There are so many different Londons, most of which overlap. Middle class Victorian “villages” cheek by jowl with council estates; scruffy high streets with their charity shops abutting newly gentrified strips with their cafes and delis; “luxury” apartments invading formerly industrial hinterlands. The main theme throughout being constant change and renewal. However, there are great swathes of mainly west London, that stand resolutely separate from the rest of the city. Great stucco mansions, whose only connection with the outside world is the retinue of service providers, who daily come to clean, plumb, build, mow, weed, and just occasionally photograph their ornate interiors and gardens.
I have shot several such houses for designer, Stephen Ryan, and this latest, with its Churchillian connections, was possibly the grandest, with swags and tassles festooning every window, and crystal chandeliers sparkling overhead. A suitable setting for the owners’ exquisite Lalique collection.
But just when you think it’s all those riches are getting too suffocating, Stephen throws in some high camp zebra stripes, faux croc, fuchsia furniture and giant pansies for good measure. As I said, It’s a whole other London!