Elsa Peretti’s House in Vogue US (1976)

In 1976 Vogue US featured Elsa Peretti’s New York apartment (the one she had taken over from Halston) on its pages. The photoshoot by Horst P. Horst portrayed the Italian artist in a minimalist space and focused on details too.

In her own words, the apartment had “bare bleached white floors, mirrored walls, lemon trees, banquettes covered in white Haitian cotton, white director’s chairs, and a work table,” which also functioned for dining and making up.

The aforementioned work table can be seen in the picture above: on it there are some pieces of jewellery, beauty items and a massive bottle that would be impossible not to notice.

It’s a factice of the famous teardrop bottle Elsa designed to house the first women’s fragrance by Halston [1]. Created by Bernard Chant and launched in 1975, the perfume would soon become a best seller.

The other two perfume bottles – both Joy by Jean Patou – tell us a lot about Elsa’s tastes. I had no idea she was a fan of “the world’s most expensive perfume”, the unique jasmine and rose fragrance launched in 1930. I can’t tell I’m surprised, though: Joy was perfect for her.

Another item I’ve identified is the Lancôme white tube. I think this contained hand cream, but it could also have been a face moisturizer.

The same table and the same objects are seen from a different point of view in the picture above. Elsa was wearing a wonderful vintage kimono she had bought in San Francisco.

Here she was doing her make-up which, according to the interview, consisted in foundation, Roger & Gallet face powder, blush, brown eye pencil and mascara. The dog posing in the picture was one of her two King Charles spaniels.

Another picture featured the beautiful gold and cobalt blue bottle of Guerlain Coque d’Or. It was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1937 and dedicated to Sergej Pavlovič Djagilev, the Russian impresario who founded the Ballets Russes. For its name Guerlain took inspiration from Le Coq d’or [2], the last opera by Nikolaj Andreevič Rimskij-Korsakov.

[1] The process of designing and making this bottle was accurately shown in the Ryan Murphy tv show Halston.

[2] In French “coque” means “shell”, while “coq” means “rooster”. The two terms are clearly related.

4 thoughts on “Elsa Peretti’s House in Vogue US (1976)”

  1. Ah, the good old days when Lancome reigned and it’s creams were in crinkle metal tubes. All their stuff used to smell so good.

    1. Thank you for sharing! Memories of beauty products from the past are so fascinating. I bought my first Lancôme lipstick in the late 1980s and I still remember it was such a beautiful shade of antique rose

  2. Love this post! Have serious apartment envy! So minimal but cosy. Would love to see more of her skincare. I wonder if Elsa ever used the Halston cosmetics…..

    1. Thank you 😊 I wonder what the Halston apartment looked like before she moved in. The furniture and decor we see in these pictures don’t really match Halston’s style.
      As for the Halston cosmetics, she designed the packaging, so maybe she did use them, who knows… Too bad that make-up line was so short-lived.

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