Between the early years where she was widely known in the press as the “poor little rich girl” and decades later as the American “jean queen”, style icon Gloria Vanderbilt dabbled in interior design. I have never seen any of her work published except for these of her New York City bedroom captured by Horst in 1970, and even if this was just a “moment”, what a defining moment it was.
Vanderbilt upholstered the walls, ceiling and other areas of the room with quilts and the effect is so rich and so personal it has entered the lexicon of iconic room images that bear close study. And even though no shockwaves of influence or trendsetting reverberated throughout the interior design community as a result of Vanderbilt’s unique bedroom treatment, she nevertheless parlayed her style and vision so masterfully that more than seventy years later, the name Gloria Vanderbilt is still widely recognized.
Was this “crazy-quilt meets harlequin” moment a blip, a gimmick? Possibly. But was it a rustic chic moment? Definitely.
All photos by Horst P. Horst from “Horst Interiors” by Barbara Plumb; 1993 Bulfinch