Rushing through Union Station toward a train outta the rat race, I can’t help but glance toward the newsstand. Out of all the titles on display, I’m attracted by this magazine cover and put the brakes on for a closer look. I don’t normally read Town & Country; way too posh … But, this cover’s different and when I pick it up I see why: succulents and desert elements. Cover subject, actress Gretchen Mol, sits primly pretty in a butterfly chair on a bed of large gravel, warmed by desert sunshine … and she’s flanked by an arching aloe tree on the left and stout barrel cactus on the right: Smashing! I gotta buy this and learn the cover shot’s location …
The cover shot and inside spread on Ms. Mol was photographed by Art Streiber at Hotel Lautner, Desert Hot Springs. Built by famous architect, John Lautner, in 1947 and renovated recently, it is a compound of 4 interlocking units and describes itself as a hybrid between an upscale vacation rental and a boutique hotel … It’s also a high-style fantasy of mid-century design. The hotel’s website is here. And, if you love design, succulent landscaping, and the desert you’ll find their photo slideshow swoon-worthy … I certainly did.
Back to T&C: This second photo was shot poolside and I’m crazy about the pot and plant choices. The large felt-leaved kalanchoes with their scarred trunks look stunning against the white stuccoed wall. But it’s the yolk/citrus yellow of the large pots, and the pool’s tile, that really brings the heat … Oh, yeah, Ms. Mol looks nice, too … The whole spread is beautiful and I’m glad I bought the magazine, and not only for this feature. There’s also a terrific piece on French artists, François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, famous for their beautifully surreal art and furniture based on stylized animal forms — Gorgeous photos of their workshop and art.
As a visual person, and complete mag-aholic, I’ve missed my train to pick up the latest glossies … thankfully, this time I make my train AND get a really great seat!