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Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest October 2020

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

“Misty is a divine, creative human being. I envision her coming home after giving an incredible performance, a thing of beauty, and being in the next beautiful thing.”—Brigette Romanek I have long been wildly smitten with the unstuffy grandeur of a 1985 cover of Architectural Digest that features a suzani-swathed Rudolf Nureyev lounging insouciantly at home in Paris among his sumptuous velvet sofas and impressive collections. The timeless image of the international superstar has served as an inspiration and visual reference to me, a link between AD’s past and present and a vivid reminder to strive for unconventional choices. Not many dancers make the cover of AD, but I am a hard-core balletomane, so that simply had to change! At long last there is an acclaimed artist who has attained a…

2 min
easy does it

Asked about the inspiration for his first Big Easy chair, constructed in 1988, London-based artist and designer Ron Arad says, “I was thinking about an overstuffed club chair.” He had just learned to weld and found that steel was quite forgiving. “I could bend it, cut it, weld it, fold it, torture the piece of metal until it made a comfortable chair.” He calls the first ones “super primitive”—hollow, cartoonish volumes that riffed on the living-room staple. It looked like his sketch: a quick, rough shape patinated with acid. Undeniably punk. And, believe it or not, comfortable. “They’re crudely made, the bottom isn’t flush on the floor, but they actually sit pretty well,” explains dealer Lawrence Converso, who bought two of the originals, from Miami Beach’s Century Hotel, at a 2001 Wright…

3 min
this is the remix

Research, research, research,” says designer Will Cooper, musing about his creative process. “I have to be in a place and get the vibe—visiting all the museums, poring over books, and unpacking everything from there. Ideas come and go. They blend together with discoveries from my travels. It all becomes this convoluted mix.” In this particular instance, he is referring to the hit hotel projects he has shepherded as chief creative officer and partner of the AD100 firm ASH NYC, from the terrazzo-tiled baths at The Siren in Detroit to the gingham-bedecked boudoirs at Hôtel Peter & Paul in New Orleans. Still he might as well be describing his own recently redecorated Manhattan home, a one-bedroom rental in Alphabet City. Just 550 square feet, with a railroad-style warren of rectilinear rooms, the…

2 min
finally, home

FOR ACCESS TO ALL 100 YEARS OF THE AD ARCHIVE, JOIN AD PRO, THE MEMBERS-ONLY COMMUNITY FOR DESIGN PROFESSIONALS, AT ARCHDIGESTPRO.COM. His smile was a trap,” French photographer Daniel Minassian recalls of the expat American writer James Baldwin. “Male or female, homosexual or not, you just loved him. But he was extremely tormented.” One of the torments that afflicted his friend’s life was the death of Martin Luther King Jr., in 1968. “That devastated my universe and was ultimately to lead me to this house,” Baldwin wrote in an essay about his home in France for the August 1987 issue of AD, for which Minassian provided the images. The Harlem-born Baldwin had already been mostly living abroad since the 1940s, far from America’s racism, classism, and homophobia, but the globe-trotting author…

1 min
feats of clay

“All the records were blown to bits by the kindly German invading armies in World War II—that’s one reason why this history went underground.” So says Peter Marino, AD100 architect and collector of what he calls “the highest art form”: ceramics, particularly the French variety of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Marino and museum curator Etienne Tornier’s upcoming book, Adrien Dalpayrat: The Peter Marino Collection (Phaidon, $275), salutes a suburban-Paris superstar whose stoneware vessels the architect, enraptured by the artist’s glazes, has amassed over some 40 years. “They’re paintings as well as sculptures,” Marino says, pointing out the cover image: a circa-1900, oxblood-red vase splashed with turquoise green in proto–Abstract Expressionist glee. “You can put that right up there with Jackson Pollock, with Mark Rothko, with anybody.”…

1 min
the fine prints

Printing on leather allowed the same subtlety in color and texture that I find on paper,” reflects artist Amber Khokhar. “It enabled me to paint as I normally paint.” She is one of five U.K.-based talents who have collaborated with the British leather specialist Bill Amberg to create a new collection of vividly patterned, digitally printed hides for Moore & Giles. Realized using natural pigments, her constellation of stars is joined by other geometric motifs: subtle, Bauhaus-inspired stripes by designer Jonathan Saunders and groovy graphics by designer Yinka Ilori. (The latter’s creation, originally conceived in Photoshop for a cover of Jason Reynolds’s best-selling book For Every One, captures “what dreams look like as a pattern.”) Artist Kesewa Aboah, meanwhile, covered a friend in pigment and coconut oil, then pressed her…