27 February 2014

something about DURO


It's always exciting to see what designer DURO OLOWU creates each fashion season. Ever since I started following his work-I've not been disappointed. There's always exuberance in the prints, along with a Classic sense of line and proportion. Pattern mixing-of course, but it always comes off harmoniously. These same qualities are ideal to an interior-and there is a fine balance in this sort of Beauty.

This season Duro intrigued me by photographing his collection alongside a Neoclassic-Swedish sofa. The presentation serves to remind that Olowu's work is steeped in a Classic shape-however, juxtaposed often with his lavish handling of pattern.

One of my very favorite rooms in the last ten years is Nicky Haslam's Salon in New Orleans. In his book-The Finest Rooms in America, Thomas Jayne included this Haslam room and lists some of the pieces Haslam indulged in when decorating it: South American Wood Floor, Handpainted chinoiserie wallpaper and two verre eglomise mirror panels, elaborate curtains and exotic textiles. Obviously mixed- but done so masterfully that it's a epic whispered in one's ear.

There were surprises in Duro's collection too-

Simplicity-with color, line and drape, much in the mode of another favorite of both Duro-and me- Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. Besides all that-there's great Style.
Now I'm thinking another room in Jayne's book...
 The Classic room of Carolyne Roehm's in New York.

In a January blog post Carolyne writes "Loving Red a Constant in my design palate." In the essay she explores Red and the way it adds a "spark" to rooms. Her grand living room's walls are steeped in chocolate, while Red asserts itself in paintings-the patina on chairs-book spines-and in the ever changing bouquets in Roehm's repertoire. Duro's Red is much like Roehm's Red-that cape set against a city landscape or in a room filled with  women wearing black- is a "Spark." 

Roehm relies on a sumptuous red wool to warm the winter months in her studio-and uses red -more "sparks" on her desk.

The pattern play in Duro's collection is always exciting. 
 Yves Saint Laurent's legendary muse Loulou de la Falaise and her Rive Gauche style capture Duro's intent.

Whether she was wearing it-or living in it-de la Falaise embodied freedom from the constraints of fad and trend-epitomizing the unconventional Left Bank  in Paris.

de la Falaise's salon was perfection. A blend of  exotic textiles, Classical elements, a massive crystal chandelier-and a casual-lived in-well lived Life.

All of these rooms play with Color-something necessary in every room that aspires to greatness...
just like Fashion-without It-Life would Pale.

Duro's Collection reinforces the influence that Color and Pattern play in my Design Life-along with a penchant for Classic forms and Beauty, always Beauty.

Olowu's Fall 2014 Collection can be seen at style.com.
Carolyne Roehm at carolyneroehm.com
Nicholas Haslam at nhdesign.com
photographs of Loulou de la Falaise by Gianna Turlazzi
Duro Olowu's photographs by Luis Monteiro.


  1. I think why the mixing of patterns works is every piece (esp.cin Loulou's and Nicky's houses) is so perfect ..
    Nicky's mauve chairs ..re the fabric who'd have thought yellowy/organey flowers would look good on mauve but they do

    thanks for the introduction to Duro

  2. Delightful! I'm not really into "complicated" rooms, but I could be very happy in Nicky Haslam's Salon. It is good to broaden one's horizon. Thank you



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