The celebrated designer’s latest book, devoted to gleaning design inspiration from the personal scrapbooks and notebooks of great women of style—including her own. Interior designer Charlotte Moss provides a rich look into the style and joie de vivre of great women tastemakers through an unlikely approach: the scrapbook. She brings together her own scrapbooks along with those of other notable women whose flair for style has inspired us.
A Visual Life: Scrapbooks, Collages, and Inspirations (Rizzoli, 2012) is a lavish compilation of Moss’s collages and inspiration along with views into the private scrapbooks of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elsie de Wolfe, and Evangeline Bruce. Thoughtful contributions by tastemakers Deeda Blair, Pamela Fiori, Alexa Hampton, Candy Pratts Price, and Deborah Needleman add another layer to the collage. A Visual Life is really fascinating and is an incredibly artistically assembled book.
Organized by theme—home, garden, travel, entertaining, and fashion—each chapter includes examples of Moss’s signature style mingled with excerpts from the scrapbooks of these great women.
Moss professes, “The thing I most appreciate about collage is that it is not a snob.” She has kept scrapbooks her entire life. Moss was fortunate to purchase several famous scrapbooks and has included selections of them here in the pages alongside her own assemblages.
From the ambassador’s wife and bon vivant Evangeline Bruce, we learn that she preferred accessorizing tabletops with simple florets of broccoli in biscuit tins. And from the iconic Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, we see her notes and menus from the legendary White House dinners she threw. One piece (among many) of sage advice includes perfecting one extraordinary meal and serving it again and again, rather than experimenting endlessly.
Charlotte has designed private residences and executive suites all over the United States and the Caribbean since 1985, when she opened her business. Besides designing interiors, Charlotte’s career has included retail stores, blending the style of American, European and Classical influences.
Charlotte lectures widely on all the arts of living, and has written eight books to date. In addition to writing books, she frequently contributes to The Wall Street Journal. Charlotte’s blog, Tête-A-Tête, appears on her website, along with a photographic blog called C’est Inspiré.