CHASING STRANDS OF PEARLS

CHASING STRANDS OF PEARLS

Lela pointed out the story of Meri Shervashidze telling me that she was the first model to walk the catwalk with a string of pearls for Chanel and that she stood out for the sophisticated style and way of giving beauty as you can see here where Lela added a tag for me:

A very beautiful story that must be told, since I believe it is not sufficiently known.

Unfortunately, there is little information about her: for example, I tried to search through official Chanel websites but I could not find anything.
Maybe you can be better than me.

According to Vogue, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel herself was photographed in conversation with the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of Russia, wearing her pearl necklaces in 1920.

So a year before Meri arrived in Paris.

But let’s take a step back: Meri Shervashidze was born in 1888 in Batumi and descends from the family of the sovereign prince of Abkhazia.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia are other from Tbilisi and from the rest of Georgia as the Observatory tells us but you Lela correct me if I’m wrong.

When she was still a young girl, the family moved to St. Petersburg where Meri became the empress’s maid of honor.

In 1918 the wedding with Gigusha Eristavi, here there is a small family tree.

At the sunset of Georgian independence, and shortly before the arrival of the Bolsheviks, Meri embarks directly to Paris, stopping in Constantinople in Turkey where she participates in a beauty contest, winning it.

Arrived in the Ville Lumière, Meri settled in Rue de la Tour, sixteenth arrondissement, near Bois de Boulogne and it seems it was the aforementioned Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich who introduced her to Coco.

Paris in those years frames a particular type of beauty, so much so that the writer Alexander Vasilyev wrote a book: “Beauty in Exile” or artists, models and nobility who fled the Russian revolution and influenced the world of fashion.

Meri’s style and elegance do not go unnoticed: Saveli Sorin paints her portrait which is located in the palace of the Prince of Monaco.

Meri is also photographed by Man Ray but emblematic is the meeting with Galaktion Tabidze in 1935 because it is believed that her compositions in Georgian are dedicated to her although some publications are earlier .

Here you can listen to the poem in the original language, personally it strikes me to hear the name “Meri” which by now in the light of this path to find its traces, for me it has assumed the typical aura of women who have been able to leave a mark.

And because elegance comes from within, Meri Shervashidze spent the last years of her life in a nursing home preserving beauty, nobility and majesty until the last day of her life, at the age of 97.
She is buried with her husband in the Saint Genevieve des Bois cemetery.

I remember the period in which I listened to Destini incrociati – Fates crossed and I find the story of Meri could be told in this way, even if I later found that Giacomo Zito and his collaborators have paired Coco Chanel with Luchino Visconti

we can always make a new episode, or not?

And asking ourselves what “we can do”… I would say that we rather cannot talk about elegance and strings of pearls without mentioning her
Here the post with the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany’s scene. 

And you, do you have other strings of pearls to chase?

ITALIAN YARDS IN TBILISI

ITALIAN YARDS IN TBILISI

Lela is teaching me a lot about her country and their traditions, topics almost unknown to me up to now.

A few days ago it happened that she tagged me in a very funny tweet that can only make you smile, but even then I learned something.

Did you know that the courtyards of old Tbilisi are known as Italian Yards?

Italian courtyards.
I find it simply fantastic!

So, now fascinated by this thing, I started looking for information.

The result was an exploration in the literal sense since obviously the institutional sites are written in the Georgian alphabet.
Which by the way is composed of three systems: Mrgvlovani, Nuskhuri and Mkhedruli and has very ancient origins.

 

Oriental languages, my always dream.

Lela, you know it, indeed sorry again for the question of the pending books, and always correct me if I’m wrong, but I have the hope of being able to slowly learn a minimum of these characters that I find harmonious, almost as if they were able to communicate to me a sort of melody together with the words.

It is no coincidence that the three writing systems of the Georgian alphabet have become UNESCO heritage.

But let’s go back to the courtyards!

First I would tell you to look at the photo of this tweet because it looks like a painting.

So far I honestly have not found an immediate resemblance to the courtyards we are used to seeing.

But I found a first explanation here:
people often name this type of courtyards ‘Italian’, but it were rather Persian caravanserais which influenced to Georgian tradition structure of houses. Unlike the both of them mostly square shaped and surrounded by solid stone arcades, the Georgian ones will impress you by unpredictable shapes, light and elegant wooden arcades richly decorated by carving with unique combination of Classicist and Oriental motifs; crazy combination of numerous superstructures, overhanging bridges connecting houses , spiral staircases, glazed loggias, patches of various materials used during renovations, picturesque bunches of pipes and wires, riot of greenery (thanks to the wet Georgian climate) the effect is breathtaking.

And I would say that we are all in agreement on the breathtaking effect.

Here there is a series of photos by Ksenia Vysotskaya to reconfirm of the intrinsic beauty that transmits life lived at first glance.

Having established that the splendor is undisputed, however, it remains to be discovered how the parallel with the Italian courtyards arises.

Ask any Tbilisi local, however, and they’ll tell you the city’s much-loved architectural treasures are its charming “Italian” courtyards. What makes them “Italian” has less to do with the architectural style than the relaxed way of life that flourishes between its wooden facades. “There is a lot talking, arguing, gossiping that happens here. Georgians are very emotional, just like Italians.”

So it’s not about aesthetics but about essence!
What unites us is the way of life, isn’t it wonderful?

And it reports exactly to Lela’s tweet.

By a curious coincidence these days commenting on “the consolation of the willow” by OREAROVESCIO I found myself remembering the courtyard of my childhood.

The speech then continued with the memory of Bianca also on her blog

So I’d like to continue with memories but also anecdotes of the present: how do you live or how do you see Italian courtyards?

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