Monday, June 29, 2009

Vignette Viewer's Choice Announced

Attendees were kept busy photographing the innovative vignettes located on the show floor, at this year's IWCE: Vision'09 while they were voting for their favorite vignette throughout the three-day event. GMI is pleased to announce this year’s Viewers Choice winner Robin McCallister, Robin McCallister Designs, Jacksonville, Florida .

Using this year’s IWCE theme, Vision- the vignette designers were asked to choose a hypothetical client dossier filled with all the challenges, twists and turns of navigating the new consumer landscape. Then they designed and fabricated a window vignette that answers the question- How did you map your client’s personality, needs, views onto a window fashion?
Robin’s vignette was done for the Lifecaching/ Boho Soul consumer. Life caching is saving every moment of our lives with the expectation to relive experiences and have instant access. It’s about collecting, storing and displaying one's life through scrapbooks, i phones, Flickr. Boho Soul has us decorating with our experiences either ones we’ve had or hope for. “After interviewing my client, I decided to create a space that was an oasis. It might be in the corner of a busy family space, a small little niche up in the attic, a little sitting area that allows one to dream and reflect and see precious memories,“ says McCallister.
Inspired by her love of travel and a friend's recent trip to India, Robin created a vignette that hit all the touch points- displaying one’s life and evoking memories of times past ,travel, family or rituals. Design Pros attending Showtime, held in High Point, NC June 7-10 were also treated to Robin's vignette along with Candace Phelp's More Adventuress vignette, this year's runner up.

The following manufacturers were generous in their donation of the following materials for the vignette.
Award Fabrics- Trimmings
Conso- Trimmings
Catania Silks- Silk organza
Hanes Fabrics- Lining and interlining
Helser Brothers- Jewels Collection
Rowley- Pillow Forms
Thibaut Design - Wallcoverings
Highland Court- Pillow fabrics
RM CoCo- Swag Fabric
Silk Loom- Panel Fabric

Check out all of this year's vignettes, their backstories and their generous sponsors at

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ahead of the Curve: Sweet Hope

Sweet Hope is a curtain fabric designed by the acclaimed Japanese designer Akira Minagawa for Kvadrat. It’s ideal for south and west facing windows, because it offers superb heat and light regulation properties. This textile is made from reflective Trevira CS yarns and is fabricated by knitting two layers together, which fixes the fabric against stretching. It’s unique in that usually different layers have traditionally been woven together. The front side of Sweet Hope has colorful mat finish and the back is reflective and behaves like a metal in reflecting light and heat. Unlike many textiles with technical properties, there is no metal used in the construction of Sweet Hope. It is a natural choice for those looking to minimize their environmental impact.

The innovation in Sweet Hope lies in the novel reflection of light and the good transmission values. No metallic process is involved in the production, meaning there is no aluminum vaporized onto the textile. The fabric remains soft, semi-transparent and falls nicely.Inspired by feelings and natural images, such as soft sunlight falling through the foliage, Akira Minagawa has developed nine gentle, earthy and different colors for Sweet Hope: autumnal browns, a cool blue, mustard green, a dusty olive, soft greys and white. The inviting and accessible character of the textile has it roots in the designer’s vision. With Sweet Hope he aims to create lasting feelings of warmth, hope, happiness and togetherness with friends and family.

Who’s the Designer?
Akira Minagawa is a Japanese textile and clothes designer mainly known for his
minä perhonen fashion label, which is characterized by a romantic, slightly naive style. His designs are detail-oriented and conscientiously worked out and his garments are in great demand among fashion-conscious, young Japanese women. The variations of his textiles are virtually endless, or as he puts it: «as many as there are varieties of butterfly».
Minagawa is able to combine his fascination Scandinavia with his own cultural roots and create the absolutely unique, personal style that have made his fashions and interior designs so popular. In 2006 Minagawa was awarded Designer of the Year by the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.
«I try to design clothes so that they last for a long time and improve with
everyday use. I do not want to be just a fad or give a strong impact that does
not last. I think of upholstery in the same way.» - Akira Minagawa

mina perhonen store in Kyoto

Embroidered coat by Minagawa for mina perhonen

Textile designs by Mingawa

Friday, June 19, 2009

ColorSnap is Genius!

In the weeks before NeoCon, I receive loads of press releases touting all the new products that were launched during the show. One in particular caught my eye - Sherwin Williams' Color Snap. This Apple iPhone application allows users to quickly and easily capture hues from their surroundings and match them to more than 1,500 Sherwin-Williams colors! So I downloaded the app to my shiny new iPhone before NeoCon and when I arrived at NeoCon I headed to the Sherwin William's booth to get a quick tutorial. This is how it works-Find a color you love, snap the photo and receive the matching Sherwin-Williams paint color and coordinating palette. You even get coordinating color schemes, and RGB numbers and can create your own inspiration library of saved colors. And it's free!
I have already used it several times matching colors while shopping for rugs for a new client. Definitely a must have for your Designer toolkit.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Runway to Window Fashion Show

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Runway to Window Top Fashion Trends for the Home Part 2

Light Layering
Another oft-dismissed fabric, tulle, is part of a larger movement in fashion toward bigger layers and soft volume. With significant exceptions--Christian Dior’s New Look and the Christian Lacroix pouf in the ‘80s among them--fashion is often about the draper’s art. Bias cut, fitted to the body, sleek and sexy, these have been key fashion themes for decades. But over the past several seasons soft, light layers of chiffon, tulle and even featherweight knits have shown up with increasing frequency on the runway. In some cases there’s a overlap with another trend, ruffles, in that these lightweight, translucent fabrics add volume and movement to what would otherwise be straightforward shifts and sheath dresses. Think ballgown panels and petticoats of tulle, netting, lace peeking thru bottom valance hems.

