Butler County Times Gazette
  • Through the Front Door: Two worlds walk hand in hand

  • From the ‘cat walk’ of Fashion Week to your own fashion-forward home
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  • Good morning my dear people!
    Here’s hoping you are having a super Saturday! In the wake of New York’s Fashion Week, I thought it might be fun to look at the relationship between the fashion world and the home furnishings world. As you’ll see, a great deal of what comes to our interiors is directly influenced by fashion.
    All the major players showcased their new designs during Fashion Week this past February. As I watched the runway video coverage from the internet, some made me laugh, some made go aah! Take a look! (www.vogue.com/fashion-week/)
    Fab Faux Fur
    An excess of fur graced the fashion runways this year. Marc Jacobs, for example, featured an abundance of fur in his collection. As I saw at High Point this past October, plenty of fur is making an appearance in the world of home fashion as well. Several lines included furry poufs, entire chairs and some outside backs of chairs in fur. In one showroom, I met a woman who made her livelihood from creating the most exquisite fur throws (all faux fur, mind you, for home interiors). She had the furs dyed in the most stunning colors—rich rich red, sunflower yellow and, of course, emerald, the color of 2013! All the fur was done by hand in France and then crafted into the most spectacular throws in Littleton, Colorado. Outrageously expensive and sold only "to the trade." Which means you will need to find a shop or designer to purchase these for your home. I recently found some astonishing "knock off's" at Z Gallerie in crayon colors, so check them out, affordable and incredible soft! This is just one example of how the two worlds have joined forces for luscious design.
    Edgy Designs
    This year, some runways sported cartoonish, almost scary styles. One critic described the look as a Judy Jetson exaggeration, which features lots of nipped-in waists and almost football-size shoulder pads. In these pieces, fashion shapes the woman’s body rather than the woman shaping the clothes.
    To bring this type of fashion into the home, you might incorporate some Steam Punk pieces. Restoration Hardware offers versions of these pieces, including a couple of chairs that showcase this exaggerated influence. For example, check out the Magnus dining chair with its very sculptural triangular back. These are available in 12 chic finishes and they start at $39! The proportions are very similar to the Judy Jetson fashions shown in New York. (While you’re on the Restoration Hardware website, see the adjustable Bruges desk chair done in linen.)
    Winter White
    One Fashion Week article I read discussed adding a lighter touch to your wardrobe in the midst of a tough winter. The key is one of my personal fashion statements—the classic white blouse, which is great for lightening the load of winter wools. Layer white pieces into your life now and they work in both spring and the heat of summer.
    Page 2 of 3 - Lightening up with white is so easily accomplished in your home. Start scouting out white home accessories, starting with a wonderful, crisp white throw in place of that heavier wool one on your sofa. Change out your decorative pillows with some heavy white cotton canvas fabric. Maybe start looking for bright white pieces of milk glass. These very usable pieces certainly beckon spring into the kitchen, especially when set against a background color of perhaps a lilac-painted cupboard. Give the dining room and kitchen a bit of a brighter appearance by simply adding a pristine white tablecloth. Place a smaller, square one at an angle for a more casual feel.
    Add to the dining pleasure some antimacassars (an-ti-ma-ka-ser) in maybe a white waffled pattern with a bright contrast edging. OK, I know, what the heck is an antimacassar? Well, this is your new word of the week! It is a cover to protect the back or arms of furniture—much like grandma did with doilies. (They slip over the back of the upper part of a wooden chair like a toaster cover.) These sparkling white accessories add such a lovely bit of brightness to a wooden chair. So clean and fresh!
    Go for the Gold
    Brilliant, bright gold was another huge influence on the runway. This shining metal was incorporated into, of course, jewelry along with buttons, fabric detailing and even leather pants. Gold is so easy to introduce into our homes once again. (Remember, I told you quite some time ago that gold was coming back!)
    Brighten some of your lighting fixtures with the warmth of brass. Cabinet doors and drawers could use a bit of gold jewelry as well. Love a sleek sexy look? Find a pillow in gold leather or add a gold faux leather ottoman to your avant-garde living room. Design Within Reach has a 21" x 11" gold leather pillow-a great size to layer on a sofa or tuck into the back of a chair (at $297, it’s not cheap, but it’s certainly special).
    Black and White
    Saving the best for last, let me talk about Ralph Lauren’s show—so fresh! Prancing up and down the catwalk were the brightest whites and the richest blacks. Ensembles in all black, all white, or a combination of the two were smashing. Dresses, jackets and pants were done in lively medium-scale floral patterns of black flowers on white or the reverse, all daring and divine.
    An easy way to bring classic black and white into your home is to use it for brightening up the bathroom. Try introducing a new shower curtain in a bold black flower print and complete the look with soft, thick towels in the same color blocking. (When using ready-made shower curtains, I prefer to hang a pair for a much fuller and prettier look.) Adding this jolt should work with whatever your present palette is in the bathroom. Deep, saturated blacks contrasted with the cleanest, almost blinding whites is what gives this look power. It’s elegant and sophisticated, but refreshing as well.
    Page 3 of 3 - Whether on your person or what you sit your person on, fashion is fun. These worlds collided many years ago, offering us great fun in introducing one to the other. Now, live fashionably my friends! To end with a wonderful quote from Oscar Wilde: “You can never be overdressed or over educated.”

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