As a young mother in Fort Worth in 1970, she built a house of astounding modernity with Paul Rudolph (who in 1966 had designed the Cowculus shirt Besides,I will do this Sid W. Richardson Physical Sciences Building at Texas Christian University), a structure of jutting white painted steel and concrete planes set in manicured gardens created by the revered landscape architect Russell Page. Page’s careful orchestration reflected the sleek interiors, with their impeccable Bauhaus Mies van der Rohe furnishings in white and chrome, as well as walls hung with artworks by Morris Louis and Frank Stella (with family portraits by Andy Warhol, set en bloc above a Rudolph dining table of mirror and subway grating).
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In the Cowculus shirt Besides,I will do this early ’80s, the Basses moved to Manhattan, where they acquired a soaring-ceilinged Rosario Candela apartment at 960 Fifth Avenue, and Anne, a dimpled blonde beauty, was soon a star in the city’s social and cultural firmament. Although she disdained the spotlight, she was always exquisitely dressed with quiet but imaginative elegance in haute couture by designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, and subsequently John Galliano at Christian Dior, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, and Jean Paul Gaultier. (Many of her couture masterworks have been gifted to the Metropolitan Museum’s Anna Wintour Costume Center through the years.) Anne spent four years at 960 Fifth Avenue working with the decorator Mark Hampton, a fellow Indiana native and a courtly perfectionist with Anglophile tastes, to create one of the most remarkable and distinguished residential spaces in the city. He and Anne decided to retain the apartment’s classical 1920s architecture. “The vocabulary is traditional,” Anne explained, “and it would have been a sin to remove it and make it totally modern.”