A half-dozen bejeweled gowns hang like art, each one more elegant and impeccably tailored than the next. On an adjacent shelf, a smattering of calfskin and crocodile handbags. Across, a parade of red-soled stilettos. It’s a designer showcase, to be sure, and one that’s been carefully curated. Sadly, though, it’s all relegated to one private area of the home.
That’s largely the way it’s been with couture. But today, it’s coming out of the closet, with some of the world’s most renowned fashion designers creating collections for home. Although Ralph Lauren has been at it for more than 30 years, and Fendi first introduced Fendi Casa in 1989, a recent push has brought the practice further into the luxury mainstream. And leading the way: Badgley Mischka.
The design duo unveiled their first-ever home collection in February in a way that’s entirely befitting their glamorous style: on the runway at New York Fashion Week, in conjunction with their newest fashion collection. Alongside the sartorial splendor of metallic accents, 1940s details, romantic flounces and luxe fabrics — plus a new sportswear line (think velvet sweatsuits, loungy pants and bedecked, slip-on sneakers) — there were some of the stars of the home line, maybe, possibly, stealing the show. After all, it can be challenging to ignore a sexy velvet sofa and a curvy tufted settee, even without impeccably dressed models strutting by them — especially when they were designed to be both “sensual” and “timeless,” in the words of Badgley.
“We used a lot of fabrics that were reminiscent of those we are using in the couture collection,” Mischka said, during a sneak peek of the home collection in February. “Our [fashion] collection is done with a lot of hand-beading and very intricate work on the couture gowns. And this collection also has handwork on it. All the finishes are distressed by hand. It’s extremely labor intensive, which is very much like our couture gowns.”
The full collection, offering upholstered items, case goods, accent furniture and decorative accessories, among other items, is available online at badgleymischka.com.
Setting the expectation
Ever-increasing numbers of couturiers are expressing their design philosophy through this avenue today, setting the expectation for the couture connoisseur, for whom designer home collections represent an irresistible opportunity to drape more than just their custom closet shelving.
“To adorn your surroundings as beautifully as you do yourself is really a natural expression of style. Incorporating fabrics and accessories from these famed fashion houses such as Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Hermès and Missoni, for instance, is a wonderful way to articulate the continuation of a point of view on style in the home,” says Jaimal Odedra, fashion industry insider turned Maison Gerard-represented, internationally renowned designer of bronze objets d’art. “It allows someone to bring what’s on trend in fashion into the home, whether it’s in a small or large way.”
Lovers of fine fashion and interiors can celebrate what Ralph Lauren calls “Classic Hollywood glamour meets the rustic elegance of Mediterranean-inspired style” at home with its spring 2017 collection. Called Mulholland Drive, it includes everything from chinoiserie secretaries to wood and iron console tables to plush, down-filled sofas. Those who adore the iconic Missoni zigzag can use it to dress their throw pillows, couch, dining chairs, bedding or pretty much anything that can be upholstered or draped. Fendi Casa’s latest offerings tap into the world-traveler mystique with collections inspired by Lake Como, Monte Carlo, Morocco and New York. At Armani/Casa, everything from handmade rugs, to textiles and wallcoverings, to custom-finished dining room tables and limited-edition brushed-steel writing desks finished with 24-karat gold can be purchased.
Dior took a different route with its newest foray into home design last year. Instead of a “traditional” couture home collection, Dior introduced Dior MAISON, a new House of Dior boutique on London’s tony Bond Street. Initial offerings included crystal glassware from Jeremy Maxwell and hand-embroidered linens from Véronique Taittinger. They are designed to stand up to “the same level of refinement with which Christian Dior decorated his residences in Paris, Milly-la-Forêt and La Colle Noire in Provence,” according to Dior MAG. The boutique intends to continue the collaborative play, with new artists and designers creating limited-edition pieces for consumers who know that when it comes to high-end home design, it’s all in the name.