On Friday afternoon, a big announcement was made on Twitter and it didn’t take long before the news went viral on the design blogosphere.

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Carolina Irving has been named Creative Director of Home at Oscar de la Renta and will be replacing interior designer Miles Redd who is leaving to focus on his own interior design business. The textile designer will oversee the creative direction and execution of the Oscar de la Renta Home collection that comprises gift and entertaining pieces as well as Oscar de la Renta for Century furniture, the fabric and wallpaper collection with Lee Jofa, and the rug collection with Elson & Company.

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“I can think of no better person than Carolina to continue to develop our Home collection”, says de la Renta. “Her taste is fabulous…we trust that Irving will bring her own striking look to the collection.”

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  “I am incredibly excited to work with Oscar,” says Carolina. She adds: “His style is iconic; if any fashion designer has legitimacy to do home, it’s Oscar. He has the most fantastic sense of color and scale.”

Born from a Venezuelan family in Miami, then raised in Paris where she studied history of art at The Louvre, she worked  for ten years at the now sadly defunct American House and Garden as Editor at Large before working for Vogue Living with Hamish Bowles (a recurring theme on this blog). She then set up her own fabric company Carolina Irving Textiles in 2007 which she will continue to run alongside her two other joint businesses, Irving & Fine (clothing range)
and Irving & Morrison (furniture and home accessories). She also currently writes for T Magazine‘s column “In the Air” as a contributor.

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A-Gent of Style has had the pleasure to meet the charming Carolina on several occasions over the years and currently works on an ad hoc basis for the two London-based companies that represent both her textile collections and also her furniture and accessories business, Redloh House Fabrics
and Irving & Morrison respectively.

With her effortless elegance, impeccable taste and timeless style, A-Gent has very little doubt Carolina Irving will shine in her new role, and wishes her every success.

Here are some of A-Gent of Style’s favourite photos of Carolina, most of which taken from her now storied Manhattan apartment:

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Carolina Irving for Hollywood at Home

Carolina Irving for Hollywood at Home



    Lee Radziwill's Paris apartment photographed by Francois Halard, styled by Carolina Irving for T Magazine

Lee Radziwill’s Paris apartment photographed by Francois Halard, styled by Carolina Irving for T Magazine

– Photos by Vogue, The World of Interiors and Lonny


This week promises to be full of exciting projects, events and invitations
for A-Gent of Style who will be revealing the various subjects that are enthralling him in the course of the next two weeks.

Last weekend, whilst flicking through a magazine, A-Gent of Style came across a photo of Lady Gaga, circa 2010, arriving at a party with a diamond-encrusted lobster headpiece. A-Gent couldn’t help thinking that, whilst the popstar did turn heads wearing said crustacean on her head, there was nothing new, surprising or original about this statement. It had been done before. To be precise, it was in 1998 at a Julien Macdonald’s London Fashion Week show that the Surrealist and Dali-esque ornament had made a first apparition on the head of the incomparable Isabella Blow.

The late fashion editor and stylist Isabella Blow, who started her career as
Anna Wintour’s assistant at US Vogue then worked for Tatler, British Vogue and the Sunday Times Style as editor before returning to Tatler as fashion director, is being honoured in a new exhibition at Somerset House 
aptly named Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! in partnership with
the Isabella Blow Foundation and Central Saint Martins.

Curated by Shonagh Marshall and Alistair O’Neil, and styled by Amanda Harlech, this retrospective of her life and career, starting this Wednesday until March 2, 2014, will provide an intimate portrait of a formidable woman throughout 500 odd pieces from her wardrobe, and reinstate her legacy and its significance after her untimely death in 2007 (she drank a bottle of weedkiller after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer and suffering from long-term depression; her seventh suicide attempt in fourteen months proved to be fatal).

Due to her extravagant taste and insatiable, passionate approach to life, Issie, as she was known to her close friends, had accumulated an impressive and expensive collection of clothes – which left her impoverished most of her life – which was bought in its entirety in 2010 by her long-standing friend Daphne Guinness, another iconic muse of the fashion world and art-director of the exhibition.

This intimate portrait of the eccentric Blow will represent many models and designers whose career Blow helped launch: Sophie Dahl, Stella Tennant, Hussein Chalayan, Julian Macdonald, Viktor & Rolf, John Galliano and of course her protégés Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen.

