Design Notes Archive

Anh Duong

Anh Duong

The West Village loft of model-turned-artist Anh Duong is not exactly what you would expect of the one time muse of Christian Lacroix and John Galliano. It’s not all high-glamour, polished and pristine, it’s so much better than that. Cluttered with paintings, textiles and treasures that she’s amassed over the years, the loft has served as her studio, and occasionally as home, since the 1980s.  As a result, it’s storied, bohemian, and a bit hodge-podge - not unlike Duong, the daughter of a Vietnamese father and a Spanish mother, who grew up in France before calling New York home some 20 years ago. 

As an artist, Duong is doing her part to preserve the art of portraiture and is wildly applauded for her arresting oil paintings. She has been called the Frida Kahlo of the 21st century and her work has been compared to the likes of Egon Schiele. The one-time girlfriend of illustrious artist Julian Schnabel, she wed Barton Quillen in 2006 (he is co-owner of Prague Kolektiv, an American gallery focusing on Czech design).  All of this is to say that Duong has led an unconventional life and this is reflected in her home – and yes, even in her bathroom.

There’s something incredibly romantic about this space. Rather than renovate, Duong kept the farmhouse-style wooden panels roughly painted and accentuated the room with a single toile curtain in a clear nod to her French roots. The walls are naturally adorned with artwork (the largest by Schnabel) and sweet vintage tiles cover the floor. On the silver-leafed vanity (similar to one by Julian Chichester) perfumes, brushes and all the usual accoutrements are piled high while an antique Murano chandelier dangles precariously above the clawfoot tub. It’s surely purposeful but feels thrown-together and refreshingly unpretentious. 

Photograph © Simon Upton. Painting © Anh Duong.