Each season presents parallels between what’s happening on the runway and in the home. The spring 2015 ready-to-wear collections proved no different, with echoes of interior-specific motifs like Delft and more universally applied patterns like gingham on the catwalks.
Delft, the blue-and-white pottery named after its town of origin in Holland. Artist Bouke de Vries explores the importance of the style as a reflection of national heritage with his work reconfiguring broken pieces of Delft, as in his installation titled “Homeland.” Deborah Osburn offers a maximalist and modern approach by manipulating the scale of Delft tiles with her seventeenth-century collection.
Memphis Group—the Italian Postmodern design movement founded by Ettore Sottsass that so characterized eighties style—embraced color, irregular shapes, and 20th-century materials. Memphis architecture, furniture, and ceramics appear presaged by Bauhaus and elements of De Stijl, particularly works by Gerrit Rietveld, and seemed to have inspired a renaissance this past year amongst designers like Mario Milana, whose first collection of chairs debuted at 2014 Salone del Mobile, and Kelly Behun, whose acrylic coffee table’s silhouette and bold pop of blue recall the group’s function-reactionary ethos.
Oscar de la Renta – Celebrities Who Wore Oscar de la Renta – delightfully channels Josef Frank in this flourishing spring coat. The Austrian-born designer, who adopted Sweden as his home, had a profound impact on modern Scandinavian design by forsaking the severe and clinical approach of Vienna Modernism for something more colorful, whimsical, and chaotic. While he was beloved for his furnishings and architecture, he is perhaps now most recognized for his textile patterns, which became synonymous with Nordic 20th-century design and are still sold through Svenskt Tenn, while vintage pieces like this 1934 table lamp marry his more austere early principles with his florid fabric.
The bold geometry and earthy palate of indigenous Southwestern motifs found in Navajo textiles and pottery have. Ralph Lauren Home frequently looks to the American West for inspiration, as seen in its Tahoe throw, and embroidery studio Coral & Tusk embraces feathers for something both referential and fresh with its cluster cushion. Designer Brit Kleinman applies an anthropological approach to her work with cow hides, which can be used as either a rug or wall hanging.
The elegantly amorphous shapes and rich colors of coral are a perennial source of inspiration for artists and designers who have long imitated the marine invertebrates in unexpected media, from Venetian glass to lighting fixtures and embroidery. Alberto Pinto uses coral’s organic sense of symmetry and plays with contrasting colors in his Lagon tableware collection. The great seventeenth-century Dutch pharmacist and collector Albertus Seba’s thesaurus of engravings, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, now published by Taschen, is a staple on coffee tables of the aesthetically minded.
The graphic style and structured motifs that characterized the group’s work remain a palpable force in both design and fashion. The popularity of the Neue Galerie, which celebrates early 20th-century German and Austrian art and design, is a testimony to the group’s enduring relevance and sells editions of Hoffmann and Moser’s original designs, such as this J. & L. Lobmeyr crystal service. Larsen’s latest collection of fabrics, Kobo, embraces the binary geometry that is so reminiscent of the style, as does Kelly Wearstler’s ivory and ebony stone tray.
The West has long used tropical motifs in fabric and wallpaper, one of the most iconic being the panoramic wallpaper panels that French manufacturer Joseph DuFour et Cie produced in 1806. While we have since abandoned a naive view of tropical lands and culture, the visual appetite for verdant palm fronds and shockingly bright florals remains. De Gournay’s Eden hand-painted silk wallpaper is evocative of the original Dufour panels, while Bernardaud’s Tropiques tableware is framed in lush vegetation and offset by a subdued color palate. Pierre Frey’s embroidered linen, Aloha, makes for jungle-like curtains or upholstery. Hinson’s Martinique (shown here in pillow form) remains a classic, still popularized by spots like the Beverly Hills Hotel and Indochine.