Homemade peach cookie by Mrs. S – certainly an esoteric tradition among Italian hostesses!
I found this quote today about ‘chic’ on a very cool website, The Esoteric Curiosa. It’s ALL in the name, trust me. Since Eurotrash is a tad esoteric, so too is Princess Pauline von Metternich who is referenced in the quote from The New York Times dating back to 1910.
What ‘chic,’ however, really means is not so much ‘style,’ ‘form,’ nor ‘fashion,’ so called, as originality, combined with correct taste, and a complete absence of affectation. One of the best living illustrations of the word ‘chic’ is Princess Pauline Metternich. She is ‘chic’ to the tips of her fingers, in thought, speech, dress, manner, conduct, and appearance. She is ‘chic’ because she is so original, unaffected, and yet so tasteful in everything that she does. Those who endeavor, with varying success, to imitate her, are not ‘chic.’ Indeed, no persons who follow a fashion, or who seek to shape their way in accordance with those of any particular sample or model, can lay claim to that qualification. In order to possess chic it is necessary to have a well defined individuality, with qualities, aye, and defects as well, that are peculiarly one’s own.
Who else is chic? My friend’s mom, Mrs. S. She’s an avid Eurotrash fan and the way she dresses up a dinner table would make Martha Stewart jealous. One of the greatest hostesses I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest of, surely. Her cake domes, homemade delicacies and refusal to serve anything without its proper glassware always leaves me super inspired.