It is no coincidence that Fashion Designers eventually, once recognised as a ‘Designer Luxury Brand’, merge into interior design beginning with stylising and décor products. The super luxury homes of London will be adorned with the most exquisite bed throws of mink, backed onto richly woven Burberry fabric and wallcoverings in a heavily damask print from Roberto Cavalli.
These luxurious items are décor, they are not interior design although some fashion models have also added their names to design properties such as ‘Kate Moss in the Cotswolds for Yoo Developments’ and even Bulgari in Knightsbridge adding the jewellers name to the five-star hotel; The Bulgari. Where does this leave interior design? It demonstrates how much value society at the luxury end of the market place on a designer of interiors. I have been looking around the super apartments in London and seeing the names of well-known manufacturers to the design profession internally, but perhaps less so to buyers.
Interior design companies are also a luxury, those that are best-known have clients who don’t want to share them, so the cream of interior design quality is less known than perhaps they could be. This year I want to focus on the designs of some of the best at the top end, as well as featuring some fast and simple ways to achieve a ‘designer quick fix’ if you are preparing to sell your property so that you can show the potential of a property in need of refurbishment to potential buyers looking for a challenge which can be easily moulded for personal tastes.
The benefit of interior design is that it travels well, it lasts a long time and it is nimble enough to address all budgets, just like fashion! London is the city of design, it is where everyone wants to be so, watch this space for the year ahead as we bring you ideas, trends, products and tips for London property design.
Forget the one colour emulsion throughout the property, it’s time to be bold. Make a statement with colour. Warmth works. Knowing which colours will work in a small space as well as a large area is essential – the SBID Colour Council will be revealing its diverse and adaptable colour pallet for 2019 within the coming month to give you industry-informed and expertly-selected colour recommendations to achieve versatility in your upcoming projects.
Written by Dr Vanessa Brady OBE. Award-winning Interior Designer, CEO & Founder of the Society of British and International Design
Click here to discover more about the SBID Colour Council
(Images by Design Studio of Yuriy Zimenko)
It has recently been difficult to escape the current high profile trend for fashion brands to enter the homewares market. From Dior to Zara, the high street and the luxury boulevards are showcasing textiles, accessories and furniture alongside jackets, shoes and skirts. The integration of the home divisions of these globally recognised marques is tremendously variable in terms of the level of connection to the DNA of the brand. Much like fashion, the addition of a badge or logo to a simple shape or silhouette may be the only distinguishing feature of a brands influence. The best known names in the industry, those with a heritage of over twenty years or so have established a precedent of ready made “trend” or “taste” simply by the addition of the brand to an interior. Fashion is a fast paced, transient and reactive sector whereas furniture has traditionally been firmly rooted in heritage, time and to a certain extent, craft. The speed of change in the fashion marketplace is greater than ever before and the homewares sector has had to raise its’ game to keep up.
Changes in technology, the supply chain and distribution have allowed the interiors market to become more in tune with the cycles of the fashion world and this is where the newest additions to the list are beginning to take advantage. The major barometer of the interiors market comes every April in Milan at the Salone del Mobile. There may be bigger shows in terms of sq ft in the USA but in terms of fashion and trends in the industry, Milan is still the overarching benchmark. The number of high end luxury fashion brands working either directly with or in association with manufacturers is steadily growing. Certain furniture manufacturers have also even taken their leads from the fashion industry and re-branded using the same methodologies as clothing brands
Kings of Chelsea has the great pleasure of working alongside Roberto Cavalli Home Interiors as the sole UK dealership. Launched as recently as 2013 the furniture and furnishings division is inextricably linked to the fashion side of the business. At the head office in Florence Paul Surridge, the incumbent creative director, works alongside a team of specialists who provide technical detail of how to apply print, shape and form to furniture, tableware, linens, tiles and wallpapers. The Roberto Cavalli Home division offers a fully immersive lifestyle experience, directly linked back to the DNA of the brand. Unlike other fashion furniture brands the creative process is fully rooted in the design studios of the Maison itself.
Of course this creates huge pressure on the process, as keeping up with the fashion seasons cycle means being ahead of or at least equal to the collection launches. The solution is to create capsule and classic collections so that the ranges are available to both those who value contemporary trends and those who require something more timeless. Within the ranges are the possibilities to specify finishes, leathers and fabrics until the piece is unique to the individual. When a brand is new to the market this invariably means this will be the very first time each order has even been produced. Just like the very finest fashion, these orders are in effect “couture” furniture. With an increasingly demanding, knowledgeable market, this is an incredibly valuable feature. Bespoke and fully personalised goods and experiences can now be found within most luxury categories (watches, automobiles, holidays, hotels) and it was only a matter of time before interiors stepped up and took their place at the table. Recent additions to the roll call have included Bottega Veneta, Hermes and Gucci so it is clearly a trend that is unlikely to end soon.
Fashion brands carry enormous value to a global HNW (high net worth) community and add both an increase in selling and rental values to real estate. Cavalli is currently working with developers in both Dubai and Saudi Arabia on fully branded projects, and the trend seems to show no sign of slowing down with Versace, Fendi, Bulgari and Bentley amongst a number of brands also involved in current schemes. Predominantly, from Middle Eastern and Asian interests, the arrival of these type of developments in the UK is a growing market and likely to be more and more noticeable in the next few years as the purchasing power of these nations investing in real estate in the UK shows little signs of diminishing. Fashion brands are seemingly craving the way for prosperous future in the realm of interior design as the two worlds are continuing to merge at an unprecedented rate.
Written by Theo Mance, Managing Director at Kings of Chelsea.
‘Wave’ wallpaper by Katie Ridder
Over the past six months, A-Gent of Style started noticing around him the ancient Asian pattern of the wave and also fish scales. Suddenly, these two scalloped designs seem to appear everywhere before him and A-Gent soon realised they were ubiquitous – in shops or restaurants, in the streets, in fashion, design and home magazines, online of course and many other appearances. What turned into a game of ‘spot-the-pretty-fish-scales-pattern’ almost ended up in an obsession and even hallucinations.
This is a compilation of all the images and photographs A-Gent of Style has accumulated featuring waves and fish scales in all their various shapes and representations.
Now, you too might start noticing them everywhere…..Will you catch the bug!?
Marion Cotillard in Jean-Paul Gaultier, Oscars, 2008
Jarrod Lim’s ‘Koi’ Chair
‘Pot Pourri’ wallpaper by Neisha Crosland
Le 1947 restaurant by Yannick Alléno, Le Cheval Blanc, Courchevel
‘Owl’ lantern by Soane
Korla’s ‘Grand Kyoto Koi’
Gate at Piccadilly Circus tube station, Glasshouse Street exit
‘Easton’ fabric by David Hicks, 1968
Danish cabinet by Julian Chichester (as seen at Decorex 2013)
‘Caducee’ clock by Jean Dunand, 1913 , estimate €100,000-120,000 at Felix Marcilhac auction, Sotheby’s, 11-12 March 2014 http://bit.ly/1dvv2Hl
‘Ecailles argent by Le Manach
Le Manach’s ‘Ecailles’ (as seen at Paris Deco Off 2014)
Dinner setting by Miles Redd
Urban Outfitters rug
Australian Aboriginal design
Hartmann Risler et Cie (Rixheim), 1800
Gents at The Zedel restaurant, London
Finally, a shelf at home with some of A-Gent of Style‘s favourite packaging.
Not strictly waves or fish scales, more of an (Art Deco) fan shape this time
but that’s another blog post!
Author: Interior Designer Fabrice Bana, founder and editor of A-Gent of Style
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