FORTUNY-LATELY



 

Painter, etcher, lighting engineer, architect, inventor, director, set designer, sculptor, photographer, painter…




Mariano Fortuny (1871–1949) was all of them but to most of us, the Venetian Renaissance man is mainly known as the legendary fashion and textile designer whose opulent fabrics and stunning patterns have transcended time and gained an iconic status probably because they have all remain the versatility to work in both classic and modern settings.

A-Gent of Style has been used over the years to decorate specialising Fortuny fabrics from the specialist textiles company Claremont in London. It is not unusual either to open a design magazine these days and spot a ‘Fortuny’ in an interior – Did you see for instance the beloved ‘Tapa’ in Melissa Wyndham’s project in this month’s House & Garden?

It would also be wrong to assume that ‘Fortuny’ has been done over and over again and that the protean inventor, creator and innovator’s timeless designs are only limited to drapery or upholstery. Thanks to L’Objet, they have taken on a new life and can adorn your table too – and A-Gent of Style‘s hopefully soon…





Young designer Elad Yifrach is the founder of L’Objet, an American luxury table-top company created in 2004, and launched the ‘L’Objet pour Fortuny collection inspired by the Fortuny designs and translated them on plates, dishes, coasters, cutlery, frames, boxes and vases in rich combinations and dazzling patterns.

A-Gent of Style never thought he would be eating one day from a dinner plate in Tapa no stripe in blue and drinking out of a green Piumette tumbler!




It took Yifrach two years to explore the firm’s archives and library and, with the collaboration of Fortuny, to create these tableware jewels.

“We are really excited to see our fabrics and patterns expressed in a different medium, inspiring a new collection of timeless pieces,” said Mickey Riad, co-owner with Maury Riad, of Fortuny. “Seeing our patterns take on a new life through this collaboration with L’Objet is such a pleasure.”





Here is A-Gent of Style‘s selection of a marvellous synergy between time-honoured artistry and modern craftsmanship showcasing sophisticated and fun, elegant and playful objets.

Come and meet again Campanelle, Tapa, Caravaggio, Piumette, Rabat, Maori, Carnavalet, Papiro, Richelieu and many others of Fortuny cherished ‘characters’…



















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The Harlequin showroom (trade-only) in Redloh House (Chelsea) supplies L’Objet.

And have you downloaded Fortuny‘s (free) App yet??


ASTRID & RUDOLF





Once upon a time, in the small remote village of Fränsta in Northern Sweden,



lived a loving couple, Astrid and Rudolf Kastor.




Over the years, they tenderly built by a tranquil river a typical Swedish house with elegant proportions, classic timber frames, a gabled roof and a white porch.




In preparation for the arrival of their growing family, Astrid and Rudolf then decided to turn their house into the most comfortable and prettiest home and graced every room with marvellous wallpapers inspired by the beautiful surrounding vistas.

The Kastors all lived happily ever after until it was time one day for Astrid & Rudolf to meet their Maker…

A few decades and gravad lax later, Auntie, or rather Moster, Mai-Lis and granddaughter Nicole came to pay their last respects to the cherished family home before it too had to vanish. Memories of blissful family holidays started flooding in as they went from room to room and tried to capture for the last time that special smell houses have.





But as she turned away from the kitchen to leave the house for the last time, Nicole’s eyes were suddenly drawn to a corner of the room. She gazed at the crumbling paint and stained wallpaper and discovered, as she looked closely, that behind one of the strips of wallpaper was, to her great surprise, another layer of wallpaper, shyly hiding. She started to rip off the existing paper and a whole panel of old wallpaper revealed itself, before her very eyes, gasping for air and recognition.

“Moster, Moster”, screamed Nicole in awe, “I think I’ve discovered something special”. After quickly gathering her thoughts, the intrepid Nicole got on her feet and rushed to the other rooms in the house, gaily pealing away the wallpapers in the hope of finding other hidden treasures…



Forward a few months later and my friend Nicole De Young has given these almost forgotten wallpapers a new lease of life and launched a few months ago Astrid & Rudolf, her first collection inspired by the documents she found in her grandparents’ house.

The results are delightful. The charming designs, almost a century old, and the striking colour palette, taken from the flowers and berries of Northern Sweden, make Astrid & Rudolf very unique.




You can now meet Elisabet Stripe, Ellen and Selma at Redloh House – which I will be covering here very soon – and by taking these designs home with you, you will not only adorn your walls with exquisite wall decoration but also perpetuate the memory of ‘Astrid and Rudolf’.



