Bringing the desert into the home. Taming it, but not encroaching on it. Allowing the cliffs, sand and thistles to unfold before you unimpeded, as if no one had ever observed them before. Drawing the peace of the desert to you, just as one usually goes to the desert to seek refuge among the clouds.
This is how Richard Neutra envisaged the place when he received the commission of his life: designing a winter retreat for a business magnate from Pennsylvania. The outcome is one of the most iconic pieces of architecture in the twentieth-century international style.
A trip that inspired Lo de Manuela's new collection started and ended in that house.
It is a unique house in a unique location, where mustang horses and Native Americans lived alongside a growing community of artists looking to get away from it all, even just for a few days. It is a place where a Sinatra, a Bogart or a few Kennedys would sit gazing at the stars and breathing in the fresh air.
It is California, the land of Calafia, the place where sand and earth win the battle against all the elements, where art and film permeate your every pore, where the silhouettes of the thistles and flowers intermingle with every landscape, and where we are headed this season straddling a wild horse, with the strength of linen and velvet.
This story is not about a recent trip, but rather a trip down memory lane. It is a love story of many moons ago that takes me back to the Californian desert where I fell deeply in, and out, of love.
Want me to tell you about it?
Pull up a chair, take a deep breath and welcome to California, 1960.