Victoria Press

It was the memorial service today of Victoria Press, the most wonderful, formidable and directly spoken American collector who lived on Cheyne Walk and died in early April in her palazzo in Venice.   We had our last lunch with her not long before in Tessa Traeger’s little dining room in Rossetti Studios:  avocado and shrimps and cheese and crème caramel;  all Victoria’s favourite things.   Towards the end of lunch, she reminisced about how, having worked for Claire McCardell, the designer of sportswear, she arrived in London from New York in the late 1940s and fell in love with England – the buildings which turned half black in the rain, the broken-down pavements, the English who made friends with her, including Robert Heber-Percy, the ex-partner of Lord Berners and owner of Faringdon Park, who introduced her to English upper class life.   Then, we said our farewells.

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2 thoughts on “Victoria Press

  1. pbmum says:

    I hadn’t heard of Victoria Press but love the designs of Claire McCardell and so googled and found an article about the Cheyne Walk house in the New York Times. I love the fact that she says that the most important thing she learned from Claire McCardell was ‘never make a dress without good pockets’. As someone who spends a lot of time dressmaking that strikes me as proper wisdom and well worth remembering!

    Joan

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