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Book Report
The Surprising Life of Constance Spry

Constance Spry_1

The woman behind the rose named in her honor was a force of nature herself.  A successful social reformer and educator - Connie left home early to be schooled and escape her mother, she then spent her life distinguishing herself in two careers: social reform and floral decoration.  Some of her closest friends included Norman Wilkinson, Oliver Messel. Cecil Beaton, Beverly Nichols, John Gielgud, Charles Laughton and Syrie Maugham.  Connie was a risk taker.  From her unconventional arrangements and use of wild, dried and cultivated flowers, to her lifestyle - "living in sin." She was not actually married at all to Mr. Spry during their time together, and even had a two year fling with the English artist, Gluck, a crossdressing lesbian.

While I would love to write more about some of Connie's do's - don'ts - favorite flowers - philosophy of arranging , etc...and when she set up shop in New York.  But, then you might not read the book, and then you would miss everything in between that Sue Shepard so painstakingly researched and wrote as if you were engaged in one long gossip with her about The Surprising Life of Constance Spry.

If  you love flowers, gardens, good biographies, social history...any or all of the above, call Archivia Books now, and order a copy.    (212) 570 9565 by phone.

Some Books By_

Hostess, by Spry & Hume (1961)

Rosemary Hume’s recipes, Lesley Blanch’s  illustrations, and written by Spry in her humorous, charming and direct manner.  A sample of each here...

Constance Spry_2

"It is not easy to define the quality by which one makes others feel friendly and happy at the very outset of a party, so that they, in their turn, can contribute to the general pleasure rather than count the time till it is not impolite to go home.  I believe in some degree it is this quality of warmth , and if you can infuse this into the reception and care of everyone of your guests - even the unexpected ones - you will do well."

- Rosemary Hume

"Do make yourself master of the really quite simple technique of arranging flowers.  There is no problem and no mystery about it."

- Constance Spry

"Steer clear of affectation and any form of stylizing that leads to the mangling of flowers: bear in mind the object of arranging flowers, which for most of us is the adornment of our homes."

- Constance Spry

Constance Spry_3

Come into the Garden, Cook (1942)

Constance Spry_4

Garden Notebook (1940)

A combination of a successful lecture tour in the United States, her much talked about arrangements for the British Pavilion at the New York Worlds Fair, and her contributions to American magazines were the catalysts that prompted Mrs. Spry to create her Garden Notebook.  Written for an American audience, it was a monthly diary of garden notes – her thoughts, her successes - dotted with seasonal recipes and book suggestions.  In the final chapter, "Decorations and the Care of Cut Flowers," Mrs. Spry shares all of her secrets, tips, preferences, opinions, and observations.  She is honest, generous, instructive and entertaining.

Constance Spry_5

Flower Decoration (1934)

"Mrs. Spry's job is to provide what the French call 'decor,' and so we find the flowers, the vase, and the background all interdependent." - Sir William Lawrence

Constance Spry_6"I think...it is best that I should say now, once and for all, that the suggestions given in these pages are offered with trepidation, and that if ever I sound a challenging or defiant note, it is in the hope of stirring up interest and argument in a subject which I think has languished, so that there may grow new ideas and efforts and thereby an increasing number of lovely ways of using flowers."

- Constance Spry

Constance Spry_7

C'EST INSPIRÊ
Moments in Marrakesh

 

Design

Charlotte Moss for IBU

Charlotte is excited to announce her collaboration on a capsule collection for Ibu - the groundbreaking apparel and accessories brand that partners with women artisans in developing countries around the world who craft every piece by hand.

Inspired by the Charlotte’s passion for travel around the globe, Charlotte Moss for Ibu reflects her favorite, timelessly chic classics with an array of dresses, caftans, day jackets, pants, and tunics of solid, printed and embroidered cottons and hand-dyed silks, cashmere and wool. In addition, a complement of must-have accessories from necklaces, bangles, cuffs, earrings, shawls and mules accompany colorful eyeglasses and capes to round out the collection.

Drawing from rich cultural traditions in textiles: weaving, dyeing, embroidery skills practiced by women – not quite extinct but endangered, Charlotte has imagined a modern, urban style that celebrates these ancient crafts, reflecting her well-defined sartorial style and travels. With a glamorous, artful sensibility Charlotte Moss for Ibu features garments and accessories handmade by women artisans in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Peru, and Morocco.

As an ambassador for the Ibu movement, Charlotte’s collection is a reflection of her own soulful experience. She states, “I cannot tell you what a joy, a challenge, and a journey it has been over the past year working on my collection with Susan Walker and her talented team. It has been a rare privilege to have been given the opportunity to work with women artisans around the world through Ibu, while combining things that are dear to me. Supporting women through their work, making them feel vital and self-sustaining, and having the chance to collaborate with someone very passionate about her vision, all the while designing - something I have never done before - has been a deeply rewarding venture.”

Founded in 2013 by Susan Hull Walker, a former minister who studied world religions at Harvard Divinity School, Ibu is the culmination of Susan's spiritual and creative journey. Through her study of fiber-arts at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Susan learned to weave and articulate the language of material culture. Her sense of adventure and passion for textiles has led her to connect with women’s cooperatives around the globe.

The Ibu Movement, founded three years ago, has grown into an international social enterprise offering goods handmade by women in 79 different artisan groups throughout the world. The flagship showroom in Charleston, South Carolina, also houses a studio where the Ibu team designs fresh interpretations of textile traditions.

Charlotte Moss Books
Garden Inspirations

Charlotte turns her eye to the garden as a resource for interiors, entertaining, and good living. This book shows the myriad ways the garden provides inspiration every day —indoors and outdoors. Touring readers through her own garden, she offers insights on how to bring the garden into home life. Garden Inspirations also features additional web content accessed by scanning watermarked pages in the book with the Digimarc Discover App.

Buy a personalized signed book here:

Purchase
LOOK @ THE BOOK

Garden Inspirations Book 1
Garden Inspirations Book 2
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 As Featured In…

 House Beautiful-April 2015

House-Beautiful-April-2015

 Country Living-April 2015

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 NYC&G-April 2015

NYC&G-April-2015

About Charlotte Moss

Since opening her business in 1985, Charlotte has designed private residences and executive suites all over the United States and the Caribbean. In addition to designing interiors, Charlotte Moss’ career has included retail stores, celebrated for Charlotte’s unique blend of American, European and Classical influences.

Having launched her career on Wall Street, Charlotte has a keen sense for the shifting sands of change, amid all her decorating prowess. Widening her reach in recent years, Charlotte Moss, LLC now brings her signature Flair for Living to consumers worldwide with collections available under license. She has designed fabric and trim for Fabricut, carpeting sisals for Stark Carpet, and china for Pickard. Most recently, Charlotte has used her experience culled from twenty-five years of decorating couture homes to design a collection of furniture and upholstery with Century Furniture.

Charlotte is a sought-after speaker, lecturing widely on all the arts of living. Recent lecture titles include:

  • “Where Ideas Come From”
  • “A Flair for Living”
  • “Having a Visual Life”
  • “Living Well: The Key to an Enduring Style”
  • “Age Defying Decorating”
  • “What Sparks Your Creativity?”
  • “Show Me the Content: Design Blogging Today”
  • “Design Muse: Great Women of Style”

She has written nine books to date. Her most recent title, Garden Inspirations was published by Rizzoli in April of 2015. In addition to writing books, she frequently contributes to House Beautiful, Flower Magazine and other publications.

Charlotte’s work has been published in shelter magazines worldwide and she has received numerous awards, including The New York School of Interior Design's Centennial Medal, The Timeless Design Award, given by the Royal Oak Foundation, Elle Décor’s VISION AWARD, IFDA's (International Furnishings & Design Association) Circle of Excellence Award for the field of interior design and Traditional Home magazine’s list of the worlds’ Top 20 interior designers.

Charlotte considers her most important work to be her community service and philanthropy. She serves on the Boards of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, The Bone Marrow Foundation, American Corporate Partners, Madoo Conservancy, The Elsie de Wolfe Foundation and the Advisory Board of The New York School of Interior Design, where she received an Honorary Doctorate Degree. Charlotte sits on the Acquisitions Committee at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 2013, Charlotte was honored by the Bone Marrow Foundation with the Brandon Tartikoff Award at the ‘Be A Lifeline’ benefit gala, and received the Centennial Medal from the New York School of Interior Design in the spring of 2017.

