Expect to see interiors that prioritise INNOVATIVE, SUSTAINABLE FEATURES and designs CELEBRATING FLORA AND FAUNA this season, says PENNY McCORMICK …
“Fashioned from Nature” is the spring blockbuster exhibition at the V&A, London, which will trace the relationship between fashion and the natural world since 1600, in some 300 designs and accessories by Christian Dior, Giles Deacon and Philip Treacy among others. Emma Watson’s Calvin Klein gown made from recycled plastic bottles (worn to the Met Gala in 2016 as part of the “Green Carpet” challenge), an H&M Conscious dress made from shoreline plastic, as well as slogan clothes and artworks showing how protest movements have helped draw attention to the harmful side of fashion, are some of the attractions. The idea is to make visitors think about the provenance of their clothing. It couldn’t be more PC, and opens on April 21 (until January 29, 2019).
Coincidentally, after several seasons embracing Art Deco elegance, interior trends point to a more sustainable vibe. I call it “rarefied rustic”, as shown at the recent Maison et Objet show, Paris, where Cecilie Manz was named Designer of the Year. The Danish native, who describes her aesthetic as “warm minimalism”, has said the balance she maintains “between civilisation and nature is vital to her creative process”. Indeed every design house showcased its love of natural history from Fromenthal to Pierre Frey. Little Greene’s Archive Trails II is a particularly pretty range of wallpaper in this genre. Perhaps the prevalence of florals and fauna as motifs in designs, from catwalk to couch, may have something to do with the biophilia hypothesis, championed by American biologist Edward O. Wilson, who makes the correlation between being close to nature and a positive mood. See also Deepak Chopra’s “wellness apartments” in Miami’s waterfront Muse Residence development. One step beyond vertical gardens, they feature state-of-the-art air and water purification systems as well as circadian lighting and are on the market now for a cool $5m. Surrounding yourself with greenery is an easier, more affordable way to incorporate the garden trope. Cacti, succulents and Swiss cheese plants, you may have noticed, are back in vogue, as are miniature terrariums.
For those who prefer their greenery graphic, there is plenty of choice. Farrow & Ball’s two key hues for spring are Calke Green and Pitch Blue used with the botanical print Helleborus BP 5606 – “an organic pattern creating a sense of growth”. Meanwhile Alessandro Michele’s decision to rename the Gucci museum, Gucci Garden was a considered choice. “The garden is real but it belongs above all to the mind, populated with plants and animals: like the snake, which slips in everywhere and in a sense symbolises a perpetual beginning and a perpetual return.” Michele commissioned curator and art critic Maria Luisa Frisa to organise the Gucci Garden Galleria – a sort of laboratory – with one room called “De Rerum Natura” featuring original art by Vittorio Accornero, who created the iconic Gucci Flora print in 1966. Raiding granny’s bottom drawer for a similar silk square (to frame or tie) is one way I’ll present the trend this season.
Get the look at home:
Chartreuse Tilia lamp; www.houseofhackney.com
Porcelain Suthfield artichoke tea light holder, €34; Neptune
Heron trinket tray, £13.50stg; www.joannawood.co.uk
Gold leaf wine glass, €6; Carolyn Donnelly Eclectic; Dunnes Stores
Butterfly Box, Michael Olsen; www.thedoorwaygallery.com
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