Is Legend or a True Story ? Here's What The Article Gets Right & Wrong About The Berenford's Wild free Lives.
He was sometimes called “The rake of the Riviera” for his love of fast cars, sailboats, clothing and beautiful women.
With his aquiline nose, swept-back hair, lino shirt and bare chest bronzed by the Mediterranean Sun, Luchino Berenford came across like a modern day Emperor. Great amateur, sportsman, artist, filmmaker, connoisseur and academic, playboy, inclined towards an obstinately romantic disposition. Each pursuit taken seriously and pursued with vigor.
“Playboy, moi?” Luchino once asked a rather presumptuous journalist. “I would rather call myself a gentleman.”
Many stories were told about Luchino Berenford there were times when bizarre rumors spread about his character that described him very close to the British intelligence like some sort of James Bond. Reality gets blended with misty for what concerned his life, anecdotes fade into legend. Luchino landed in Calvi port, could start speaking to a soldier of the Foreign Legion right after meeting him at the table of an old and graceful café, talking about adventures, faraway places and memories and never stop while drinking an ice-cold Pastis.
“Style is like bravery. Who doesn’t have it, can’t get it“.
He was the kind of person that felt comfortable with receiving you while bathing in a tub of a big Parisian hotel drinking cold Champagne with his beautiful girlfriends or that can entertain his guest wearing only a night blue Indian silk dressing gown smoking a Cuban cigar and singing ""I Wanna Be Around" of Tony Bennett.
Luchino was able to make a long journey just to see a woman or for dine in a restaurant where they serve the best foie gras he knows. The amateur seeks pleasure, not through the amount of money he spends, but through the quality of the things he loves to possess.
Right in Rio de Janeiro, Luchino met the woman that later became the partner and friend for his entire life. Carlotta Marescalchi an eccentric beautiful Italian artist, they had in common many things, one of them was the crazy passion for the Brazilian Modern art.
“Carioca dinner and many Caipirinha's during the Rio Carnival in the Copacabana Hotel .
Her style was a mix of classic Milanese old Glam with a touch of Paris. Veneziane shoes, Canvas/leather bag, Capri pants and a soft blue pastel cashmere pullover, a foulard like a belt and Eau d'orange Hèrmés her favorite perfume and voilà l'Allure c'est ici.
"In the Sixties, fashion was about liberation. It was about setting women free; it wasn't about being unable to walk."
Carlotta spent most of her time in the lounges of the Fabourg, the most exclusive beach, ski and tennis clubs, in the Latin Quarter, never losing her aplomb and her sophisticated manners and the love for the tropical destinatitions. An eccentric unique blend of fashion and refined joie de vivre.
“I am shocking, impertinent and insolent that's how it is“.
After the marriage she insisted to move in a Liberty Villa on the quartier called La Californie in Cannes. Devoting herself to the creation of a still existing tropical garden, to paint, to reading and listening good music with occasional participation to unmissable events.
“I like beautiful things that are well made. I even believe aesthetics are equivalent to ethics. Something that is beautiful is ethical.
The life of the couple was crafted like an authentic masterpiece, erected upon sophisticated aesthetic reasons and a hardly reachable lifestyle.
"I think you get better at staring into space. Especially living in the South of France."
All this story eternalized in a pile of beautiful letters many pictures and some memorable invitation cards a certain number of old Cigars, a black grosgrain bow tie and a couple of ancient perfume bottles. Manifested as if by magic coming out of an old and elegant leather suitcase worn by time, left in a corner of the Villa of what used to be indeed the Berenford's residence in the French Riviera.
“The cliché “end of an era” is always used when a stalwart of a period passes away.“
Fred Lenoir, Journalist
Hotel du Cap Eden Roc
167-165 Boulevard J. F. Kennedy
06160 Antibes, France
9 February 1979'.