Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Hooligan of English Fashion Lists East London House

SELLER: Alexander McQueen
LOCATION: Cadogan Terrace, East London, UK
PRICE: £1,700,000
SIZE: 2,957 square feet, 2-3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: The house is laid out over 4 floors offering unique features throughout which also extends to the private garden. Extremely spacious accommodation comprising fully fitted kitchen/dining room, lounge and study area, 2/3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (including wet room) and walk in dressing area. There is also a huge roof terrace offering panoramic views.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: During our convalescence over the last weekend Your Mama received a covert communique from a British bloke we'll call Benny Buttermeup who informed us that maverick fashion designer Alexander McQueen had listed his East London house with an asking price of £1,700,000, that's $2,799,849 to all us Amereecanos.

Mister McQueen, for those who do not know, comes from working class roots and as a young lad stitched garments on Saville Row for folks like Prince Charles and Mikhail Gorbachev. After a stint with Italian garmento Romeo Gigli he attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where his plucky and unexpected designs earned him the attention of influential fashionistas and led him to the top job at the esteemed House of Givenchy. After five years of causing controversy at the venerable label, Mister McQueen busted out on his own in order to free himself of any of the constraints that come with designing for an historic and grand house. And hog wild he's been ever since. Just have a look-see at his strange and heavenly Fall '09 women's collection which looks like he sent a bunch of doppelgängers of tranny trainwreck Pete Burns out on the runway in elaborately constructed fabric extravaganzas.

Mister McQueen's often controversial, sometimes shocking, always theatrical, challenging and meticulously tailored designs have caused some define him with labels like "on-fahnt tear-ee-blay" and "The Hooligan of English Fashion." We're certain that some of the children are going to whine about how impractical strange most of Mister McQueen's high fashion habiliments are, but one must keep in mind, puppies, that these are not duds one dons to ease on down to the local Applebees for an Pick 'N Pair Lunch Combo after and whittling the day away at the local outlet mall.His outlandish, idiosyncratic and showy take on frocks and frippery has earned him fashion forward fans like Björk, Japanese pop star Ayumi Hamasaki and the late, fashion dynamo Isabella Blow who rather dramatically offed herself in 2007 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. But we digress...

Listing information for Mister McQueen's four floor townhouse across from lively Victoria Park on Cadogan Terrace indicates it measures a spacious 2,957 square feet and provides 2 proper bedrooms (plus a third room which could be used as a bedroom) and 3 poopers including a large number on the lower ground floor (that's the basement kiddies) with something called a "wet room." We're not sure if this simply means a large shower or if this space is intended to be used for some other lurid and lascivious purpose. Perhaps not surprisingly, the interior spaces have been done up, we're told, by Tanzanian born British architect David Adjaye in a minimal and unadorned manner that stands as a stark counterpoint to Mister McQueen's typically flashy and heavily adorned clothing.

The front stoop opens to a ground floor entrance hall that serves as the central traffic hub for the entire house. To the right through a set of glass doors lies the kitchen and dining room area which offers high ceilings, bright white walls, some sort of flooring that looks like terrazzo, a fireplace and a kitchen space with winter white base cabinets and snow white counter tops that floats in the center of the space and, as sleek and clever as it is, looks to Your Mama like something at a futuristic Benihana. Behind the kitchen a spectacular set of floor to ceiling glass doors open to a small terrace that leads to the garden. Down a half flight of stairs from the kitchen/dining room is what the floor plan shows as a second kitchen. We can't conceive why a house this modestly sized would require two kitchens, but it's nice that this one also opens into the large rear garden making for easy-breezy barbecues. Down another half flight, to the lower ground floor, is a large "reception" room, the boiler room and that "wet room," which is still conjuring up images of sordid activities of the sort that makes Your Mama blush.

