She Recieved 65 Proposals and Never Married: New York Times Wedding Edition

Morning reads, courtesy of the New York Times:

“Shyness” was the diagnosis: After all, what else could possibly have caused Mary Landon Baker — heiress and socialite — to have left her fiancé, Allister McCormick, a fellow Chicagoan, at the altar so often in the early 1920s? Newspapers around the world — including The New York Times, which referred to the would-be groom as “thrice jilted Allister McCormick” — delighted in covering the drama that unfolded between the two. In the end, nothing could compel Miss Baker to become Mrs. McCormick: not the Cartier sapphire engagement ring, nor the mountain of wedding gifts (valued at a reported $100,000), nor the thousand of well-heeled guests who showed up for the first wedding ceremony. Called the “shy bride” by reporters, Miss Baker appears to have been anything but: Throughout the 1920s, she went through lovers like General Sherman blazing a path to the sea and provided excellent copy while doing so. (Mr. McCormick abandoned his pursuit of Miss Baker in 1923, opting instead for a more compliant wife based in London). Miss Baker acquired and discarded husband-candidates on at least two continents: an English Lord, an Irish prince, a Spaniard of means. Her brief 1926 engagement to a Yugoslav diplomat caused “the greatest excitement since the European war” in Belgrade, reported one Times correspondent. Read “Mary Baker Engaged to Count Pouritch" (Oct. 24, 1926) Miss Baker was also linked to the actor Barry Baxter, who collapsed onstage and died during their friendship; rumors flew that he had learned that Miss Baker was about to dispatch herself to London to marry another man. Mr. Baxter’s physician came forward to deliver the disappointing news: The cause of death had been pneumonia, not betrayal or lovesickness. Thus Miss Baker remained categorized as simply shy rather than fatale. By the time she died in 1961, at age 61, she had supposedly received 65 marriage proposals. Read “Mary L. Baker, 61, Spurned Suitors" (July 14, 1961) Her love of life seemed abundant; she was, for example, fond of pirate parties, tango dancing with Romanian princes and glinting lamé gowns. Furthermore, Miss Baker was a quintessential “dollar princess,” an heiress whose net worth made her an international catch. When quizzed about his daughter’s aversion to marriage, her father, the financier Alfred Baker, suggested to a reporter that she was simply having too delectable a time playing the field to settle down. Years later, Miss Baker told a journalist, “I did not marry, because I did not meet the right man at the right time at the right place.” At another point, she confessed, “I have never been in love.” It seems a perfectly valid reason to have shunned the affections of so many men, although it was a luxurious position to be able to take. We will probably never know Miss Baker’s motives in marionetting her suitors, but we do know this: She was never in need of spousal support. In 1927, when her father died, she made the leap from heiress to outright rich in her own right; she received another small fortune upon her mother’s death in 1955. She had security; she had status. Mary Landon Baker wasn’t “shy.” Rather, she was free. Lesley M. M. Blume is a journalist, historian and author of the New York Times best-selling book Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece ‘The Sun Also Rises.’

“Shyness” was the diagnosis: After all, what else could possibly have caused Mary Landon Baker — heiress and socialite — to have left her fiancé, Allister McCormick, a fellow Chicagoan, at the altar so often in the early 1920s?

Newspapers around the world — including The New York Times, which referred to the would-be groom as “thrice jilted Allister McCormick” — delighted in covering the drama that unfolded between the two. In the end, nothing could compel Miss Baker to become Mrs. McCormick: not the Cartier sapphire engagement ring, nor the mountain of wedding gifts (valued at a reported $100,000), nor the thousand of well-heeled guests who showed up for the first wedding ceremony.

Called the “shy bride” by reporters, Miss Baker appears to have been anything but: Throughout the 1920s, she went through lovers like General Sherman blazing a path to the sea and provided excellent copy while doing so. (Mr. McCormick abandoned his pursuit of Miss Baker in 1923, opting instead for a more compliant wife based in London).

