I’m on a bit of a Mike Nichols jag of late, the second acclaimed film of his career sending me in search of modern furnishings for a femme fatale he created, and guess where I found them? In the new introductions by Currey & Company, which will be on view at the Dallas Total Home and Gift Market from June 22 through 28; the Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market from July 12 through 19; and the Las Vegas Market from July 31 through August 4, where Currey & Company will be opening a brand new showroom. Today I’m celebrating a number of these products while paying homage to a character born on the big screen 49 years ago this coming December 22nd.
Currey & Company is Defining New Classics
I’ll reveal my choice after I present these contemporary furnishings with timeless appeal from Currey & Company’s newest spring offerings.
The Jubilee chandelier is made of wrought iron and mirror, and has been treated to a painted silver Granello finish.
A detail of the handle on the Briallen Demi-lune, which is made of solid antiqued brass.
The Longleaf wall sconce is finished in a dark contemporary gold leaf and made of wrought iron.
The Solene chandelier adjusts from 36” to 75” high and is made of wrought iron with a silver-leaf finish. The shade shown is off-white linen.
The Monarch three-drawer chest, made of wood and mirror, has been treated to a light antique finish.
The Octave table lamp is made of glass and optic crystal with dark smoke, black and clear finishes, fitted here with an off-white shantung shade.
The Leandre 12-light chandelier is made of metal with an antique brass finish and crystal accents.
The Gilda vanity and vanity mirror have been treated to Granello silver-leaf and antiqued mirror finishes.
Currey & Company’s 6-light Canto chandelier made of wrought iron with a dark antique gold-leaf finish, shown with optional black shantung shades.
And Here’s to You, Mrs. Robinson
Did the above headline give it away that I’ve chosen Anne Bancroft’s character Mrs. Robinson in Nichols’ 1967 film The Graduate? I chose her because in the film, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won the Oscar for Best Directing, she is sultry and moody, her wardrobe is killer, and the interiors of her home are as sophisticatedly cosmopolitan as she is.
It was fascinating to watch the movie recently after so many years, seeing her character move through the machinations toward a fresh-faced Ben Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman at the launch of his career. His star has risen so high since then that seeing him was like experiencing a completely new character than the one I witnessed the first time around—the known leading man infiltrating the unknown neophyte with a strange familiarity that couldn’t have existed when the film debuted. The melodies also plucked at a poignant place in me given the distance of time, proving that nostalgia gleans its power only from afar.
Besides the soundtrack, the fashion and Bancroft’s sultry magnetism, the interiors created by production designer Richard Sylbert struck a wistful chord with the midcentury sophistication of the rooms he actualized. He infused Mrs. Robinson’s lair, where her seduction begins, with animalistic prowess and a polished poise that holds up to stylish standards today.
Cinematically Defining a Midcentury Mood
Looking back at the film in an article for Vanity Fair, Sam Kashner reports the furs Bancroft wore, which included a Somalian leopard-skin wrap, were worth $25,000, the value today adding up to around $180,000. Kashner quotes Nichols as saying he kept thinking about the beast in the jungle so animal skins seemed a natural extension of Bancroft’s character.
Black leather on the furniture intermingled with black fur, tiger stripes and leopard spots on throws and in her wardrobe as she tiptoed through the confines of her cage, the mission-style façade with its statuesque arched doorway less fortress than prison. The tailored pairing of black and white was ubiquitous—the tiled floor of the hotel in a harlequin pattern, striped wallpaper and awning fabrics, and Bancroft rocking a black and white cheetah-patterned skirt. There are hints of gold and silver, pale painted furniture, and the movie is lit by a sultry golden glow, all inspiring my Currey & Company choices for Bancroft’s sensually alluring lair. Which pieces I referenced do you think are the best fits for this movie’s mood?
Upcoming Event Details
The Currey & Company showroom in Dallas is in the World Trade Center at 2050 Stemmons Freeway, Suite 10000 so stop by from June 22 through 28 to see the new introductions. Also on our summer event list is the Atlanta Gift & Home Furnishings Market from July 12 through 19 in the AmericasMart Building 1 in Suite 14F10, and the Las Vegas Market from July 31 through August 4—our first time back in the World Market Center in a while. Look for us in Building C in Suite 398.
If you come to see us in any of these showrooms and you see other products you feel would fit Mrs. Robinson to a tee, Instagram them and call us out, okay?
Saxon Henry also blogs on The Diary of an Improvateur.