Thursday, August 26, 2010

Jean Paul Gaultier pour Roche Bobois

Monsieur Jean Paul Gaultier has collaborated with French furniture manufacturer Roche Bobois to curate a limited collection comprised of new designs as well as reinterpreted classics like the Mah Jong sofa, created by Hans Hopfer in the 1970's.

Jean Paul Gaultier, often referred to as enfant terrible of the fashion industry, is an undisputed heavy-hitter in the ephemeral world of couture, yet has had no formal training. He started creating collections for his mother and grandmother at age 13, by 17 he confidently sent a series of sketches to famed Parisian designer Pierre Cardin. The drawings impressed Monsieur Cardin enough to hire the young lad as an assistant. After only a few short years, J.P.G. launched his own line. The rest, as they say, is history.

After decades of pushing the design envelope in the fashion industry; introduction of the man skirt in 1985, Madonna's infamous cone bra costume in 1990, and corsets for men in 1997 Mr. Gaultier is the latest fashion designer to catwalk his way into the interior / furniture design field. The divide that once existed between the two industries seems to be shrinking at warp speed and I, for one, am excited to see what transpires.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nicolas Ghesquiere

First off -a thousand pardons. I've been a terribly neglectful blogger. Although I can't promise to be more diligent about postings; I can say that I sincerely appreciate the supportive outreach from so many of you who seem to enjoy the musings of one often tipsy young man in the District.

All right, I'm surely not the first to announce the possession of an extreme crush on one talented and beautiful Mr. Nicolas Ghesquiere. Creative Director of the venerable fashion house Balenciaga Mr. Ghesquiere, or Nico as I so innocently refer to him, started from humble beginnings.

According to The New York Times, Interview, Wikipedia, or some other such stable sounding board for information that I surely briefly perused while finishing off a few bottles of Hoegaarden, Mr. Ghesquiere obtained an internship at Agnes B in Paris at age 15. By 21, he was working for John Paul Gaultier. But, in 1996 (A year within a decade of decidedly unfashionable fashion) Nicolas was hired by Balenciaga, then a house resting in a pit of passe despair, to design uniforms for a Japanese licensing company. Nico quickly climbed the the ranks, and come 2000 his frocks would be seen shrouding the trendiest of all celebrity skeletons; Nicole Kidman, Chloe Sevigne, and the Olsen twins to name a few.

Well, while scouring the overflow of photos in my files I came across some of a chic apartment in Paris inhabited by this peculiar creature known as Nicolas Ghesquiere. The maisonette is simultaneously effortless and thoughtful, chic and stoic, old and new. This grand aesthete embodies a style that your timid host can only aspire to one day graze.

Friday, May 14, 2010

But, he's such a great fashion designer....

Head on over to The Fashion Informer for a look at a Zack Posen designed model apartment.... It reeks of imitation Miles Redd to me. No offense to his immense talents as a very gifted fashion designer, but this dip into the interior design pool has left me less than impressed. Perhaps one has to see the space in person to fully appreciate it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My "Domicidal Haven" as seen through the lens of Baker Street

Lovely Brittany Watson, of The House That Lars Built, recently started a new project; Baker Street. This site "documents the lives of people in their places in Washington, DC". She asked me to participate a few months ago, and I did so happily. I recently moved from said little studio to a larger (and, much emptier) flat on the first floor of the same building. So, it's with sweet reminiscence that I share with you my little "Domicidal Haven". Thanks Brittany!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

From the Desk of Lola

At a time post "reality television" and perhaps in the throng of "social networking" I find it far too unnervingly simple to become enamored by virtual strangers. This is, of course, only my personal opinion. Some such endearing connections are often sincere, effortless, and welcome; examples include, but are not limited to: my extreme, and instant, infatuation with the beautiful Lisa Borgnes Giramonti of A Bloomsbury Life (Honestly, who can resist her?), and Nick Olsen of Nick Olsen Style; an exceedingly creative designer, unabashed blogger, and all-around dreamboat. While other less successful artificial connections can leave a person (me) feeling bruised and battered; Gael Garcia Bernal why won't you love me?! Well, I've recently developed a new virtual crush; From the Desk of Lola.

From the Desk of Lola is an seemingly unorthodox design firm with offices in both LA and NY. They've been talked about and praised in trade publications, the blogging community, and around my kitchen island. Designers Alexandria Loew and Lauren Soloff spearhead the operation, which offers clients "Mood Movies" upon the inception of the design process. What is a "Mood Movie" one might ask... well, it seems as though these dynamic ladies create a multi-media presentation including clips from movies to inspire the job. What a brilliant idea! My modest creativity is perpetually sparked by films; Breakfast at Tiffany's, How to Marry a Millionaire, Age of Innocence, and Marie Antoinette to name a few.

Here are but a few images taken from the To get the full effect you've got to check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Well, I don't mind if I do!

I was asked recently by So Sylvie to participate in a fun little virtual project of redesigning Gerard Butler's Chelsea loft, which is featured in Architectural Digest this month. It seems that his newly renovated pad has been getting quite a lot of attention on the net. I'm not judging, as a matter of fact I sheepishly admit that I had never heard of Gerard Butler until now. All that I know is that he lives in a space boasting bones as sophisticated and prolific as those that once graced the face of the uberdistinguished Katharine Hepburn.

This is my answer:
I understand, after having read the A.D. article, that Gerard Butler has played some mighty meaty roles; the Spartan king, Attila the Hun, Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera, and Beowulf. Also, that his interior designer, Elvis Restaino, is a set designer... the photos in A.D. of his apartment are hugely theatrical. No doubt Architectural Digests' ridiculously over-the-top lighting extravaganza plays a part in theatrics of the photos, but all of the columns, many crystal chandeliers, and thrones placed throughout the pad also contribute to the weightiness, and overall phoniness of its appearance. I think that I'd start by cleaning house. Toss all of the "props", paint & paper the walls, and collect furniture with some provenance to appeal to Gerard's obvious attraction to history.

dining area:
Final Dining Room

screening area:
Final Screening Area

secondary seating area:
Final Secondary Seating

office area:
Final Office Area

bedroom area:
Final Bedroom Area

Be sure to check out how these fine ladies would redesign this space:

So Sylvie
Jaclyn Ehrilich of Haute Home
Valorie Hart of Visual Vamp
Ronda Carman of All the Best
Di Overton of Designers' Block UK

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Wood

Yes, it certainly is an attention grabbing name, but what heralds more heed than the moniker is the shop itself. Good Wood is the brainchild...err... teenager (this year marking its sweet sixteen) of Dan and Anna Kahoe, furniturephiles extraordinaire. A delightfully creative couple who have cultivated a store that is more about a lifestyle than about product for sale. They forage the Eastern Shore weekly for artifacts to be brought back and placed lovingly in ever-changing vignettes. The shop is a constant source of answers and inspiration for designers, local residents, and tourists alike.

As if being proprietors of an ubercool DC shopping destination wasn't enough evidence that this duo has style in spades, take a look at their home; The Louise Hand Laundry. A former upscale laundry facility which had been used by the cream of District society, as well as White House administrations from the 1930's - 1960's. And, for the cherry on top, Anna is also co-owner of ultra hip design firm "Old School Interiors".

I've recently started working at the shop Wednesdays - Fridays, and couldn't be happier. Each week I fall in love with at least a dozen new things. If you're in the DC area, please stop by to visit me and the Kahoe's!

A few photos for your viewing pleasure:

Good Wood: American Furniture & Decorative Arts
1428 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

Wednesday - Saturday: Noon - 7p
Sunday: Noon - 5p