Miss Baker acquired and discarded husband-candidates on at least two continents: an English Lord, an Irish prince, a Spaniard of means. Her brief 1926 engagement to a Yugoslav diplomat caused “the greatest excitement since the European war” in Belgrade, reported one Times correspondent.

Read “Mary Baker Engaged to Count Pouritch" (Oct. 24, 1926)

Miss Baker was also linked to the actor Barry Baxter, who collapsed onstage and died during their friendship; rumors flew that he had learned that Miss Baker was about to dispatch herself to London to marry another man. Mr. Baxter’s physician came forward to deliver the disappointing news: The cause of death had been pneumonia, not betrayal or lovesickness. Thus Miss Baker remained categorized as simply shy rather than fatale.

By the time she died in 1961, at age 61, she had supposedly received 65 marriage proposals.

Read “Mary L. Baker, 61, Spurned Suitors" (July 14, 1961)

Her love of life seemed abundant; she was, for example, fond of pirate parties, tango dancing with Romanian princes and glinting lamé gowns. Furthermore, Miss Baker was a quintessential “dollar princess,” an heiress whose net worth made her an international catch.

When quizzed about his daughter’s aversion to marriage, her father, the financier Alfred Baker, suggested to a reporter that she was simply having too delectable a time playing the field to settle down. Years later, Miss Baker told a journalist, “I did not marry, because I did not meet the right man at the right time at the right place.” At another point, she confessed, “I have never been in love.”

It seems a perfectly valid reason to have shunned the affections of so many men, although it was a luxurious position to be able to take. We will probably never know Miss Baker’s motives in marionetting her suitors, but we do know this: She was never in need of spousal support. In 1927, when her father died, she made the leap from heiress to outright rich in her own right; she received another small fortune upon her mother’s death in 1955. She had security; she had status. Mary Landon Baker wasn’t “shy.” Rather, she was free.

Lesley M. M. Blume is a journalist, historian and author of the New York Times best-selling book Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece ‘The Sun Also Rises.’

Mary Landon Baker in 1922, sailing to England to marry Allister McCormick. (She didn't.)  CREDIT THE NEW YORK TIMES

New Sample Alert: AURALIA

“Are you sure/That we are awake? It seems to me/That yet we sleep, we dream” ― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

 I slipped on this delicately embroidered dream of a gown in fittings this morning and I'm in love. Hand beaded vines and delicate tulle flowers in shades of lavender, periwinkle, blush and clementine over a white illusion.

 

✨💕✨ Available exclusively in our Brooklyn studio this month ✨💕✨

SPOTLIGHT: BRIDE BOUTIQUE LA

A look inside this LA gem, an intimate shop curated by owner Maria Diaz, Samantha Sleeper gowns will be visiting on Trunk Show January 24-31st. To book an appointment click here:  http://brideboutiquela.com/make-an-appointment-2/

Store name:

Bride Boutique

 

Your name:

Maria Diaz

 

Title:

Owner

 

Inspiration behind your store:

There are a lot of things that inspired the creation of Bride Boutique. From the sustainability of wearing a vintage gowns, to the supporting indie-designers, Bride is continually inspired by a need for alternative options to mainstream wedding gowns and bridal salons. We really focus on making Bride a comfortable and stress-free shopping experience while doing something good for the environment and small businesses around the world.

 

What you look for when curating your store:

We look for gowns that stand out in design, quality, and fit.

 

Best advice for brides:

Don't be afraid of being a bride. Because we cater toward the alternative bride, we tend to get a lot women who are scared of becoming a "conventional" bride, or worse a "bridezilla."  They either focus too much of finding something "unique" or easily give in to the options of others, rather than going what they truly feel physically and emotionally good in. If you like the big princess strapless gown, thats ok! Its your wedding day. (And, if you like the polka dot black dress thats ok too!)

