Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 1936

So sorry my darlings to be away so long. And now I'm down to Los Angeles for a few days; I leave on Monday. So, of course, I've started packing. And the last several days I've had fittings all day and night; so exhausting! I had loads of lovely things sent over from Paris. Yes, I know it's absolutely criminal not to have them fitted over there, all those marvelous little ladies fluttering about you like black-clad moths, pins just flying through the air. And one misses the divine couturier or couturière pacing about, looking this way and that, making sure that every seam and tuck and hem is exactly as it should be. As it must be. It does make one feel so very secure. The gaze of the master, and all that. Of course they know me so well at all the houses that they are, when necessary, able to send them to me nearly perfect. My intrepid lady's maid, Alyssia, does a little here and a little there, and that's all -- oh, I've just got the most heavenly white organdy evening gown by Vionnet: the bodice nearly non-existent and the skirt and train a mad frothing of bias-cut ruffles. I can't think of anything more perfect for a gardenia-scented, moonlit terrace somewhere. Haha! It would be just the thing!

Of course, the lovely people with whom I'm staying are just plain, simple folk. Not anyone you'd know; there is a vague family connection. And I suppose they haven't even got a terrace. Tristement.... But at least they are not film people! I am so very grateful for that; film people bore me witless. I have no idea what I'll do whilst I am chez eux. Rest and eat, eat and rest, no doubt. There is really nothing else to do there, if you aren't in pictures. And I certainly hope they do let me be, and don't trot out hordes of people, all of them clamoring to meet me; that would be so very tedious.

It will be a relief to get myself to a warmer climate; it's been all wet and beastly cold here of late. (I'm beginning to think this engagement will never end.) Los Angeles is quite the stupidest place - there is no culture or society - but the climate is delicious, and everywhere the scent of orange blossom wafting on the breeze. I hope to have a lovely, lovely little rest.


Lu said...

All of Orange County (my dear, we are NOT Los Angeles!) await your arrival. I hear some are even flying in from London! It should be quite the get together, if your plain and simple hostess can kick this pesky illness.

Madeleine Prévert said...

Oh, my dear, are you pestilential?! Well, I do hope you have all sorts of nurses and servants flocking round you, tending to your every, fussy little need. Yes? It - is - such a bore to be in ill health!

Now, darling, I do hope you didn't take that "plain, simple" the wrong way. I meant it as a compliment, of course. That you all live so cozily and sweetly together. No nonsense at all, none of you. And I certainly never meant it to be directed at you personally! You do things so charmingly, and you are always quite well put together - yes, you are! You always look as though you just stepped out of a bandbox! And, my dear, that lovely, silky blond hair? You - must - introduce me to the person who makes it so!

xtine said...

dear dear madeleine,

forgive my horrid silence. i'm in a positive maelstrom of psychic activity here at the craftsman palace. darling, you simply cannot believe the amount of spirits that frolick nightly - yea, hourly!- through the halls. and i'm just so sensitive. maybe it comes from leaving my feet bare in india... it was only a moment i tell you, but i fear i must live with the aftermath...

darling, orange county is so very lovely. so full of oranges!
i grew up near there, you know, and there are perfectly lovely experiences to be had in the hills outside of los angeles. i have no doubt your lu will be the perfect guide and hostess.

by all means, orange blossoms! -- although i'm afraid tis not quite the season for those, darling -- but never mind! someone is sure to have some lovely parfum for you to dab on your handkerchief, which i'm sure will bring just the right ambience to the white organdy.

darling. your vision will come complete. just you wait and see!

with scads of affection,
your buffeted xine

Madeleine Prévert said...

Oh, da-a-arling! Ma belle grecque! Are there spirits dancing in the rafters? How fascinating! Now, they're not the kind you drink, eh? Oh! Haha! No, my dearest, you - are - sensitive, and gather all manner of wonderful and horrifying things unto yourself. But do be careful, pet.

Oh, dear, the naughty feet again. But I'm sure that you are forgiven by now. Yes?

