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CASSANDRA GREY’S GUIDE TO GIFTING: HOLIDAY EDITION

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LESSONS:

CASSANDRA GREY’S GUIDE TO GIFTING: HOLIDAY EDITION

What the founder of VIOLET GREY is shopping this season.

Written by:
Cassandra Grey
Illustration by:
Donald Robertson
CASSANDRA GREY’S GUIDE TO GIFTING

FROM THE DESK OF CASSANDRA GREY
Re: Holiday shopping guide

Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds? You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat* and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Paul Varjak: Sure.
Holly Golightly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could ever happen to you there…

It was this dialogue in the screenplay adaptation from Truman Capote’s best known novella—specifically, the line, “nothing very bad could ever happen to you there"—that inspired me to embark upon a career in retail, opening a shop (now referred to by the Internet as an “IRL experience”) on Melrose Place. I’m talking, of course, about your favorite beauty store, VIOLET GREY. I wanted desperately for you to step inside our magical little apartment and think to yourself, “everything will be okay. You are okay. Nothing very bad could ever happen to you here.”

Long before I moved to Hollywood and opened VIOLET GREY, I lived in a 4th floor walk-up in the West Village. Like anyone in New York, I did all of my shopping at Barneys. When I reluctantly left the greatest city in the world, it was to see-about-a-boy, my late husband, Brad Grey, who, despite the fact that he lived in L.A., I found just wonderful in every way. True to his signature glamour and polish, he liked to do all of his holiday shopping in Paris. Together, he and I would find the perfect gift for everyone on our list at Sarah Andelman’s Colette, at 213 rue Saint-Honoré. We’d spend the whole day there and I always felt like we were in that scene in Breakfast At Tiffany’s where Holly Golghtly, in her glorious burnt-orange Givenchy coat, and Paul Varjak, in his modest suit and tie, spend the afternoon stealing for the thrill of it like a couple of teenagers, and escaping the shops in silly plastic animal party masks.

CASSANDRA GREY’S GUIDE TO GIFTING
CASSANDRA GREY’S GUIDE TO GIFTING

I don’t know about you, but as convenient as it is, I don’t find shopping from a laptop, or worse, my phone, terribly romantic. I'd much prefer to make an appointment with Brandon at the VIOLET GREY shop and carefully select each gift by hand, much like Brad and I used to do in Paris. But alas, until VIOLET GREY opens a second shop in NEW YORK on the Upper East Side (ideally in the 70s near or on Madison Avenue), I will be putting on a Mariah record, cozying up on my couch, and putting-it-in-THE-BAG, shopping spree-style, on violetgrey.com. Of course there are many beautiful shops on Madison Avenue, and Fifth (Tiffany’s, even), but none with the very best edit of beauty gifts in the world, which is now my duty, and desire, to deliver to everyone on my list. These are the expensive but worth it gifts that everyone wants, but also can’t quite justify buying for themselves. This year I am adding the signature VIOLET GREY makeup bag in red to all of my selections. I know it's just a makeup bag, but if I told you how many reds we sampled to get the perfect shade, would you want it more? What if I told you that I’ve been trying to make it happen since 2016? Grab one (or two or three) while they last—they will sell out—and please do join me as I attempt to get all of my holiday shopping done in just one afternoon!

Yours,
Cassandra

 

*Editor’s Note: While Capote, writing in 1958, did not appear to be thrilled at the prospect of getting “fat,” at VIOLET GREY, in 2023, the term is now “full bodied,” and we are delighted with some extra healthy “fat,” particularly in the winter months.

To book your VIP shopping appointment at the Store on Melrose Place, please call Brandon, Sima, and Jacqueline at (323) 782-9700—or just stop in!

 

 

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