Household goods that wear their fashion influences on their sleeves
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Household goods that wear their fashion influences on their sleeves
Donatella Versace partnered with architects and designers Roberto Palomba and Ludovica Serafini to present the Medusa sofa in latex for Versace. Handout via The New York Times.

by Julie Lasky

NEW YORK, NY.- When you ask Raf Simons, the co-creative director of Prada, why he abandoned his intended career as a furniture designer for fashion, he has two words to say: “Martin Margiela” (referring to the avant-garde couturier and fellow Belgian). But when Simons returned to his furnishing roots recently to create a Shaker-inspired storage system that mounts on a wall, it hardly seemed like a step away.

Designed with the Danish textile company Kvadrat, the Shaker System is a sleek, upholstered bar hung with pegs for storage and other accessories (throws, caps, tote bags, leather-framed mirrors, key straps, magazine holders — all by Simons). The bar, which is covered in Vidar 4 (wool with a touch of nylon), and its accouterments are a single color, presenting an elegant, unified look that erases the line between flash and functionality. (The bar starts at $410, exclusive of VAT, for a 47-inch length; the small Vidar shopping bag is $232; the leather magazine strap is $577; and the lamb's-wool throw is $371.

“Personally I wouldn’t call it fashion,” Simons wrote in an email about the system. “But I do think people more and more choose the functional objects that surround them in a fashionable way.”

Many recent home goods bear him out, as the following products reveal.

Supreen, a brand of stain-resistant waterproof fabrics for commercial settings like offices, now has three new patterns reminiscent of men’s suit cloth, with the look of houndstooth, heathered flannel and tweed. Like all Supreen textiles, they are durable, breathable and free of PFA chemicals, which are notoriously hard to break down and have been implicated in some health problems. Available in 54 colors; $25 to $45 per yard.

Studio Paolo Ferrari in Toronto collaborated with the New York-based textile artist Hiroko Takeda on Ame, a lounge chair with a flowing cape inspired by the Japanese mino, a kind of raincoat traditionally made with rice straw. First shown in 2019 at the Manhattan design gallery Colony, Ame was recently introduced in black; $12,900.

Modern Matter, a hardware brand that grew out of a jewelry company called Addison Weeks, worked with Charlotte, North Carolina-based interior designer Barrie Benson to create its collection of knobs and pulls embedded with semiprecious gems. Clockwise from bottom: the 4-inch McCoy custom pull in brass or nickel, with any of eight stones, including rose quartz and lapis, $119; Downing custom knob, in brass or nickel, $119; and the Evans custom knob, $79.

Chinese couture artist Guo Pei teamed up with the Rug Co. on its new Opulent Nature collection of six carpets, including Empress Gold. The color of this silk rug coincides with the 55-pound buttercup yellow gown with a forever train that Guo designed for Rihanna to wear at the 2015 Met Gala. It also comes in coral; $450 per square foot.

In August, fashion company Veronica Beard and tableware purveyor Juliska introduced a mix-and-match assortment of plates, bowls, drinking vessels, vases and napkins. The group includes Juliska’s Jardins du Monde ceramics glazed in Veronica Beard’s choice of forest green, which the company calls verdure. Available exclusively through Veronica Beard, Juliska and Neiman Marcus; the set of four plates shown is $225.

Johnson Hartig, the co-founder and creative director of the fashion brand Libertine, has embarked on a second wallpaper and textile collection for Schumacher, which includes Hotch Potch Crazy Quilt, a fabric that is 64% linen and 36% cotton. Available in early October; $298 per yard.

For the Venice launch of Dolce & Gabbana’s Casa furniture line in 2021, the 700-year-old glass company Barovier & Toso created and hung sensational chandeliers that derived from the collection’s themes. Carretto, named for brightly colored horse- or donkey-drawn carts in Sicily, drip with clusters of glass pieces in red, green, blue, caramel and amber. Chandeliers are made to order; individual pendants start at $175,300 (converted from 175,000 euros).

Yet another fashion expatriate who landed in interior and furniture design, the irrepressible Vincent Darré of Paris created a surrealism-infused seating group called the Conversation Collection. The forms are inspired by Cecil Beaton’s portraits of Salvador and Gala Dalí. Available through the Invisible Collection; from $5,310.

When Rockwell Group designed the Civilian Hotel, officially opening in September on West 48th Street in Manhattan’s theater district, it created an extensive art program called the Olio Collection to celebrate a century of Broadway history. Even the wallpaper plays a role, with the elevators and hallways patterned with sketches from costume designers including Paul Tazewell (“Hamilton”), William Ivey Long (“Chicago,” “Beetlejuice” and “Hairspray”) and Isabel and Ruben Toledo (“After Midnight”). A portion of the sales of the wallpaper, which is produced by Maya Romanoff, will be donated to the American Theatre Wing, a charitable organization; $525 per 56.25-square-foot roll.

Medusa, the mythological creature with a snake coiffure, is a mascot of Versace. “A historic example of unapologetic attitude and fearless self-belief, she was used throughout ancient art as a token to scare off negativity, ensuring good vibes only,” the company states. La Medusa is also the name of Versace Home’s sinuous sofa, which has recently been offered in a custom version in glossy black vinyl. The price is available upon request (maybe because it might turn the buyer into stone?), but the sofa in fabric or leather starts at $25,980.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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Household goods that wear their fashion influences on their sleeves

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