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Global Views on Trends for Fashion, Accessories, Interiors and more for the aspiring and passionate online trend-setting community. From Sydney with Love.

Carlo Mollino - Architect and Interior Designer. Master of curvaceous, sensual lines. II.

Carlo Mollino's furniture design and polaroid 
T h e   F u r n i t u r e   D e s i g n e r - He designed armchairs with elongated legs, clad in black lacquer like stockings and named them “ready for love”. A side table had “stiletto heels” and a 1950s chair is so redolent of female anatomy, it’s the soft furnishing equivalent of a pair of crotch-less knickers. Imbued with these human attributes, his works have great dynamism and vigour.

Carlo Mollino - Reconstruction of casa Devalle's bedroom, 1940
He furnished three luxurious residences to serve as spaces in which to photograph his women—mainly local Turin prostitutes. He coated surfaces with fleshly feminine velvet, exotic furs and silks. The bed was topped with a green-mirrored headboard and a lip-shaped couch smoldered below. For his Devalle residence he created a “garconniere” – or shag pad – to match any boy’s fantasy.

Carlo Mollino - Casa Devalle, a soundproof  "Shag Pad"
Carlo Mollino -- Teatro Regio, Turin. Detail of the elliptic openings of the twelve doors and his signature floor lamp.
E r o t i c i s m  and the female body were his great inspirations. At a time of the prevailing Modernist style, Mollino preferred the curvaceous, sensual lines of Art Nouveau and Gaudi. 

Carlo Mollino --Teatro Regio
Carlo Mollino -- Polaroid and Teatro Regio
T h e A r c h i t e c t - He established himself as a flamboyant individualist in his early practice as an architect. He rejects the purely functional, geometrically simple, architecture of some of his contemporaries as sterile and mechanical. He designs works for the private and intimate needs of individualists.

He p h o t o g r a p h e d women throughout his life and aimed to animate the solid geometry of buildings with their living, pulsing energy. In the Sixties he returned to architecture and his last public masterpiece, the Teatro Regio in Turin (1965-73) is noted for its vaulting, aerodynamic balconies.

Carlo Mollino – A Postmodern Prophet I.

Carlo Mollino's residence in Turin, 1970   Icon Baby
Carlo Mollino was a era defining designer and architect with a penchant for erotic photography. H e   p r e t t y   m u c h   h a d   i t   a l l. Born the sole heir to a wealthy Turinese family in 1905, he had a strained relationship with his father in a time when Fascism and Communism had a mutual stranglehold over Europe. Add to this the traditionalism of Catholic Italian society and Mollino should be applauded for his dogmatic, yet far-sighted devotion to non-conformity. Mollino was seen as an outsider and conservatives attacked his idiosyncratic designs and dandyism. A  m a n   a h e a d   o f   h i s   t i m e, he was a post-modern prophet, architect, designer and champion skier, pilot, racing car driver and lady lover. 

Carlo Mollino's residence in Turin, 1970  Icon Baby
I know-- these photos are around the web for a long time, but I'm still mesmerized by their style and modernity. Each element of the design is a today a classic. The oversized proportions of the paper ceiling lights, the mix and match of antiques and modern pieces, Grisaille wallcovering and animal print.... I love it all.

Carlo Mollino's residence in Turin, 1970   Icon Baby
Carlo Mollino's residence in Turin, 1970   Icon Baby
Carlo Mollino's residence in Turin, 1970  Icon Baby
Carlo Mollino - Icon Baby
Carlo Mollino - Icon Baby

Don't you love the curved line!

1970 - Studio 54 - Architecture and Interior Design!

Studio 54 - the entrance
Studio 54 - the entrance
Studio 54
Halston and Jagger - Studio 54 
Studio 54 - the dance floor
Studio 54 - the ‘famous’ balcony…..


Like a great handshake or a welcoming smile, a f a b u l o u s   f o y e r can make a great first impression of your home. Make an impression with a beautiful ceiling light fixture or a patterned stair runner, large-scale graphic artwork or bold wallpaper. Whatever your personal look is, a few accessories can elevate your foyer from just a place to walk through to a room, where friends will want to hang around. Add a foyer console table with a chic lamp, a painting, or even a chair or bench. 

Icon Baby - Fabulous statement pieces for your foyer.
1//    Striking Spun ceiling light looks best when arranged in a cluster of different height or repeated along a long corridor. Spence and Lyda, Australia.

2//    If you have space in your foyer, add a striking Foyer console table. This one is my favorite, a Anglo Indian style Elephant Foyer Table. 

3//    Another beautiful ceiling pendant from Lee Broom at Cafe Culture in situAustralia.

4//    This Travertine console table adds a combination of durability and sophistication to any Foyer. Available at Impressions Furniture, Australia

5//   DIY – Get a vintage Asian style timber altar table, lacquer it in an Ivory shade and voila, you have a great statement piece for your foyer.

6//    Do you have high ceilings in your foyer? Add a large-scale pendant-light as a focal point. This one is a 1970s Italian Chandelier from Barovier and Toso.

7//    Finish your Foyer styling with a bench or a pair of stools like the JA Mongolian Bench from Jonathan Adler, available at Temperature Design, Australia. 

