'Rubbing Shoulders' With Marc Rosen

Photo by Judith Beermann
Marc Rosen at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC
Marc Rosen at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC

Marc Rosen and Arlene Dahl with The Fairmont's Shane Krige and Diana Bulger (Photo by: Janet Donovan) Marc Rosen and Arlene Dahl with The Fairmont's Shane Krige and Diana Bulger

Marc Rosen thought he'd written his only book, Glamour Icons: Perfume Bottle Designs, which he has called "glass architecture," and something he knew a little something about having won the Fifi Award seven timess for his museum-worthy designs.

That is, until Pamela Fiori, former editor-in-chief of Town & Country magazine coaxed him into turning the fascinating stories he'd regalled countless friends with over the years into a full-length book, and even suggested its title,  Rubbing Shoulders.

Marc Rosen signs copies of his book (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Marc Rosen signs copies of his book

As a child, Rosen recalled his mother telling him always to stand up straight, "You have broad shoulders." Not so sure about their width, Rosen explained at a special party hosted by the Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown Wednesday evening, but confident that his beauty-driven life had brought him shoulder to shoulder with some of the world's most interesting people.  

From his early years, with 'shoulders to lean on' including antiques shop owner Mrs. Olin, to 'titled shoulders' Princess Grace of Monaco and Pope John Paul II, all of Rosen's recollections offer an intimate glimpse into fascinating lives. 

Arlene Dahl with her daughter Christina Carole Holmes and grandchildren (Photo by: Janet Donovan) Arlene Dahl with her daughter Christina Carole Holmes and grandchildren

The charming, photo-filled memoir includes anecdotes about a bevy of glamorous film stars, including the author's wife of 30 years, Arlene Dahl. Meeting her at 26 while he was a package designer, "the girl for whom Technicolor was invented," Rosen was immediately smitten. Soon, he had designed a round bottle for her perfume 'Dahlia,' one with "a raised diamond pattern that suggests the petals of a dahlia blossom in an abstract way." 

Friends gathered over cocktails, a sumptuous buffet and passed hors d'oevres as only The Fairmont can do. Rubbing shoulders with Rosen's family capped a delighful evening of reminiscences for all.