“Oo—h. You’re here already!” The voice, lively, with its unmistakable husky drop, comes in to the living room. I turn from the balcony that looks out onto the Avenue Montaigne.
“Oo—h” — again, that low last note — “how did you get here so quickly?”

Lee Radziwill in the living room of her apartment in Paris,
which she designed. 
Photograph by François Halard. Styled by Carolina Irving.

Radziwill photographed by Richard Avedon in the library of her Fifth Avenue home, 
from her book
 ‘‘Happy Times’’. Still Life Of ‘‘Happy Times’’ (Assouline): Stan Wan, 
Photo In Book: © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Her parents,
John and Janet Lee Bouvier, in Southampton, N.Y., in 1932.
Radziwill at home with her daughter, Tina,

 in a room designed by Mongiardino in London in 1966. 
Cecil Beaton/Vogue/Condé Nast

With her sister Jacqueline at a debutante ball in 1951. Cecil Beaton/Vogue/Condé Nast

With her ex-husband Prince Stanislas ‘‘Stas’’ Radziwill in 1967.
Daily Mail/Rex/Alamy
Radziwill with her pug, Thomas, photographed for Vogue in 1960.

Henry Clarke/Condé Nast Ltd./Trunk Archive

A watercolor painting by Radziwill in her New York apartment.

 Eric Boman

With her great friend the ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev in 1974.
Keystone Pictures USA/Zuma Press

In a cape and satin dress by Nina Ricci in 1962
 during a photo shoot at an estate in Paris.
 © Mark Shaw/MPTV Images

Radziwill with Mick and Bianca Jagger in Montauk, N.Y., in 1972. 

© Peter Beard/Art + Commerce
A Polaroid of Radziwill taken by Andy Warhol in 1972.
 © 2013 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 
Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Napping with her West Highland terrier, Whiz, in 1985.
Courtesy Of Lee Radziwill

With her ex-husband Herbert Ross
at a Giorgio Armani party at the Musée Rodin in 1989.
 Courtesy Of Lee Radziwill

Walking with Andy Warhol and his dachshund in Montauk in 1973. 

Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images

In Conca dei Marini, Italy, with her sister in 1962. 

Benno Graziani/Photo12

Truman Capote and Radziwill in ‘‘Happy Times.’’
Still lifes of ‘‘Happy Times’’ (Assouline): Stan Wan, photos in book:
© Peter Beard/Art + Commerce

Shopping with her daughter

 Tina and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in Capri in 1970. 
Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images

Feeling happy and relieved in East Hampton, N.Y.,
after her son Anthony’s wedding in 1994.
 Courtesy Of Lee Radziwill

Radziwill, today, in an Azzedine Alaïa jacket and her own earrings,

 holding her signature Vogue. 
Portrait by Mario Sorrenti.
 Styled by Anastasia Barbieri.
 Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi for Chanel.

Sofia Coppola, filmmaker talking About Lee:

Lee and I recently ended up on the same flight to Paris. As we were waiting at the airport, she shared a delicious, tiny chicken salad sandwich that her housekeeper had wrapped in foil for her. I was practically in pajamas and, as always, she was in cream cashmere, looking, as always, perfectly put together. At one point, she asked me to watch her dog, Zinnia, as she sneaked off to the ladies’ room with one of her thin Vogue cigarettes. When I asked her where she was going, she said, “I’m not telling,” with a little smile and disappeared.
I got to know Lee through Marc Jacobs when I was living in Paris. She helped him pick out beautiful linens and dishes when he was setting up his apartment. Lee knew all the best places to go, and they got beautiful tablecloths at D. Porthault and silver at Puiforcat. Of course, she has impeccable taste and knows how things should be done. My upbringing was crazy and fun, with ’70s artists in Northern California, not at all like the precise world Lee seems to live in, which I find so interesting. I love her classic and chic apartments with beautiful flowers and books and grown-up furniture. I love having lunch with Lee. Recently I met her, and she looked great in bright pink slim Céline trousers and a hat. I always wonder what she thinks of the world around her today, how different it must be to when she grew up. I think she likes me because I’m not really gaudy or ostentatious.
I love hearing stories of her life. My favorites are about when she and Truman Capote went on tour with the Rolling Stones and got caught in the middle of a drug bust. And I love hearing the glamorous love stories. She told me her greatest romance was with Peter Beard in Greece one summer, when he was teaching art to her niece and nephew. That ended her marriage, but how great to have that be your romantic summer fling?
Lee keeps everyone on their toes — you feel like you have to be your best with her. I remember having dinner with her, and she ordered a delicate plate of asparagus. I got a big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese, and she looked horrified. I have a great memory of being on a boat in Corsica with Lee, and after a picnic of Corsican cheese and rosé she dove into the turquoise water and swam to a little island. She always looks chic, whether just out of the ocean, hair back in a sleek one-piece or at dinner on vacation in white trousers.
I also love that she’s so honest, doesn’t tolerate phoniness, tells great stories and always has perfect hair. I love the way she speaks. I don’t know anyone else who phrases things the way she does. She once described a lunch with someone as, “Just truly a life-diminishing experience.”
One of my most vivid memories of Lee is visiting her apartment in Paris with my young daughters for tea. Romy was 4, and Lee gave her a plate of brownies and pastries. I was terrified of a hyper kid surrounded by cream furniture and toile, and Lee, in a perfectly calm voice and a smile, said to her, “Romy, I will just kill you if you get chocolate on my chair.” They have been friends ever since.

Lee Radziwill with  Sofia Coppola’s daughter Romy.

1 comment:

  1. I loved these photos and this history. Thanks for sharing!

    Kate from Clear the Way



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