Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Swinton and Delaunay (Another Gift Pairing)

[Screengrabs from Magnolia Pictures I Am Love starring Tilda Swinton.]

This gift suggestion was originally going to be included at the end of my next post but I decided to go ahead and hastily share it now -- thought it might inspire some weekend holiday shopping.

In I Am Love, Tilda Swinton's character, Emma, ducks into a Sanremo bookshop and, to appear inconspicuous, quickly begins flipping through a random exhibition catalogue. Except the book isn't really random. As far as I can tell, it's Atelier Simultane di Sonia Delaunay, 1923-1934, an Italian publication but a nod to Emma's Russian heritage (Delaunay was born in Russia too).

[A newer edition of the catalogue has been spotted at Worldwide Books .]
The choice is just one example of director Luca Guadagnino's remarkable attention to detail. Apart from the Russian connection and the colorful, electrically-charged images that leap off the pages, the book is significant because Delaunay's Atelier Simultane -- her 1920s Paris workshop where she translated her abstract art into scarves, handbags, textiles, and clothes -- was all about change, freedom and energy: perfect themes for Emma, restless wife of a Milanese textile magnate.

I'm guessing Emma's book is an older 1980s edition but this 2006 book is more widely available and would be fun to pair with the I Am Love DVD.

[National Design Library, Arthur Ross Reading Room. Image courtesy of Cooper-Hewitt.]

You might also like RE: DESIGN at Cooper-Hewitt.


Anonymous said...

love this .. thanks ...

Style Court said...

Anon -- so glad!

I didn't want to give too much away, for the handful who still haven't seen it, but the book reappears throughout the movie.

Emile de Bruijn said...

And here you are adding to Guadgnino's evocative tapestry of film, art and heritage - bravo :)

Style Court said...

Emile -- Not sure about that, but thanks! I think I'm more obsessed with the art direction in this one than Orlando :)

The Devine Life said...

Great idea- love both the movie and the work of Sonia Delaunay.

Style Court said...


Thanks so much for stopping by. How fun to receive your thumbs up! Happy to hear you're a fan of both too.

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

This post just blew my mind Courtney. Brilliant... I'm ashamed to say I didn't notice she had picked up Delaunay's Atelier Simultane in that scene. Now I need to scoot up to the 12/11 post and then back down to 12/8. Just love these gift pairings and Mosey's ornaments! Delightful.

Style Court said...

Barbara -- wow. Nice to end the day surprising someone as observant as you! Thanks so much for stopping by.