Take an average taxi ride to the Upper East Side, get greeted by a dapper-looking doorman, ride a man-operated elevator up to the top floor of a heritage building and then…BAM! You’re back in the swinging ‘60s. White lacquer floors and walls, punchy primary colors and pop art: Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Hirst (his thesis project!) and more. We were greeted by the inimitable Lisa Perry herself, who looked like she’d arrived straight from a morning at The Factory with Andy in a mod black and white frock complete with a Peter Pan collar, oversized pockets, and half-black/half-white heels. We spent the next half hour or so getting a personal tour of Perry’s collection and home-seum.
“This Yves Klein blue? Nobody else is allowed use this color or pigment in any art,” she told us, pointing to incased table tops in her massive oval office-like room.
Perry and her husband moved in just after 9/11 and the space could not be a better tribute to N.Y.C. and Americana. It overlooks the East River with the Queensboro Bridge in her backyard, while her enormous duel Murakami statues stand guard on the surrounding balcony. As we peered through the window of the opposite terrace, we noticed a giant, green sculpture.
“Come outside,” Perry said, as she ushered us through the door to view an oversized emerald diamond commissioned by artist-turned-friend, Jeff Koons. Prepare to be amazed, kids. The piece shut down Sutton Place (“The neighbors were not happy!”) when it was hoisted into the air like The Beatles song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”
Her dedication to the decade expands to wearable art. “I don’t let anyone see it. But I figured since we’re doing this…” Perry said, opening a discreet door off the hallway. Inside, Perry showed us archived pieces from Paco Rabanne, the coveted Campbell’s “Souper Dress,” Rudi Gernreich jaw-droppers and Courrèges jackets in every color.
“I started my line with a small collection of samples inspired by my vintage wardrobe. I wore only 60s vintage for twenty years, and people loved the style, so I decided to try and modernize the look.”
Though we’re not all fortunate enough to own an original, Perry’s passion has created a collector's dream of artful accessories. She’s already teamed up with the Warhol, Lichtenstein and Koons foundations and has another top secret one in the works for September 2013. We begged and pleaded for her to spill.
“You’ll have to wait and see!” she joked.