It’s late afternoon, and dressmaker Marcus Austin-Paglialonga is lastly sitting down for an interview. Between receiving (and posting on Instagram) a selfie Shakira snapped whereas carrying his hip Sol Silk bomber jacket and a presentation of his newest M.A.P. line on the West Hollywood Fred Segal—the identical retailer the place he used to decorate the home windows—it’s been a busy day.
He settles down in his condo’s pink bed room to speak to a reporter, and he can’t assist however marvel that he’s on the within of the constructing. (Extra on that room in a second.)
“Ten years in the past, once I was 21 years outdated, I used to be simply beginning my profession working in visible providers at Fred Segal. I used to drive by this constructing day-after-day and need I may dwell right here,” he says. “I assumed that when you may try this, you'll have made it.”
The turreted constructing of his desires was designed by architect Leland A. Bryant. In the 1920s, Bryant was a prolific architect who constructed a wealth of residences and houses in Los Angeles, most within the distinctive, romantic chateau model that’s nonetheless related to the town.
As Selection put it in an article in regards to the architect: “When you have been invited to a cocktail party at an up-and-coming star’s condo throughout Hollywood’s golden age, there’s likelihood you'll have skilled the storybook grandeur of architect Leland A. Bryant.”
The story of how Austin-Paglialonga got here to dwell right here would make script for one of many black-and-white movies these actors starred in again within the roaring 20s.
He grew up in Las Vegas, the place he developed a design eye early on.
“True story: After I was 5 years outdated, my mom took me to go to a good friend who had a baby my age, and lady named Stephanie. She invited me as much as her room to play, and the bed room was pink. I ran again downstairs to inform my mom about it, and begged her to color my room the identical coloration. Mother mentioned she knew at that second I used to be homosexual,” he says.
Austin-Paglialonga notes that, shortly after, his mom painted his room orange whereas he was in school, and he was deeply disenchanted. When requested if his mom had a problem with the partitions of his room having a historically female coloration, he says: “Oh god, no. My mom let me play with a Princess Barbie. I feel she simply didn’t like the concept of pink for a bed room.”
He moved to Los Angeles and landed the Fred Segal job, and finally began designing garments underneath different labels (he’s labored for everybody from Free Individuals to City Outfitters).
After a two-12 months stint in New York Metropolis, he was able to return to the West Coast. When he heard about this condo arising for lease, he relentlessly lobbied the supervisor for it, though he had solely 4 fuzzy digital images as proof of what the place really appeared like.
“I knew all I wanted to know. I knew the constructing, and I knew I needed to dwell there,” he says. “That mentioned, it was overwhelming and great to stroll within the door that first time. It turned out to be way over I hoped for.”
Particularly, it’s a ,300-square-foot unit with charming options nonetheless intact. Excessive ceilings are embellished by carved beams and the faces of whimsical horned males; within the basic loos, colourful 1920s-period tiles are accented by bands of black tiles; the stair rail is crafted from curvy wrought iron; and lots of doorways have a swish ogee arch.
“I beloved it instantly, and I nonetheless adore it,” Austin-Paglialonga. “Virtually every thing is authentic, from the door handles to the door hinges.”
One of many first orders of enterprise: portray the bed room pink. “I needed to do it whereas I used to be nonetheless younger sufficient to tug it off,” Austin-Paglialonga says. “I took a selfie within the bed room and despatched it to Mother. She wrote again, ‘oh honey, you lastly received your pink bed room.’”
Not every thing was rosy in his new house: Some lighting fixtures have been lacking, some have been simply unattractive. As soon as once more, his mom had sturdy design opinions on the topic—and on this case, Austin-Paglialonga agreed.
“From the time I used to be younger, my mom all the time informed me you might enhance a rental by altering out the sunshine fixtures,” he says. “Earlier residents had put in observe lighting, and I assumed: ‘hell no.’ I spent some huge cash on the brand new lighting fixtures. They're like items of artwork, and so they change every thing.”
Like many buildings constructed in that period, lighting is one thing of a problem. However for Austin-Paglialonga, it’s no drawback. “Truly, I like moody lighting, so I don’t thoughts mild from sconces and lamps.”
In most circumstances, he went in a course that’s the other from the architectural model. “For the lounge, I picked modern sconces by Serge Mouille. I really like the juxtaposition,” he says.
Austin-Paglialonga made the same determination within the eating room, the place he put in a Leslie Adelman-like fixture. He additionally put up a wall masking with an oversize tapestry print on one wall and painted the remaining vertical surfaces a superb blue.
“I needed a eating room that balanced masculinity, femininity, and classic design,” he says. “When you go to the Chateau Marmont Resort, you will note there’s a facet bar to the fitting of the foyer. It’s small, nearly eight seats, and is mysterious. It pulls you into the room and provides you the vibe of the outdated resort. I needed my eating room to have the identical feeling—kind of a hypnotizing environment.”
That top-ceilinged front room has a equally eclectic model. An vintage chair and a modern Eames rocker sit reverse a basic leather-based couch. Modern images, most of it sourced from LGBT artists he found on Instagram, decorates the partitions. In place of observe lighting, he’s hung the branches from a fallen willow tree he discovered whereas strolling his canine, Bowie.
“I dipped them in gold paint earlier than I hung them,” Austin-Paglialonga says. “The ceilings are so tall, I had to make use of an 18-foot ladder. It was so excessive, it swayed and felt like rubber underneath my toes. I've by no means been so scared—or sworn and screamed a lot—as I did putting in these branches.”
Many aged Hollywood buildings include tales, and this one isn't any totally different. Greta Garbo is alleged to have lived within the unit with the turret. Austin-Paglialonga says his condo has been house to each George Hurrell (the well-known photographer of the likes of Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and extra) and Winona Ryder.
Nevertheless it’s the model, not the previous residents, that encourage him. “This place has an outdated Hollywood glamour and an power that has translated into my work,” Austin-Paglialonga says. “After dwelling right here, I began utilizing extra luxe supplies.”
And, though he’s lived there two years now, the fun reveals no indicators of carrying off. “To at the present time, once I’m driving house from work, the boy in me nonetheless will get excited once I spot the constructing,” he says. “However now, I don’t drive previous—I pull into the storage.”