August 9, 2013

Hard and Soft

Alexander Wang by Melvin Sokolsky for Harper's Bazaar US August 2013 

Alexander Wang presented stunning marbled pieces for his first collection at Balenciaga.  His unexpected succession to Nicholas Ghesquière had me nervous for what was to come.  Ghesquière's whimsical genius made me a fan and I thought Wang's aesthetic, though cool in a different way, was a departure from what made Balenciaga a powerhouse in contemporary fashion.  When I clicked through the looks, it was clear that Wang had stayed true to his point of view while innovating in the spirit of Balenciaga, thereby creating a new identity for the brand separate of Ghesquière.  Success!

In my head marbled prints translated well for fashion, but it was not until I saw this photo in Harper's Bazaar that I got excited about applying marble print in textiles for interior design.  The marble printed chair Wang is sitting in comes from designer Maurizio Galante's collection "Louis XV goes to Sparta."  My brain is telling me that the chair should be as cold and hard as marble, but the silhouette would lead me to believe that it is as comfy as any vintage velvet arm chair - AND THAT I NEED ONE BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

My obsession with marble patterns comes from my mother.  When our house was being built, she was very specific with her marble choices - everything imported, everything authentic.  I would lay down on the cool floors of our foyer on hot summer days, tracing the cloudy lines in the marble tiles with my fingers and making up stories with the shapes.  I could hear the clicking of shoes every time someone came through the front door.  The luster that appears when the sun hits the stone at the right angle still reminds me of my childhood.  I like how marble can be manipulated in different ways.  It is hard and cold, but can be chiseled into the most stunning and timeless sculptures.  The unique patterns in marble can be seen everywhere in nature, but the minimalist in me loves a good monochromatic moment that comes from the rock.

And what do you need to go with your marble arm chair?  Marble duvet covers of course!!  These duvet sets from Safe House USA are another great use of a marble print.  Once again, the print is used to create a soft and comfortable product.  While the pillows maintain a rectangular, solid shape, the duvet is more fluid.  I love marble sculptures of people that are worked so masterfully you can almost feel the softness of the fabric through the hard stone.

I have this grand, ornate, baroque style bed frame, so this wouldn't match my bedroom very well, but I am almost tempted to get a set just for my couch in the winter months.  So great!  If anyone sees anything else like this, a play on hard and soft, please let me know.

- jerome  

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