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Betsy Bloomingdale was the true queen of Hollywood. Wife of the Bloomingdale department store in New York heir, she hosted since the ’50s in her villa, in the most expensive area of Los Angeles, the most famous dinners and parties of the time.
Friends and regular guests were Reagan, Joan Crawford, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant… Betsy was well known for having enough clothes to fill 11 closets!
Betsy Bloomingdale was the perfect hostess, she had kept a diary of every dinner party she hosted since the 1950s with every detail: guests list, table settings, menu, how she was dressed… to avoid the hideous faux pas of repeating a look!
She had been a fixture on the International Best Dressed List, her famous clothes were all labeled with days and places where she had worn them with the list of accessories… that’s incredible, isn’t it?
But this system would be really useful even for us to really realize those clothes that we continue to keep in the closet without ever wearing!
9 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, lounges for parties and swimming pool. The entire house had been designed by Billy Haines, a former Hollywood actor who, from the 1950s, furnished all the villas of the stars, transforming them into places inspired by the 18th-century English residences. Billy Haines was the creator of the Hollywood grandeur and the designer of perfect party settings! Note a detail: furniture and furnishings are always low to not visually interrupt the space and do not hinder conversations and social occasions!
Her home was (it was sold to Tom Ford for $ 40 million) a mega villa on the Hollywood Hills, Betsy’s neighbors were Walt Disney, Humphrey Bogart, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Gregory Peck… and later even Michael Jackson!
Betsy died in 2016 and her furniture, jewelry, books and clothes were sold at auction by Christie’s.
In vintage photos, we can easily recognize furniture that was in the auction, such as the huge golden mirror (from the end of the 19th century, sold for $ 8,750), the protagonist of the large Betsy’s living room:
Christie’s sold at auction also famous Betsy dishes, looking in her dinner party diaries w can easily find out who used them!
This Royal Copenhagen service was sold for $ 68,750 !!
Hand-painted wallpapers, vases and oriental screens according to the chinoiserie fashion of that time, giant rugs, damask fabrics…
If you want to read more about the 1950s and 1960s interiors here there are three other blog posts you can not miss: