S there a fashion house that hasn’t made a foray into home interiors? It seems not, as already Dior, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Armani, and Dior all have home collections.
From next month, Gucci joins in, with a selection of scented candles, cushions,
ceramics, wallpaper and chairs, as creative director, Alessandro Michele’s decorative motifs make the transition from frocks to furniture.
At the lower end of their price range are scented candles and incense burners, promising pleasing blends of birch, orange leaf, beeswax and tomato leaves mingling with basil leaves and lemongrass. Tempted? If you have €175 to burn, they’re all yours, from www.gucci.com.
So far, that’s the only price the Italian brand has released, but, given its penchant for extravagant designs with prices to match, the only way is up, one would imagine, especially when it comes to their collaboration with porcelain art-makers, Richard Ginori.
This 280-year-old Florentine institution is producing vessels for the designer, ranging from crockery to candle holders, with Gucci’s signature bee, butterfly, and eye motifs.
Cushions feature, too, inevitably, and are vivid with activity. Roses mix with snakes and tigers, and back and front surfaces contrast with each other.
But just in case accessories are not enough, there’s a selection of silk, vinyl, and paper wall coverings, featuring postcard motifs taken from the pre-autumn 2017 fashion collection, and a floral pattern from autumn/winter 2015.
Dior’s home range, suitably called Dior Maison, has been a long-awaited inevitability, as it was Christian Dior who said “living in a house that doesn’t reflect who you are is akin to wearing someone else’s clothes.”
Yet, it took until 2016, 60 years after his death, for the company to launch its first home-interiors collection, which, for the coming season, focuses on accessories — crystal ware, embroidered linens, china and a selection of teas, which, incidentally, are inspired by Dior’s perfumes, and, of course, there’s a tea service in which to serve them.
Porcelain plates ring the till at €100 apiece, while dinky glass vases, suitable for little more than delicate summer sweetpeas, are a breathtaking €1,350.
But another Italian design house, Alessi, (which didn’t start out in fashion, by the way) provides a little light relief from the influence of high fashion and somewhat staggering prices, producing covetable kitchen and table wares since the 1930s.
By comparison, they seem cheap, with whistling kettles retailing for around €150. These are part of a product offering designed to supplement, if not enhance, what you already have, with clean lines and an injection of wit and invention.
For this winter season, Alessi’s collection offers a novel contraption, which is part butter dish, part sugar bowl, or, if you like, a jam pot and holder for muffins, warmed on an open fire.
Multi-function and versatility inform Alessi’s designs. In fact, it was they who first had the idea of commissioning designers who worked outside of home-interior products to create special pieces for them.
Architect, Frank Gehry, developed the Cha kettle, and Philippe Starck the Dr Krud flyswatter, the latter retailing for around €10. Hurrah!
Zipping across the Atlantic, Ralph Lauren Home collection has been around for nearly 35 years, possibly the original of the from-fashion-to-home species of designer. Noted for its blue, red, and white colourway, with beachy associations, its development for the coming season, of a variety of tartan-inspired patterns in textiles, hits a warm note for winter.
Closer to home, there’s firecracker Spanish brand, Zara, famed for affordable high fashion. This season, they have a big emphasis on tablecloths — yes, they’re back, but there’s hardly a plain-white one in sight, which makes for a more forgiving result if you don’t wish to iron, especially when dealing with pattern and colour.
Throws, blankets, and bed linen come in scrumptious textiles for autumn, from batik-style blue-and-white cushions to tawny bed linen finished in brushed fabrics, honeycomb weaves, gentle checks and herringbone.
Price-wise, they’re comparable with the top end of high-street chain stores, but its still home fashion for less, with wool and cashmere blankets priced from €99, and bed linens from €49.99.
These are among the most expensive items in the textile range, and you’ll still get change out of €100.