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Earlier Blog

A Touch of Royalty

Fauxtanicals for Mom

Bienvenue a London: The Decorative Antiques and Textiles Fair

Á la Coco – Fin

Á la Coco – The Design and Selections

Bienvenue a London: Go Cowboys!

Á la Coco…

The Verdant Gardens of La Biennale des Antiquaires

Bienvenue a London: The Autumn Decorative Fair

Greetings from the Big Apple: the New York Art, Antique, and Jewelry Show

We're Honored: ASID Award Winning Projects

Greetings from the Big Apple: Tracy Popken. Is. A. Genius.

Fired Up for the Fourth!

In Memorium

Greetings from the Big Apple: NYC Architecture

Glass Houses

Meaningful Things

Winter Gardens

Hayslip Design Associates and the Crystal Charity Ball: Another Celebration, Another Creation

Winter in Dallas á la Peyton Hayslip

What We Are Thankful For…

New York City in November

Greetings from the Big Apple: Dogs on Parade (in costumes)

Black: Going Gothic

Dwell with Dignity – We are all Butterflies

Dwell with Dignity Thrift Studio – October 2013

Bountiful Botanicals

Greetings from the Big Apple: Be A 20-Something

Gilding the Lily: the Tôle Flowers of Tommy Mitchell

Greetings from the Big Apple: I. Love. My. Apartment.

Summer in Dallas

America Loves...

Accent Color Choices and an article on WGSN.com

Making a Memorial of Memorial Day

Greetings from the Big Apple: It. Is. Spring!

Sherry Hayslip Talks Coffee Tables with Park Cities People

2013 ASID Design Ovation Awards: It was Our Night!

Greetings from the Big Apple: The Importance of Culinary Aesthetics

Friday Flowers - Tulipmania

The Spring Fling Continues

Spring Has Sprung...

Greetings from the Big Apple: Or in this Case, Los Angeles

Color Essay: I've Got the Blues

For Your Valentines Pleasure: A Fantasy Dinner for Two…

Dallas… Modern… Luxury…

New York State of Mind

Greetings from the Big Apple: Ghosts of Christmas Past

Welcome 2013

Peace at Christmas and Throughout the Year

If Life were a Color...

While the Cat’s Away, the Mice will Play

Design Dialog: Dressing Room Reveal

Design Dialog: Watch for the Big Reveal

Hayslip Design Associates and The Crystal Charity Ball

Happy Thanksgiving

Design Dialog: Peyton’s Closet is Almost Done

Design Dialog: A Sneak Peek in Park Cities People

Design Dialog: Room Envy

Greetings from the Big Apple: Frankenstorm

Greetings from the Big Apple: How I spend My Days in Class

Design Dialog: Color

Greetings from the Big Apple: Coffee Talk and Baby-Doll Heads

Design Dialog: Confessions of a Lapsed Decorating Mother

Greetings from the Big Apple: How a College Kid Eats in the New Millennium

Design Dialog: What About Fabrics

Design Dialog: Words, Words, Words...

The Painted Desert: The Enduring Appeal of Santa Fe

Bienvenue à Dallas: This Style Scout May Have Found Her Calling

Design Dialog: The Duchess is a Diva

Design Dialog: The Chair has Arrived!

Greetings from the Big Apple: NYU Redux

Design Dialog: First, Step Lightly…

Hayslip Design Associates Visits Les Mettaliers Champenois: Why Cross the Pond When You Can Just Cross a Bridge

Design Dialog: Anxiety Over a Chair

Hayslip Design Associates visits Nanz Hardware: Classic and Well Made Always Fit

Design Dialog: It's All in the Planning

Revisiting Marrakech

Design Dialog: Converting a Room to a Closet

Hayslip Design Associates visits Remains Lighting: or What Beautiful Things Come from Dumpster Diving in Brooklyn, NY

Design Dialog: My mother has a new client... And it’s me!

Hayslip Design Associates visits P.E. Guerin: A Treasure Chest in Greenwich Village

Design Dialog: Taking on a New Client

Coming Soon: A New Blog Series

Let the Games Begin

Summer in the City - Hayslip Design Associates hits New York

Happy Fourth of July

Martha Says "It's a Good Thing"

Ode to Summertime

Million Dollar Furniture

Memories of Morocco: A Day Trip to Fes

Memories of Morocco: Le Jardin Majorelle

Memories of Morocco: The Hidden and Not-So-Hidden Treasures of Marrakech

Obscenely Beautiful Things – A Small Update

Home Again... Dallas in Bloom

The Family who Wanders Together...

Marrakech Express

Trend Setting: All Aboard the Marrakech Express

Obscenely Beautiful Things

21st Century Homes

The Enduring Appeal of Chinoiserie

The Art of the Room

The Color of Love...

