Our New York editor on trends in fashion, textiles, and decor, including the Olsen twins getting Bobo-licious.
The Olsen’ mantra: a little grunge, a little Gucci.
Home design is usually accused of following fashion, but all the buzz around the Olsen twins new look proves this wrong. A New York Times article this spring identified a new trend, epitomized by Mary-Kate and Ashley’s casual, dumpster chic - a layered, secondhand rayon sweater, long wispy skirt, leggings, and some abused cowboy boots topped off with a Zoran cashmere scarf and Laura Biagiotti sunglasses. The first treatise on this phenomenon of bohemian bourgeois or Bobo, for short, appeared in David Brooks’ Bobos in Paradise, which paints an amusing picture of modern-day hipsters who scoff at materialism but still manage to add a double scoop of luxe to their artfully tattered wardrobes.
The idea of mixing the humble and luxurious has been de rigueur in home design for decades. Budget is a factor. Most of us cannot afford a house filled with furniture, textiles, and accessories out of the New York’s D&D Building or Dallas design District. Thus, we take a classic idea and run with it, zigzag with it, add a downtown twist: a whitewashed vintage table paired with Louis XVI chairs, high Asian mixed with classic Pottery Barn, African artifacts with secondhand midcentury modern. I love my Target shearling throw on my Manuel Canovas-covered daybed, and my Pier 1 pillows look perfect on vintage Pierre Frey side chairs. And who doesn’t have a hand-me-down matelass or a personal assortment of fabulous pillows, antique, new, or sentimental? We’re way ahead of you fashionistas.
Variegated’ home textiles
Two guys in Hudson, New York, instinctively know the perfect balance of simplified design and luxurious fabrication. Meet Jim Deskevich and Corbett Marshall, designers who create contemporary, graphic home textiles, sans trendiness. I met these two last year amid all the midcentury hoopla, and I was refreshed by their simple, clean design and color combinations. Their duvets in stripes and blocked designs in corduroy and linen are wonderful. But their printed linen pillows really showcase their art: "Grass Clump" is a simple cluster of blades of grass available in nine colorways, "Branch" features stark lines and circles in bright colorations and easily coordinates with "Floral," a graphic rendering of blooms in various sizes and groupings, again in countless bright and unusual colorations. Their firm is called Variegated; keep an eye out for them.
Adler’s white horse
I was recently shopping in SoHo with a decorator friend who was looking for furnishings for a client’s new co-op. We stumbled onto Jonathan Adler’s shop on Greene Street, which I hadn’t entered in ages, but his brightly adorned assortment of vases, lamps, pillows, rugs, furniture, and objects d’art beckoned. His classic 15-inch white, whimsically sculpted horse, from the Menagerie Collection, would surely keep the client’s Tang Horse from taking itself too seriously. For those of you who don’t know, Jonathan Adler is a potter who in the past ten years has gone from hand throwing every single pot he sold, his first customer being Barney’s, to creating a one-man design phenom, complete with retail shops, catalogs, design services, and a furniture line. Jonathan Adler is a potter like Manolo Blahnik is a cobbler. His latest work includes the complete redecorating of the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, and he just opened a new store in Miami Beach. This winter he introduced a line of fruit-shaped ceramic platters. Find fun and function in three fruit flavors-pear, apple, and banana-available in white and chartreuse. This New York darling continues to create organically-based design, but with a sense of humor and a strong sense of color. The next time you’re in L.A., Miami, or New York stop by a Jonathan Adler shop. It will make you smile.
Under the heading of humble luxury is Merida’s new Viewpoint line of area rugs. This growing collection of flat woven designs combines dynamic colors and patterns with a sophisticated crisp, low profile pile. Made of 100 percent New Zealand wool, these floor coverings break new ground with a wonderful selection of bright organic patterns, cool stripes and herringbones, and fresh, young florals. The offbeat colors and stripes will give a lift to any stairway or hall. Check out their 20 patterns, each having four to eight color-ways. Available 6 feet 6 inches wide, they can be seamed to accommodate just about any width.
RANDOM THOUGHT > I finally found the perfect laptop tote: Casauri and Acme Made. You’ll find totes in fabulous patterns, color combos, and sized to fit just about any laptop. They’re not cheap but do make great graduation gifts.