I rarely attend design events, even though I know I should get out from behind the computer screen more often. Taking my own (great) advice to heart, last Thursday I practically forced myself out the door to go to the Fall Market 2011 event at D and D Building-- a strange choice since most of my clients (and I) can't afford to actually buy anything from the showrooms. There was plenty to keep me busy though, and between sampling fabrics and sampling snacks, I stumbled on a book signing for a beautiful book on the designer Frank Roop, called The New Bespoke.
Frank creates one-of-a-kind objects for his lush interiors, working closely with artisans and craftsman to whom he is clearly dedicated. His unabashed support of his team-- and the generosity with which he shares their names and talents-- is a new trend in the design world that I am a big fan of and will likely be writing about a lot. The book also has photographs of the places and things that inspire him, from a menswear shirt to Morocco, to the basics like Shape and Texture. The interiors are lush without being fussy, with a fearless use of color.
Even better? He also was a really nice guy, answering all my questions: On developing relationships with fabricators -- He chooses his fabricators carefully and works tirelessly to ensure their successes as they work for his.
Does he do formal drawings for his custom products? Yes, he does draw everything out, in CAD.
And yes, he agrees with the importance of getting out, getting inspired, and making things.
Then, to my surprise and delight, I turned around and saw a familiar face: Suzy Slesin, who gave me my first break at The New York Times back when I was a budding photographer. It was wonderful to see her, and it turns out it is her company, Pointed Leaf Press that produced this gorgeous book.
|This is Me, Frank Roop, and Suzy Slesin together at Fall Market 2011. What a day!|
Suzy graciously introduced me to design journalist Arlene Hirst, House Beautiful's Decorating Director Doretta Sperduto, and Stylebeat blogger, Marisa Marcantonio who turned me onto the Duralee showroom. It was definitely a highlight to meet these women who have set such great examples of how to combine my love of design with my other online ventures.
Although it's a trade-only company, Duralee is good to know because they have a great selection of fabrics for well under $80/yd, particularly the Thomas Paul collection. Definitely check them out.
All in all, it was a great day of fabric hunting and friend finding, which resulted in exactly what I was hoping for: a change of pace, a new bit of scenery, and... some inspiration.