Saturday, July 3, 2010

Parisian Real Estate Porn, or All About Yves (and Pierre)

SELLER: Pierre Bergé for the estate of Yves Saint Laurent
LOCATION: 7th Arrondisement, Paris, France
PRICE: €23,500,000
SIZE: 5,600 square feet, 4 bedrooms plus staff quarters

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Although tomorrow is America's most patriotic holiday, Your Mama thought the children might appreciate a little Parisian real estate dee-lishusness to get y'all through the endless parades, fireworks, and flag waving.

In early May of 2010 it was widely reported that Pierre Bergé, the long-time man-mate and bizness partner of famed French fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent hoisted the couple's historic apartment in Paris on the market with an asking price of €23,500,000. A quick consult with Your Mama's currency conversion contraption reveals that comes to a toe curling 29,459,400 American clams at current rates.

Messieurs Laurent and Bergé moved into the elegant apartment on the Rue de Babylone in the heart of the Faubourg Saint-Germain district in 1970–or 1972 depending on who you ask or what you read–and then purchased the prestigious and aristocratic doo-plex digs in 1978. The couple occupied the art-filled apartment until 2008 when Monsieur Laurent when to meet the great pattern maker in the sky.

In February of 2009, in a greatly anticipated and much ballyhooed and auction at Christie's Paris of the private art collection of Messieurs Laurent and Bergé fetched a heart stopping €373,900,000, or $468,717,000 for all us Americanos at today's rates. The legendary collection of art, furniture and high class baubles and bagatelles featured substantial works from artists such as Brancusi, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, James Ensor, and Thomas Gainsborough. Eileen Gray's Dragon chair, a small, funky, and swoopy wood and leather chair, alone brought in an unimaginable €21,905,000 otherwise known as 27,459,900 American dollars. In November of 2009, a second sale netted around €9,000,000 ($11,282,300 at today's rates).

The sophisticated residence of Messieurs Laurent and Bergé, which measures approximately 5,600 square feet, has a private entry on the 2nd floor and an elongated oval entrance hall with mottled black marble floors, red lacquered walls inspired by the color of Monsieur Laurent's signature fragrance Opium, and an arching, uplit gold leaf ceiling. The theatrical entry leads directly into the 750 square foot main salon that features 12.5' high ceilings, a fireplace with glitzy and glammy mirrored surround, wall to wall carpeting that Your Mama loathes, luscious and sleek, marquetry-free oak paneling, and 5 gigantic windows that open to and overlook the apartment's gorgeous gardens. The formal dining room has a fireplace and overlooks the rear gardens while a music room has three tall windows that overlook the building's courtyard.

Three of the apartment's four bedrooms are located on the second level and include a master suite bathed in aquatic blues done up by apotheosized French decorator Jacques Grange. The garden view suite also includes a fireplace, dressing room and private pooper. The second floor is completed by laundry facilities, linen room, staff quarters and a pantry with dumbwaiter for hauling food up from the first level kitchen.

A dramatic lower level lobby has more of the dreaded wall to wall carpeting, more dee-voon and emotionally unrestrained lacquered walls that bounce the dim light around the room, and an adjacent "treasure room" lined with curio cabinets where the prolific collectors kept and displayed some of their vast accumulation of swank tchotchke, trinkets, and objet d'art.

A 750 square foot salon/library on the lower floor has heavenly, large scale herringbone patterned hardwood floors, a fireplace, and floor to ceiling bookshelves opens to the rear terrace through five floor to ceiling French doors. Also on the lower level is the kitchen–a room Your Mama imagines the fussy Messieurs Laurent and Bergé rarely entered–a staff sitting room, and a large, oak-paneled chambre with fireplace, French doors that open to the rear terrace, and private pooper.

A wide, stone terrace extends from the back of the apartment and into 4,700 square foot private garden that according to listing information is "without overviewing," which means Messieurs Laurent and Bergé could sunbathe and frolic nekkid as jaybirds in their backyard should they have been so inclined. Remember kiddies, these two sybarites moved into this apartment in the hedonistic 1970s when it really would not have been so unusual for a couple of fey French fashion fellows to host parties of a somewhat lurid nature.

Anyhoo, the next owner of the apartment will certainly pay a premium for owning and occupying the long time home of a French icon of style and elegance. Your Mama hopes the new owners will also place a premium on maintaining at least some of Monsieur Laurent's architectural and decorative stamp because, really, let's be honest bunnies, is there really any need to change anything in that elongated oval entrance hall that sends goose bumps of the good kind up and down Your Mama's spine?

Messieurs Laurent and Bergé maintained a fat portfolio of seriously luxurious and high priced properties around the world that have little by little been listed and, in some cases, sold off.