Elisabet Stripe ELS01 Rosa

Elisabet Stripe ELS01 Rosa

 

Elisabet Stripe ELS02 Guld

Elisabet Stripe ELS02 Guld

 

Elisabet Stripe ELS03 Lingon

Elisabet Stripe ELS03 Lingon

 

Elisabet Stripe ELS04 Himmel Blå

Elisabet Stripe ELS04 Himmel Blå

 

Ellen ELN01 Björk

Ellen ELN01 Björk

 

Ellen ELN02 Hjortron

Ellen ELN02 Hjortron

 

Ellen ELN03 Hallon

Ellen ELN03 Hallon

 

Ellen ELN04 Gran

Ellen ELN04 Gran

 

Selma SEL01 Sten

Selma SEL01 Sten

 

Selma SEL02 Mossa

Selma SEL02 Mossa

 

Selma SEL03 Smultron

Selma SEL03 Smultron

 

Selma SEL04 Blåklint

Selma SEL04 Blåklint




All characters appearing in this work are not fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is pure and accurate.


 

 

TURKISH DELIGHT – THE YASTIK BOUTIQUE



 


What a delight indeed – and a godsend – that a couple of years ago Yastik by Rifat Ozbek came into the life of A-Gent of Style.




We all know the famous Turkish-born London fashion designer Rifat Ozbek who was feted in the 1980s and 1990s for his exotic and ethnic designs inspired by places such as Africa, the Far East and the Ottoman Empire, and who was named ‘British Designer of the Year’ twice. He became a global phenomenon with top models like Helena Christensen and Naomi Campbell parading in his glamorous and colourful creations on the international catwalks.




Ozbek’s other passion sees him scouring the depths of Turkey and Central Asia for the most sumptuous fabrics and antique embroideries, and a few years ago, with the collaboration of Erdal Karaman, he turned his attention and talent to creating exquisite and luxurious cushions – Yastik in Turkish – influenced by many styles and cultures.




After opening his first boutique in Istanbul in 2006, Ozbek opened another one in 2010 in London’s Holland Street, off Kensington High Street. The all white-painted boutique is like a pristine gallery displaying precious works of art in a serene and refined atmosphere. The space is bright and airy, simply but cleverly curated.

Since the shop is two doors away from Willer – where I was last week for a preview -and considering how much I love Ozbek’s cushions, I decided it was high time I reviewed it here.




Until Yastik opened its doors in London, it was always hard work as a decorator to find for my clients beautifully crafted, contemporary and fun cushions that you could buy in the UK off the shelves – with the exception of the more traditional yet gorgeous Robert Kime‘s. Very often, we had to resort to importing from America the equally stunning Madeline Weinrib cushions but it was difficult to justify sometimes that the shipping costs could be higher than the actual cushion!




According to Ozbek, “A cushion is a luxury; a reminder of a journey; a memory or a dream. The inspiration behind Yastik is the desire to spoil with choice for this ultimate interior accessory”.




And these yastiks certainly do. As an Ikat lover, this is bliss as the fussy-looking pattern is one of the recurring theme at Yastik.



There is a selection of over 150 cushions with over 100 designs here. Each shop has its own bespoke collection reflecting the moods and environment of its own location.




Each design is produced as a limited edition. The collections – summer and winter – invariably include a mix of cotton and silk Ikats, silk velvets and embroidered Suzanis. The cherry on the cake is that a lot of the cushions are double-sided with a different fabric at the front and on the back and they also all contain a small quantity of fragrant dried lavender – look out for the pretty tiny cushions. Divine!




Brazilian florals, Ottoman silks, African patterns, English interior stripes and vintage weaves give each cushion its own character and personality. And what I love best about Ozbek’s quest for sourcing materials from all around the world and having them made in Turkey is that his products redefine the textile landscape and the art of craftmanship: all the cushions are hand dyed, hand loomed and hand printed.




Majorelle
– named after the French painter and the lush botanical gardens in Marrakech he designed which later belonged to Yves Saint Laurent –  is the new collection that is currently in the shop and that I saw on Tuesday.













“This new collection is emerging from the dazzling flowers of a lush, exotic garden refreshed by the murmur of its fountains, the intensity of its infamous blue and peering through its enclave. Our new colour palette encompasses all the colours of the exotic garden. It includes a spectrum of yellows, pinks, reds, greens and blues”, says Rifat Ozbek.

What a cornucopia of colours, textures and patterns!

He adds: “A garden like Majorelle has always been a great source of inspiration for artists and designers thanks to the richness in variety of its plants and the strong colour contrasts created throughout the gardens”.

 


Delightful!




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