This Poiret Collar could translate into a tieback or fabulous header

Sex in the City SJP- wears light layers that are reminiscent of bishop sleeves.

My Fav!!!- I translated this into a panel with red taffeta rose header for our Runway to Window seminar.

Structured Ruffles
The third ultra-feminine look to be reinvented on the runway has to be ruffles. While the Light Layering trend uses ruffles in a fairly traditional manner, although in softer fabrics, designers working with Structured Ruffles have taken a sculptural, textural approach. Ruffles are worked in patent leather or stiffened suede, freezing the movement in place; or broad ribbons of fabric are worked into pleated, minimalist rows.

These approaches, taken by Marni, Fendi, Giambattista Valli and perhaps most influentially by Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, reconstruct the ruffle as something more sophisticated, more interesting and more intriguing than the word initially connotes.

Modern Volume
This last trend is the most recent and, in a sense, the most radical. It’s about reshaping the familiar in unlikely ways, and it may take our eye a while a to adjust. It ranges from the recent re-introduction of peplums and volume at the waist, to apparently rigidly structured looks that are surprisingly soft, to the use of stiffer fabrics that fall the large cones rather than soft folds. Dynasty-era big shoulders are re-invented, skirts flair and pouf in odd angles and shapes, fabrics billow and gather in deep folds. The trend toward wider-leg, 1940s style trousers with a higher waist is the most familiar iteration of this look, a complete reshaping of the mid-to-late ‘90s ultra low waistline/bootcut pairing, but designers such as Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein, Alber Elbaz at Lanvin and Alexander McQueen are among the leaders in rethinking the shape of things to come.

Nothing but a over scaled Inverted Box pleat

Love the cut and band - What a fabulous panel!
Who says you can't get inspiration from the runway?!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Runway to Window

Straight from the catwalks of Milan, Paris, London and New York into America’s room and windows- Fashion’s top trends have always sparked interior designers’ imaginations.
Here are our top six Fashion trends for the home in 2009/2010 as presented at IWCE in May. Today we'll focus on three. Check back Tuesday for the other three.
There’s no doubt that lace is a potential taste trap So to make lace look at all appealing required a fresh sets of eyes, a different approach to technology. Over the past several seasons lace has been slowly been making its way back into fashion—we first cited lace as an inspiration back in 2006/2007, but it was the fall 2008 fashion season that really put lace back into spotlight. Prada used guipure lace is various colors–metallic gold, midnight blue, classic black, saffron, taupe,, and more—in 90% of her runway looks; and in many of her lower-priced Mui Mui pices. She left it unlined, layering it over flesh colored body-suits, granny panties and bras, and high-collared turtlenecks; an inversion of the typical lace peek-a-boo approach. At the same time, designers such as Stella McCartney, Sophia Kokosalaki and Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy were approaching lace in terms of piecing, laser-cutting and other structured looks. Lace could be tough without be trashy. Lace is no longer confined to the special occasion ghetto, or for “women of a certain age”. Some houses, including Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and John Varvatos are showing lace looks for men.
For an interesting look at the “lace capital of the world” check out this short article in the New York Times Style magazine, go to and enter Playing the Lace Card in the search box.

Christain LaCroix Lace Detailing

Fendi Laser Cut Lace

Jakob Schlaepfler's Pizzogrande for
their '09 Home Collection

Patricia Urquoila for Mutina Tiles

Pattern Mixing
Fashion has always been comfortable mixing things up, an approach that has entered the home lexicon as the ambiguously named “eclectic” style. But in recent seasons we’ve seen an ever-more intriguing take on this, spear-headed by the spring 2008 collection of Dries Van Noten, whose intricate and colorful florals were engineered to look as if the different prints occurred by coincidence and just happened to look fabulous. It’s important to remember that a kind of WASP-y disregard for style conventions has always been a key part of this looks—from Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses to the bleeding madras of East Coast prep school kids, to the swirling psychedelia of Pucci prints. A more recent touchstone for this look is Patricia Field, who developed the off-center looks for Sex and the City and currently for the title character in Ugly Betty.
Besides the literal translation, Interiors can take a page from this fashion trend in a couple of ways- literally taking color blocking up a notch by using patterns and taking advantage of digital printing to engineer prints to the end window treatment style- box pleated, attached valances all engineered on one run of cloth.

Dries Van Noten

Boro by Kenzo Maison

The ‘80s are alive and well in terms of fashion inspiration. Chains, studs, rivets and especially zippers have migrated from accessories to the main event, showing up in dresses from Balmain, Versace, Max Azria, Gucci, and more.

The slightly dangerous, sexy vibe of how the ‘80s punk scene was originally interpreted by Madonna shows up in layers of chains and pearls, and the piling on of bracelets and cuffs; while the edgier London-based punk scene pioneered by Vivienne Westwood is evident in the studded leather, the widespread use of zippers and the imagery of bondage transformed into fashion.

An outgrowth of this look is the big hardware look that has shown up in accessories—oversize details on glasses, handbags and especially jewelry.

This year's chunky jewelry becomes tiebacks

Color de Seda's Molokai tiebacks
Caviar Tieback by Color de Seda

Sacho Hessein Tiebacks- Armor and Lancelot