Love is the Answer...

Living Large in Small Spaces

Greetings from the Big Apple (and farewell Big D): Beginning a Collection

La Mode de Gaultier

Casa View Elementary School

Welcome 2012

Out with the old (soon enough)...

My Christmas Wish to You

Greetings from the Big Apple: Window Shopping in a Winter Wonderland

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Celestial Architecture

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go...

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings from the Big Apple: The Blank Canvas of a Dorm Room

Bienvenue à Paris: Shakespeare & Company

Spooktacular Skulls: The Trend of Skulls in Fashion and Design

Bienvenue a Paris: Lost in Paris

What a Girl Wants: Or Are Great Closets Better than Sex?

Bienvenue a Dallas: The Latest from Kitty Stuart

Bienvenue a Paris and Life without A/C

Introducing Our Style Scouts

Black is the New Black


How to Turn Your Home into a Piggy Bank... or at Least a Star!

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Born to the Purple

A Glimpse of Things to Come

My Talented Staff II

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Sherry's Blog featured on DG's Online Editorial

2011 TX ASID Design Ovation Awards

The Meaning of Love...

Blanc des Blancs

Georg Jensen

Farvel Danmark!

Royal Copenhagen

Denmark Awaits

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The Moon and Other Jewels

New things are blooming on Armstrong Pkwy.

Dwell with Dignity

Another Dip in the Gene Pool

A Little Link-Love

Mudejar en vogue

Spain Part 2 - Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, and Avila

The Artistry of Daniel Ost

Happy Valentine's Day

Jamaica Has Never Been Lovelier

Working in a Winter Wonderland

Sliding Doors

Imagine my Surprise...

Tested: How Twelve Wrongly Imprisoned Men Held onto Hope

In New York for Antiques Week

D Home - Best Designers 2011

Welcome 2011

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Kudos for the Gene Pool


Our winning kitchen is featured on DesignGuide's blog!

John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center

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Ode to Thatch

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Smith, Ekblad and Associates: Architects and Engineers

Still More Design Riches (Part IV)

The Design Riches Continue (Part III)

Feminine and Fanciful

So the week ended

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A Year of Design Riches

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Asian Jazz and Friendship

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Jamaica Project

A Weekend in Three Acts: Act 3

A Weekend in Three Acts: Act 2

a la Michelangelo...

A Weekend, in Three Acts

Sonoma, California

The Joy of Mindless Reverie

A Passion for Paper Art

Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera

Rubbing Shoulders with History

It all began with Cole

Un Petit Symposium

Hayslip Design Associates - Sherry's  Blog

Thighs and Other Thoughts

“I think the quality of sexiness comes from within. It is something that is in you or it isn't and it really doesn't have much to do with breasts or thighs or the pout of your lips.
 - Sophia Loren

One of the great puzzles facing designers is why people like the things they do!  Why are people’s ideas of what is beautiful so varied?

And what virus is it that sweeps across the lands establishing a universal sense that a certain shape or style epitomizes the stylistic moment?

You can consider this in the microcosm of something as specific as which colors people currently favor or in the macrocosm of a general preference for either rounded edges…

  Louis Vuitton Bugatti Veyron

or sharper edges...

Cadillac  Vintage Hamilton Watch

It used to be that styles in interior design were slower to change than fashion.  After all, it takes a long time for appliance manufacturers to switch from avocado green to titanium silver finishes what with factories having to tool up.  Now, however, fashion and interior decoration are intermingled (every couturier seems to have a line of home furnishings or accessories), seamlessly leading from runways to living rooms.

Ralph Lauren Home

Ralph Lauren was the first fashion designer to establish a home décor line.  In 1978 he established Ralph Lauren Home, which included bedding, bath, and home accessories.  Since then it has expanded to include furniture, tableware, even accessories for your beloved pooch.

Fendi Casa
Fendi Casa

Versace Home
Versace Home

What Armani shows on the runway is reflected in his chairs and coffee cups.

Armani Casa  Armani Couture

So, all this is preface to saying that understanding aesthetics can be very interesting – the modes of beauty so inter-connected.

What is beautiful?

I am always searching for absolutes.  Are there any?  Is there a standard of beauty that transcends time and the vagaries of fashion? 

Since classical proportions are based on the human form, it seems that understanding what is humanly beautiful might be a starting point in solving the puzzle.

While the Greek ideal of the male figure, a finely muscled form, is pretty much the same in popular perception, things seem to have changed for the ideal woman.


mid-5th century Athenian sculpture depicting either Zeus or Posiedon.

Daniel Craig

21st century Adonis, Daniel Craig.

(and if you don’t care for him, may I offer you a selection from this bevy of beefcake?)

Joe Manganiello Brad Pitt David Beckham
In men it’s obviously NOT about the thighs!

