YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Last week we heard the world-famous Elrod House in Palm Springs, CA, is in escrow and about to be sold in an all cash deal for “very, very close” to its $8 million asking price to an otherwise unidentified L.A.-based fashion industry mover and shaker. Well, buckle your real estate safety belts, butter beans, because we’ve heard again from Palm Springs real estate insider Jack A. Rahnduh who now says there is “absolutely no doubt” the mysterious buyer is cult-favorite, L.A.-based fashion designer Jeremy Scott.
The flamboyant and photogenic residence, ambitiously designed by innovative architect John Lautner, was built in 1968 for interior designer Arthur Elrod and featured in the 1971 James Bond film “Diamond Are Forever.” The monumental modernist masterpiece centers around a circular living room that’s an astonishing 60-feet in diameter under a conically vaulted dome ceiling with nine concrete petals set between nine wedge-shaped clerestory windows that flood the room with ambient natural light. Online marketing materials show the 8,901-square-foot multi-level architectural extravaganza has five bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a large gym, and a swimming pool that’s partly indoors when a vast, retractable wall of glass in the main living space is closed.
Billionaire investor Ron Burkle bought Elrod House in 1995 for $390,000, according to property records, and hung on to it until late 2003 when it was sold for $5.5 million to real estate investor Michael Kilroy who was unsuccessful his attempt to market the property, along with several neighboring homes he also owned, as an ultra-exclusive invitation only private club. Faced with a financial squeeze, Mister Kilroy hoisted the cinematically idiosyncratic landmark residence up for sale in late 2009 with an in-hindsight sanguine asking price just under $13.9 million. With no takers, several subsequent flirts with foreclosure, and an eleventh hour effort to unload the place earlier this year with a substantially lower but still significantly too high price tag of just under $10.5 million, ownership of the iconic residence was turned over in mid-May to the property’s primary mortgage holder, Lloyds of London, who quickly re-priced the property at $8 million.
The subject of the 2015 documentary “Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer,” the 40-year-old fashion designer maintains a supremely funky eponymous label of his own and is also the creative director of the fashion-forward Italian luxury brand Moschino. His typically loud, aggressively patterned, and ironically irreverent clothes, favored by sartorial daredevils like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, frequently incorporate universally recognized corporate logos and other pop cultural memes. For his inaugural collection for Moschino in early 2014 he humorously skewered low-brow consumerist culture — not to mention poked a hole in the balloon of the high-brow fashion world — when he sent models down the catwalk wearing elegantly silhouetted cocktail dresses and billowing red carpet evening gowns created with fabrics emblazoned with a variety of ubiquitous and unhealthy grocery store staples such as a Hershey’s chocolate bar, Fruit Loops cereal box, and Budweiser beer can.
It is perhaps not so strange that Mister Scott, well-known for his celeb-studded bashes during the annual Coachella Music Festival, would be interested in the iconic Elrod House since he already owns the Lautner-designed Foster-Carling House in L.A.’s Hollywood Hills that he scooped up in July 2014 for $3.25 million.