Pearls are considered to be the oldest known and the most valuable gems in history as well as being regarded as ones of the highest for their beauty.
Similarly, timelessness, desirability and beauty are attributes that perfectly befit David Collins Studio who turns thirty today and is celebrating its pearl anniversary.
Having reached this milestone, A-Gent of Style, a long-standing admirer of the Studio’s work and aesthetic, wanted to mark the occasion in his own way as a tribute to and celebration of a towering and much-missed personality of the design world by making a special collaborative feature with the Studio. Rather than looking back at the Studio’s past canon of work, which is much cherished and admired but has already been widely publicised, A-Gent of Style wanted to focus this time on the present and the future by showcasing a diaporama of some of David Collins Studio’s projects since the untimely death in 2013 of its acclaimed and influential creator David Collins, as well as revealing a fascinating interview with the Studio’s Communications Director, David Kendall.
Far too dynamic to ever rest on its laurels and without a lot of fanfare and too much distraction, the Studio itself is hosting from today for two days only a one-off exhibition curated by Nick Vinson of The Vinson View, Wallpaper*: ‘PAST PRESENT FUTURE” at Philips auction house on Berkeley Square. Bringing together imagery and physical elements from some of the Studio’s most celebrated projects as well as a sneak peek at upcoming ones, the exhibition offers an insight into some of the its most definitive creations of the past three decades including its first trailblazing project La Tante Claire at Royal Hospital Road through some of it most famous destinations including Claridge’s Bar, The Wolseley, Mirabelle, Nobu Berkeley St, Bob Bob Ricard, The Connaught Bar, the Gilbert Scott and Colbert, to name but a few.
In the last year, David Collins Studio has collaborated with a number of prestigious luxury brands on some of its notable projects to date, including the Continental restaurant at Pacific Place Hong Kong, VOGUE Lounge in Bangkok, and the Garden Lounge at the Corinthia Hotel, London. Two new departments were realised at Harrods and opened during the summer; Eveningwear and Luxury Collections. These followed the 42,000 square feet Harrods Shoe Heaven launched in August 2014. In September 2015, Alexander McQueen launched a new duplex flagship store on Rue Saint-Honoré, which follows flagships in Miami, London, New York and Tokyo, all designed by the Studio. During The London Design Festival 2015, David Collins collaborated with Italian master furniture creators Promemoria to realise the London collection: 14 pieces of furniture expanding an original Capsule Collection launched in April 2013 which have been continually refined and finessed over the last two years. The Studio also provided creative direction for the design of the new home of London Fashion Week at The Brewer Street Car Park last month. Some of you will have seen snippets of some of these projects on A-Gent‘s Instagram.
Over the last three decades, David Collins Studio has become synonymous with redefining luxury interior design around the world and with revolutionising the contemporary aesthetic and urban landscape with its distinctive vision. Remembered for designing some of the most remarkable, innovative and desirable hotels, bars, restaurants, boutiques and residences of the last thirty-odd years in London and all around the world, its achievements are extra-ordinary and its legacy indisputable.
In the last couple of years, The Studio’s imagination and creativity has brought to fruition luxury interior design and architectural projects worldwide that are once again inspiring, unexpected, unique and thankfully not formulaic and faddish. Its incredible team of in-house designers as well as its trusted network of artisans and craftsmen have effortlessly carried the designer’s name and have kept his legacy alive and flourishing without any compromise. Reflecting myriads of influences and inspirations, the new projects are notable for how richly textured their interiors are – The Collection of David Collins estate sale last November at Christie’s was aptly named “Luxury – Colour – Texture” – and these new projects feel simultaneously contemporary and already established, rooted in the life and traditions of their respective location. Each of them exemplifies the Studio’s extraordinary capacity to grow, flourish and reinvent and reinterpret itself.
An interview with David Kendall, David Collins Studio’s Communications Director
How did David Collins Studio look back on the last three decades?
Why an exhibition? Can you tell us about its genesis and purpose?
How is the studio balancing the David Collins legacy with the need to develop new ideas?
Would you say there are David Collins design hallmarks or is it more about an underlying ethos?
You can look at our work and say it is about colour or symmetry or geometry, or texture and detail and lighting, but really the consistent is that our projects function and operate allowing them longevity. Simon Rawlings our creative director worked with David Collins for over 15 years and so he understood and shared his vision. There is an underlying ethos, and that is the spirit with which David built The Studio and mentored his team and the processes that were instilled in the office.
The images below are the undeniable proof that David Collins Studio has turned all of their new enterprises into glorious hallmarks that already bear the creator’s unique and indelible style, vision and DNA. David Collins Studio’s journey to enhance our lives is far from over. It has just started.
– Happy anniversary –
Projects by David Collins Studio 2013-2015
A special thanks to David Kendall and Jodi Feder at David Collins Studio for their help, trust and support.
– Photos by David Collins Studio –
A-Gent of Style has been jolted out of his summer hiatus by the nice surprise of being nominated for an interior blog award by Amara, the leading international online boutique specialising in luxury gifts, designer homeware & contemporary furniture. Highly flattering and exciting!
Amongst the fifteen categories, A-Gent of Style is a contender for the Best Interior Designer or Stylist Blog category at the Amara Interior Blog Awards which will take place at Ham Yard hotel on 28th October.
Only the top 5 most voted for bloggers for each category will make the shortlist and get an invite to the awards, so if you would like to vote for me and A-Gent of Style, click on the link here and enter your vote. Voting closes on 18th September. Many thanks in advance for your vote. Spread the word far and wide! And thank you to my anonymous fan for putting my name forward!
Summer in London means Masterpiece, one of the landmark events in London’s collecting calendar, which opened yesterday to the public. As a huge devotee of antiques and art fairs, A-Gent of Style was eager to witness this year’s edition, now in its 6th year, and attended the preview on Wednesday, his enthusiasm hugely enhanced in the last few weeks by the daily build-up on Instagram (where else). Rating Masterpiece as one of his highlights of the London art fair circuit, A-Gent of Style was wowed this year once again by the sheer brilliance and diversity of the elegantly curated vignettes showcasing objets of the highest calibre
Masterpiece London, a true international, cross-collecting fair for art, brings together more than 150 leading exhibitors, old friends and newcomers (A-Gent of Style made once again some great discoveries, and was also delighted to see a few of his most cherished antiques dealers were exhibiting for the first time), from around the world to showcase a superb selection of museum-quality art, antiques, jewellery, furniture and design. The fair attracts avid collectors, connoisseurs and enthusiasts across a wide range of collecting categories and has established itself as notable highlight of the annual art fair calendar. Set in the magnificent South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Masterpiece takes place over seven days until July 1.
The mastermind of this masterpiece, Nazy Vassegh, the delightful and brilliant Chief Executive of Masterpiece says, “The eight days when Masterpiece takes place is the epicenter of the art season in London. After just five years Masterpiece is now firmly regarded as both a leading international art fair and a welcome addition to the summer in London. We are particularly delighted by the exhibitors and partners that will join us for the 2015 edition.”
As in previous years, the range of disciplines is vast, providing something of interest for every visitor. Each item is selected and individually vetted by a committee of independent experts and specialists before the fair begins, which guarantees quality and authenticity is of the highest order alongside fabulous bars and dining such as Scott’s, The Ivy and Le Caprice.
In no particular order of preference (so don’t get jealous, fellas), A-Gent of Style presents today snapshots he took on Wednesday morning of some of the works that dazzled him. Visitors will no doubt relish the chance to acquire such rare pieces or simply enjoy temptation on a grand scale.
– Photos by A-Gent of Style –