Monthly Archives: October 2016

An Oscar-Worthy Finish Line

Sharif and Christie Dr Zhivago
Omar Sharif and Julie Christie in the film “Doctor Zhivago.”

Given that the majority of people who will read this post gave their hearts to the design industry at some point, I bet most of you remember the first piece of furniture you ever gazed upon that took your breath away. I have the Hollywood equivalent for you: Omar Sharif’s starry-eyed wonder over Julie Christie in the video below, as Somewhere My Love (or Lara’s Theme) trills during their ice-capade in this scene from the 1965 film Doctor Zhivago. The film sprinted across the finish line at the Oscars in 1966 with 10 nominations and five wins.

A Fine Finish for Lara’s Theme

The song, composed by Maurice Jarre, was one of the winners, gaining the composer an Oscar for Best Original Music Score. Robert Bolt won the Oscar for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay; Phyllis Dalton landed the Academy Award for Best Costume Design; and the movie also won Oscars for Best Cinematography (Color) and Best Production Design. The Best Picture and Directing awards went to The Sound of Music, a film so powerful it’s a wonder it didn’t completely edge Doctor Zhivago out.

A fine finish for Oscar winner Julie Christie
Julie Christie wins the 1966 Oscar for Best Actress.

Oddly enough, the only acting nomination the movie earned was for Tom Courtenay for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. That doesn’t mean the film’s main stars were left out—Julie Christie won the Best Actress Oscar for Darling and Laurence Olivier was nominated for Best Actor for his role in Othello, though he lost to Lee Marvin who won for Cat Ballou. You can see all of the awards from that year on the Academy’s site.

It’s so nostalgic to see a young James Coburn, in the video above, as he presents the Oscar for the Best Original Music Score, isn’t it? If you watch all the way through, you’ll catch a glimpse of Julie Christie in a liquid gold dress that she actually made herself. I’m thinking her Oscar speech, in the video below, must be a contender for the shortest in the history of the awards!

Bolt’s Oscar-winning screenplay was based upon Boris Pasternak’s novel of the same name, the thesis of attraction that runs through the storyline powerfully actualized in the film by Sharif and Christie. Pasternak’s writing is quite lyrical so if you haven’t read the novel, I highly recommend it. Here’s a scene that illustrates the personality he built for Lara: “Lara lay on her back, her hands clasped behind her head. The workshop was quiet. The window looking out on the street was open. Lara heard the rattle of a droshki in the distance turn into a smooth glide as the wheels left the cobbles for the groove of a trolley track. ‘I’ll sleep a bit more,’ she thought. The rumble of the town was like a lullaby and made her sleepy. Lara felt her size and her position in the bed with two points of her body—the salient of her left shoulder and the big toe of her right foot. Everything else was more or less herself, her soul or inner being, harmoniously fitted into her contours and impatiently straining toward the future.”

Events During High Point Market

Marjorie Scours with a cabinet with an oyster shell finish
Marjorie Skouras poses in a vignette featuring special furnishings in her personal collection. Photo credit India Bujko.

As we strain toward the future and High Point Market, I thought it would be fun to present some beautiful vignettes of new Currey & Company products, styled by Thea Beasley and photographed by Erica George Dines, interspersed with some of the commanding language from the novel. Before I do, it’s important to say how many amazing events will be unfolding in the showroom during market.

Hiroshi Koshitaka and Robert Currey.
Hiroshi Koshitaka seen here with Robert Currey.

Here’s a full list of the events that include “Designer on the Street” podcasts by James Swan; a special lunch celebrating Currey & Company’s designing women—Marjorie Skouras, Aviva Stanoff and Shannon Koszyk—with a panel discussion led by Elizabeth Ralls; the Potterton Pop-Up Shop; and new product releases that include the Hiroshi Koshitaka Collection and the Marjorie Skouras Collection.

Julie Christie in Darling
Julie Christie in the film “Darling,” a role that won her an Oscar.

Let’s celebrate Marjorie’s ability to cross the finish line with glamour on par with Julie Christie’s panache in the above still from the film Darling, which is evident in the vignette below that includes her Agave Americana Chandelier.

