Revson was close to his stepchildren—both of Lyn’s sons spent every summer working at Revlon—but in many ways, he was like a child himself. “My stepfather was a very complicated man,” Steven Sheresky, 60, told me. “He demanded her attention.”
In February 1974, on the Revsons’ 10th wedding anniversary, Charles presented Lyn with a tin can—tin being the traditional gift for a decade of marriage—containing $30,000 and five jeweled Van Cleef & Arpels entwined-hearts bracelets, presumably to symbolize the five members of her family. Charles then kissed Lyn good-bye and went to his office. An hour later, she received a call from his lawyer. “Charles wants a divorce,” the lawyer said. Lyn was 42, and her life would never really be the same.
Some say Revson, who died a year later of pancreatic cancer, knew he was ill and simply did not want to leave Lyn his $100 million fortune. Others speculated—incorrectly—that he was having an affair with Lauren Hutton. Still others maintained that the two had simply drifted apart. While gossip columns inflated the divorce settlement to as much as $28 million, Lyn probably received, due to the prenuptial agreement, something closer to $12.5 million, which included $2.5 million in jewelry.
Lyn moved to a 12-room apartment decorated by Mark Hampton in a more feminine style: The furniture was mostly white and gold, and the rooms showcased Lyn’s amazing skill at needlepoint, spotlighting an elaborate Chinese screen and several intricate rugs. In 1977, at the urging of Lee Guber—Barbara Walters’s ex-husband and Lyn’s then boyfriend—Lyn began dictating a book about her knowledge of personal style. The cover portrait, shot by Avedon, depicts her as a windswept natural beauty with a freckled nose. She wrote of her love of the sun, of her system of dressing for any occasion, of her pride in her children. She came across as very practical: Find your best look and stick with it; stay away from “gimmicky” clothes; and “know if you’re a bore and what to do about it.” She addressed the question of marijuana (this was, after all, the seventies) and peppered the prose with photographs of her still glorious post-Revson life. Revson, however, was never mentioned.
For the last four years of her life, Lyn lived in the much smaller rental apartment where she died last summer. Some of her furniture—in addition to the two Warhol portraits she commissioned from the artist in the early eighties—traveled to her new home with her, though over the years she sold or donated many of her jewels and much of her wardrobe. What remained, however, is extraordinary; much of it—including a Galanos black lace tunic, a blue Hermès mink, and handmade lingerie from Juel Park—is now being sold by Cameron Silver at Decades in Los Angeles.