At Home with W


In our 39-year history (face it—we’ll never admit to 40), we’ve gone home with more than a few notables. In 1976 Truman Capote invited us into his leopard-print lair to talk Proust and sex. We crawled into bed with Betty Catroux in 1974. And in 1993, on the eve of auctioning $20 million worth of his antiques, Hubert de Givenchy surveyed his Parisian hôtel particulier with W in tow. “Having things, only to put them in the basement, or buying a painting just to hide it, that’s nonsense,” said the designer. “You have to live with them or let someone else do it.” Here, a look back at lives well lived and homes well furnished.


“Venice is the place David and I can go where we can sleep until 11, do our own breakfast, and not worry about anybody else. It’s the only house we have where there’s no one to look after us.” —Elton John, in 2003, on his and partner David Furnish’s modest three-room Venetian hideaway, grandly titled La Gioconda


“Coco Chanel used to say that you get to a moment in life where all you want is a simple room with two or three things in it.” —Hubert de Givenchy, circa 1993, from his palatial Regency-period flat on rue de Grenelle


“Everyone is just talking about the new sex bars.… I’ve known about them for some time.” —Truman Capote, in 1976, while posing in his 22nd-floor apartment with socialite C.Z. Guest


“I do absolutely nothing during the day and watch a film at night. And I do very little entertaining. I don’t feel I should have to here.” —Diane von Furstenberg, in 1976, fresh from a fall in the river while canoeing on her Connecticut property, Cloudwalk Farm


“I love being here, on this island, in our home.” —Betty Catroux, in 1974, referring to the 17th-century building on the Ile Saint-Louis she shared with her husband, interior designer François Catroux