Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Your Mama Hears...

...that the late, fashion great Yves St. Laurent's ex-kwi-zit doo-plex in Paris' 7th arrondissement has quietly arrived on the market with an asking price in excess of €20,000,000. That's 29,594,000 Americano at today's rates, according to Your Mama's currency converting contraption.

Okay. We confess. Your Mama didn't actually "hear" this real estate tidbit. Like about 49 million other people who like to look at stick thin models wearing outrageously expensive clothes, we read about it in fashion's bible Women's Wear Daily. Monsieur St. Laurent's lavish apartment and its contents were widely photographed and much discussed in early 2009 when Monsieur St. Laurent's de facto widow Pierre Bergé conscripted Christies to auction much of the dress designer's dazzling art and furniture collections. Laurent and Bergé's impressive and extensive collection(s) included stellar works by big names like Brancusi, Picasso, Cézanne, Léger and Matisse, Mondrian and Munch. The French fashionista also had a taste for Egyptian sarcophagi, 15th century tapestry, all manner of baubles and bibelots, and Qing dynasty bits and pieces. His varied but finely tuned tastes even extended to a flock of lifelike sheep in the library produced by François-Xavier Lalanne. Monsieur St. Laurent's furniture was no less remarkable than his art with many pieces designed by soo-blime designers like Eileen Gray, Gustave Miklos, Claude Lalanne and Jacques Ruhlmann. The collection was sold for €373,000,000, or $551,928,000 at today's rates.

Anyhoo, according to WWD, Monsieur Laurent's legendary Rue de Babylone doo-plex apartment, which was acquired by the bespectacled garment guru in 1969, measures approximately 5,400 square feet at opens on the garden level to a back yard with a view of a neighbor's private tennis court. A private tennis court right in the center of the City of Light. Who knew? The deeply personal and decoratively exuberant apartment hides behind a rather stern façade and previous reports about the doo-plex reveal there are at least two bedrooms–a larger one on the main floor for Monsieur St. Laurent and a smaller one at garden level for Mister Bergé, who moved to his own apartment on the Rue Bonaparte in the 1990s. Other rooms of the dignified digs include a library, music room, and a grand salon with exquisite smooth oak paneling from in the late 1920s.

It was reported in May of 2009 that French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his beautiful bride Carla Bruni had a look-see at the apartment and notable nearby neighbors include large lipped British rock star Mick Jagger.

According to the peeps at WWD, the apartment is said to be represented with Emile Garcin, a fancy-pants real estate brokerage who deals primarily with some of Paris' most exquisite properties as well as high priced pads in other parts of France.


Regina Joi said...

I am REFRESHED...I had enough of all the "HO"-stess creatures that have suddenly landed on every media outlet...yesterday, the Las Vegas Ground Floor PENTHOUSE? of Ms. Hoochie~Uchitel made me SAD that YOU too fell for this onslaught...YOU have redeemed yourself today with this nice homage to the LAST COUTURIER of the gilded age, Yves St.Laurent. Yes, we still have Givenchy and Ralph Rucci...they too will fall into the pages of Rarity and Taste Refined...but Yves left such a HUGE legacy, that touched all of us in some way or another...and left in his wake, BEAUTY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER.

I am glad that your gin-soaked self has picked up your little body, dusted off your Vintage Balenciaga and are now off on a better path.

Follow the Light...



Anonymous said...

St Laurent appartement is in the best area of Paris for its chic and aristocratic surrounding: this is where old money and esquisite rich people are living, not a show off place like the 8th district or Ave Foch!
The neighbouring tennis is not a real one like we can have today: it is a grassy small field with a net! And I don't think it is still used today...
As for Sarkozy's, it would be a real mistake to buy it in this crisis period: French won't see a 20 millions € flat as a good purchase... And living in a place where an ex boyfriend of your wife (Mr Jagger) has a flat mustn't be a real happiness for any husband!!!!
Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy is not living in the street anyway, she have a house in the trendy exclusive "Villa Montmorency" in the 16th district: few streets going to a central square, entirely private (even pedestrians can't go in without showing ID and said who they are visiting!)and an appartement in the 17th district... And a sea front estate on the Mediterranean with a private sea access!
St Laurent flat is close to the oldest cinema in Paris: "la Pagode", a real pagoda built late XIX century as a ball room for the owner of Bon Marché (a kind of Bergdoof Goodman). It became a cinema in 1931: worth the visit as it is very astonishing!
Thank you, dear Mama, for this blog!
Pierre (France)

Jeff said...

Considering that Eileen Gray chair sold at the YSL auction for $28 Million, this is a bargain!

Stewie said...

Hey Pierre, you seem very well informed about French real estate. Do you know what the most exclusive location & where the most expensive houses (or apartments) in Paris are? I once read its St-Germain-des-Pres,in the 6th arrondissement, but I have no idea if that's true. Also, am I correct that the most expensive houses in France (and probably the world) are along the coast of Nice, particularly on St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat? Thanks dude. Mama, keep up the good work for the children! I still want to know whether there's any truth to Steve Jobs buying The Knoll!

Anonymous said...


I too am interested in hearing of the "secret" special places and streets of Paris (or anywhere else for that matter). I had never heard of Villa Montmorency before your post.

Merci, Maurice

Anonymous said...

