IN MEMORIAM: DAVID COLLINS








The world of Interior Design is bereft today as it has lost one of its greatest contemporary geniuses.

The sudden and untimely death of the acclaimed and influential interior designer and tastemaker David Collins sent shock waves yesterday amongst designers, fashionistas and the many other circles of people who knew and admired him.





David Collins will be remembered for designing some of the most remarkable, innovative and desirable hotels, bars, restaurants, stores and residences for celebrities of the last thirty-odd years not only in London but all around the world too. His achievements are phenomenal and his legacy indisputable.

To A-Gent of Style, David Collins was probably the main reason why he changed careers five years ago to become a designer. I used to refer to him as ‘the God of Interior Design’ – a saccharine utterance I admit that irritated a few envious decorators at an Awards party but made him laugh with embarrassment last year when I told him in person. I feel really honoured today to have met him on a few occasions; after all, you don’t get to meet your icons very often, if at all.

To me, David Collins was also a linguist and a translator – he invented throughout his vision a unique language which had its own syntax, an unmistakable vocabulary and a distinctive cadence through which he interpreted and realised his clients’ briefs. He was also a painter: he revolutionised and redefined London’s landscape and other worlds’ cityscapes working from an old or a new canvas.

I particularly admired the way the Irish designer used various shades of one colour, played with varying luxury textures and materials and the way he designed incredible, bespoke furniture and lighting fixtures. Passionate about fashion, he was masterful at creating interiors that seamlessly linked both worlds: degradé dresses of variegated shades seen at a Prada fashion show inspired Collins to use the same technique and fabrics on curtains in his own house or for instance in the Penthouse of the Connaught Hotel.

I realise this may sound a bit mawkish but David Collins was somehow part of my life: yesterday, as I was browsing through his website and looked at the vast and impressive list of his projects, I came to realise that since I moved to London in 1997, I had actually ‘been’ to every single one of his London projects (sadly, only the commercial ones) on numerous occasions.

Whether it were for eating, drinking, shopping, sleeping, or resting, memories and flashbacks started flooding through my mind:

I will never forget seeing for the first time the Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel (that lavendery blue!!), going on a date at Nobu, Mayfair (those incredible polished steel columns!!), using the Artesian Bar like my own drinks trolley when I temporarily lived at the Langham, (that jewelled Pagoda bar!!), being reunited with a group of friends at Bob Bob Ricard (that Orient Express-esque diner!!), drowning my sorrows with a consoling confidante at the Connaught Bar ( that blissful modern Art Deco look!! and still my favourite London bar today), going on an annual celebratory breakfast with a dear friend (those Viennese Olde Worlde ceiling lights!!) and awaiting with great anticipation the opening of the Corinthia (those eau-de-nil shagreened walls at the Bassoon Bar and that brown and green palette at Massimo!!).

 

Here are some examples of David Collins’s astonishing, award-winning creations and contribution to Interior Design:


The Blue bar, The Berkeley Hotel, London

The Blue bar, The Berkeley Hotel, London

 

Nobu, Berkeley, London

Nobu, Berkeley, London

 

Private residence

David Collins’s residence, London

 

The Delaunay, London

The Delaunay, London

 

The Artesian bar, Langham Hotel, London

The Artesian bar, Langham Hotel, London

 

The Bassoon bar, Corinthia Hotel, London

The Bassoon bar, Corinthia Hotel, London

 

Private residence

 

The Callas restaurant, Budapest, Hungary

The Callas, Budapest, Hungary

 

The Ritz- Carlton Residences, MahaNakhon, Bangkok



Massimo, Corinthia Hotel, London

Massimo, Corinthia Hotel, London

 

The Charles Hotel, New York City

The Charles Hotel, New York City

 

J.Sheekey, London

J.Sheekey, London



Private residence

Private residence



The Ritz- Carlton Residences, MahaNakhon, Bangkok

 

Lobby of Port Baku Residence, Azerbaijan

 

Private residence

Private residence

 

Bob Bob Ricard restaurant, London

Bob Bob Ricard, London

 

The Gilbert Scott restaurant, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London

The Gilbert Scott, St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London

 

Maze by Gordon Ramsay, New York City



Private residence

Private residence

 

The Connaught Bar, Connaught Hotel, London

 

Lime Wood Hotel, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

Lime Wood Hotel, Lyndhurst, Hampshire

 

private residence

Penthouse, Connaught Hotel, London

 

Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Delaire Graff Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa

 

McQueen store, Bal Harbor, Miami

McQueen store, Bal Harbor, Miami

 

The Wolseley, London

The Wolseley, London

 


and some of David Collins’ latest projects:

Coffeemania, Moscow, David Collins' latest project

Coffeemania, Moscow

 

The Charles duplex-penthouse, First Avenue, New York City

The Charles duplex-penthouse, First Avenue, New York City

 

The Charles duplex-penthouse, First Avenue, New York City

The Charles duplex-penthouse, First Avenue, New York City


Lately, he was hired by fashion luxury names such as Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods, Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen to work on their stores; he also just collaborated with the Italian furniture brand Promemoria on his first collection.




David Collins will be greatly missed. My thoughts are with his family, friends, clients, staff and anyone in his life at this difficult time.

David Collins Studio will undoubtedly turn all their future enterprises into glorious hallmarks that will bear their creator’s unique and indelible style and vision.

A-Gent of Style wishes them continuing success.

 


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