Friday, September 24th, 2010

Inside Anna Wintour's Long Island Home

HOUSE OF WINTOURThe always-magical World of Interiors October issue has wended its way to America at last, and? "US Vogue editor Anna Wintour now has a second Long Island bolthole," promises the table of contents. (It would be a coverline of course but that magazine doesn't have words on its cover, which, can you imagine that in America?) That particular rurality is generally described as Bellport, Long Island, except it's decidedly in Shirley. ("I just import the people I want…. I don't mind the town. It's white trash, of course, but I don't care," Wintour famously-and humorously!-once said.) But! However! And! So this guide to ANNA WINTOUR'S RURAL RETREAT is "written" by Anna Wintour herself, except it's "as she explains to Sally Singer." And it's awesome.

Singer (a genius) at last left Vogue to run T back in June, a job that had been vacant since April. And though it's hard to tell when this bit of Wintour-narration took place-the magazine photos were either taken toward the later half of this summer or possibly last summer, as Wintour's cortaderia selloana is already high, and also depending on how late in the year Wintour's rather spectacular wisteria continues to flower-it's easy to imagine Wintour doing this favor for both her "interiors wizard" (who also did Vogue's lobby) and for the Condé UK publication even while advising Singer on her career move (or, less likely, one guesses, Singer plotting the move on her own). All that intrigue aside, it's the text that's most delicious.

It begins:

It was perhaps eight years ago that a neighbor's change of fortune resulted in my good luck. The property that adjoins my 1820 Long Island summerhouse (WoI March 2006) came up for sale when its owner left in a hurry. It had an 1834 farmhouse, with loads of additions and 12 poky bedrooms. It had a perplexing reception room with difficult, though grand, proportions. It had lawns that tumbled down toward a beautiful-to-the-eye, toxic-to-everything-else river. It had nearly 25 acres of difficult trees in deer-infested woods. It was, as we say at Vogue, challenging.


It goes on: "The crew dream up all sorts of surprises for me. There was once an enormous wooden water wheel in the driveway; to this day, I am not sure what it was doing there."

Legendary! Love it.

What's most striking is that as enjoyable as this all is, it's the least interesting thing in the whole magazine! What you really want to see are the pictures from Aynhoe Park, in Oxfordshire, which the owner has stuffed with 4500 plaster casts, many deaccessioned from the Met and from the V&A.

Best magazine ever.

26 Comments / Post A Comment

scroll_lock (#4,122)

I bet the wisteria's afraid to stop blooming until Anna gives the go-ahead.

C_Webb (#855)

You don't even WANT to know what she did to the "difficult trees."

KarenUhOh (#19)

God Almighty did I read the pull quote from the Table of Contents wrong the first time round.

hockeymom (#143)

I was really looking forward to hearing about Wintour's second butthole.
But no.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Guests routinely, but respectfully, decline to have her fix them her signature Long Island Iced Tea.

"Interiors wizard" is a dual-role job.

Rod T (#33)

WoI is, by far, the best of its lot. If you only picked it up for the Anna bit, might one encourage you to subscribe (and ditch the dreck of Architectural Digest (at least in its American edition)). I do take issue with the shot of the room with the fireplace. This room looks drastically reset so as to lose practicality. The position of the table is preposterous.

Also: "deer-infested"?


I love this magazine. Every month when it arrives, I'm like, YES, YES, THIS.

fedredhead (#3,965)

LOVE LOVE LOVE WOI is the only shelter magazine to read. Gorgeous pictures of everything from decrepit old summer houses in Russia to over the top Austrian 18th century fantasies. But the best part, little to no sycophantic copy (as in Architectural Digest).

barnhouse (#1,326)

Love it too. Also Nest. But what I really REALLY love the most is the 60s/70s House Beautiful and interiors.

HiredGoons (#603)

"difficult trees"

I just needed to cull that one out to look at it.

C_Webb (#855)

I KNOW. "Not even the wind has difficult trees."

C_Webb (#855)

"SUCH difficult trees." RATS.

The photos do look to be from this time of the year. The ornamental grass behind the wisteria is flowering and the leaves are just starting to turn. Also, what a cvntbag.

scroll_lock (#4,122)

That barn-like room is laughable- if you want to see a fabulous barn redesigned as a living space, Bunny Williams's (in her book "An Affair With a House") blows that pile of sticks right off the map.

HiredGoons (#603)

What is that 'thing' above the fireplace!? (watch it be a Brice Marden and I'll eat my shoe but I don't care its ugly).

scroll_lock (#4,122)

It takes a discerning eye to pretend to appreciate shitty artwork.

zidaane (#373)

Cy Twombly gets away with that shit.

C_Webb (#855)

All those half-empty bookshelves. What a waste.

HiredGoons (#603)

Surely she can call Strand's 'Books by the Foot'


barnhouse (#1,326)

Alas for Mrs. Vreeland, elegantly rotating on her subterranean rotisserie.

C_Webb (#855)

"'See!' he cried triumphantly. It's a bona fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me. This [lady's] a regular Belasco. It's a triumph. What thoroughness! What realism!"

@C_Webb + Goons: That is what I was going to say. That room should be disgorging books.

C_Webb (#855)

I do apologize for two cheap lit references on one post. That's my limit for today, promise.

You know what's disappointing is when you think a home contains 4,500 plater cats.

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