Last year I was honoured to have been asked to do a table for the NGV event Best Of The Best/The Art Of Dining along with so many very talented peers. My table curation was an ode to The Swans, my ultimate style icons.
The Swans are what American writer Truman Capote dubbed his stylish clique, a group of impossibly chic women. From Babe Paley through to Slim Keith, the design drew from their innate, stylish aesthetic. As the last of the Swans had recently passed, it seems that it is certainly the end of an era. A world away from today's influencers and social media frenzy, Dinner with the Swans transported us back to a time of grace, conversation, and ceremony.
Capote became completely intertwined in their glamorous lives, vicariously breathing in their wealth, their exotic holidays and private yachts. He was their confidant, their companion and their biggest fan. One can only imagine their dinner parties and gatherings, the most sought-after ticket in town was to one of their soirees: colourful characters, sharp-witted conversation and the most sophisticated tablescapes.
I also debuted my Marella chair, a new addition to my furniture collection for Arthur G, at the event. The Marella is named in honour of the Swan, Italian-born Marella Agnelli. She was a true style icon, an art collector and socialite married to the CEO of Fiat. Capote named her "the European swan numero uno". The Swans' guest list—invitations were written on monogrammed paper, of course!—included Babe Paley, Marella Agnelli, Lee Radszwill, Bunny Mellon, Slim Keith, Gloria Guinness, C.Z Guest, Gloria Guinness, Pamela Churchill, and their very prestigious plus-ones.