“It’s all about touch and feel; you just have to be there and see it for yourself,” says Firmdale Hotels’ creative director about Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.
The sartorially inspired ‘Legends’ windows that celebrate the link between fashion and interiors are some of the most memorable displays at London Design Week 2018. Simpsons’ collaboration with Cutler & Gross (pictured top) sees a gallery of music and movie stars adorned with vintage sunglasses, while Tory Burch recreated the retail design for her own stores, by Iksel – Decorative Arts, in the wallcovering specialist’s Design Centre East showroom. Morts & More brought smart London tailoring to the window of Christopher Peacock. Winner of a Highly Commended award, the Loewe Morris & Co Capsule Collection display (pictured bottom) sees William Morris-clad punks in an all-over print of the iconic ‘Strawberry Thief’ design, a cultural crossover if ever there was one.
Other showrooms chose to show their own fabrics made up in to clothing, accentuating their beauty and detail – these included included Houlès (with creative director Regis Perry), Création Baumann (with interior designer Maria Tibblin), Nobilis (with Rachel Willson Interiors, pictured centre) and not forgetting the overall winning design from de Le Cuona, inspired by two great Impressionist paintings.
“I find Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour incredibly inspirational – I can’t imagine any place under one roof where you have this scope,” says the designer.
Old has never looked so right now, as we look to heritage and tradition to ground us and make sense of a fast-paced world. Just as the Burberry trenchcoat is subtly reinvented season after season, designers are showing their appreciation for what has gone before, but nearly always with a twist that makes the pieces right for today. The clean lines, symmetry and sophisticated palette of Art Deco are a big theme in everything from tiles to lighting, while the highly stylised flowers of Ottoman textiles – updated with non-traditional colour palettes – is another thread. In furniture, designers seek to reinvent a classic by upping the scale or adding a new finish.
Pictured (top to bottom) are a ‘Block’ rug from Birgit Israel; ‘Ritz Harlequin’ mosaic tiles from Artisans of Devizes; a ‘Scarsdale’ console from Davidson; ‘Bursa’ fabric by Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd; and a ‘Strauss’ pendant from Wired Custom Lighting.
Birgit Israel, Ground Floor, Design Centre East
Artisans of Devizes, Third Floor, Design Centre East
Davidson, First Floor, South Dome
Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd, Second Floor, South Dome
Wired Custom Lighting, Ground Floor, North Dome (pop up)
“You can touch and feel, and experience what all those people are trying to create – which I think is quite magical,” says the design journalist about Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.
Embroidery is big this season, both figuratively and literally. Being able to clearly see the maker’s hand in an object piques our curiosity, as well as giving us a respect for artisan processes. Schumacher’s ‘Marguerite’ fabric (pictured) is a beautiful example; it features vertical bands of folky wool embroidery on a linen ground, the subtle irregularities in the yarns creating both depth and charm. Available from Turnell & Gigon, it won The World of Interiors‘ Showstopper award at London Design Week 2018 – pictured below is Turnell & Gigon’s Mark Cotsford picking up the award from The World of Interiors‘ editor Rupert Thomas.
Four further designs won Highly Commended awards: an acrylic console by Sarah Stewart-Smith, from McKinney & Co; ‘Fabry’ fabrics by Manuel Canovas, from Colefax and Fowler; ‘Garden Party’ fabric by Gert Voorjans from Jim Thompson; and Julian Chichester’s ‘Avante’ and ‘Tenava’ vases.
“We come here all the time; I find a lot of inspiration here,” says the design director of Soho House about Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.