The ORIGINAL CUSHION Co





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When you think there isn’t any more room for yet another home decorating business in this saturated market, enters the Original Cushion Cº. This new, exciting venture will come as a relief and possibly a godsend to most decorators in search of a quick fix to an ongoing conundrum.



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The Original Cushion Cº is an online selling platform that offers a collection of fine, limited edition, designer cushions upholstered in exquisite fabrics by browsing one-off cushions by collection, size and material.

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Founder Erik Karlsen has a life-long passion for fabric and design. He first made his name in design as the founder of Jane Churchill Ltd, the fabric and wallpaper brand, now a part of Colefax and Fowler, and has established himself as a fine and refined decorator over the years. Some of you might remember his exquisite country home featured in July 2011 in House & Garden.



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Borne out of Erik’s frustration to be unable to find beautiful fine cushions to finish a room (or in A-Gent of Style‘s case being unable to order a small amount of fabric for one small cushion because the minimum order is greater than the quantity required or the shipping costs are higher than the actual fabric), it is no surprise that Erik, coupled with his extensive contacts in the textiles industry, started the Original Cushion. His cushions are beautiful, luxuriously padded cushions made in a studio in Suffolk and created out of the most beautiful designs, colours and fabrics (some of you will immediately recognise some iconic Fortuny designs) as well as the finest duck feather and down.


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To make things even more glamourous and special, each cushion comes beautifully packaged in a gift box, wrapped in tissue paper and tied with ribbon, and can be dispatched in the UK within a few days or internationally.


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There is also a useful section on the site that allows you to select your favourite cushions into a scrapbook where you can change their size, position and colour background, and another section that shows how to plump a cushion. A simple but invaluable tip. Tried and tested by A-Gent of Style. So never commit the cardinal sin to beat your cushion! Or call its founder a fluffer.



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– Imagery by Original Cushion Co – 





TURQUERIE GONE CHIC: SERDAR GULGUN





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The Turkish Turkish fantasy created by Serdar Gülgün has been an assault on
A-Gent of Style‘s senses since he discovered the quintessential Renaissance man a few months ago through his latest book, celebratory press coverage and of course Instagram.

For those who are not familiar yet with this magician of interiors, Istanbul native Serdar Gülgün is a world-renowned interior designer, Ottoman art collector and expert, and an internationally acclaimed lecturer, historian, and author. And now one of A-Gent of Style‘s favrourite new designers. From his now well storied stunning 19th-century historic mansion on the Bosphorus to his collections of historical art to his books, The Grand Bazaar Istanbul and Ottoman Chic, Gülgün is known for his passion for bringing Turkish history to life. For those who have visited Istanbul in style, he is the man behind designing the A’Ya rooftop terrace at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet.





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Redolent of Turkish bazaars, his decors are replete with objets d’art and filled cabinet of curiosities as well as lavish touches of eccentricity. Original architecture and spectacular design elements intoxicates with a sublimely elegant kaleidoscope of pattern, colour and texture.

“To me, stylish interiors are like sensual beings that appeal to all the senses” opines Gülgün. “They are made up of many layers, colours, patterns, textures, fabrics, as well as beautiful music, exquisite scents, delicious food, pleasant words, and ultimately, gracious manners.” “I am a translator”, he adds. “I translate the old into the new. It is a process of recapturing the obscurities of the past and reinventing them in the light of the future”.

An Istanbulite and a devotee of Ottoman imperial culture, Gülgün has always been intrigued by the rare spectacles of the Ottoman court and dreams of the Old World. “I fell in love with this house when I first saw it in shambles. It took me many difficult years to restore it but I don’t regret it one second,” Serdar Gülgün says of his labour of love and most personal design masterpiece: his home, Macar Feyzullah Pasha Kosku which he oversaw the process of meticulously for seven-years to revitalise and return it to a state of elegance and splendour.


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Gülgün lets his imagination run wild with audacious-yet-sophisticated flourishes: intricately carved ceilings, spacious rooms, domed ceilings, frescoed walls, enormous Oushak carpets, sensuous brocaded upholstery, inlaid mother-of-pearl Syrian armoires to name but a few. His whimsical taste and flamboyant imagination effortlessly conjures glamorous, gem-encrusted art pieces, which are meticulously handcrafted in the original 15th century workshops of the Grand Bazaar. Infusing natural elements with centuries-old workmanship, each curiosity takes his followers on a new flight of fancy.

