June 16, 2012

"Some of the stuff in [Sarah Jessica Parker's] house was shabby chic, and let’s just say, Anna [Wintour] wanted less shabby, and more chic."

This is completely mundane to me. Of course, a house that a real family lives in is different from the norm for a glamorous lunch party. Whether Anna Wintour or some less divine stylist is doing the redoing, it must be redone.

But it became hilarious when Rush Limbaugh — who had never even heard the term "shabby chic" — tried to get his mind around it.
Have you ever heard of the term "shabby chic"?  That is how the New York Post describes Sarah Jessica Parker's house. The decor is shabby chic.  I've never heard it, either.  I don't know what it is.  But they had... It's in the Post. Apparently, people were over there Windexing doorknobs.  This place is made out to be an absolute pigsty that Anna Wintour had to go into and clean. No, I'm telling you that's how it's written.  There are people cleaning the doorknobs, washing the windows, taking a piano upstairs, moving furniture out, moving furniture in. 
Etc. etc. After the break, he's got a definition of the term — it's from Wikipedia, though he doesn't say so — and he's quoting and riffing:
"Shabby chic is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen" because they look old and worn out, with "signs of wear and tear." Or if they're new items, they're made to look that way. Flaking paint, dents, little chunks taken out of the wood table in the kitchen. I have pictures of some of this stuff.  It looks like you'd run into it in one of Hatfield or McCoy's cabins.  At least to me. "At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottage-style decor, often with a feminine feel is emphasized to differentiate it from genuine period decor."

Anyway, Anna Wintour didn't like it. She got it out of there.  It's not even her house.  It's Sarah Jessica Parker's place.  Anna Wintour shows up, and she probably said, "I'm not going in there.  I am not setting foot in this place! I'm not having my picture taken in a place like this."  So the story goes on. She moved the piano upstairs. They were spray painting stuff, washing doorknobs inside and out.  They're making the place sound like a pigsty. 
Limbaugh obviously wants it to be that Parker is a big old slob, but "shabby chic" is a decorating term that has nothing to do with things being filthy or even messy. And "one of Hatfield or McCoy's cabins"... that's a way to say "hillbillies" without saying "hillbillies." Limbaugh wants to say: this is the case of the biggest fashionista in the room calling another fashionista a hillbilly. The material is not there, because "shabby chic" is a technical decorating term. (My Google image search tells me it's very heavy on the color white.) But Limbaugh nevertheless follows his original impulse, that Wintour and her people insulted Parker by calling her home "shabby."

IN THE COMMENTS: I say: "Note to commenters: References to Parker's resemblance to a horse have been done, done, and overdone. Come up with something new." And Crack Emcee says: "Glad to oblige," and — quoting me "The material is not there, because 'shabby chic' is a technical decorating term. (My Google image search tells me it's very heavy on the color white.)" — says "Oh, that shit is HEAVY alright." Indeed!

ADDED: An antidote to the heavy at Crack's link. By the way, we're repainting our house, and we're repainting black and white. What we need to survive... together alive...

71 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

Note to commenters: References to Parker's resemblance to a horse have been done, done, and overdone.

Come up with something new.

ndspinelli said...

This subject is "done, done, and overdone."

She looks like a mule.

ricpic said...

So Wintour went into Parker's home and actually started moving things around? Talk about a control freak.

I don't think shabby chic means anything as obvious as flaking paint or dents in the furniture, it's more like an eclectic mix of objects and furnishings that aren't shiny new.

AllieOop said...

Limbaugh is a big uncouth snorting bull in China shop in many instances. Commenting on decorating styles now is he? What's next, women's choice of birth control?

Oh never mind.

chickelit said...

At the stable where my daughter rides there's a collection of various tack boxes which the student use to store their personal gear and tack (they're like foot lockers). Some of them look pretty shabby but my daughter's is chic--I made it myself. All the other girls want their dads to make one too.

Quayle said...

The hamlet at Versailles was shabby royal.

Shabby is what out of touch rich people do do feel normal.

ndspinelli said...

chickelit, There was a good scene in the flick, Seabiscuit, where Jeff Bridges and his crew take a walk through of the gentrified stable of War Admiral. They are in awe of how immaculate it is compared to the blue collar stable of their own. However, the trainer reminds everyone, "They still shit."

Patrick said...

She moved the piano upstairs. They were spray painting stuff, washing doorknobs inside and out.

I'm guessing the "they" did not include Ms. Wintour or Ms. Parker.

wyo sis said...

