Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Deborah Turbeville's 'Casa No Name'

Last Friday I told you I had snapped a few photos of a Mexican home that I promised to share. The house tour appeared in the December 2015 issue of The World of Interiors, in a feature called Destination unknown, lensed by Ricardo Labougle. The house belonged to the late fashion photographer Deborah Turbeville (1932-2013), who lived a nomadic life. She named it Casa No Name. It's located in the historic city San Miguel de Allende, in Guanajuato. When Turbeville bought the house it was in a terrible state, but if you are familiar with her photography it is easy to understand why it fascinated her. A friend of hers, who oversaw the two-year restoration told the workers to 'not ... make too perfect a job of it, for "The señora likes it that way"' (p. 190). There is no one thing that draws me to this house; it's the richness of it that captivates me, the gorgeous blend of patterned textiles, colours, plaster walls, the breathtaking roof terrace . . . this is what they mean when they talk about turning a house into a home.

In 2009, Rizzoli published the book Casa No Name by Turbeville herself. I have seen some of the images from the book and I cannot say it's a book for everyone. Let's just say that it's a different interior design book with a lot of blurry images. Hard-core Turbeville fans will probably love it.

I found a short interview with Turbeville on YouTube, taken at Casa No Name when Toast was shooting their Spring/Summer 2010 lookbook there.

For everyone interested in fashion photography I would recommend the book Deborah Turbeville: The Fashion Pictures. It's also published by Rizzoli and you will find in it the infamous bathhouse photos, which shocked when they appeared in Vogue in 1975.

images by me | credit: The World of Interiors, December 2015, Destination unknown, pp. 182-191 · Ricardo Labougle

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