A half flight up from the entrance hall is an itty bitty cell-sized bedroom with an adjacent pooper the size of Your Mama's linen cabinet and believe us when we tell you our linen cabinet in not very big. Up another half flight is the main living room which has a built-in sectional sofa situation facing a fireplace flanked by built in glass shelves and with a small flat screen tee-vee screen above. The back of the built-in sectional is lined with shelves for books, knick-knacks and other paddy-whacks. The children will note the wonderfully aggressive horned lighting fixtures that Your Mama would choke a horse to have in our own dining room. (Relax, PETA people, we would not really choke a horse, it's just an expression, okay?)

Up yet another half flight of stairs is the commodious master bedroom anchored by a free floating sculptural structure that divides the sleeping area from the spacious pooper that includes a free-floating soaking tub (do we all recognize the theme here with the free floating bits and pieces?), separate shower and private cubicle for the terlit. Off to one side of the bedroom and looking out over the tree tops of Vicky Park, a walk-in and dressing room with custom built-ins houses Mister McQueen's personal wardrobe which is, generally speaking, far less extravagant than those he designs for rich fashion mavens and covetous clothes queens.

Mister McQueen's outdoor spaces include a long and narrow backyard with a modern multi-level deck with a slim channel that cuts through the deck and spills down the steps and into dark bottomed square pond (or pool or hot tub thing). The roof has been decked and planted with low maintenance plants and the sort of glass skylights that can be walked on. This is all very striking and impressive but we're concerned that privacy could be a bit of an issue if there are guests on the roof and Mister McQueen needs to use the terlit.

We won't know what Mister McQueen's real estate plans are until he rings up Your Mama to let us know, so until then we'll assume he's moving to bigger digs. Or maybe he's just bored. Y'all know how those high fashion people need constant stimulation and can (easily) get bored every 20 minutes or so.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

An absolutely gorgeous and spectacularly minimalist place! Love the built-in Sofa. Those horned lamps which match the chandelier are at least worth choking a cat over (once you've choked your way through the stables out back). Awwww Mama...I come for the real estate but I stay for your delicious prose!

Anonymous said...

I'm positive he still lives in Paris ... After leaving Givenchy I don't think he moved back to London. He definitely still shows in Paris. Anyway, he is an absolute genius & is the most important designer living today ... well, at least in the top 5 living today!

Really like the house but not sure I could live in this location ... Slap bang in the middle of Hackney ... Yikes! He's from the East end so I'm sure he's used to it but it can be pretty dicey in some parts ... Though he's surrounded by cool, cutting edge areas like Dalston, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green etc.. so I'm sure that helps.

Anonymous said...

Now I can see why staging a high end property is so important.

It can soften some of the harsh realities of a space.

Boynextdoor said...

Good house but it is way overpriced for this area (maybe he is trying to cash in on his status), he is asking 50% more than any other house in this 'edgy' location i.e. trendy but crime ridden! The house also backs onto a motorway (freeway)!

thevinylvillage said...

convalescence? Mama, did you have some work did? Not that its any of our business.

Hope you're feeling better.

On to the house...

its a little stark and white for my taste, and I would normally pine for whatever details were stripped to make it so, but theres something about it I like...it wouldnt take much to make it a showstopper.

The Preppy Pauper said...

I'm obviously a design reactionary, because I loath the way lovely London (and New York) townhouses are being stripped of all historical architectural detail and redesigned in what could generously be called anal-retentive, personality-free, morgue-chic minimalism. I've seen airport terminals that exude more warmth. Apparently a little bit of crown molding or a fireplace surround would have sent everyone into convulsions. I suppose it's not fair to judge this home without Ms. BigQueen's furnishings, but I think I just did!

angeleyes said...

Very nice place, well thought out and designed, open, airy, free flowing (and floating). I'm guessing the architect who redesigned this home reconfigured the layout too, incorporating the series of short, half flights of stairs to replace an original 3 full flights, making for a much more livable (and easy on the back) floor plan with living spaces spread out over 4 stories.

I'm wondering if the wet room is intended to function as a quasi bathroom/changing room, and along with the 2nd kitchen, for use primarily in tandem with back yard and pool activities. Just a thought. That's how I'd use them anyways if I'm comprehending the approximate layout correctly.

I like almost everything about this place alot, inside and out, and can easily imagine moving in, applying my own decorative touches, and feeling at home in no time. Thanks Mama :)

Madam Pince said...

