Category Archives: Orientalism

Russian Reverie

With all the news of record snowfall and plummeting temperatures across the Eastern board an exotic getaway sounds very enticing. And what could be more exotic than the late Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s Russian folly at Château Gabriel overlooking the coast of Deauville in France? Granted, the weather on the coast of Normandy this […]

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Valentino’s Homes & Interiors in Vogue

  In anticipation of the publication of Valentino: An Emperor’s Table this past November Vogue dipped into their archives to curate and on-line review of the style-setter’s sumptuous homes and interiors over the years, reaching back to Valentino’s rise to fame in the 1970’s. Design hounds, like myself, are likely familiar with every home and […]

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Le Pavillon des Rêves de Jacques Garcia

Posted September 29, 2014. Filed in Jacques Garcia, Orientalism, Pleasure Pavilions

Jacques Garcia has been renovating and perfecting his 17th-century château, Champ de Bataille, for over twenty-years, the subject of his second monograph recently released that I covered in A Man and His Castle: Château du Champ de Bataille. As with many grand estates of its period the decorative fantasies of its owner were expressed as […]

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Villa Tre Ville – Then and Now

The opening introduction on Villa Tre Ville’s website – the Amalfitani home of Franco Zeffirelli until 2009 – reads: At Villa Tre Ville, there has always been an atmosphere of art and culture. The property was bought around the 1920s by Mikhail Semenov, the Russian writer, who was the first to gather around him that […]

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Posted June 11, 2014. Filed in Frédéric Méchiche, Orientalism, Provence

You’ve been blindfolded, escorted by private car to a waiting private plane, where you’ll board with your host for an unknown destination – a surprise gift from your highly imaginative and devilish confidant. In flight you’re allowed to remove the blindfold, take in the appointments of the luxurious cabin, sip champagne and press your host […]

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Cabinet of Wonder – Part II

Posted March 17, 2013. Filed in English Style Eclecticism, Orientalism, The Collectors

In the previous post, Cabinet of Wonder, we visited Malplaquet House, the eccentric Renaissance-inspired London home of collectors Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan. In the second of five installments addressing modern day cabinets of wonder we visit the London flat of antique dealer Peter Hinwood, where English nineteenth-century-style eclecticism informs the decor and broad range […]

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Villa Mabrouka

With a view across the Strait of Gibraltar to the coast of Spain, Villa Mabrouka, Arabic for “The House of Luck”, is a peaceful walled complex set into a lush landscape perched at cliff’s edge, a mere five minutes from the labyrinthine souk in the Medina of Tangier. Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé purchased […]

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La Zahia: Dar es Saada

Dar es Saada, Arabic for “The House of Happiness”, became Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s first Moroccan retreat in the late 1970’s. Having vacationed there previously they were introduced to the maestro of pan-Arabic orientalist style, Bill Willis, through the haut-monde of European society who also either vacationed there or owned a retreat of […]

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La Zahia: Villa Oasis

The seductive allure of Marrakesh has cast its spell on many an expat over the last century. In the late 1970’s Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé purchased a compound in Marrakesh centered around exotic gardens originally designed by artist Jacques Marjorelle in 1924. In his honor they named his Art Deco style villa […]

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Villa Léon L’Africain à Tanger

Posted February 12, 2013. Filed in French Colonial Style, Orientalism, Pierre Bergé

Fresh from the Caribbean and a recent lazy Sunday afternoon viewing the movie Out of Africa I’m feeling the call of expat life in a far-off exotic locale. Today’s post takes us to Tangier; specifically, to the recently renovated Villa Léon l’Africain purchased in 2007 by founder-in-part of the fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. Generally recognized […]

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