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Fashion's Most Beautiful Houses: YSL, Louboutin, Ford, and More

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Photos: Pascal Chevallier/Vanity Fair; Christie's/NYT

When the French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008, he was perhaps the most celebrated designer of his generation. He left behind a stunning collection of artwork—from the likes of Matisse, Brancusi, Mondrian, and Duchamp—and artifacts—like a pair of rare Qing dynasty sculptures, all ensconced in a duplex apartment on Rue de Babylon, Paris. Saint Laurent lived in the apartment for more than three decades, constantly adding art and objects until the space became the very picture of maximalism, every conceivable nook and cranny packed with priceless sources of inspiration. Well, priceless until Christie's took the contents to auction in 2009, raising an astonishing $477M for the Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, with prices far exceeding their previous estimates. For example, the bar at the center of the lead photograph (above), designed by François-Xavier Lalanne, fetched $3.5M against a low estimate of $255K.

? Following the Christie's auction, Berge put the apartment itself up for sale. The 5,600-square-foot, 11-room duplex features two parking spaces, a guest suite on the building's top floor, two maids rooms, and a bamboo-filled, 4,700-square-foot garden. The asking price is $34.2M. With the Saint Laurent apartment all cleared out and ready for a new owner, we thought it appropriate to find a few more inspirational homes from contemporary designers. Below are four of our favorites.

Photos: Francois Halard

? The shoe designer Christian Louboutin, mastermind behind the coveted red-soled heels that bear his name, has a characteristically unique take on his second home. Like some fabulously-styled Huckleberry Finn, Louboutin has taken to the river, except his particular river of choice is the Nile. The footwear maestro outfitted a houseboat with simple furnishings and sleek, glossy white paint as an escape from his fast-paced life in Paris.

Photos: Todd Eberle/House and Garden

? Tom Ford, the fashion designer and film director, might not even own this Parisian pied-a-terre anymore, seeing as it was photographed in 1998. No matter, we would contend the apartment holds up smartly as the pinnacle of stylish, masculine decor.

Photos: The Selby

? Meanwhile, back in the States, Kate Spade and her husband, Andy, have been channelling YSL in their Park Avenue apartment. The mix of patterns, walls chock full of frames, and quirky objects could have all ended in a jumbled mess, but, none-too-surprisingly, the stylish power couple managed to pull it off in fine form with the assistance of interior designer Steven Sclaroff.

Photos: At Casa

? Despite her penchant for cluttered catalog styling, J. Crew creative director Jenna Lyons prefers a more simple, subtle approach in her home. In the parlor, a subdued color scheme of grey and navy offsets the glare of a bright yellow couch, while an overstock of firewood lends a rustic air to the glamorous marble fireplace. The kitchen looks suspiciously unused, but we can't fault the hard-working Lyons for that. After all, she might become the next CEO.

· Christie’s YSL Auction Raises $477 Million as Qing Bronzes Sell [Bloomberg]
· François-Xavier Lalanne, Bar YSL [Christie's]
· Home with YSL [Vogue UK]
· The apartment of Yves Saint Laurent [Menanger Hug]
· Slow Boat to Egypt [Habitually Chic]
· Pop Quiz - Tom Ford and Richard Buckley [Mrs. Blandings]
· brooklyn home of j.crew director jenna lyons [Style FIles]
· VIDEO: J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler Talks Business With Bloomberg TV [Racked National]