Blow was presumably misunderstood by many and unfairly represented by the media as a flighty, provocative enfant terrible of fashion living in a fickle, airy-fairy world, which would probably explain why Blow used her outfits as a protective armour to protect herself from the outside world. 

It is not only the sensational collection of clothes, arguably one of the most important private ones of the last twenty years, nor the legendary figure’s timeless and inimitable style that are the focus of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! but it is also aimed as an appreciation and re-evaluation of her wonderful spirit, her fearless and original character and also her bigger-than-life and somewhat tragic life, away from the limelight, the smeared red lipstick and the ostentatious headgear that became her trademark. 

As she turned up one morning at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles adorning unselfconsciously another outlandish outfit of hers with an equally ostentatious headpiece, Isabella is quoted to have said “I don’t understand, everyone keeps saying, ‘Where’s the party?'”.

Unfortunately, most of us will not have had the privilege to go to a party
with ‘La Dame Bleue’ (as McQueen’s S/S 2008 collection dedicated to the memory of his dear friend was called) but at least Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! will provide us with a profusion of theatricality, style and ingenuity from a bona fide maverick.

Jeremy Langmead talked about employing Isabella Blow
at The Sunday Times Style Magazine and her incredible work as a fashion editor.



Today’s recipient needs little introduction. Most of you will have instantly recognised the image above and will have, at one point or another, held a bag or a gift box adorned by this iconic pinstriped barcode with its trademark rainbow of multifarious colours that is universally associated with the signature logo of …

Paul Smith‘s illustrious career and exceptional impact on the world of fashion and retail is the subject of a much-anticipated exhibition this winter
at the brilliant Design Museum in London.

“Hello, my name is Paul Smith” is a major retrospective opening on Friday until March 9, 2014 that will give a comprehensive insight into the five decades of the British designer and retailer’s world, influences, achievements and working methods.

Due to the huge popularity and influence of the designer (his empire is represented in 72 countries), the exhibition is likely to appeal to a broad audience and break visitor figure records – and even the Design Museum’s own records as it already celebrated the designer in 2001 with its ‘True Brit” exhibition.

The rich visual experience curated by Donna Loveday (she of the museum’s hugely successful Christian Louboutin show last year) will take the shape of a long corridor and will chart the designer, retailer and businessman’s career throughout various media (music, photographs, artifacts, projections, films, soundbites) and approaches such as these:

a display of Sir Paul’ Smith’s daring sartorial creations from collections selected by the designer himself dating back to his first show in Paris in 1976 up to today
(the company shows an impressive fourteen different collections every year), personal archives, hand-drawn sketches and other inspirational elements that make Paul Smith’s mind tick and creativity flow, a reconstruction of Smith’s first humble 1970 shop in Nottingham famously measuring three metres square, a makeshift version of his current studio and a room dedicated to the paraphernalia he’s received from his adoring fans throughout the years, most probably from Japan where his fan base is huge.

Another area will also be devoted to his architect wife Pauline whom has had a huge influence on his work, another one will showcase the unique design behind each of his stores accompanied by selection of jewellery, books, artworks, antiques, objets and curiosités that typically complement the clothes, and of course his great, whimsical collaborations ranging from cars (Rover’s Mini), cameras (Leica) and rugs (The Rug Company) to water bottles (Evian) and bicycles (Rapha) – Smith aspired to a be a professional cyclist until a road accident crushed his dreams when he was fifteen – and a special feature giving the visitors a glimpse into the brand’s future projects.

From his impeccably smart and tailored menswear and womenswear, his inventive approach to fabric, colour and pattern to his principles of traditional craftsmanship of tailoring and techniques with a contemporary edge, and his ‘English eccentric’ twist and Brit-wit style,  A-Gent of Style has been a huge admirer of Sir Paul Smith and looks forward to entering this world of “creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty” that epitomises the man behind one of the most quintessential British labels and leading fashion brands in the world.

Paul Smith stores – interiors and exteriors

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Paul Smith Spring/Summer 2014 collection

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Paul Smith objets and collaborations

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A Channel 4 interview

A BBC interview

During the run of the exhibition, the Design Museum will be hosting a series of exciting events such as Paul Smith Instagram Takeover, Live Twitter Q&A with Paul Smith and Sophie Hicks on Designing for Paul Smith.

A book “Hello, My Name is Paul Smith” published by Rizzoli will be published to coincide with the exhibition



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