bill willis may be far less celebrated than any of his clients but his legacy remains. yves saint laurent’s second den in marrakech was collaborated on by willis and jacques grange. yves is known to have mentioned on bill’s work; ‘everything at dar es saada is laid out with an order in which I can safely deposit my disorder.’ friend of the gettys, agnellis and rotschilds, he assisted in decorating their palaces and homes in morocco with his acute knowledge of orientalist decoration. in fact his superior knowledge of keyhole arches and eye-bending pattern, spurred on my the romantic sentiments of the french writer pierre loti, made him the master of the aesthetic language of marrakech. entirely self-made, orphaned in his teens;’told on returning from a wild, illicit night out, that his mother had slipped down a cliff” and perished, he succeeded in monopolizing the morrocan tradition. american decorator stephen sills commented; ‘He was a rarefied bird — very charming, grand, very clever. And kind of mean.’ bill had since exchanged his good-looks for a prematurely-ravaged-hippie-eyeliner-look; ‘his energies and his appetites were prodigious, his hours unusual’, says christopher gibbs, the british antiques dealer.
genius of style, mr g’s home in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat is brimming with all those über-chic-country-essentials; baccarat, pierre frey and le manach fabrics in provincial blues keeps everything very a la francaise. comfortable-elegance as it could be expected from this legendary designer. and as one of his good friends, remarked ‘hubert has not perhaps all that he loves, but he loves all that he has’…now who wouldn’t?
although it seems that every designer has their own version of jeans; there are some scandinavians that are focusing on jeans in a way that is pure jean-ious!
interview by robert gottlieb and ingrid sischy. portait by timothy greenfield-sanders.
I love mixing styles and textures, media and materials. But I believe in respecting personality when it comes to choosing work. There is of course the investment angle which is too boring to discuss here….or anywhere really. It is important to remember that when you live with art, it should be alive to you. That is to say it needs to move you. You need to have an affair with it.
Starting with the roof over your head and the clothes on your back. These are the things we inhabit. Without entering into the fashion vs trend debate. They also shape our sensibilities and the way we present ourselves.
Whether colour or form is your thing. Pattern or plain. What we choose to live with can make our lives easier or more challenging. Consider your commitment and convince yourself.
Since Eden it has been a fascination, inspiration, an indulgence of kings and common gardeners, a joy. No home is complete without it. Whether you go for potted, landscaped or organic, dry or shade, just go for it.
Most of which are filed under S for sentimental. I respect that.
Heirlooms. Bargains. Souvenirs. Gifts. Curiosities. Found Objects. Impulse Buys.
Never hide what’s important or meaningful. Denial is a very ugly word.
Get to know yourself and others. As much as we live in the same world, everyone has their own version of it. Live up to yours, never fear your dreams and ideals lest they remain aspirations forever.