Standing at the crossroads of many cultures between West and East, the Ottoman style this sultan of chic excels at is also spiced with influences from Chinese and Indian to French and Italian, all of which are present in his enticing interiors. Constantly inspired by the atmosphere of his ancient city, Gülgün believes a successful interior design is a place of experience in which authentic elements of culture fuse and achieve alchemy, awakening all the senses and transporting its inhabitants to a place of fantasy.

 “The word ‘extravagant’ generally refers to something in excess and is related to flamboyance, which can easily turn inelegant, but Ottomans found a way to achieve an elegant extravagance,” explains Serdar Gülgün

 

You can follow Serdar on a short tour of his house (and marvel at his French)


 

Hopefully this will all be music to your ears too. But enough spiel for now, let the images speak for themselves…




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GABRIELLA CRESPI, TIMELESS by PIASA





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A-Gent of Style has written on the blog a couple of special features about his love affair for Gabriella Crespi, extolling the talents of the famous Milanese designer, artist and sculptress.


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In two weeks’ time, a rare and seminal event will take place in Paris for any collector and admirer of Gabriella Crespi. French auction house PIASA is offering the auction GABRIELLA CRESPI, Timeless with a selection of the most important pieces created by the designer, artist, socialite & fashion muse who has left an indelible mark on 20th century Italian design with her inimitable taste Italian high-end design.

 

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– Auction –

November 26, 2014 – 6pm

PIASA, 118 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris

– Viewing –

November 21, from 10am to 7pm November 22, from 11am to 7pm November 24, from 11am to 7pm November 25, from 10am to 7pm November 26, from 10am to 1pm

You can view the full catalogue here

 

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All of Crespi’s designs place as much importance on aesthetics as on functionality, or even multi-functionality: coffee-tables are raised in height, bookcases are transformed into partitions, chairs turn into beds. A fine example is provided by her ingenious, twin-opening Mr-Mme commode (€20,000-30,000). Other sale highlights include a bamboo and brass Fungo lamp from her Rising Sun series (est. €5,000-7,000), and her 1976  Tavolo Scultura coffee table (est. €20,000-30,000).


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She was born in 1922 and grew up in Tuscany, near Florence, before studying architecture at the Politecnico in Milan, where she discovered Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. She married into one of Italy’s wealthiest families, who owned the Corriere della Sera and a textiles empire. From Rome and Milan she hired the finest craftsmen to produce her designs. Most of her works were produced in limited editions and have been rare and highly sought-after since the 1970s – and are all the more so today. Her designs are rare and were mostly the result of special commissions. Several leading personalities were passionately enthusiastic about her work, including Elizabeth Arden, Thomas Hoving (former head of New York’s Metropolitan Museum), Greek shipping magnate Georges Livanos, Princess Grace, Gunther Sachs and the Shah of Iran.


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Gabriella Crespi has always conveyed an art de vivre in tune with her times, full of freedom and pioneering ‘bohemian-chic’: a mix of 1970s aspiration and Italian tradition.

Although her style goes perfectly with materials like wood, bamboo, mirror and plexiglas, Gabriella Crespi’s most characteristic designs are in metal – notably brass. The convertible, three-part dining-table, from her celebrated Yang Yin series designed in 1979, is a perfect blend of brass and lacquered wood (est. €20,000-30,000).



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 Other sale highlights include a bamboo and brass Fungo lamp from her Rising Sun series (est. €5,000-7,000), and her 1976 Tavolo Scultura coffee table (est. €20,000-30,000). Crespi also designed a collection of sculpted animals in the purest tradition of de luxe Italian metalwork, embellished with eggs made from Murano glass or, in the case of her elegant, hand-chased silver plated Ostrich, with a veritable ostrich egg (est. €2,500-3,000).



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At the height of her fame, Crespi had two showrooms, one on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone, and the second one in the former Palazzo Cenci in Rome, where her furniture was set off against spectacular frescoes of Umbrian landscapes. But, in 1987, she decided to close her company and devote herself to spirituality: she would continue to spend several months each year in the most remote regions of India into her eighties. Back in Italy Gabriella Crespi remains a respected fount of inspiration, and Milan paid tribute to her with the exhibition Il Segno e lo Spirito at the Palazzo Reale in 2011: a journey through the languages of contemporary expression via Gabriella Crespi’s work and artistic output.

To mark the Gabriella Crespi sale, PIASA will be publishing Timeless – a monograph of her work by Anne Bony, authoress of numerous books on Design, retracing the career of the Italian Designer and, over and beyond her career, outlining her inspiration, spirit and style. Books published alongside major themed sales by PIASA Editions will offer a powerful record of 20th and 21st century creativity.


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– Imagery from the Gabriella Crespi archives and PIASA – 





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