Limbaugh has made his millions commenting on whatever he wants to comment on. Good for him. He's very good at what he does. I wish people paid to hear what I have to say. If they did they could be as critical as they liked, as long as the money kept rolling in. I don't think either Limbaugh or Wintour are much bothered by what the other says about them. The only bad news for them is no news.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

Note to commenters: References to Parker's resemblance to a horse have been done, done, and overdone.

Come up with something new.


Glad to oblige:

The material is not there, because "shabby chic" is a technical decorating term. (My Google image search tells me it's very heavy on the color white.)

Oh, that shit is HEAVY alright,...

Quaestor said...

technical decorating term

Forget shabby chic, a "technical decorating term" is itself a risible concept.

sydney said...

I would be offended if someone I was hosting a party with did that to me. The obvious solution is to have it at the picky person's house.

Quaestor said...

Allie Oop is a big uncouth mooing cow in a China shop in many instances. Commenting on someone's opinion of decorating styles now is she? What's next, another strawman "let's shoehorn in birth control into a discussion about Anna Wintour's tastes"?

Jaske said...

or if they're new items, they're made to look that way. Flaking paint, dents, little chunks taken out of the wood

One of the Ethan Allen plants here in Vermont used to make window frames that were "aged", people in the Northeast bought them to restore old farmhouses. They would hit the frames with bundles of old keys to simulate wear and tear.

Peter said...

There was a good scene in the flick, Seabiscuit, where Jeff Bridges and his crew take a walk through of the gentrified stable of War Admiral. They are in awe of how immaculate it is compared to the blue collar stable of their own. However, the trainer reminds everyone, "They still shit."

Right, but that wouldn't apply to the house of SJP, or any woman for that matter, because women don't sh*t.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Why does Rush keep repeating "washing doorknobs?" Is this some kind of sick joke?

He should have talked more about clean windows, which is a little-known way to vastly improve mental health if one lives in an area with near-daily sunshine like Colorado.

It can be dangerous though, cleaning windows, so it is always a good idea to call a professional.

Quaestor said...

So they carried the piano upstairs, did they? And left the feed buckets on the wall?

Quaestor said...

I guess the tackroom is over at Broderick's place.

Ann Althouse said...

@Crack Thank you. That's stepping it up. Frontpaged.

chickelit said...

NotquiteunBuckley said...
Why does Rush keep repeating "washing doorknobs?" Is this some kind of sick joke?

Was it Savage humor?

AllieOop said...

Oh poor wittle bitty Quaestor, did big bad Allie hurt his feelings by critiquing his hero Limbaugh's "style"?

Want a Kleenex?

John Bragg said...

From the transcript, I think that he was saying:

1. Anna Vintour is a bully, a nutjob and a liability. "Beckel said lose the British lady in the mink."

2. "Shabby chic"? sounds like a million-dollar version of those hundred-dollar "distressed" jeans the kids wear these days (or 20 years ago, whatever). Write your own jokes here, Limbaugh only had to reference the topic.

3. Limbaugh isn't saying that SJP's place is a pigsty--"they" are. "They're making the place sound like a pigsty." They the NYPost? They Vintour & co? Unclear. But Limbaugh isn't calling SJP a slob--Limbaugh is commenting on enemy-on-emeny combat.

Quaestor said...

Oh poor wittle bitty Quaestor, did big bad Allie hurt his feelings by critiquing his hero Limbaugh's "style"?

"Critiquing"? You flatter yourself, Allie Oop.

But then, who else is going to do it, eh?

Quaestor said...

Why does Rush keep repeating "washing doorknobs?" Is this some kind of sick joke?

They had to get rid of the all traces of that sticky saliva. Not hygienic, but understandable. How else is a quadruped going to get from room to room?

AllieOop said...

To the cornfield with you Quaestor.

chickelit said...

How else is a quadruped going to get from room to room?

What the hell was Larry Flynt doing there? I know they're all Allies.

edutcher said...

The real point is is that, once again, the odd sensibilities of Axelrod & Plouffe come out, offering a dinner with a woman nicknamed "Nuclear" Wintour.

(see, not an equine, bovine, canine, or feline reference once)

chickelit said...

Crap, never mind. I misread quadruped

bgates said...

Limbaugh wants to say: this is the case of the biggest fashionista in the room calling another fashionista a hillbilly. The material is not there, because "shabby chic" is a technical decorating term.

Your reading and listening comprehension aren't there, because Rush quotes the Post talking about people cleaning door handles and windows.

"shabby chic" is a decorating term that has nothing to do with things being filthy or even messy.

How about sending people into a house to clean it?

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

@Crack Thank you. That's stepping it up. Frontpaged.

That reads like sarcasm but, if you look at the link, you'll see what I'm getting at. Frontpage that shit. I dare you. I double dare you. With pictures from your own home. Or even Mitt Romney's. I mean - he whose cult shall not be spoken.

