Sartorial translations for the home.
by Theresa Rolen Long
Jacques Doucet’s Parisian manse was spectacular. It housed a vast and perfectly composed collection of antiques, furnishings, and artwork, and a library full of first edition manuscripts. The renowned early 20th century French couturier lived as stylishly as the upper class European clientele he dressed.
Skipping a few arrondissements to the east, Coco Chanel habituated a more “laid-back” salon, in keeping with her glamorous-yet-modern, relaxed-for-the-time style. Haute couture neophytes like Dior, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, and Saint Laurent followed the lead of Doucet and Chanel, decorating Parisian apartments in similar opulent fashion.
As fashion evolved in Paris, designers like Denoit, Alaia, and Gaultier created gorgeous abodes that propagated the almost-requisite relationship between designs of clothing and interiors. Around the world, from the Pucci family’s sumptuous Italian palazzo, to Liz Claiborne’s sporty St. Bart’s getaway, clothing designers are synonymous with their beautifully appointed homes.
And so, many fashion designers add eponymous shelter design to their repertoire. Pierre Cardin was arguably the first such ambidextrous designer, expanding his wardrobe empire to include beautifully designed furnishings, lighting, even car concepts. Armani sofas, Missoni pillows, Versace china, Calvin Klein bedding, the whole Ralph Lauren lifestyle…most have a natural proclivity for home goods design.
Hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs commission fashion designers like LaCroix, Moschino, and Cavalli to envision trendy interiors. Many have been so successful they now run their own hospitality chains. And interior designers like Kelly Wearstler are rounding out their empires by adding chic fashion creations to their residential and commercial interior projects, along with textile, lighting, wallcovering, rug, and home accessories lines. These design icons are our references of comprehensive style.
Last fall, we saw several spring trends on fashion week runways analogous with offerings in the home goods market. Michael Kors debuted feminine floral dresses that compliment furnishings like Kate Spade’s “Saturday” chair for West Elm. Stripes at Giambattista Valli were unpredictable in placement and pattern, and honor the visually soothing, uneven stripes currently gaining popularity in wallcoverings and rugs.
Modern plaids and checks are pushing chevron patterns to the backseat. Diane von Furstenburg’s spring line of sexy-ish gingham (in unexpected materials like chiffon) nods to the modern and surprisingly neutral black and white gingham carpeting found throughout the new L’Apogee ski resort in the French Alps. Animal faces, sea creatures, reptiles, dragons, and exotic textures offered by Valentino and Cavalli for spring are inspiring decorators to think against grain when it comes to animal prints and their applications. Prints are big for 2015, as abstracts, pop art, photographs, ethnic patterns, geometrics, and botanicals all had their moment on the catwalk. It is exciting to envision how the patterns and fabrics bears influence on how we choose to decorate.
Fringe is everywhere this spring, from dresses, skirts, and jackets, to the now-revived bouillon fringe on sofas and chairs and from shoes and handbags to long fringe trimmings on pillows and chain mail on light fixtures. Stylish women will be seen in laser-cut lace in soft, natural hues, with their legs wrapped in gladiator sandals, just as pastel suede ottomans and leather-wrapped stair handrails make their way into stylish households.
Minimalism is also on trend, with clean lines and softly draping fabrics. Tailored pleats are back in style on clothing as well as on skirted tables and washed silk draperies. Subtle details prevail, like contrasting piping and zippers in unusual places, like the back of a blouse or chair.
Perhaps due to all of this designer cross-pollination, fashion trends—which used to be months ahead of home trends—are enjoying a more tandem influence on the direction of home design. From the runway to the hallway, coordinating your personal and home styles has never been easier. Who are your favorite clothing designers? Enjoy an inspiring peek into their collections, homes, and lifestyles, and allow haute couture to inspire the many facets of your home.