 

Top music for trying on gowns:

This is a hard one, I think it all depends on the client, season, even day of the week. When its my day to choose the music for the store, I'm a bit of an old lady-odd ball; I usually go with The Supremes, Patsy Cline, or David Bowie. All very different, but all classics that no one can deny. They always seem to put guests in a good relaxed mood - perfect for wedding dress shopping.

EVENT: BRIDE STYLE 2017, CHICAGO

Join Samantha Sleeper for an exclusive look at her Spring 2017 collection in side the parisian inspired airy DL LOFT (http://www.debililly.com/dl-loft) in Chicago on January 8th from 11:30-1:30 pm. Limited custom bridal Appointments available until 4:00 by emailing Info@samantha-sleeper.com 

Event RSVP to info@aperfectevent.com

XX

SS

Something that Sparkles: A modern girls guide to indie ring designers

NOT YOUR GRANDMA'S DIAMOND RING

Its pretty common knowledge in my inner circle that I love rings. Not just a little bit, but pretty much full on, blow my monthly budget for a vintage or indie designer find sparkling story to add to my stack. I used to wear so many rings that I would refer to my hands as a ring grave, the place where other peoples love stories end up on my hands, never to leave again. I collect rings like some collect tattoo's : they carry meaning and remind me of moments in my life worthy of a marker: the birth of my son, the launch of a business, the resilience of heart break- others are handed down, gifts from my grandmothers and great grandmothers- the ruby pictured above was an heirloom I received on my first Mother's Day, a love present given to her from my grandfather decades earlier- the delicate sunrise, a gift from my son's father on a California Christmas morning marking his middle name "ray" as a ray of light forever on my hand. An oversized aquamarine procured on a trip to Thailand, where I found my birthstone so big it made me have all sorts of Elizabeth Taylor fantasies playing around in my mind. Around collection time I pull them out to use as styling tools- which also as a moment for me to play, and reflect, on the life I'm living, where it's taken me and where I am heading . I firmly believe in cultivating your own happiness and holding the vision of what that feels like in the center of your heart as you move through your days, your interactions with others and owning your choices. ( Even if those choices include occasional less than responsible behaviors around the procurement of a collection defining ring). One of my favorite parts of collecting, is finding designers to support in the process. As the Christmas season brings about extra sparkle everywhere you look, I  find it the perfect time for a round up of some of my favorite designers to adorn your fingers today, and always.

 

COMMUNION By Joy is self described as 'sacred art worn by the modern mystic warrior'- I can't really beat her description so I'm not going to even try. I love her pieces for the organic quality of the stones shapes, the imperfect edging and meaningful motifs. 

http://communionbyjoysmith.com/

WAKKE is a  brand based in NYC, focused on new perspectives on traditional fine jewelry. Known for the collections clean lines, fluid motion, and asymmetrical stone placements, these rings are dainty enough to add to a stack and powerful enough to stand alone.

http://wwake.com/ 

Satomi Kawakita is a New York City-based jewelry designer, whom I love for her etched bands and delicate sensibilities. For whatever reason, I am reminded of the illustrations in a Roald Dahl novel, playfully marked with equal parts whimsy and intention.

https://satomikawakita.com

Rings to break your heart. Straight from the Tokyo workshop of master jeweler, Yoshinobu Kataoka, where only the most beautiful jewels are made. Milgrain edges, diamond cutting, and other finishing touches are all applied by hand. Kataoka uses the highest quality conflict-free noble metals, diamonds, and natural untreated precious gems. These rings read like a symphony of perfectly balanced color placements and details, delicate sentiments truly designed and executed from the heart. Lose your self in pages of these exquisite creations, many exclusive to New York jewelry haven, Catbird.

http://www.kataoka-jewelry.com/

https://www.catbirdnyc.com

Morphe : Otherwordly jewels, cast from original wax carvings. Made in Montreal, by Sofia Ajram.

If anyone asks, I am currently coveting every version of her wandering star ring.

http://www.morphejewelry.com/