 

CHARLOTTE ANN MOSS

Curriculum Vitae 

COMMUNITY SERVICE / CHARITABLE INTERESTS:

Current:

Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Monticello, Trustee

  • Committees: Chairman of Nominating and Governance Committee

Buildings and Grounds Committee
External Affairs Committee

  • The Bone Marrow Foundation, Board Member
  • American Corporate Partners, Board Member
  • New York School of Interior Design, Advisory Board Member
  • The International Council of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, Founding Member
  • Madoo Conservancy, Board Member
  • American Hospital of Paris Board, Honorary Trustee
  • Museum at F.I.T., Acquisitions Committee
  • Elsie de Wolfe Foundation, Board Member

Previous:

  • Parrish Art Museum, Vice President
  • Landscape Pleasures Garden Symposium at the Parrish Art Museum, Co-Chair (1998 – 2009)
  • Edith Wharton Restoration, Trustee
  • Leaders of Design Council, Executive Cabinet
  • The Irvington Institute for Medical Research, Trustee
  • Museum at F.I.T, Couture Council
  • Bard Center for Graduate Studies, Board Member
  • Teach for America Guest Teacher (May 2008)
  • UNICEF Snowflake Gala, Project Co-Chair, (2004 – 2010)
  • New York City Ballet Spring Gala, Gala Chair, (May 2008, May 2012)
  • The Smile Collection Gala for Operation Smile, Gala Chair, (May 2008)
  • Fashion Week/Lincoln Center Fall, 2009, Executive Committee Member
  • Kips Bay Showhouse, Gala Chair, (2008, 2009 and previous)

AWARDS:

  • New York School of Interior Design Centennial Medal of Honor (Spring 2017)
  • Guild Hall Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership & Philanthropic Endeavors (2016)
  • Housing Works Groundbreaker Award (2015)
  • American Hospital of Paris, Honoree (2014)
  • The Bone Marrow Foundation’s 2013 Brandon Tartikoff Award (2013)
  • The IFDA Circle of Excellence Award (2012)
  • The Royal Oak Foundation’s 2010 Timeless Design Award (2010)
  • New York School of Interior Design Honorary Doctorate, Commencement Speaker (2008)
  • Edith Wharton Women of Achievement Award
  • American Hospital of Paris - President’s Award
  • Boys Harbor, Salute to Achievement Founder’s Medal for Philanthropy

RECOGNITION:

  • Elle Décor The A-List, Grand Masters List (2017)
  • Elle Décor The A-List, Grand Masters List (2016)
  • Elle Décor The A-List (2015)
  • Elle Décor Grand Master List (2014)
  • Elle Decor’s A-List: The Top 25 Designers (2010)
  • Elle Decor’s Vision Award (2009)
  • Traditional Home – Top 20 Design Icon (2009)
  • The Horticultural Society of New York, Honoree
  • House Beautiful, “Top Ten” Showhouse Award / Kips Bay
  • House Beautiful, “Top 125 Designers”

AUTHOR:

  • Garden Inspirations                                  (Rizzoli, April 2015)
  • Charlotte Moss: A Visual Life                 (Rizzoli, October 2012)
  • Charlotte Moss Decorates                        (Rizzoli, April 2011)
  • A Flair for Living                                       (Assouline, Spring 2008)
  • Winter House                                              (Clarkson Potter, November, 2005)
  • Design Inspirations, Vol. I                       (Boxwood Press, October 2004)
  • The Poetry of Home                                   (Boxwood Press, December 1998)
  • Creating a Room                                        (Viking Studio Books, March 1995)
  • A Passion for Detail                                   (Doubleday, October 1991)

 

FOREWORDS:

  • The Decorated Home, Meg Braff                                                            (Rizzoli, Spring 2017)
  • How they Decorated, Gaye Tapp                                                            (Rizzoli, Spring 2017)
  • Fresh, Sybil Sylvester                                                                                 (Glitterati, Spring 2017)
  • Linens, Jane Scott Hodges                                                                        (Rizzoli, 2014)
  • An Architectural Alphabet, Bernd Dams & Andrew Zega                 (2008)
  • An Invitation to the Garden, Michael Devine                                      (Rizzoli, 2014)

EDITORIAL ROLES:           

  • Special Projects Editor, House Beautiful
  • Guest Editor, House Beautiful (November 2013 Issue)
  • Contributor, WSJ, Off Duty
  • Contributor, T Magazine
  • Contributor, Flower Magazine

ARTICLES:

