YSL and Sybil Buck, YSL's Left Bank Apartment, Paris, Photo by Jean-Marie Périer, 1995.
Viewing photos of the homes of celebrities holds a level of intrigue for us all––they reveal some sense of insight into the private lives of these very public figures whose lifestyles seem so far removed from our own. For those of us interested in the world of fashion (as I am and I’m sure you are), a somewhat voyeuristic look into the homes of famous designers not only gives us a sense of how the sartorial elite live but also of the environment which breeds inspiration for the clothing they create (and which we admire so deeply). Among some of the most famous designer homes are Coco Chanel’s Parisian apartment at 31 Rue Cambon, the Palazzo Pucci in Florence which has been occupied by the Pucci family since the Renaissance, and the Versace Mansion in Miami where Gianni was famously shot in 1997. Unearthed below are some of the private quarters of prominent fashion designers that you may not have seen before, primarily from the decades of the 1970s and 1980s. Though less recognizable, they are nonetheless as remarkable and enchanting as their more famed counterparts.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent’s nine room duplex which he shared with partner Pierre Bergé on Paris’ Left Bank at 55 rue de Babylone was entirely reflective of the designers eclectic and eccentric taste as well as his deep appreciation of fine art. The space was designed by master of Art Déco design, Jean-Michel Frank, and the objects which abundantly fill Yves’ home reflect a deep reverence for the 1920s movement. Among these objects are pieces by acclaimed artists of Art Déco such as Eileen Gray, Christian Bérard, and Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann, all of which are juxtaposed by more antiquated pieces such as ancient Roman marble torsos, a Louis XV chandelier, Italianate bronze statuary of the Renaissance, and silver desk accessories formerly owned by Czar Nicholas II. Of his left bank residence, Yves has stated, “Though I never stop working, I’m still happiest here, in the midst of these.”
(L) YSL's Left Bank Apartment Bedroom, Architectural Digest, Photo by Pascal Hinous and Marianne Haas, 1976. (R) Saint Laurent in the Garden of his Left Bank Apartment with dog Moujik, 1988.
YSL's Left Bank Apartment Library, Architectural Digest, Photos by Pascal Hinous and Marianne Haas, 1976.
The Tuscan farmhouse of Giorgio Armani in Forte dei Marmi on the Versilia Coast is a rare example of a comfortable and inviting living space designed in an ultramodern style. When renovating the house in the early 80s, Armani maintained the building’s traditional bucolic exterior and sharply juxtaposed it with a contemporary, Japanese- inspired approach to the interior. Sharp, clean lines, simplicity and modernity are the prevailing aesthetic motifs for Armani’s country retreat. The house features very few vintage pieces in favor of more modern items, including a 1930s dining set and the 1920s brass-and-wood table lamps in the master suite (capped with Armani lampshades). The color scheme of the house––warm beige and brown towns set against white walls with accents of vivd colors and glossy brass––offsets the harsh lines of the space and make for a comfortable yet sophisticated environment.
(L) Exterior. (R) Dining Room. (Giorgio Armani farmhouse, Forte dei Marmi, Italy, Architectural Digest, Photos by Jaime Ardiles-Acre, 1983.)
(L) Living Room. (R) Stairwell. (Giorgio Armani farmhouse, Forte dei Marmi, Italy, Architectural Digest, Photos by Jaime Ardiles-Acre, 1983.)
(L) Master Bedroom. (R) Back Exterior. (Giorgio Armani farmhouse, Forte dei Marmi, Italy, Architectural Digest, Photos by Jaime Ardiles-Acre, 1983.)
Of traveling Marc Jacobs once said, “Luxury is traveling without a toothbrush. That’s it, end of story. The people who really live luxurious lives don’t need to pack. They’ve got stuff wherever they go.” This is applicable to no one more than Karl Lagerfeld who, since settling in Paris in the early 1950s, has occupied approximately 20 homes in various countries of the Western world (this includes France, Italy, Germany, Monacoand the United States). All have had vastly different design schemes, but the most visually extraordinary (in my opinion) would be his Monte Carlo penthouse designed entirely in the style of the Memphis Group, a postmodern Italian design collective, which he briefly occupied during the 80s. The apartment was filled entirely with objects and furniture designed by the collective, their bold shapes and brilliant colors offset by a grey floor made of rubber and Helmut Newton nudes on the walls. Though Lagerfeld may be one to live in many places, he doesn’t stay for long. After tiring of the Memphis style, calling it “overmodern,” Karl sold his Memphis pieces in a 1991 Sotheby’s auction and moved on to his next abode-du-jour.
(L) Karl Lagerfeld in Memphis apartment living room Monte Carlo, 1981. (R) Karl Lagerfeld Memphis Apt Living Room featuring Masanori Umeda Tawaraya Party Ring, 1990.
Karl Lagerfeld Memphis Apartment, Monte Carlo, Photos by Jacques Schumacher, 1981.
Halston’s townhouse at 101 East 63rd Street is somewhat of a reliquary of the bygone era of Studio 54 and New York’s party scene in the 70s. Affectionately nicknamed “101” after its street number (and namesake of Halston’s fragrance, 101), New York Magazine referred to the house as a “hyperelegant confirmed-bachelor pad.” Halston moved into the “haute minimalistic” style home designed by architect Paul Rudolf in 1974 and during his time spent there the house was like a revolving door for New York’s most elite, including Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Liza Minnelli, and Victor Hugo. The townhouse was fitted with wall-to-wall grey carpeting selected meticulously by Halston himself and boasted a salon with a vast three-story ceiling height, a floating balcony over the dining room (where you might catch Pat Cleveland and Sterling St. Jacques sharing a dance), and a catwalk leading to the third-floor guest bedroom. Of its fifteen years as the home of the illustrious designer of American womenswear, 101 became a bastion of the decadence and glamor of the disco era.
Halston in his living room, Photos by Harry Benson, LIFE Magazine, 1978.
(L) Halston's 2nd Floor Bedroom. (R) Halston's living room viewed from the 2nd floor. (Photos by Hiro, New York Times, 1977.)
(L) Halston seated on 2nd floor balcony featuring portraits by Andy Warhol of Halston and Liza Minelli, Photo by Henry Benson, LIFE Magazine, 1978. (R) Sterling St Jacques and Pat Cleveland Halston on 2nd floor balcony, Photo by Bob Colacello.