I’ve been on the hunt for good photos of the Sutton Place apartment of the late Bill Blass and I finally found them in The Fashion House: Inside the Homes of Leading Designers by Lisa Lovatt-Smith and published in 1997.
Of course, everything is impeccable and beautiful just like Mr. Blass and his clothing. I also love what he has to say on design, “I have always thought that fashion designers are the best interior designers. I love it. It’s all a question of the eye; you are soliciting the same innate talent.” He also further supports my notion that all design is related whether it be fashion or interior, art, architecture or photography. And you either have an eye for it or you don’t.
In the drawing room, Regency days beds flank the fireplace while 18th-century Italian globes sit a top a 19th-century Italian library table. The apartment was also simple and serene. ” There is a sense of dignity, a simplicity and a classicism in my clothes which can be read into the apartment. As I am surrounded with colours and fabric all day I look forward to a monochromatic home. I work in fashion – I don’t want to live somewhere that looks fashionable.”
The onyx urn in the hall is from Pavlovsk Palace.
On the Edwardian table sits a model of the Place Vendome monument to Napoleon. “I moved in solely because of the height of the ceilings and the size of the rooms, and because they were square. I mean, square is the perfect shape for a room.”
In the library, hold three Greek bronze helmets while a bronze by Sir Frederick Leighton sits on an 18th-century Swedish desk.
In the dining room, the German chairs are upholstered in early 19th-century toile and the trompe l’oeil painting is 17th-century Flemish.
“What I have here is the result of a lifetime of collecting. There is no relationship between the things themselves – except that I like them. You know how American women choose to wear a dress and invest it with their own spirit: I admire that sort of philosophy, and when I collect things, I choose how they are going to look in my life. The way I decorated here was to surround myself with the things I love…and they all have great dignity. And although I choose all the furniture and pictures, I did, as a bachelor, seek out a woman to put it all together…I had the advice of Chessy Rayner.” Hmmm…sounds like someone else we know.
Was popping over tonight to see if you have any apartment updates? How’s it going? Close to finished? Can’t wait to see!
Hope you are enjoying your summer!
Fifi Flowers, We’re getting close but still need an entertainment console and chairs. I’m off to the Hamptons for work today so I’ll have to post an update over the weekend.
If you don’t have it already, try and get your hands on the Bill Blass auction catalogue from Sotheby’s, published in connection with their sale a number of years ago. Contains both his NYC apartment and contents from his place in New Preston, CT. Really a lesson in rigor and purity of vision. Its big and fat, and chock-o-block with pictures of interiors and individual pieces. At least 100 pages of it.
Oh, if only we could all afford such luxuries. I have to be content to drool over his amazing spaces.
the autobiography “Bare Blass” also has many photos of his apartment, with some commentary by Mica Ertegun among others, and many stories about his collecting.
They say behind every successful man, lies a woman.
Leave it to us women.
Still one of my favorite interiors of all time.