published by The Vendome Press is the American version of
I'd like to express here my gratitude
to the editors at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,
The Washington Post,
Vogue Paris, Madame Figaro, Elle Decoration France
and to all those who have graced me
with their kind reviews.
Manolo Blahnik famously keeps an archive consisting of a single shoe from almost every pair he designs. They're warehoused in his early 18th-century home in Bath, England, in cabinets but also on tables and in the attic, in bathrooms, in bedrooms and everywhere else. The collection is regularly cited as evidence of his all-consuming obsession with footwear. Yet his house as depicted by Ivan Terestchenko in 'Beyond Chic' (Vendome, 279 pages, $85) is better evidence of the solitary life necessary to creative success. It is a place of innumerable working spaces—of comfortable chairs, warming fires and torrents of books—with the decorator's cold touch nowhere in evidence. Mr. Blahnik's house is like a pair of his shoes: elegant, well-proportioned and far more comfortable than it might appear. And it is appearances that are often at stake in Mr. Terestchenko's 19 beautiful photo essays on the homes of designers as varied as Azzedine Alaia, Ottavio Missoni and Reed Krakoff. The art-deco duplex of Yves St. Laurent is all but a museum of opulent good taste, but you wonder where he sat to eat or read. That would not be a problem in Maxime de la Falaise's comfortably eclectic New York apartment, with its riot of textiles intermingled with couches and dogs. And Nicole Farhi's London townhouse couldn't be more inviting, with its conservatory dining room, its beautiful wooden bar and its traces of everyday life. Some of these houses are show places for the occasional week away: Christian Louboutin's adobe cube in Luxor or Giorgio Armani's St. Moritz ski lodge. More interesting are the ones where you sense the designer living amid inspiration. Dominated by books, records and the detritus of her composer-husband's career, Vanessa Seward's Paris apartment suggests her sensibly chic designs. Though no other image quite gets at the work behind the wonders as the shot of Manolo Blahnik's pantry packed with rust removers, floor wax, enamels and glues. Beyond chic, right to authentic.
—The Editors - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
For those who want to see how another creative tribe lives, there’s BEYOND CHIC: Great Fashion Designers at Home (Vendome, $85), by Ivan Terestchenko. Here are more people who have a knack for finding old castles; or a stunning old factory, as did Azzedine Alaïa; or an elegant Victorian house in Bath, as did Manolo Blahnik; or what Nicole Farhi calls home, a former military hospital built in 1700. Terestchenko’s book has thousands of details to linger over and, thankfully, not much text. The pictures say enough.