Vogue's always been good at championing the idea that being rich is awesome, and the September issue features a profile on Juicy Couture's Gela Nash-Taylor, who spends eight weeks of the year at her historic manor in the English countryside.
"It's just psychotically gorgeous," she says. South Wraxall Manor is "wildly romantic," with nine bedrooms and seven bathrooms. According to Wikipedia, the property dates from the early 15th century and is connected to Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Robert Long and so on and so forth.
As Vogue's Plum Sykes writes,
Gela first spotted Wraxall in 2005. Lying sick in bed one day in her 1929 Spanish-style house in the Hollywood Hills, she picked up Country Life, the magazine favored by the English aristocracy, and saw the estate listed for sale. She called the broker and said she'd like to make an offer. Momentarily surprised when he suggested she visit first…
Why, yes, she was intending to purchase a multi-million dollar estate without seeing it. But of course, Gela and husband, Duran Duran bass player John Taylor, flew to check it out and "fell in love with the house." British-born Plum gushes: "I am amazed by how authentic the house appears." There's a Chinoiserie Suite; "faded blue de Gournay wallpaper that has been hand-painted with stains and watermarks to look as though it has always been there"; a Winter Room; dressing rooms, salons, et cetera, et cetera.
But don't get the idea that the woman who encouraged millions of teenagers to wear overpriced pink velour drawstring pants with the word "JUICY" on the ass is shallow.
"When I'm really stressed," she explains, "I come in here and organize my gloves, and I feel so calm. Being at Wraxall…it's heaven! It's deep."
It's not easy being surrounded by excess: Guests "plonk" themselves down on a set of 1685 red velvet chairs that were commissioned by the first duke of Leeds. The dining-table must be art-directed; dinner is five courses. And things are tough. Really, no one understands how difficult it all is:
Suddenly Gela looks at the clock and panics. It's already almost half past seven. "This is the hard part of a house like this," she says. "You're running around, and you literally never have time to dress for dinner."
[Photographs by François Halard and Norman Jean Roy for Vogue]