I am impressed about your question! I am just an amateur of lifestyle, architecture and real estate... Thanks a lot! This is nice of you!
Well, about Paris districts, central and west are the chic ones with better areas inside each of them (names given are areas): 1rst (Palais Royal, Place Vendôme, Tuilerie, Ile de la Cité), 4th (Place des Vosges, Ile St Louis), 6th (St Germain des Près, Jardins Luxembourg), 7 th (Champ de Mars, Invalide, Musée Orsay, Quai Voltaire), 8th (from faubourg St Honoré to Place de l'Alma), 16th (north part and some spots in the south) and 17th (Parc Monceau, Avenue Hoche).
This is just to gave you an idea as some streets are better than others even buildings can be!
The other districts have some areas which are hype but more in a "Bohemian Bourgeois" style, they are not the place for jet-setter or old money: Montmartre for exemple has few expensive streets!
But if you want Hôtel Particulier with all the old monarchy french style (huge historical house with a garden), Place des Vosges and the 7th district are the best. The 7th is where you will find the old aristocratic or bourgeois families and industries mogul who are not "show off". Even there, some streets are better!!!!
6th district is the more expensive when talking about an average price but the 7th (and the 4th too) have the highest number of expensive Hôtel Particulier, but here we are talking more about a castle than a house!
I tried to be as clear as possible, as there is so much to say... I hope this could help!

Anonymous said...

Well, now the French Riviera, that I really love (some places more than others of course!): the Caps are the most expensive places with the Principality of Monaco and St Tropez!
So these Cap are: 1rt Cap Ferrat (Yes! The most expensive holiday spot in France and maybe the world), then Cap d'Antibes (especially the south with the estates of the Billionaires Bay, and the west seaside), Cap Martin (the west side where huge seafront gardened estates set in a private Domaine: they are very exclusive and historical sexy jewels must-have).
From Nice to Menton, the seaside villages are ones of the most expensive area of France with great estates and old palaces turned into condos (this is where Mrs Safra Leopolda is...)
Cannes is very glamourous too, especially the hills of La Californie (historical places) and Super Cannes (more newly built ones), as some estates of Croix des Gardes (my dear Mama talked about Mr Kashoggi one!).
Grasse and St Paul de Vence countryside have beautiful estates with gorgeous gardens, some of them real legend and very looked for.
Nice city? Hum! This is a great but crowded town so not very peaceful when you can avoid it: Mont Boron (very international) and Cimiez (more old familly inhabitants) can be some help!
And from Cannes to St Tropez, a less glitzy coast with many seafront houses or estates in seashore villages or town, less expensive but... still unafordable!
From Cannes to Menton, 60 km with lots of 5 stars palaces and restaurants, many yachts harbours (especially Monaco and Antibes for your 400 ft boat!), plenty estates for your next AD cover and high luxury boutiques (Cannes, Nice, Monte-Carlo): with 150 years of greeting the "rich and powerful" tradition, I guess this is why the real-estate market is so high!!!!
Another funny thing too: Cannes, Monte-Carlo and St Tropez are very different community with their own lifestyle! But this is an other story...
I am hoping this two post (with Paris one) could answer your questions and being some help!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to sign!!! Sorry: paris and French Riviera Post are from the frenchy Pierre!
All the best to Mama and the readers!

Stewie said...

Hey Pierre thanks for answering! Yeh it's the Hotel Particuliers that I am most interested in, they are truly special. I just love the history of the buildings of the former european aristocracy that are still used as private residences today. I've been to Paris (I was pretty young then though lol) and was very impressed, particularly by the architecture, even at that age (I think I was 11 or so). The museums etc. all look breathtaking. I think French-style mansions are also the most beautiful; here in America rich people often try to recreate the French chateau because of its beauty and symbolization of success

Stewie said...

Thanks Pierre, they were very informative posts. I've got a lot to look over now lol! I've never been to the French Riviera, but I definitely want to visit once! I would probably have to save for a long time as I'm currently only a poor university student lol, but it's definetly on my to-do list. By the way, if you like this blog, visit, its also a wikid site and the administrator is really cool (but not quite as cool as Mama of course, because no one can be cooler than that :P). Thanks again Pierre, you're awesome

Anonymous said...

Hi Steewie, this is great that you had to chance to come in France as a child: always a good experience to visit differents countries! I've never been to the US yet... To me, USA have great architecture and estates, like in Newport RI, Greenwitch, Louisiana, Palm Spring/Desert, Jackson Hole, NY, Chicago, Frisco as well as LA etc. If you say Neutra, Wright, Gill, Van Der Rohe, Jefferson, Neff etc. You have a great architecture history too!
Unfortunatelly, I don't like these new modern pastiche of french Château (except Mrs Saperstein Fleur de Lys maybe) as usually they are not following a sense of proportion and seem more like fat artificial heavy cakes... And are built in place of Neff (or others) masterpieces: it is pieces of history and an expression of talent which are tear down! Always sad... And usually done in Berverly Hills area!
The respect of an historical or well design estate is a way to create the history of a town...
About your wish to visit French Riviera, don't be afraid of the place: there are Youth Hostels and cheap hôtels too!
And french countryside has lots of castle too... from different style and period!
Thanks for the web link and I am wishing you the best for your University studies! good luck!
Pierre (France)

ETitus said...

While we are on the subject of Paris, Pierre, ma cher, would you have any idea what is going on with Madame Helena Rubinstein's building on Quai de Bethune? It seems as though it is being built up.

Village said...

When I went to the Sorbonne in the '70s, I lived in a sixth floor walk up in what is now some of the most expensive real estate on the left bank. The ceiling was so slanted, I had to sleep foot to head, to keep from knocking myself out when I sat up in the morning. After mass at Notre Dame, I would walk up the Champs Elysees, when France only had one McDonald's.

Paris will never be the same.

Half a billion dollars in possessions, in a 20 million dollar apartment. WOW