Monday, July 16, 2012
A Look Back: Agyness Deyn Sells Billyburg Loft
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg)
SIZE: 2,911 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen chickens, it's a bit slow in the celebrity real estate world so, although the matter has already been previously discussed by plenty of other property gossips, we're going to tumble back in time to February (2012) when androgyne supermodel Agyness Deyn—the surprise new missus of actor Giovanni Ribisi, dontcha know—sold her decoratively downright batty but still thrilling and bewitching Brooklyn, NY loft for $2,175,000.
Why talk about it now, after all this time? Well, because we're both vexed and mesmerized by the memorable and unapologetically outlandish day-core.
The two unit combination crib, on the third floor of the so-called Mill Building in the heart of the Brooklyn's ur-hipster community of Williamsburg, was purchased, so the property records show, just a few days before Halloween in 2008 in two separate but equal transactions of $965,000 for a total spent of $1,930,000.
At that time chameleon-like model was in her mid-20s and at her professional pinnacle as part of a new wave of leggy manikins who emerged in the early- and mid-Aughts. In addition appearing in the pages and on the covers of scads of fashion rags from around the world, she's lucratively appeared in countless advertising campaigns for the likes of Blumarine, Burberry, Doc Martens, Vivienne Westwood, Giorgio Armani, Paul Smith and Uniqlo, to name just a few.
The still-busy model, now nearly 30, also dabbles in music—she was in a band called Lucky Knitwear; acting—she appeared in the sci-fi flick Clash of the Titans in 2010 and to positive reviews in The Leisure Society on London's West End in 2012; and design—she designed a line of jewelry with b.f.f. clothing designer Henry Hollandshe and she and her baby sister produced a line of graphic t-shirts sold at Uniqlo.
Thin-strip hardwood floors that may or may not be original to the building run at a 45-degree angle throughout (most of) the quintessentially lofty loft blessed with voluptuous 13-foot ceilings, exposed iron columns and ceiling architecture, and 10 windows that drop dramatically almost to the floor and extend almost to the ceiling.
The 7-story former factory building requires 25% down payments and offers residents 24-7 door opening assistance plus a live-in super, video intercom entry systems, access to extra storage areas, on-site underground parking facilities, and a furnished roof deck with over the roof top views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. For all that (and whatever other services are provided by the building) the common charges for Aggy's loft run, as per listing information, $1,498 per month.
If you're a little tipsy, prone to dizzy spells and/or otherwise unable to stomach decidedly raucous but painstakingly curated decorative chaos we suggest you move quickly past the listing pictures because you will most certainly be disturbed by this fearlessly flamboyant feast of home habiliment eccentricity. It looks like the sort place Miss Havisham or Auntie Mame might live iffin she were a globe-circling and well-to-do supermodel-musician-actress or, maybe, a portly queen in a kimono who pads around and hums atonal arias
None-the-less and despite what at first glance appears to be a hot mess of epic proportions—and arguably it is—Your Mama would happily spend hours and hours in boozy haze flopped around in the surprisingly cozy-looking main living and dining areas where a vast leopard print rug was brazenly coupled with raw burlap curtains and room dividers, where velvet brocade settees, ephemera-filled bell jars, and a wack-a-doodle donut-shaped dining table topped with mirrored obelisks and various other seemingly random objet are reflected like boho-Victorian flea market confetti in multiple mirrored walls.
CornueFé 110 in Provence blue (with satin chrome and polished copper trim) from La Cornue. That particular imported cooker, for anyone who might be curious, retails in the U.S. for around $8,600.
There are two doors between the main living space and the master bedroom, all done up in an under the ocean fantasia that looks a bit like how we imagine a modern-day Marie Antoinette might do up a beach house in the Hamptons. The walls and ceiling are covered in a Tiffany blue color with hand painted, over-sized and multi-color coral shapes; a light fixture fashioned from giant scallop shells hangs from the ceiling; black and white linens that depict a swarm of sea fan and sea anemones (or something) cover the bed; and a couple of histrionic, carved wood furniture pieces with shell motifs are set in front of the windows. The marble columns on either side of the settee might be overkill, but that sort of appears to be the point, right?
A fully-mirrored dressing room—a fun house-like chamber sure drive anyone with even an iota of negative body image issues into cataclysmic spasms of self loathing—was fitted with an unusual light fixture in the shape of a vintage hot air balloon. The children will note the shape echoes the silhouetted hot air balloons on the window shades in the main living spaces. Believe it or not, hunties, is a nice-gay or lady decorator hard at work.
It may look like chaos but there are, if you bother to look, decorative through lines that really do give the room the kind of rigor required of a well-done day-core. It may not be to your taste but that does not, children, mean it's not correct. We're sure we'll take a verbal bullet or two for saying that—and fair enough—but we'd much rather look at Miss Deyn's high camp flea market extravaganza than something safe, stodgy and country-club approved. But who cares what we think...
The ego-abusing dressing room connects the master bedroom to the melodramatic bathroom lined with a mixy-matchy cacophony of mirrors and a variety of marble and onyx tiles from around the world. The floor plan included with listing information from the time of the sale indicates there are two sinks, a semi-private crapper cubby, separate steam shower and a free-standing soaking tub carved from a solid piece of onyx and filled via a campy lion medallion mounted to the wall behind it. Does anyone else besides Your Mama find it both disturbing and amusing the tub looks like it was carved from a giant chub of fat-marbled bacon?
We thought the day-core had a certain Roman and Williams quality about it but one of the children tells us Miss Deyn's day-core was actually done (and done and done) by a fella named Ricky Clifton, a somewhat elusive figure with a courageously madcap sense of design who has worked over (or helped work over) the downtown Manhattan homes of art world luminaries like Stella Schnabel and John Currin and Rachel Feinstein.
Natch, we don't know a garden hose from a tractor trailer so we really can't say if Aggy's decision to sell her Brooklyn loft did (or did not) have anything to do with her recent City Hall wedding to L.A.-based actor Giovanni Ribisi who—celeb property watchers will recall—recently put the Los Angeles, CA home he shared with former lady-mate Chan Marshall—a.k.a. the musician Cat Power—on the open market for $989,000. The property is already in escrow and Mister Ribisi has already procured his next home, a gated mini compound with a 3,886 square foot private residence and art studio in the somewhat unlikely Atwater Village area of Los Angeles for which he shelled out $1,405,000.
listing photos and floor plan: Prudential Douglas Elliman