  • Charlotte Moss on Maximizing White Space (House Beautiful, October 2016)
  • Charlotte Moss on Starting Your Own traditions (House Beautiful, May 2016)
  • Charlotte Moss on Beautiful Beginnings (House Beautiful, March 2016)
  • Nancy Lancaster: Haute and Humble (Flower Magazine, January-February 2016)
  • Charlotte Moss on Decorating with Music (House Beautiful, December 2015)
  • Charlotte Moss on A Flair for Living (House Beautiful, October 2015)
  • A Romance With Weeds (Flower Magazine, May-June 2015)
  • The Elegant World of Bunny Mellon (Flower Magazine, March-April 2015)
  • Winter Wonderland (Flower Magazine, December 2014)
  • Bunny Mellon’s Collection, On The Block (T-Magazine November 2014)
  • Itinerary, Botanically-Themed Designations in Paris (and Beyond), (T-Magazine, July 2014)
  • The Eloquence of Silence (T Magazine, July 2014)
  • Modern is Fashion Forward (House Beautiful, June 2014))
  • The Woman Who Served Jell-O to The A-List (WSJ, July 2013))
  • Italian Sojourn (New York Cottages & Gardens, Oct. 2012)
  • That’s Entertainment! (WSJ, Sept. 2012)
  • Design Your Own Fabric (WSJ, Sept. 2012)
  • A Tuscan Garden Tutorial (WSJ, Aug. 2012)
  • A Place to Potter Around (WSJ, July 2012)
  • In the Air: Orchidelirium (Off Duty, April 2012)
  • Hedge Finds (Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Sept. 2011)
  • That Garden Je Ne Sais Quoi (WSJ, Aug. 2011)
  • An Icon Uncovered (WSJ, May 2011)
  • The Old-World Artistry Behind the Modern House of Chanel (WSJ Magazine, April 2011)
  • Paradise Regained (WSJ, Dec. 2010) 

GUEST LECTURER:

Charlotte has lectured extensively on the topic of interior design appearing at showhouses, museums, womens’ groups, garden clubs, trade fair /antique shows and corporate events.

Past lectures include:

  • Fort Worth Garden Club, Dallas, TX (January 2017)
  • Cedar Rapids Garden Club, Cedar Rapids, IA (November 2016)
  • SCAD Style, Atlanta, GA (April 2016)
  • Marianne Scruggs Garden Club, Dallas, TX (April 2016)
  • Washington Design Center, Stark Panel, Washington, DC (March 2016)
  • Founders Garden Club, Dallas, TX (March 2016)
  • The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Houston, TX (March 2016)
  • San Francisco Design Center Fabricut Showroom Booksigning (February 2016)
  • Hillwood Museum Estate and Garden, Washington, DC (February 2016)
  • Decorative Arts Society, Newport Beach, CA (February 2016)
  • Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich, CT (December 2015)
  • Southeastern Horticultural Society, Atlanta, Georgia (October 2015)
  • Century Furniture Showroom
“What’s New, What’s Next?”, New York, NY (September 2015)
  • Antiques & Design Show of Nantucket, Nantucket, MA (August 2015)
  • ADAC, Atlanta, Georgia (May 2015)
  • Institute of Classical Architecture, Washington, DC (May 2015)
  • The Ditchley Foundation, Enstone, England (May 2015)
  • Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL (April 2015)
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA (April 2015)
  • Albemarle Garden Club, Charlottesville, VA (April 2015)
  • Palm Beach Garden Club, Palm Beach, FL (February 2015)
  • Fabricut National Sales Meeting, Tulsa, OK (February 2015)
  • Century Furniture National Sales Meeting, Washington, DC (March 2015)
  • San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, San Francisco, CA (October 2014)
  • Nashville Antiques and Garden Show, Nashville, TN (February 2014)
  • Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC (March 2014)
  • High Point Spring Market, High Point, NC (April 2014)
  • 18th Annual Los Angeles Antiques Art + Design Show, Los Angeles, CA
(October 2013)
  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,
Kansas City, MO
(October 2013)
  • Boston Design Center,
Boston, MA (June 2013)
  • KADO, St. Petersburg, Russia, (May 2013)
  • KADO, Moscow, Russia (May 2013)
  • Chicago, International Art, Antique & Jewelry Show, Chicago, IL (April 2013)
  • SCAD Style, Savannah, GA (April 2013)
  • London Design Week, London, England (March 2013)
  • Madoo Conservancy, Sagaponack, NY (March 2013)
  • Design Bloggers Conference
, Los Angeles, CA (March 2013)
  • Hillwood Museum Estate and Gardens, Washington, DC (February 2013)
  • The Mount at the NYSID Auditorium
New York, NY (February 2013)
  • Homefront Live: A Q & A Session with Jura Koncius,
New York, NY (January 2013)
  • Inside the Business of Design: An Interview with Keith Granet,
New York, NY (January 2013)
  • Holiday House Decorator Showhouse,
New York, NY (November 2012)
  • DCOTA Fall Market,
Dania Beach, FL (November 2012)
  • High Point Market,
High Point, NC (October 2012)
  • Soicher Marin Gallery
High Point Market,
High Point, NC (October 2012)
  • Marketplace Design Center,
Philadelphia, PA (October 2012)
  • Century Furniture Showroom
“What’s New, What’s Next?”, 
New York, NY (September 2012)
  • Devon Yacht Club, Amagansett, NY (August 2012)
  • Calico Corners
Calico Home,
Strafford, PA (May 2012)
  • Atlanta Decorative Arts Center,
Atlanta, GA (May 2012)
  • Washington DC Design Center
at the J. Lambeth Showroom, Washington, DC (April 2012)
  • WESTWEEK, Pacific Design Center,
Los Angeles, CA (March 2012)
  • International Women’s Day Luncheon, New York, NY (March 2012)
  • Phoenix Art Museum,
Phoenix, AZ (March 2012)
  • Coup D’Etat,
San Francisco, CA (February 2012)
  • Fabricut Showroom Appearance,
San Francisco, CA (February 2012)
  • Decorative Center Houston,
Houston, TX (November 2011)
  • The Heritage Club,
New Orleans, LA (October 13, 2011)
  • Fabricut Showroom,
New York, NY – (October 2011)
  • Antiques at the Gardens,
Birmingham, AL (October 2011)
  • Lauritzen Gardens,
Omaha, NE (September 2011)
  • The Parrish Art Museum: Landscape Pleasures,
Southampton, NY (June 2011)
  • Kips Bay Showhouse Booksigning
New York NY – May 19, 2011
  • Atlanta Symphony Showhouse, Atlanta, GA (April 2011)
  • Ralph Lauren Home, Naples, FL and Boston, MA (April 2011)
  • Lake Forest Showhouse, Lake Forest, IL (May 2011)
  • Visions 2011: A Garden Club of America, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA (May 2011)
  • The Sulgrave Club, Washington, DC (May 2011)
  • Heritage Club, New Orleans, LA (October 2011)
  • Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville, Nashville, TN (February 2011)
  • The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
  • Gump’s Department Store, San Francisco, CA
  • The Massey Cancer Center at VCU, Richmond, VA
  • The Antiquarian Society, Montgomery, AL

INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS LOCATIONS:

 Montecito, CA                                         Houston, TX

Aspen, CO New York, NY
Bermuda Palm Beach, FL
Bel Air, CA Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Denver, CO Southampton, NY
East Hampton, NY St. Barths
Greenwich, CT Tulsa, OK

Palm Springs, CA

LICENSING: 

Current:

Furniture & Upholstery for Century Furniture

Fabric & Trim collections with Fabricut

China with Pickard

Carpet Collections with Stark Carpet

Fabric & Wallpaper with Brunschwig & Fils

Garden Planters with Siebert and Rice

CONSULTING      

Charlotte is frequently asked by various organizations to draw upon her expertise with consulting on various projects in manufacturing, retail, interior design and publishing. Consulting projects have included:

Gift shop design and space planning consultation, Monticello

Licensing Consultation, Colonial Williamsburg

Restoration of The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts

Production of a Fundraising DVD, Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

TV/RADIO APPEARANCES:

  • Nate Berkus Radio Show
  • Martha Stewart Living Today on Sirius Satellite Radio
  • HGTV
  • NBC Weekend Today Show
  • HGTV Our Home
  • E! Style
  • ABC Good Morning America

WEBSITE/BLOG

The Charlotte Moss website, A Flair For Living™, contains information on upcoming events, speaking engagements and licensed products, as well as the blogs, Tête-à-Tête and C’est Inspiré. Tête-à-Tête, editorially based, is updated regularly and contains articles of topical interest. C’est Inspiré, is Charlotte’s photo blog - photographs in which Charlotte feels do all the talking…

DECORATOR SHOWHOUSES:

  • Holiday House, Susan G. Komen Foundation, NYC, 2008, 2012
  • Laurel Showhouse for Veranda, NYC, 2008
  • Kips Bay Decorator’s Showhouse, NYC, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012
  • International Designer Showhouse, NYC
  • Hampton Designer Showhouse, Bridgehampton, NY
  • The Mount, Lenox, MA
  • Hampton Designer Showhouse, Southampton, NY
  • Richmond Virginia Showhouse, Richmond, VA
  • The Royal Oak Foundation Showhouse, NYC
Events