Sa•voir Faire: the ability to do the right or graceful thing in any given situation
We’ve been banging on to clients and seminar audiences for several seasons about design becoming less excessive and frivolous, and instead more meaningful and often more minimal.
Last year we saw a ‘ladylike’ look emerge on the catwalks, marking a return to refinement and a sense of decorum. The popularity of Mad Men helped start a 50s/60s style renaissance and now, as we remember Marilyn Monroe on the 50th anniversary of her death with two major film releases about her life (‘My Life With Marilyn’ featuring Michelle Williams and directed by Simon Curtis, and ‘Blonde’ directed by Andrew Dominik and set to star Naomi Watts in the lead role) and a number of exhibitions around the world, the influence of the 50s/60s is sure to be further reinforced.
For Interiors, the ‘ladylike’ trend translates into everyday objects that are refined yet cheerfully modest, elegantly minimal, and stylishly streamlined. A trend that is quietly cultured, creative, and visually polite, coming at a time when social values and graces are re-examined and re-established to raise and maintain standards. This is about “20th Century values in the 21st Century” paving the way for common courtesy, conviviality, and sobriety to reign supreme.
Today, Anthony highlights the current events celebrating the life of Marilyn Monroe and shows us once again how fashion trends translate for Interiors …
August 5 1962. A 36 year old American actress, singer, and model by the name of Marilyn Monroe was found dead. Monroe had achieved international stardom appearing in many classics including ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, ‘Some Like It Hot’, and ‘How To Marry A Millionaire’.
August 5 2012. 50 years have passed since the untimely death of this astonishing lady and as the world remembers, many photography and memorabilia exhibits, book issues, and TV shows honour her legacy. The Hollywood Museum in California is currently hosting ‘Marilyn: The Exhibit’, featuring film costumes, personal clothing, and those furs. It also includes some of the last and unseen photographs of Monroe by photographer George Barris. Running until September 2, catch it while you can!
‘Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon’ has just packed up it’s debut at the National Film Museum in São Paulo, Brazil and is now heading to the Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in Tokyo, Japan (dates to be confirmed). The popular exhibition is a modern tribute to Monroe including paintings and video works by Andy Warhol and Cecil Beaton.
Here in the UK, the Proud Gallery has recently opened ‘Marilyn: Intimate Moments’, an exclusive exhibit of Bruno Bernard’s images of Marilyn, documenting the transition of fresh-faced Norma Jean into the icon that was Marilyn Monroe. Including pin-ups, candid shots from Hollywood parties, and behind the scenes images from her best known movies, it runs ’til September 9 in Chelsea, London.
The Museo Ferragamo in Florence is holding a major exhibition of Monroe’s personal effects, film costumes, and a focus on her footwear (the exhibition will run well into the new year).
With all the focus on the star’s fabulously glamorous life, it’s easy to see how the fashion industry has been influenced and it’s not about super glamorous evening wear, glittering ball gowns, white dresses, and furs. The 2011 catwalks saw more of a refined, ladylike aesthetic with a definite nod to 50s/60s styling.
Take Diane Von Furstenburg: a modern, clean, refined palette of teals, oranges, and tan teamed with simple 60s inspired silhouettes and styling details.
Johnathan Saunders follows suit with 50s inspired prints and a slightly office secretarial look. The orange continues and is balanced with hues of dusty blue and camel. The styling and detail reinforce the idea of being on one’s best behaviour!
Elliot J Frieze also presented a 60s, office inspired collection: big hair, oversized glasses, double-breasted Macs, and high-waisted skirts.
As the interiors market takes it’s cue, we see a more carefully chosen aesthetic …
Printed cushions echo those of Lucienne Day, with bold, oversized patterns seen on wallcoverings in hushed tones as the subdued is favoured over the daring. I love these cement wall and floor tiles from Lindsay Lang; available in blue, yellow, and grey with a Mid-Century pattern, they can be configured in a number of different compositions to suit your chosen area.
Left to right: Bertoia bar stool from The Conran Shop; Bloom wallpaper from MelinaMade; Chouchin lights from Foscarini; Evolute Sospensione light from Danese; MC2 coffee table from The Conran Shop; Lolita table lamp from Moooi; Klyne sofa in saffron from Crate & Barrel; Quincy pillow from Crate & Barrel; Dandelion Cushion from John Lewis; Fairtrade basket and bowl from Piet Hein Eek
A desire for honest, simple materials also drives this trend; think cork lights from Seletti and the wooden nest of tables from Ercol, a classic 50s design. I find the cabinet from Mint particularly intriguing: the outside walls of each drawer are decorated with a different pattern, only visible when the drawer is pulled out. To me this shows a little bit of daring in amongst the decorum – whipping out your fancy patterned drawers at a modest dinner party!!
Retro fabrics from MelinaMade reinforce the idea of 50s styling re-done for the modern consumer, applying them to wallcoverings and accessories.
Left to right: Boxes Unit from Pastoe at EDC London; Ray Lounge chair from the Lollipop Shoppe; Retro Rug from John Lewis; Ercol nest of tables available from Nest.co.uk; Coupoles lights from Seletti; Vitra Akari 3ad floor lamp available at Nest.co.uk; Linen Cooper chair from Haus Interior; Lucy cushion from Urban Barn; Boomerang fabric in Mushroom and White from MelinaMade; Mrs Robinson chest of drawers from Mint Shop
Welcome to a new, good old-fashioned future!