You know, you're so - exotique - that I always forget that you are merely from down south a ways. But are there really no orange blossoms now? What filthy luck I have! Well, I just must conjure a few spirits of my own. Haha! Failing that, I am - like you - a woman of the theatre; if I - believe - in the scent of orange blossom, if I feel it, there will - be - orange blossom!...Ah!

At any rate, that organdy gown is quite - ma-a-arvelous - so who really cares?!

Penny Prévert said...

Oh, Mother, California! Please, please say I can go too. I want to take a trip to Hollywood and meet Mr. Mayor and try my luck in pictures - oh please - I could be on an airplane in three hours. I'd even leave my Johnny behind for Hollywood. What's a ukelele when I could have the silver screen. Wire me money, Mummy, please? Oh, and guests from London - who do you suppose they could be? Oh, this is too exciting! And your psychic talking all about orange blossoms - maybe that means I'll meet a gorgeous Hollywood star and fall in love! Who shall I pick?

Madeleine Prévert said...

Oh, darling, you - have - been getting too much sun; you are positively dithering! Mummy is very busy right now. I'll get back to you and your demands, presently.

Madeleine Prévert said...

Now, darling child, if you - will - throw yourself at all and sundry film moguls, you must learn that "Mr. Mayor" is actually Mr Mayer. With an "e". Do what I do when pondering the great L. B., and think of wieners. You know, like the famous manufacturer of said ignoble objects, Oscar Mayer. Of course, the pronunciation is different and that does confuse the issue, I suppose. Well, at any rate, you must get the names right or you'll never get anywhere.

Now, where was I? Hmmm? Oh, yes, darling, come along and meet me in Los Angeles. Or Hollywood. Or Orange County? Wherever it is! My manager will make the arrangements. I can't imagine who are the mysterious guests from London; obviously, no one we know. Most likely ghastly, low types. Probably - cockneys - for goodness sake! They are so very popular in Hollywood. I can't think why.

As to your future Hollywood husband? Haha! Well, if it were me, I'd fling myself right at Gary Cooper; he's too, too divine. Though I think he is married or otherwise engaged. Perhaps you might set your sights on Cary Grant. He's a pansy, of course, but they - do - make the best husbands.

Penny Prévert said...

Cary Grant, then! Oh, Mother, thank you so much. He's just what I want!

xtine said...

dear penny,

he's just what i want!

what a smart, smart girl!

love from the islands,

la grecque

xtine said...

and madeleine,

yes, in the rafters and elsewhere! {shocking chord from the orchestra}
but i am well, in spite of all.

quite a bit of beauty in the horror, i assure you.
and our idol queen cristina could attest to the benefits of marching straight into the guns, as long as you are marching according to your heart.

orange blossoms are yours at all times my dear one.
waft in beauty and delight!

your adoring

Madeleine Prévert said...

Oh, the orchestra! How marvelous - and dreadful!

Now tell me, darling, how - do - you get italics in your little comments? I can't seem to get it right. And you know, I can't even - speak - (there, you see?) without italics!

xtine said...

darling, i've been meaning to write this to you to let you know.

when you type on in the infernal little comment window you must type the following in front of and behind the word you want italicized.

an < i > and then < /i >

i have put spaces between the arrow and the i, /i because otherwise they wouldn't show up in the comment.

but it's
and then

just right before and right after the word. no spaces.

let's see how it goes when i hit post...

xtine said...

ah, you see. i italicized the 'and then' without meaning to.

i'll send it by post, darling. then i can write it out. :)

Madeleine Prévert said...

Do you mean like this ?

Madeleine Prévert said...

Oh, marvelous, simply marvelous ! I knew of the i's and the arrows, but not of the slash; the machine told me that my "tags" were not closed, which I thought sounded rather too familiar! Oh, thank you, darling girl!

xtine said...

yes yes. one must always close one's tags. we wouldn't want anything flapping about that should not be flapping. especially with a polish aviatrix in the picture!

puss puss!

xtine said...

where would we be without formatting?

simply nowhere, i tell you.
am i right? of course i'm right.

formatting is to writing what a foundation garment is to a gown.
one simply cannot do without it!