Wednesday, 18 August 2010


When I have a few idle moments I love spending the day dreaming about architecture and houses, where I nose dive into all the back pages of magazines where the property lies. For me it is better than any predictable novel, I can imagine my own script. I just wish people would not comment and let me dream. I also hate investing in anything but bricks, food, Mcqueen, Vedura or Graff jewellery, at least I can feel they are alive.
I was told by a banker yesterday to be careful with my fantasies as there are 600,000 properties coming under the hammer in Las Vegas.

He just doesn't understand my passion, I can happily go into another world where everything is different and exciting with new stories. I believe that I can take on the the atmospheres of the houses and I can find my life changing because of them.


I love for instance Richard Rogers, who is still around, a modernist and functional architect who makes buildings inside out, I don't know why but he reminds me of a modern theatre designer for Alison in Wonderland, because of his insane designs.
I adore and own a Robert Mallet Stevens,he built houses that look like they should be on the set of Batman.
My favourite house is however in Capri, Villa Malapart by Curzio Malapart, a fascist, he fought with Mussolini and Hitler yet was the son of a German Protestant. His writings stirred up his enemies, but he was able to build the most beautiful place to live on this earth during the war between 1938 -1942 with the drawings by Adalberto Libera. Libera was however pushed aside by Curzio, a natural artist who loved poetry and like Corbusier changed his name.

In his life he seems to have done everything, from journalism to fighting, and being expelled to living and writing in Paris. I want to skip up and down those stairs, redecorate the inside of the house with the help of my friend Nicky Haslam and sunbathe on the roof and be filmed together in a remake of that famous 1963 film which was made there.


Then the stunning proportions of Versailles can make me weep, a hunting lodge for the Kings of France are exciting to me, a chill sweeps down my spine when I visit it. The Hall of Mirrors, the exacting size of the building which had to fit in all the Aristocracy and the trade supplying them. Built by several architects, Louis Le vau and Charles Le Brun and completed with the direction of King Louis XIII and XIV. It is one of the most magnificent and cherished buildings in my memory bank. I can see the dressmakers, the hat makers, the jewellers, the markets for food, from the 17th Century, I can see them all.

Brilliant designers and Architects are everywhere. In Los Angeles I like Hal Levitt, who is not so famous, who built my house in 1960. I have just sold it, but loved the environment he created.


The other day a girlfriend came through the door who likes The Brutalist movement, Alison and Peter Smithson coined this phrase, which went from the 1950's to the 1970's, and a period that is much criticised..


The modernist Corbusier a French Swiss Architect 1887-1965 was part of this because of his use of cement. He tried to improve the welfare of the ordinary peoples living conditions, although he horrifies many. Designing throughout India, Russia, North and South America. Austere and often too gloomy for me, they are just to be admired. He changed is name from Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris. Of course they were souless but I like his bleak thoughts.


I love Rococco splendour, I was recently introduced to Tony Duquette by Nicky Haslam. He was an award winning costume designer from Beverly Hills who put his talents to decorating and jewellery, I am also happy to settle into prison like modern reality too. Truth is I am flexible.


John Soane's fantastic museum, which was his house 1753-1837 was a Neo Classicist, his use of light and frescoes is incredible.


Robert Mallet Stevens was a socialite cum architect in the 1920's who is perhaps more modern and contemporary than the Architects now although except in Paris he is virtually forgotten. Famous for his staircases, stain glass windows, his white walls with off centre windows. I live in a building of his, 7 rue Mechain where he gave rules for living including only using red geraniums, when I put in pink and red last year, the neighbours were in uproar and would not listen to my reason, that the pink makes the red redder and richer. I am happy to share the interesting world of Tamara de Lempicka and with its ghosts, so imagine the life we have together.. Poof if only...

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