In the 2005, long before Monsieur Laurent went to wherever genius gay couturiers go to heaven, the luxe-living couple listed Chateau Gabriel, their beloved and seriously sophisticated Proust inspired country retreat just outside the resort town of Deauville, France that was blessed with breathtaking interiors worked over by none other than fab French decorator Jacques Grange. The property was first listed at twenty million Euros, but in the fall of 2007 the two men opted to keep 15 acres and a small Russian dacha style cottage on the property and re-listed the remaining 52 acres that includes a large, Napoleon III era house with an asking price of twelve million Euros, which at the time translated into about $17,800,000. The property was reportedly sold in February of 2009 for €9,600,000–just over $12,000,000–to a couple of Russian tycoons.

In November of 2006, he and his man-friend Pierre Bergé listed their New York City apartment at The Pierre for $8,500,000. The 2 bedroom and 2.5 pooper pied a terre that included flaw-less leather lined dressing areas was finally sold in August of 2007 for $7,500,000 to another fashion icon, the two tan Italian fashion virtuoso Valentino and his former man-friend and long-time bidness partner Giancarlo Giammetti.

In August of 2009, the high-class couple's retreat in Tangiers (Morocco) was listed with an undisclosed asking price. The Villa Mabrouka, or the House of Luck as it was dubbed, sits atop a cliff with panoramic views of the Strait of Gibralter and has 5 bedrooms 4+ poopers, a swimming pool carved into the rocks with an adjacent 650 square foot pool house, a 1,200 square foot staff facility, a guard house, and a 6,500 square foot roof top terrace. As of this day, the somewhat prissy but still magnificent property remains unsold.

13 comments:

StPaulSnowman said...

Thanks for the Holiday treat Mumzie...........that's an awful lot of money for such an inelegant naugahyde covered tumor..........It was an all time disappointing click on a MamaLink. It doesn't even look that comfortable. I am sure they airbrushed out all the duct tape patch jobs. The apartment, however, looks tasty.

Anonymous said...

Oh Mama,

You never fail to make one swoon...I'm twitterpated over this one. It's deeeeeee-lish!

Happy 4th!

xoxo LaLu

Madam Pince said...

Lord, Mama, you're right about that hideous wall-to-wall. Not what I'd expect from two fey French fashion fellas. But everything else is divine ... especially that Dragon chair. I could curl up with a good book and not be heard from again until your next post.

Anonymous said...

7th arrondissement?! That's okay but not nearly as chic as the 8th. I would have thought these two would have lived in the 8th.

Anonymous said...

Love it. Thank you, Mama!

lil' gay boy said...

"...host parties of a somewhat lurid nature."

It's high time we brought back lurid. If not, then just what were the '70s & '80s for?

;-)

Damn! Love that Dragon chair, as I've always loved Eileen Gray, especially since she was a distant relation (so distant we'd have to send up a flare from our branch of the family tree). Too bad Nana chose to settle for one of her ubiquitous chrome side tables...

Although relatively private, methinks the real estate listing copy is a bit overambitious in stating "without overviewing," as there appears to be more than one domicile containing a "room with a view" ––– nonetheless, such outdoor luxury in Paris is nothing to sneer at.

Bitchy Bitch, The Poor Little Bitch Boy said...

Sorry, Mama, but these interiors - especially the entryway - look way too much like scenes from a New York department store, probably the mensware section.

Gold leaf cove-lit ceiling with gigantic unframed mirrors ("they make the space look SO MUCH bigger") floating on walls of polished plywood? Please. They were doing that kind of thing at places like Bergdorf's Men in the mid-1980's. And the living room looks like all it needs is some long merchandise racks filled with Italian silk ties, socks and shirts.

While I like the herringbone library floor as much as the next guy, it isn't enough to distract from the huge, under-detailed, awkward rooms. Of course stocking even such rooms with half a billion dollars in art and furniture would probably provide all the distraction one could possibly need.

I agree with Lil' Gay Boy that the garden pictures show an awful lot of windows looming over those trees for in-the-buff partying. And does this place have a kitchen, or did Yves and Pierre always dine and order out?

Anonymous said...

What have you got against wall to wall carpeting?

Anonymous said...

",,,too much like scenes from a New York department store, probably the mensware section."

Touche.

Anonymous said...

I hope an art collector buys this apartment to carry on the tradition. Before Yves and Pierre, the apartment belonged to Marie Cutoli and was filled to the brim with picassos, legers, calder mobiles, a butler and fabulous friends and guests, like Helena Rubinstein. See lots of pics of the apartment from this time in "Over the Top" by Suzanne Slesin.

Mama'sBoy said...

Arrondisement Smarrondissement!
That's a 30 MILLION DOLLAR CHAIR YA'LL!

Anonymous said...

Who said the 8th is better than the 7th for an apartment? Seems like a generalization from someone with limited knowledge. I can think of a number of amazing spaces throughout the city.

A comparison to cheap retail design from the mid-80s? Didn't they move into the apartment during the early 70s? I guess retail design was 15 years behind the times.

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