“The flower is a jumble of thighs, the sun's harem - the most oriental thing imaginable.
 - Malcolm De Chazal

But these days the fashionable ideal of a beautiful female form is vastly different from other ages.  This difference shows in the overall attenuation and thinning of a woman’s shape.  All of this is common knowledge; however, what strikes me as interesting is breaking this down into a study of thighs… yes, thighs.

In the current obsession with short shorts, bare skin, or decorative leggings, slender thighs have become hallmarks of our present ideal of beauty.

At the Louvre recently, I took a few minutes to study some sculptures from various angles.  These pictures pretty much sum up the classical view of the female form.  After all, Aphrodite was the very goddess of beauty.

Aphrodite @ the Louvre Aphrodite @ the Louvre Aphrodite @ the Louvre

Here is a pictorial history of some artist’s view of what is beautiful (or sacred) in the human figure:

Ancient Egyptian Beauty
The ancient Egyptian ideal of beauty.

Classic Beauty
Crouching Aphrodite (Venus Accroupie), a second century marble sculpture of the Imperial Roman Era, based on an original Greek statue of 3rd Century BC, also at the Museé de Louvre in Paris.

Leda and the Swan
Michelangelo’s Leda and the Swan

Venus at the Mirror

Venus at the Mirror by Peter Paul Rubens, 1614-15

Manet's Olympia

Olympia by Edward Manet, 1863

Edwardian ideal

The Edwardian ideal of beauty.

Ziegfeld Girl

The Ziegfeld Girls epitomized the unfurling beauty of the 1920’s

Betty Grable

1940’s pin up Betty Grable

… and perhaps the last “classical” beauty, Marilyn Monroe.
Marylin Monroe
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” - Marilyn Monroe


First generation Barbie 1959

Almost from the moment Barbie arrived, she has received a lot of criticism.  While many suggest that Barbie represents an unattainable body ideal that damages girls’ self-esteem, the doll’s defenders have argued that Barbie is, after all, “just a toy” and is unlikely to create any lasting psychological effects.  In 1995 researchers Jacqueline Urla and Alan Swedlund published “The anthropometry of Barbie: Unsettling ideals of the feminine body in popular culture.” In 2004 they followed up with “Measuring Up to Barbie: Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culture.”  Their determination… that if Barbie’s dimensions were scaled to that of a living woman, her measurements would be 32 -17-28, thus making Barbie clinically anorexic.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that what followed through the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and on into the 21st century was the adoration of the “waif”.

Twiggy Twiggy
60’s fashion icon Twiggy

Jerry Hall
In the 70’s and 80’s the super slender model as the image of ideal beauty.

Kate Moss
90’s fashion model, Kate Moss, was known as “the waif”.

The 21st century ideal???

Skinny Models

Is it true what they say, “You can never be too rich or too thin”?

Since our perception of beauty has a lot of connections to sexual appeal and perceived fertility, the last images seem a bit surprising.

"Let me shipwreck in your thighs."
Dylan Thomas
Under Milk Wood

But thighs are still undeniably sexy, being close to the significant area – or they can also just be cute or part of an otherwise innocent fashion statement.  Non-supermodels seldom reach the area of high fashion, but the current perception of beauty definitely favors the slimmer legs more than any other era.

Venus Williams

The amazing physique of tennis great Venus Williams clearly indicates that despite fashion, a healthy, beautiful body is still appealing.

My thoughts on the aesthetics of it all?

In the end, silly fashion that emphasizes the starved physique is like an interior that is cold and blah –

Skinny Model Skinny Model Skinny Model

… it may satisfy our cravings for sophistication and a certain elitism… high fashion indeed…

Skinny Exterior Skinny Interior
        skinny exterior                              skinny interior   

But in the end, a softened, nurtured ambiance will win the battle – whether in love or decorating.

Classically Beautiful Interior                 Kate Winslet
classically beautiful interior     classically beautiful exterior

Vive les classics!

“When she reached for her skirt, a carelessly raised foot revealed a patch of soil on each pad of her sweetly diminished toes. Another mole the size of a farthing on her thigh and something purplish on her calf--a strawberry mark, a scar. Not blemishes. Adornments.”
-          Ian McEwan (Atonement)




August 17, 2011 - 02:50 PM Jolie

I love this entry. The imagery of the beautiful sculptures and the curves of Marilyn reminded me how much things have changed in terms of today's perception of beauty. Especially when I see the pictures of the bones and rib cages on the models of today, which is not beautiful in my opinion. I much prefer Kate Winslet's "model" figure...but maybe that's because I like bread and butter and wine and dessert and don't want to stop indulging to have a beautiful exterior.

August 19, 2011 - 09:51 PM tabatha

like the last four comparisons.

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