Agave Americana Chandelier with a dark contemporary gold leaf finish crosses
This vignette is crowned by the Agave Americana chandelier, which is made of wrought iron with a dark contemporary gold leaf finish and crystal. It’s in The Marjorie Skouras Collection. Other products shown are the Loren mirror, the Rakish table lamp, the Tatum desk and the Ava chair.

Setting the Scene for Doctor Zhivago

Let’s take a look at other new products intermingled with Pasternak’s forceful ability to set a scene:

A Currey and Company vignette of new products
This vignette, in which I can see Yuri writing, is lit by the luxurious Vintner Blanc chandelier. The Batad Shell mirror, the Nolan desk, the Gino Wall sconce and the Kingswood Wing chair finish out the beautiful setting.

Pasternak sets this scene with the warm orange glow of a lamp that hastens Yuri’s desire to write. “He was writing what he should have written long ago and had always wished to write but never could. Now it came to him quite easily, he wrote eagerly and said exactly what he wanted to say. Only now and then a boy got in his way, a boy with narrow Kirghiz eyes, in an unbuttoned reindeer coat worn fur side out, as in the Urals or Siberia.”

various new table lamps from Currey and Company
The Kagurazaka chandelier from the Hiroshi Koshitaka Collection hovers above various new table lamps that will debut next week.

“He devoured them with his eyes. Unseen in the half darkness, he kept staring into the circle of lamplight. The scene between the captive girl and her master was both ineffably mysterious and shamelessly frank. His heart was torn by contradictory feelings of a strength he had never experienced before.”

Go-Go pendant in a Currey and Company fine finish
The Go-Go pendant hangs elegantly above the Arden chest. The Girault wall sconce is sleekly chic, as is the Aberdeen bench.

“The stillness that surrounded Yuri Andreievich breathed with happiness and life. The lamplight fell softly yellow on the white sheets of paper and gilded the surface of the ink inside the inkwell. Outside, the frosty winter night was pale blue. To see it better, he stepped into the next room, cold and dark, and looked out of the window. The light of the full moon on the snow-covered clearing was as viscid as the white of an egg or of thick white paint. The splendor of the frosty night was inexpressible. His heart was at peace. He went back into the warm, well-lit room and began to write. Careful to convey the living movement of his hand in his flowing writing, so that even outwardly it should not lose individuality and grow numb and soulless.”

An Oscar-Worthy Finish Line

A new finish program from Currey and Company
In this vignette showcasing the variety of finishes Currey & Company creates is the Grand Lotus Chandelier and various bestselling upholstered benches.

The above vignette illustrates many of the new finishes that Currey & Company will be debuting at Market on some of the most popular products the company has produced over time. Many requests for the bestselling chandeliers and wall sconces to be available in multiple finishes have come in, and the response, of course, is “We’re listening!” We’ve organized the new offerings within the Multiple Finish Program, which holds more than 60 of the best-selling chandeliers and wall sconces, as well as the most popular upholstered benches in the new additional finishes.

Brownlee Currey with a chandelier with a great finish
Brownlee Currey strikes a post with one of the company’s grandly sized chandeliers in one of the myriad finishes offered.

“We finish by hand, by choice,’ notes Brownlee Currey. “Our finishes are intended to show the mark of the human hand and yet be refined. Refinement, while still being handmade, is true luxury.” In celebration of this splendid point of view, I leave you with this snippet from a poem Pasternak wrote: “Like a brazier’s bronze cinders, / the sleepy garden’s beetles flowing. / Level with me, and my candle, / a flowering world is hanging.”

Omar Sharif on the set of Doctor Zhivago.
Omar Sharif on the set of Doctor Zhivago.

And it would be quite rude of me to sign off without sharing a few great shots of the dashing Mr. Sharif. I hope I’ll see you all at Market!

Omar Sharif had a fine finish of an acting career
A quintessential shot of Omar Sharif proving why he became such a star.

Saxon Henry also blogs as The Modern Salonnière.