RuPaul’s Closet, Kylie Jenner’s Handbag Room Shine in Martyn Lawrence Bullard’s ‘Star Style’

For Cher’s Los Angeles apartment, interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard moved the facade of an Indian palace to Malibu. For RuPaul’s Hollywood Regency abode, he commissioned custom-designed De Gournay wallpaper depicting the drag superstar’s silhouette wearing different wigs from his career. And for Kylie Jenner’s Hidden Hills house, he had leather custom-dyed to upholster her dining chairs in graduated shades of pink that matched the tones of lipsticks in her lip kits.

Bullard shares all that and more in “Star Style” (Vendome Press) his latest book, landing Oct. 3 and celebrating the 30th anniversary of his career creating eclectic homes for the rich and famous.

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“They don’t want the same as everybody else has got…and they want a designer that doesn’t have a signature that they stamp all over, they want it to be their own signature,” Bullard says of his approach to working with A-listers.

“It’s the freedom of being who you are, seen in people like Cher and Elton John and my other colorful amazing clients that have these larger than life personalities; they live in a way that is their own passionate style.”

Interiors are extensions of his clients’ personal brands.

Take RuPaul’s ballroom with a ceiling full of disco balls, for example, or the performer’s “drag boutique,” filled with costumes, accessories, shoes and bags, many from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Those elements mingle with old Hollywood touches, like the Dorothy Draper–inspired fireplace in the living room, flanked by custom-made Maison Royère–style velvet sofas, and accented by an Elsie de Wolfe slipper chair covered in Tony Duquette Malachite print fabric.

Most of Bullard’s clients have mega closets, but Jenner’s handbag room is next level, created to house hundreds of bags, including rare Hermès Birkins. Bullard also created for her a VIP dressing room with floating Lucite wardrobes to house her looks from Met Galas and ad campaigns. Shoe towers and sunglasses stands were crafted in glass, suede and chrome, alongside swiveling mirrors on polished steel stands for perfect dress fittings. And there’s a glam room, too, where she can film tutorials. 

“Color, texture, pattern that we see constantly evolving in fashion is always an influence,” Bullard says of his work. “And vice-versa actually — interiors influence fashion for sure. With the current House of Hackney flavor that’s going on with this Victorian decor revival, we’re now seeing those prints on the runways around Europe.…And for me, I’ve gotten to work with some amazing fashion designers, Tommy Hilfiger being one of them. And because they’re so used to constantly evolving and changing and having to be creative three or four times a year, when you’re doing their interiors, they are open to new looks, new experiences, new challenges and new excitement.”

Ru Paul’s Home from “Star Style,” by Martin Lawrence Bullard.

Ru Paul’s Home from “Star Style,” by Martin Lawrence Bullard. Courtesy of Douglas Friedman

Of the multiple homes he’s decorated for Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, he says, “Connecticut was very traditional, Miami was a very wild disco ’70s, and Palm Beach is a very relaxed, Mediterranean vibe. They love all styles, as long as it’s done well.”

In the Palm Beach house featured in the book, fashionable details include a custom faux-bamboo vanity that doubles as a display area for the handbags Dee designs with Judith Leiber, and vintage chairs belonging to another pair of style icons, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.

Next up, Bullard is designing a home for Machine Gun Kelly, “a wild rock ‘n’ roll frenzy with lots of pink because that’s his trademark.” He’s working on a restaurant chain with Rick Bayless, concepting new stores for a fashion brand, and has collections of Duchateau flooring and Oliver James Lilos pool floats on the market.

“It’s sort of great to see my fabric floating around in people’s pools,” the designer says. “It’s a fun one.”


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