Dandy Portraits in Paris: Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola

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The one and only Massimiliano Mocchia di Coggiola.  The lure of stories I heard about his style, his home, his grand life, brought me to Paris.   What an experience it was!

Italian born Massimiliano and his lovely American wife Sorrel gave a warm greeting, and I began to try to take in all the details.  Walking into his space I felt the Parisian architecture - the height of the ceiling, the strong sunlight filtering through tall narrow windows, the ornate molding.  They talked about how much they loved to throw parties, and I imagined what a fantastic place to come to at night and get lost.  One can feel distinctly that living is a fine art for this young couple, and dressing, above all, is the highest art for Massimiliano.

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There is a whole room dedicated to Massimiliano's interest in dandyism.  As a historian and author he has fantastic collection of rare books and ephemera which share space with his collar pins, cologne, cufflinks, top hats, and at least one powdered wig.   I began making portraits, and once we were done with one suit Massimiliano would duck back into his dressing room - which is indeed a whole room filled with clothes - and come out with another more exquisite than the last.

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I asked him to show me his oldest book on dandyism: "Du Dandysme et de Georges Brummell" by J. Barbey D'Aurevilly, published in Paris 1879

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In the sitting room, a photo of actor Conrad Veidt peeks out from behind layers of assemblage, religious artifacts, feathers and bones.

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When Sorrel brought out a tray of coffee served in the most delicate little vintage set, I wished that time would stop so I could always live in that moment.

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A gold signet ring bears his family's crest.

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Illustrations by Massimiliano hang along side portrait paintings by Sorrel and art collected from various friends.

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7 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos! And what a great subject. Thanks for posting!

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  2. Mesmerizing subject and photos, due in part to how committed he is to this extreme style.

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  3. I like that blue smoking-jacket in the first picture.

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  4. Great Photos.....The Deep Blue Smoking Jacket Is EXQUISITE!!!.......He Owns A Truly Fantastic Wardrobe.......Interesting Lifestyle...........

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  5. Max is the ultimate Dandy.

    I always say.

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  6. Beauty is always calming, lovely photos.

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