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 –
THE EXTRA ORDINARY COLLECTION OF AN EXTRA ORDINARY DESIGNER: LUXURY – COLOUR – TEXTURE, THE COLLECTION of DAVID COLLINS at CHRISTIE’S LONDON
The talents of the multi-hyphenated David Collins and its manifestations in our lives have been storied in manifold articles on this blog since its creation, and today’s feature will reveal this time not the illustrious and magical bars, restaurants, hotels and stores Collins is associated and revered for around the world, but one of his residential projects. And a special one at that. His very own house and its ‘eclectibles’.
On 4 November, 2014 at 1pm at King Street, Christie’s will be offering at auction the collection of renowned interior architect David Collins. Following his untimely death in 2013, the estate sale, aptly named “Luxury – Colour – Texture, The Collection of David Collins”, crystallises his subtle yet distinctive vision that now pervades the contemporary aesthetic and urban landscape. His imagination and creativity brought to fruition luxury interior design and architectural projects across the globe. The projects created by his eponymous Studio, that carries the designer’s name and keeps his legacy alive and prosperous, represent deeply-textured interiors that feel simultaneously contemporary yet established, rooted in the life and traditions of their respective locations and exemplifying the designer’s extraordinary capacity to reinvent and reinterpret the past. Comprising 200 lots and with estimates ranging from £300 to £60,000, the sale is expected to realise in the region of £1 million.
The official preview being scheduled only this evening, A-Gent of Style was thrilled to be given an exclusive preview and private tour of the exhibition last night by Christie’s sales specialist Jeremy Morrison and Jodi Feder, Brand Manager of David Collins Studio – . As he walked up the main staircase into the Great Room and its annex on the first floor, A-Gent of Style couldn’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder as the beautifully and meticulously curated room sets and vignettes unravelled before his eyes revealing for the first time the objets in situ – principally of or inspired by mid-century French taste, either vintage or manufactured by the Studio – that so far had only been available to see in print or online, and therefore permeated with a certain mystique.
This seminal sale and accompanying exhibition will provide discerning collectors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to, firstly, see the contents of mainly one unique house (Bramham Gardens, Kensington), to recognise the ultimate legacy of an aesthete before its dissipation to disparate new owners, and also to acquire exemplary works of art, pieces of furniture and memorabilia from Collins’s personal world.
Despite the undeniable sense of bittersweet feelings when the extra ordinary collection of an extra ordinary tastemaker such as David Collins is dispersed after a sale, the tangible sense of thrill and intrigue as to which appreciative acquisitors will win the bids and carry on his legacy and memory through his belongings and creations as well as the anticipation of seeing said objects resurface at auctions in the future (and then find out their new values!) only serve to make us realise that David Collins’s journey to enhance our lives is far from over.
Among the furniture, lighting, works of art, photographs and pictures by major 20th Century designers and artists included in the sale are works by Marc du Plantier, Jean Royère, Fontana Arte, Christian Bérard, Line Vautrin, Ado Chale, Wolfgang Tillmans, Steven Klein (including two photographs from the series ‘Madonna Rides Again’, which were a gift from Madonna), Nicolas Aubagnac, and Mario Testino. These are complemented by works conceived by the late David Collins and his eponymous Studio, in their signature style.
Highlights include a pair of floor lights by Paul Dupré-Lafon (estimate £30,000 – 50,000), a glass coffee table by Fontana Arte (£8,000 – 12,000) and a portrait of an acrobat by the French painter Christian Bérard (estimate £40,000 – 60,000).
To view the full catalogue, click here.
A special thanks to Christie’s and Jeremy Morrison, Senior Director and the sale specialist, and Jodi Feder at David Collins Studio for their help, trust and support.
– Photos by Christie’s, David Collins Studio and A-Gent of Style –
Firmly established on the international art and design calendar and as one of
A-Gent of Style‘s unmissable and most cherished rendez-vous on the London design scene, the boutique-sized Pavilion of Art and Design (now commonly known as PAD) is returning to London for the 8th time this week inside its now iconic black marquee set amongst the trees of Berkeley Square. For A-Gent of Style, the build-up and anticipation to discover what is in store but also to catch up with some of his favourites antique dealers have reached fever pitch. In less than 24 hours, all will be revealed at the collectors’ preview.
15- 19 October 2014
Berkeley Square, W1
Wednesday 15 – Saturday 18 October 11am – 8pm
Sunday 19 October 11am – 6pm
For the first time this year HSBC is the official partner of PAD London. This follows the bank’s sponsorship of PAD Paris for the 9th consecutive year.
Representing 10 countries from around the world, a roster of 62 galleries – 28 of which design specialists, 45 returning galeristes and 17 newcomers – will showcase coveted, collectible objets with categories ranging from historical and contemporary design, modern art, jewellery to photography, decorative and tribal arts.
For A-Gent of Style, one of the most appealing attributes about PAD is its non-negotiable attitude to refuse to expand, as opposed to some of its overwhelming counterparts, and the discerning integrity of its CEO and committee to favour quality over quantity and exert their curatorial expertise in expertly vetting participants. And judging from the list of participants, this year will not disappoint. The crème de la crème of dealers and galeristes will exhibit some of their most prestigious and exclusive pieces in innovative and stunning displays, or vignettes. Rather than looking like sterile showroom stands, some of these decorative panoramas are like miss-en-scènes with astonishing combinations of wares interacting and living harmoniously next to each other. Eclecticism, authenticity and connoisseurship are key at the boutique fair where collectors, interiors specialists, design practitioners, art consultants, museum experts and the public gather to share their passion for the decorative arts.
This year’s most anticipated arrival is Sèvres, Cité de la Céramique, of the venerable porcelains and ceramics firm and museum, which will exhibit its collaborations with various artists in the last 100 years such as Ettore Sottsass and Aldo Bakker.
And last but not least, David Collins Studio has been chosen this year to design the temporary bar and restaurant as a tribute to the late David Collins, and has created an environment which sits in harmony with the temporary structure, the location and incredible array of exhibitors, which will offer visitors a space to rest, drink and dine. Knowing the Studio’s remarkable reputation, the result will be nothing short of a feast for the eyes and huge success.
Utilising iconic materials from their archive of world class bars and restaurants, the Studio has re-created and re-interpreted these materials in new and unusual ways for the installation, creating something new, unique and fun.
Poignantly, the entrance of the space features the tributary ‘Collins’ chandelier designed by David Collins and produced by Lobmeyr. Walls and flooring are executed in The Studio’s signature navy blue. A mass of all encompassing voluminous ceiling pendants are reminiscent of the 1950s. Printed textures and signature natural materials inspired by antique marble have been rescaled in the form of ink jet table cloths, printed rugs and cushions. Classic bentwood furniture has been re-imagined in blue. David Collins Studio have worked in collaboration with Ruinart to create a textile and gold leaf back bar. Interior landscaping of varied planting has been designed to marry the exterior park with the marquee interior.