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Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest March 2017

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Architectural Digest is the world's foremost design authority, showcasing the work of top architects and interior decorators. It continues to set new benchmarks for how to live well—what to buy, what to see and do, where to travel, and who to watch on the fast-paced, multifaceted global design scene.

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United States
Conde Nast US
11 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

“If I weren’t in fashion, I would have gone into real estate or architecture. I love talking to architects.” —Franca Sozzani On December 22, 2016, as the AD staff was finishing up this issue and vacating our New York offices for the holiday week, we received the sad news of the untimely passing of Franca Sozzani, the legendary and longtime editor of Italian Vogue and our colleague at Condé Nast. We had included Franca’s Paris townhouse in this, our Star Power issue, because she embodied the word star—she was magnetic, powerful, luminous, rare. Franca’s beloved son, Francesco Carrozzini, who this past fall debuted his touching documentary Franca: Chaos and Creation, with his mother at his side on the international red carpets, encouraged us to publish the home as a tribute to…

2 min.
herd mentality

For the 1965 Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris, French artist François-Xavier Lalanne wanted to make a statement. “If you come with a snail as big as a thumb, nobody notices,” he said. “You have to go with something immodest and slightly embarrassing.” His idea? Twenty-four sheep. Lalanne fashioned the faux livestock in the living room of the Paris apartment he shared with Claude, his wife and artistic partner. Four sculptures received impassive faces of patinated bronze while the others remained headless; all were swathed in fluffy sheepskins. Les Lalannes then trotted the surrealistic herd off to the storied Palais de Tokyo exhibition hall, where the moutons—making their grand debut as art furniture, complete with casters in their hooves for easy mobility—were placed prominently at the salon’s entrance. Le Tout-Paris was…

1 min.
robert d. aronson

SPECIALTY: A fifth-generation dealer trained by his father and grandfather, Robert D. Aronson is an expert on delftware—tin-glazed ceramics made in the Dutch town of Delft between 1650 and 1850. COLOR CODE: “Since cobalt is easy to work with, delftware made in the 17th century was mostly blue and white,” he says. “But from 1685 on, there are some rare examples of red or manganese-purple.” WHAT’S HOT: “Flower vases, particularly tulipières, are at the top of the market right now, and the bigger, the better. The largest one I sold, from 1690, stood about four feet.” FUN FACT: Many delftware factories started in abandoned breweries, explaining company names like the Double Tankard and the Metal Pot. AUTHENTICITY TEST: Pick it up. “A true piece of delftware should be lighter than you expect.” HUNTING: Black-glazed delftware.…

3 min.
virgil abloh

Guests at the Off?White runway show in Paris this past September left with more than your typical fashion memento: Many purloined the blue?foam cubes they had been seated on. (Colette’s Sarah Andelman called the next day to secure 20.) The pillaging was more than welcome as far as Virgil Abloh was concerned; it was an affirmation. The lightweight seats were the seeds of his latest project, a furniture collection he would debut at Design Miami two months later. Best known as a fashion designer, DJ, and right hand to Kanye West—the millennial definition of a Renaissance man—Abloh holds an architecture degree from Chicago’s Illinois Institute of Technology, where he studied in buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. “It inspired my way of thinking,” says the native Illinoisan. So much…

1 min.
folk revival

When Nathalie Farman-Farma purchased a ravishing 19th-century Russian fabric in 2000, her first thought was a rather practical one: to make pillows. “Objects become so much more interesting when they’re put to use,” says the French-raised, London-based collector and designer, who recently moved into a charming new Chelsea studio. “The problem with old textiles is that after six months of people sitting on them, they fray; the fiber is too dry.” Farman-Farma’s solution: Reimagine them. Since 2010 she has been printing enchanting fabrics inspired by her favorite folk traditions from Eastern Europe and northern Asia—Turkmen robes, Russian pinafores, Slavic embroidery—under the moniker Décors Barbares. For the Andrinople print, she had elements of that crimson Russian pattern redrawn and transferred onto a cotton that was then dyed Turkey red using an ancient…

2 min.
bright eyes

L ight has always played a defining role in the work of Richard Meier, whose white, rigorously geometric buildings seem to harness the sun— reflecting its rays and guiding them to cast dynamic shadows. And yet lighting is a category that has eluded the Pritzker Prize winner, with no such product bearing his name. At the urging of his daughter, furniture designer Ana Meier, that’s about to change. Launching March 14 at New York’s Ralph Pucci showroom is Richard Meier Light, an array of refined fixtures created by the two in collaboration with lighting master Hervé Descottes, cofounder of L’Observatoire International. “We were thinking about how light gives volume to planes, how it can dramatize forms,” explains Ana, who shepherded the sculptural collection—all white, naturally—as its creative director. The Cycladic Circle…