LAGERFELD’S FORMER MONEGASQUE VILLA HOSTS NOMAD DESIGN FAIR

Une des plus belles villas de la Côte d’Azur. One of the most beautiful villas on the French Riviera.

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The inaugural Nomad Design Fair, which ran from the 27th to the 30th of April, provided the visitor with a unique opportunity to discover what is widely considered as one of the most beautiful properties on the French Riviera – La Vigie.

Built in 1902 for Sir William Ingram, the villa boasts magnificent panoramic views of the Mediterranean, the Principality, and the bay of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. At the time of its construction, the gardens were full of rare animals, tropical birds and predators, including eagles and condors, and served as the perfect location for the owner’s extravagant parties.

The atmosphere, however, changed dramatically during World War II when the villa became an observation post for the occupying German forces, who did not think twice about turning the gardens into trenches covered with barbed wire and mine fields.

Thankfully, the grounds were restored to their former glory in the 1950’s and the villa became home to the Grimaldi family. Later on during the 1990’s, it was the residence of one of the world’s most famous fashion designers, Karl Lagerfeld.

These days, La Vigie is an exclusive hotel catering to high society guests, and can be rented on a weekly or monthly basis.

With its monumental entrance hall, impressive staircase, high ceilings, its many columns and fireplaces, large terrace, tree-covered park and private road, the property definitely provides for a chic and trendy getaway.

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As for Nomad, it will now live up to its name, travelling to different destinations each year in order to offer art aficionados an original experience, and create “an event that is bespoke, intimate and that presents work in a radically new context”. Nonetheless, with their choice of La Vigie this year, the organizers have well and truly set the bar very high for future venues to follow!

 

All images courtesy Nomad Monaco

LA PAUSA IN CAP-MARTIN ACQUIRED BY HOUSE OF CHANEL

Premier article de l’année pour Riviera Buzz. first article of the year for Riviera Buzz.

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A splendid villa overlooking both the Mediterranean and Cap-Martin, uninhabited since 2007, and recently acquired by the House of Chanel.

88 years after one Gabrielle « Coco » Chanel purchased the land to built her dream vacation home, La Pausa, the House of Chanel has acquired the property and after renovation work to restore the villa to its original spirit, the famed fashion house is planning to dedicate the place to the brand and its values. The villa is the only of her houses that Mademoiselle had specially designed, built and decorated for her.

 

Chanel fell in love with the French Riviera during the 1920s while vacationing in the company of the Duke of Westminster with whom she had a long affair. Together, they commissioned architect Robert Streitz to build a villa in their image and likeness. So, while the duke’s bedroom was somber, Coco Chanel’s suite was full of colour, decorated with a pink canopy, mirrors and chandeliers. It was furnished in a simple and modern way and had many references to the the architecture of Aubazine, the former abbey transformed into an orphanage where Chanel spent a large part of her adolescence.

In La Pausa the couple would welcome some of the biggest artists of the time such as Jean Cocteau, Serge Lifar, Salvador Dali, Pierre Bonnard and Winston Churchill.

In 1954, following the Duke of Westminster’s death, Mademoiselle sold the villa fully furnished to Emery Reves, an American writer and publisher, who kept much of the decor in its original condition but brought a new burst of life back to the residence inviting friends such as Greta Garbo and Jackie Onassis.

The villa has however always held an important place in the fashion designer’s life and one of the perfumes of the collection Les Exclusifs is even called 28 La Pausa, with is not only a reference to this special place, but also to the year in which its story began.

 

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Lead image The Great Hall of La Pausa (as reconstructed at the Dallas Museum of Art) By Photo: User:FA2010Own work, Public Domain; image of La Pausa perfume courtesy Chanel website