The Month's Top Finds
A few of our favorite discoveries, as spotted by market editor Cat Dash
Nothing against peonies and roses, but sometimes we like our blooms to look a little tougher. That’s when our vision for an edgy, masculine array of flowers takes hold. Recently, with the dark-walled, custom-built shelving of the Apparatus studio in Manhattan as our setting, editor Cat Dash arranged a jewel-box display of exquisite vessels bearing cuttings of clematis, hellebore, hyacinth, and more. (Shop the story in the slideshow below.) Strong shapes, delicate sprigs: it’s the floral version of high drama.
A luxe sense of cross-cultural mashup informs Eva Sonaike’s designs—African-inspired textiles and accessories in materials such as English velvets and Italian leathers. “Whenever I’m in Nigeria I’m drawn to the colors, architecture, and all the amazing things I see around me,” she says. “My last trip was during the rainy season; I was at home sitting on the balcony, when I decided to dedicate my next collection to the weather.” The result: Eko Eclipse, a group of cushions, rugs, and decorative accents in lushly geometric motifs.
West African textile traditions form the basis for Sonaike’s design process—she researched their heritage for her master’s degree from the London College of Fashion. Add to that her elemental childhood memories (“being in bed at night and hearing the rain pour down onto the roof”) and you have a group of luxury goods that stand out amid a sea of others. “For me, the key is to introduce a touch of the African aesthetic into people’s homes without being overpowering or stereotypical,” says Sonaike. Mark our words: this line is one to watch.
Christiane Lemieux credits social media for the feedback that led to DwellStudio’s latest furniture collection. “We learned that people love our products but want a more accessible opening price point,” says the founder and creative director of the brand beloved for its timeless, midcentury-influenced aesthetic. “It’s my goal to bring DwellStudio to a broader demographic.” With the debut of more than 70 pieces—angular side tables, sinuous armchairs, and a striking, showcase-worthy étagère, as well as new offerings for the bedroom and dining room—Lemieux is making good on her word. Sofas begin at less than $3,000, for example, while preserving the high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail the company is known for. (All upholstered items are made in America; one leather ottoman features 84 intricate button tufts pulled by hand.) Says Lemieux, “I want to make great design affordable and without compromise. We’re just beginning to discover all that is possible.”
Paint splatters, splotches, ripples on a pool: Martyn Thompson’s second fabric collection, the Accidental Expressionist, finds its distinctive beauty in details often overlooked. The fashion and interiors photographer, known for his work with clients such as Hermès and Ilse Crawford, forsakes high-gloss perfection in both his images and designs, emphasizing a painterly, tactile quality in its place. The effect is revealed slowly, in layers, making good on the promise of much deeper meaning beneath the surface.
“I’ve always loved textiles, so producing my photos in a fabric form feels very natural,” says Thompson. “I’d been thinking of doing something completely different from the direction of our first collection—something abstract and loose.” Whether based on remnants and scraps from his painting studio or a snow-covered mountain from one of his landscapes, the patterns (which are woven on a jacquard loom) are tributes to the artist at work.