In a few minutes the doors of the most famous and chic train in the history will start its journey through Europe countryside and I will be on board. Handsome men in starched uniforms greet me with big smiles making sure the accommodation in my private cabin is just right. All the passengers are treated with white gloves, whether they are royalty or restaurant-car conductors, so much elegance, so much mystique here.
I see Agatha Christie, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot boarding the train. Is a murder going to happen tonight while I am on the train? Resolving mystery in thriller films has been one of my specialties.
I asked Agatha Christie where she gets the inspiration for her thriller books and she said the plots come to her at such odd moments, when I she is walking along the street, or examining a hat shop. Miss Marple looks like a sweet grandmother, one of those grandmothers we know in the country.
In Venice, I spotted a lad dressed in black boarding the Venice Simplon-Orient Express. He appears unaccompanied, his walk is distinctive elegant, but an aura of mystery surrounds him. Will he be involved in the murder? It’s all to be seen, but in the meantime I want to know him. Of course, someone who is open, friendly and comes to me saying “Hi, I am so and so…” could not attract me, instead those who have a mysterious and distant look attract me.
The smell of the Mahogany inlayed wood inebriates me, or wait, perhaps it’s the smell of fresh flowers everywhere filling the wagons with expensive perfume scents. No, I know what it is: the popping of the champagne in the silver bucket polished to perfection! I can ask for champagne anytime and anywhere in the train. Bell stewards with white gloves will respond to any request all hour of the day.
Where is that lad? His piercing green eyes are dangerous. For a moment he took off his dark sunglasses and I saw the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea in those eyes.
I am looking at my cabin, no details have gone unchecked, I smell luxury and comfort. The Venice Simplon-Orient Express reflects the current deco period style. Will I ever have a client who likes to decorate a house in the deco period style? Or am I going to be stuck in the Belle Époque? I know deco period is modern and graphic, the only sinuous lines are the representation of lilies flowers on furniture, lighting, door panels, glass and accessories. Flooring often is checkered or made of mosaic, strong and vibrant colors characterize all floors in this roaring age. Black is the common denominator that unites a home décor in this style as well as fashion.
The Gatsby’s are on the train too. This will be a load of fun! Zelda Fitzgerald is so beautiful and “all over the place” exactly how people who know her have described her. It has been said her talent lays in drinking and there she goes with her first morning glass of champagne!
The Venice Simplon-Orient Express licenses its name from SNCF (French railways), the trademark owners. It will take us from Venice to Paris and London. To some people the Orient Express is a synonymous of this modern decade of 1920-30s traveling in style on the route between Paris and Constantinople and to some others it simple evokes memories of past steam engines and luxury carriages. To me it means venturing, replicating and creating in homes a dreamy setting with this fantastic train décor.
But wait where did the lad dressed in black go? We could pop a cork together. Ah, he is there at the piano bar I can see the large silver buckles on his black shoes, he is entertaining Madame Pochette.
What a fabulous woman she is, petite and full of spunk! She created extravagant pochettes in her life, they were true work of art. Great fashion designers requested her pochettes for their fashion collections, but she created them as her fantasy dictated and that was it, never bent to any particular request. One day she opened her Bohemian guesthouse in Cannes that she called Madame Pochette. Her guesthouse attracts high calibers poets, painters, musicians, lovers and politicians with all the best intrigues one can weave in a juicy novel.
(All photos credits to Simplon Orient Express)
Chic people mingle around in the train, women dresses are so elegant, black tie is required for dinner at night and a musician doth his pianist skills with the music of the modern Jazz Age of Gershwin, Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and King Oliver.
Enrico is the name of my mystery man; apparently he is Italian, apparently looks like a man who makes an art in wasting women, apparently his voice is suave and hypnotic, apparently is so easy to fall in love with him. He is like an octopus, once his tentacles brush against a woman, they feel enveloping, but an hour later he strikes his final grip that will take a breath away. No, I don’t need this kind of man, but before I could say no, we are already dancing tango, wait, should we not be dancing Charleston?
The sound of a cellular phone brought me out of trans into reality. The music in the piano bar was playing, but Enrico was not there and neither were the Gatsby’s, Agatha Christie, Miss Marple, nor Hercule Poirot. I was day daydreaming on the Venice Simplon-Orient Express this April 2013 and this is my story. Ciao,
I was serious when I was wondering if I will find a client who wants to decorate in the deco period style.
Copyright © 2013 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola, is the principal designer and owner of Valentina Interiors & Designs. She is a trained designer and has been in business since 1990. She works all over the world through Skype line and in the traditional in home consultations producing concepts for remodeling, restoration of historical dwelling, upgrading, décor restyling and home fashion. Vogue magazine and many prominent publications in California featured Valentina’s work. She has made four appearances on T.V. Comcast Channel 15 and has been interviewed on various Blog Talk Radios. Author of three books all-available on