Recently Architectural Digest featured the Swiss winter retreat of Giorgio Armani, a man who owns so many properties that he can use the phrase "each of my houses" in earnest. The fashion mogul's restored six-bedroom 17th-century farmhouse boasts mahogany planks (it has "a color and texture that convey a deep sense of warmth," he says), pops of orange and red, and pieces from the Armani/Casa furnishings collection, all executed in the designer's signature sleek, modern, unfussy style, plus a taxidermy polar bear that pays homage to the house's name: Cheso Orso Bianco name, or "Polar Bear House."
While the great majority of homeowners gracing the paces of Architectural Digest are well spoken, to say the least, Armani takes the Zen thing to a whole new level, surely acting as a dream interview for writer Mitchell Owens:
· "I bring the same consistent approach to every aesthetic canon to which I aspire—and I never stray. If you know exactly what you are aiming for, then it is not difficult to remain coherent."
· "Each of my houses has a specific identity that respects its context while at the same time expressing my own aesthetic credo."
· "It is about the essentials. Forget about every type of excess and concentrate on elegance achieved through simple lines. Beauty must be consistently linked to functionality, because wherever one is living, it should be a place where you feel totally at ease."
· "As a rule the qualities that appeal to me most in Asian style are its precise lines, pure aesthetic, geometric shapes, and wealth of exquisite detailing."
· At Home with Giorgio Armani in Switzerland [Architectural Digest]