I gotta go to work. You stay up. "Hey" to Meadesy.

You kids play nice,...

madAsHell said...

During dinner, Ms. Parker relayed the sad story of how a house landed on her sister. After dessert, everyone tried on Ms. Wintour's wig, and sunglasses.

I did it!! No horse jokes!!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Jaske,

One of the Ethan Allen plants here in Vermont used to make window frames that were "aged", people in the Northeast bought them to restore old farmhouses. They would hit the frames with bundles of old keys to simulate wear and tear.

Purposely "distressed" furniture has been around for a couple of decades. Restoration Hardware used to have (maybe still does) in its catalog a big American flag painted on a wooden panel and then "distressed." I kept imagining workers in rural China paid to whack at the American flag so that it would be damaged enough to hang on the wall in an American living room.

bagoh20 said...

How many people really envy this lifestyle and circle of the Wintour/SJP/Oprah/whoever? I don't see anything desirable about it over authentic shabby.

I'm kinda jaded I guess. I have never found celebrities or wealth especially attractive. I don't have any desire to meet or talk to any of them, and when I see even mild opulence, all I think about is putting it all on eBay and liquidating for cash to do useful things with it, to buy machines, build something, help someone or just give away to a needy cause.

And being famous or around famous people seems like it would be incredibly stressful and uncomfortable. I see it as a kind of hell. I must be missing a gene or something.

D.D. Driver said...

A shot across the bow to all the neighsayers.

Something new...hmmmm....

Hopefully Matthew Broderick kept himself in-line for once?

Ann Althouse said...

"That reads like sarcasm but..."

It's not sarcasm. Aw, Crack... you are, at heart, sensitive.

Why would I have frontpaged it if I thought it was bad...

Oh, you seem to think I didn't already frontpage it (since you are daring me to frontpage it).

What the hell!

chickelit said...

@Bagoh20 and D.D. Driver: One day we'll look back on these times when men and fatherhood were derided and refer to it as the Gelded Age.

traditionalguy said...

Bravo Crack...That was right in your wheelhouse.

The "Puritan " ethic so feared only means Purifying the Anglican Church doctrines circa 1620.

What Crack sees clearly as New Age is the demand to purify the body and spirit by outer works in new attempts to restart some very old guilt propitiation religions

The Obama gang and its billionaire elitists are so proud that they are aiming at nothing short of purifying Earth from a surplis human infestation that first freaked out Malthus.

Until 200 years ago, and still in many parts of the outback areas, the human life span for live births was 1/3 dead by age 6, 2/3 by 16 and 3/4 by 26.

After that, a steady trend has seen cheap energy lead to industrialization that in turn advanced medicine, immunological discoveries and hortocultural sciences that have made populations increase exponentially, especially over 60 folks. The thermonuclear bombs greatly limited wars the last 60 years.

The Wintours and Obamas simply want to help us. Their plan is to to kill off 8 billion "Surpluss People" (and steal their stuff which they see as only fair).

They can accomplish their mass murder plan undercover by simply undoing the advances that caused the population explosion, and call it a wonderful thing Saving the Planet to a "Sustainable Level.".

So get ready for little electricity, no food surplusses, forced abortions China style, and carefully engineered Epidemics being crafted.

At last, the problem of shabby humans will be eliminated. How chic is that?

AllieOop said...

A barnyard of celebrities it seems, from the guests to radio commentator, to the commenter on a blog. At least the barn was chic, not too shabby.

AllieOop said...

Oh and can't forget the hostess SJP.

ndspinelli said...

These passive-aggressive references to equines must cease. You're all beating a dead..err, never mind.

Didn't Parker play a role in the remake, National Velvet?

FKACato said...

Note to commenters: References to Parker's resemblance to a horse have been done, done, and overdone.

Are John-Kerry-in-drag allusions off the table as well?

pm317 said...

Lots of pics of the event from the outside here.

D.D. Driver said...

@ chickelit.

"The Gelded Age." Well played. (And you worked in a horse reference!)

I hope you didn't stirrup any trouble and make our hostess un-stable. I would hate to be on the receiving end of her un-bridled anger.

For the record my comment was a reference to that time when Ferris killed two people in Ireland when he couldn't keep his car in his lane.

Deborah McLaughlin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deb said...

My house is just shabby, period. Some things you just accept.

Have you seen The September Issue? My impression of Wintour was that she is a cold, detached, completely self-absorbed woman.

Quaestor said...

Didn't Parker play a role in the remake, National Velvet?

Yeah, post position 3.

Quaestor said...

D. D. Driver wrote:
I hope you didn't stirrup any trouble and make our hostess un-stable. I would hate to be on the receiving end of her un-bridled anger.

