Monday, January 02, 2006

Lifestyle: Weekend FT, Jade Jagger at home in Ibiza

By Julie Earle-Levine
Jun 11, 2005

Jade Jagger, daughter of Mick and Bianca, is at home in Ibiza, Spain, slicing chicken for a teriyaki stir fry from the local market for lunch. The view from the kitchen of her 500-year-old Spanish farmhouse is stunning - mountains and greenery as far as the sapphire-blue sea. Jagger stops for a moment to enjoy it, knife poised over white Corian counters. "Yeah, the design of my house just puts you right in it. This is my kind of sanctuary."

Jagger has invited me to the house, which she designed with architect and business partner Tom Bartlett, because she sees it as a showcase of her artistic sensibility. She is perhaps best known as the hard-partying daughter of a Rolling Stone. But now, aged 33, with two children, she is trying to establish a career in design, creating jewellery for Garrard and, more recently, signing on as an interiors consultant to UK-based property developer Yoo, which has about 500 apartments worldwide and 4,000 under construction.

Starting our tour after lunch, Jagger describes her home as "a mix of traditional Jagger bohemian style with a clean, modern feel". "The kitchen is made for a big family that loves to cook, so we have a big Aga stove (best for slow-cooking roasted meats and vegetables) to keep everyone toasty in the colder months," she says. An orange aluminium table by MDF Italia matches custom-sprayed Gio Ponti chairs. The floor throughout the house is industrial rubber that Jagger says adds a spring to her step. "It never creaks, and bounces glasses and youngsters with ease."

Next is her bedroom, or boudoir as she prefers to call it, a former hayloft with floor-to-ceiling windows framing the mountains and an enormous, freestanding, Japanese teak bathtub by William Garvey. "It is as big as the kitchen and used a lot where we as a family can all get clean and beautiful as we relax and talk." Her four-poster bed is also teak. There is a fireplace and a bespoke round futon for "after-bath" relaxation, or if her daughters, Assisi, 12, and Amba, 9, want to be close by. Portraits of her six dogs adorn the walls. A walk-in closet spills with designer clothes and racks of shoes for an event every night, whichever city she may be in. Jagger splits her time between Ibiza and London and is often in New York.

Downstairs, hip hop music thumps. "This is the 'teenager's' room, where they don't study," Jagger says, sweeping past the not-quite teenage girls, who are just back from school.

Outside, there is a seating area with Indian silk throw cushions and statues of the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesh - all part of the "bohemian" aesthetic. Ganeshes and fabrics she has bought back from India over the years help to "keep my eyes alive", she says. Walking from the main house, we pass one of the house's two pools (with an enormous mirrored disco ball above it) and what look like naked tepees, just upright poles and no covers. "In the winter we take the skins down, but in summer, guests stay there. Kate (Moss) prefers to stay inside the house." The teepees have fur blanket beds where guests can recline on plush cushions and oriental carpets.

The pool, with rendered pink concrete on the inside, turns the water a delicious green. The landscaping around it was difficult, Jagger tells me. "We wanted to do it without changing the feeling that it was a farmhouse with a lot of land. It seems like sabotage sometimes when you put all the concrete down."

A dirt path cuts through green land that is scorched in summer. This leads to a spacious studio where Jagger draws and paints each day. Doors open on to a terrace and an infinity pool. Cactuses in terracotta are eye-catching against white walls. There is also a studio for her boyfriend, musician Dan Williams, and a guest room, where everything is vermilion, like sindoor, the deep, rich blood-red powder used in Hindu rituals and by women to show they are married.
The walls are lined with books, mostly the novels, design, art and inspirational books Jagger says she likes to read. "I think that, sadly, the beauty of a well-read book shelf is sorely underestimated, both as a feature and as a part of daily life." She puts wood in the fireplace and settles into a chair covered with an ornate Indian wedding shawl.

I mention a photo seen in a London tabloid that day - of a paparazzo leering at Jagger in a skimpy orange dress, and she bristles. "Public perception of me can be totally annoying. Sometimes I want to pull my hair out."

Although she sees herself as a serious, self-taught artist who has been creative her entire life, critics are not yet convinced. When her paintings sell for thousands of pounds, they suggest that it is because of the family name rather than talent. Many fashion editors seem to have ignored, or panned, her jewellery; and her Yoo appointment was greeted with some surprise.

"I spend every breathing day thinking about art, and yet somehow, people see me in a different way," Jagger laments. She says she officially embraced art and design as a career when she left modelling to live amid Renaissance works in Florence. Other influences include friends of her mother, such as artists Ross Bleckner and Francesco Clemente. "From my early childhood I thought that Andy Warhol with his whole factory concept was genius," she adds.

At Yoo, she will work closely with designer Philippe Starck, a company co-founder, and with Bartlett. The aim, says the other co-founder, John Hitchcox, was to bring a feminine side to Yoo's apartments; it currently has five, 40-storey buildings under development.

Jagger will help design four concepts, expressing different lifestyles: Boho, Aristo, Disco and Techno. "There has to be different applications in each place, but I think there should be a recognisable philosophy," she says. "Boho is kind of luxurious, with ethnic finishes. Aristo is leather, traditional colours and that kind of English, quintessential racing green. Disco relates back to what I remember of the Studio 54 generation: Halston, carpeted stairs and plush recessed seating." (Her mother was, of course, a fixture at the New York nightclub along with Warhol, whose paintings Jagger has in the Ibiza house.)

"I really love the idea of spreading out art and creativity into products and things that are affordable and attainable," Jagger says.

There is also the draw of trying to turn the sensibility she's showing me today into a fully fledged interior design business with Yoo.
As for the idea of branding herself, she makes no apologies: "I think we have become a society that enjoys lifestyle identity."
Contact Yoo: www.yooarehere.com;tel: +44 (0)20 7009-0100