I hope that skylight has some sort of electronic cover, because I couldn't bear waking up to all that sun in my face.

Otherwise, I really like this house. The white comes off as refreshing & clean, not sterile.

Grrrowler said...

Forget the house. It's just not my style. But I'd gladly let Mr. McQueen come live with me if he needs a place to stay!

Anonymous said...

Bor-ing.

Donna Kebab said...

Dee-luxe townhouses like this are so incredibly sought after in London. I bet this flies off the shelf in no time at all. And that garden is stunning!

A wet room in the UK is simply a room in which the water can flow everywhere but out under the door. So a walk-in shower with no tray and non-slip tiles is the order of the day.

They are increasingly popular among the better-heeled, and those on benefits in the UK, who can get them fitted free courtesy of the generous social security. They do make a small bathroom appear much larger.

stolidog said...

I ABSOLUTELY SHUDDER to think of what Mr. McQueen has hired people to do on that glass skylight while he writhes around beneath it on his bed in the dark. SHUDDER.

Anonymous said...

BOR-ING! That's exactly what I was thinking!

Coco Chanel said...

Oh, dear god, and he calls himself a designer? The inside of my coffin has more charm and warmth.

Babe Parish said...

thanks for the link to the fashion show. the runway reminded me of a Cockettes set along with the 40s inspired "women's wear"... they influenced Galliano and apparently it has trickled on over to Mr. McQueen. love it! the house is great and obviously been stripped of all traces of the mad genius. it seems very simple, and straightforward..a blank canvas if you will. which is just the way i like things... ; )

Anonymous said...

I'm suprised that all some can see is the obviously vacated, and therefore empty townhouse. It's been renovated beautifully. I find it easier to imagine what I'd do to put my personal stamp on a place from a more or less blank canvas, but the comments prove why staging homes has become such a thriving business.

Derek said...

As another poster commented, McQueen is one of the greatest working designers today. I don't know much about London, so I can't comment on the location but I think it's an interesting space that allows the new owner to add a lot of their own influences.

Anonymous said...

Most of us are not really that interested in a home of a random fashion designer in London. But I usually love your posts, Mama!

Ed said...

Oh child, speak for yourself, I love hearing about fashion designers like Lee McQueen is is anything but a random designer.

I love the house. Love clean architecture like this, especially when pared with the warm wood elements. It wouldn't take much to make this this place feel cozy and serene.

Anonymous said...

Love the listing! Fabulously done... but yes interesting London Local.... not quite the center of fabu.

chiang mai house said...

It's pretty house. But that expensive for me.

Anonymous said...

Ridiculous price for the location. I live in Hackney, and if I wanted to pay £1.7 million for anywhere, I'd want it in Islington or Belgravia or somewhere near the damn Tube, not on the edge of a council estate full of crack dens, two bus rides away from civilisation.

Jimmy said...

Booth's 1889 London Poverty Map shows this street occupied by lower middle class folks with some really bad neighborhoods not that far away. In those days there were cricket fields just across the way in the park. How English, don't ya know.

My, how things have changed, and values skewed.

Tracy said...

I like the way the planks of the bedroom floor has been laid out to circle that bed.

WinstonC said...

Interesting 'Grand Design' style abode. Nice deck space. Massively overpriced for the location, and the seller knows it. As nice as the street is, apparently Colin Firth lives there too, the surrounding area is a dump.

Anonymous said...

Also reporting:
His muse, that fab model Laura, also of London, is still shacking up with waterpolo stud Tony Theo in Las Vegas. The 6'4" Greek is reportedly shopping for a ring. More later darlings.

lifeisnotafairytale said...

Totally agree with the Preppy Pauper. These buildings are having the soul ripped out of them...this house (in no way is this a home) is cold and uninviting. Nice to visit but I would not want to live here.

Beth said...

Interesting 'Grand Design' style abode. Nice deck space. Massively overpriced for the location, and the seller knows it. As nice as the street is, apparently Colin Firth lives there too, the surrounding area is a dump.