Hay! Don't saddle this blog with your obvious puns! It's a bit of a nuisance, and you ought to rein it in, chum. Quit stallin' and do it. The effort will be good for your girth.

EDH said...

At what age will Wintour completely close the part in her hair and adopt the full-on "Cousin It" look?

PatCA said...

I feel like something weird will happen to my brain if I read the whole page Crack linked to...

SteveR said...

I never had much problem with SJP's looks, but her voice, especially that narrating voice on Sex and the City is irritating as hell.

In any case being a star does not mean you have good taste or good judgement in who's advice you take.

I've done shabby.

yashu said...

Did y'all know Wintour had a torrid love affair-- or OK, week of sex-- with Bob Marley in the 70s? Ganja chic.

dogzilla said...

I can easily imagine Wintour having her people Windexing the door knobs. If it were my flat, though, I'd be doing so *after* this mob left. Obama is always fondling his nose and then shaking hands with people.

Pretty sure shabby chic isn't up Wintour's ally. Probably mid-century meets whoever is the designer of the moment is.

But I'm with Rush--who flipping cares. The President is a hypocrite, and would prefer the company of celebs over "the 99%" any old day

ndspinelli said...

Althouse is feeling like Rodney Dangerfield in this thread.

gutless said...

Moose face. A reference to the banned equine (may I still say that?) is insufficient.

Robert Cook said...

"My impression of Wintour was that she is a cold, detached, completely self-absorbed woman."

Have you seen THE DEVIL LOVES PRADA? The book was written by a young woman who had worked for Wintour, and the character played by Meryl Streep is a (rather more humanized) rendering of Wintour.

Robert Cook said...

I see the Robert Benchley-manques are out again today, amusing themselves and each other with their belabored witlesscisms about Parker's appearance.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I would be very annoyed....ok pissed off...if someone decided to redecorate my house for a party that I was hosting. You don't like the way my house is decorated....eff you....find another location then.

And it DOES sound like Wintour thought the place was filthy. The references to cleaning the doorknobs and windows make it sound like the doorknobs were dripping with filth and the windows so dirty you couldn't see..

chickelit said...

I see the Robert Belchley-minchia is out again today, amusing himself and with his belabored put-downs of commenters while he hovers over the new Palin thread, wondering if he should take a dump.

Mo5m said...

SJP's house was in Architectural Digest some months back. I don't remember it being shabby chic at all. It was more modern than I care for. I believe it was probably too "lived in" for ms. Wintour which she would have called shabby but since it was SJP's house she also had to call it chic. Wintour probably has never heard of shabby chic and thought she had invented something new.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ndspinelli said...

chickelit roars past the outmatched Robert Cook in the homestretch, beating Robert Cook by 5 lengths. The crowd goes wild as the defeated Robert Cook strolls past the victor, chickelit, in the winner's circle, thinking only of the oats awaiting him in the stable. Once again, Robert Cook can only take solace in oats, hay, and a beer once in awhile. The lonely life of an "also ran."

D.D. Driver said...

Cook:

Get off your high horse. We are just having a bit of fun.

If you want to show this place how to win appreciation go easy with the spurs.

Synova said...

I thought shabby chic was a brand of household linen they sold at Target.

I believe I have a thin, white, cotton valance with a little eyelet trim in my bathroom that is that brand.

It's the fashion equivalent of cotton sun dresses and flat sandals. It doesn't have to look shabby at all, just a little old fashioned, light and airy.

At least, that's what I always thought.

Shanna said...

I thought shabby chic was a brand of household linen they sold at Target.

Exactly Synova. I seem to remember that spun off from a tv show of the same name (although I'm sure the concept has been around longer). Rush is funny to listen to when he starts talking about something he has zero clue about.

I hate white walls/all white rooms. Too many years living in an apartment.

The Crack Emcee said...

An antidote to the heavy at Crack's link,...

"An antidote"? There's no antidote for me:

I'm pure bloodstream, baby,....

Nora said...

What is all this talk about "Parker's house". Did I miss the news of her divorce from Broderik?

"Note to commenters: References to Parker's resemblance to a horse have been done, done, and overdone.
Come up with something new."

Well, did you notice that Wintour actually resembles a snake, if you get her square hairdo out of the picture?

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

Note to commenters: References to Parker's resemblance to a horse have been done, done, and overdone.

Come up with something new.


Okay, how's this one. Hey Sarah, why the long face?

Methadras said...

Shabby Chic: Stupid shit white people like.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob said...

Shabby chic = Family heirlooms for the nouveau riche.

ampersand said...

Please join Senor Wences and myself and don't be late