8//    Lucite console tables are a great solution. They adjust to any style and are timeless. This one is available online from The Paris Apartment .

9//    Another stool that is truly a conversational piece. The rope Tabouret is hand carved and upholstered in white hair hide and finished with nailheads. Available at Myra Hofer Design.

10//    A more budget friendly solution is this replica Warren Platner wire stool from Matt Blatt, Australia.

11//    This stool invites you to have a rest after a long day and to take off your high heals. It is available at Azadeh Shladovsky

See our next blog and click through Icon's favorite inspiring foyers.  What makes your entryway fabulous? Let me know in the comments below.

Are You Crazy for Atriums and Indoor Ponds ... Have a Look!

Atrium House
A central courtyard harbors a still lily pad pool that reflects the sky.
Atrium House
Atrium House
Atrium House
This serene house is a completed renovation project, by Studio Mumbai Architects, who stripped back an existing dwelling located in Bandra, Maharashtra, India. VIA 

Villa Tanah Merah, Antibes - 1937

Villa Tanah Merah Provence-Alpes, Côte d'Azur, Antibes, France

Great Ideas for Outdoor Spaces - Get Inspiration from 1940s Villas - France, Antibes.

Great Outdoor Spaces - Antibes - Villa Zéro from 1940
Great Outdoor Spaces - Antibes - Villa Zéro from 1940
Great Outdoor Spaces - Antibes - Villa Zéro from 1940
Côte d'Azur - Antibes Villa La Presqu'île de l'Ilette

Côte d'Azur - Antibes. Villa La Presqu'île de l'Ilette
1.  Mix and match indoor furniture with classy outdoor styles.
2.  Clean up. Trash everything that you wouldn't like to have in your home.
3.  Create smart casual outdoor spaces.
4.  Abandon the idea to use plastic furniture.
5.  Add entertainment Must-Haves like a home bar and comfortable low seating.
6.  Add lavish outdoor rugs.
7.  Install statement pendants and table lamps.
8.  Indoor patios create a wonderful spiritual centre to any home.
9.  Create an elegant flair by adding pairs of sculptural plants. 
10. Symmetry creates tranquility and focuses the eye. 
11. Create outdoor spaces with the same attention to details as your interior spaces.
12. Add curtains as a decorative element and protection from the sun.
13. Add decorative accessories, vases with flowers or wall mirrors.

The Science of Purple

Photo: Imke Klee & Antonios Mitsopoulos

Did you know? Being the combination of red and blue, the warmest and coolest colors, purple is believed to be the ideal color. Red is a focusing, dynamic and active energy while blue is cooling, calming and expansive. For this reason, violet is associated with imagination and inspiration.
Purple is the color most favored by artists. Purple symbolizes nobility and luxury to most people in the world.

Purple’s rarity in nature and the expense of creating the color has given purple a supernatural aura for centuries. If we go back to our pre-historic existence, our ancestors probably never saw a purple fruit, flower, bird, fish - or any living thing - because purple is very rare in nature. 

The earliest purple dyes date back to about 1900 B.C. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye - barely enough for dying a single garment the size of the Roman toga. It’s no wonder then, that this color was used primarily for garments of the emperors or privileged individuals. Over the course of history, purple pigments and dyes became less costly and complex, but one thing has remained the same: Purple symbolizes nobility and luxury to most people in the world.

The Science of Purple Energy Science has revealed much more about purple than our ancestors ever realized: Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength of the rainbow and of electromagnetic energy. It’s just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays. Perhaps this explains why purple is associated with supernatural energy and the cosmos.

Symbolism One of the most significant aspects of purple’s symbolism is the generational divide. Most young people view purple as a happy color. Older adults view the color through a broader perspective and sometimes associate purple with negative meanings like decadence, conceit, pomposity and mourning. 

Purple tends to be a color that people either love or hate.

The evil-minion
"... I hate purple..."

The Great Decorators of the 1970s - Bloomingdale's Mrs.D'Arcy

From"Bloomingdale's Book of Home Decorating” - The great decorators - Mrs.D'Arcy's
From "Bloomingdale's Book of Home Decorating” - The great decorators - Mrs.D'Arcy's
From"Bloomingdale's Book of Home Decorating” - The great decorators - Mrs.D'Arcy's

Marie Laure and Charles de Noailles - Patrons of Modern Art. A modern life!

Marie Laure de Noailles by Man Ray, 1936
Vicomtesse de Noailles
V i c o m t e s s e   d e   N o a i l l e s , was one of the 20th century's most daring and influential patrons of the arts, noted for her associations with Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Luis Buñuel and others as well as her tempestuous life and eccentric personality. She was the only child of Marie-Thérèse de Chevigné, a French aristocrat, and Maurice Bischoffsheim, a Paris banker of German Jewish and American Quaker descent. One of her great-great-great-grandfathers was the infamous M a r q u i s   d e   S a d e.

After a brief romance with the artist Jean Cocteau, Marie-Laure Bischoffsheim married in 1923, Arthur Anne Marie Charles, Vicomte de Noailles. Though events eventually transpired to reveal that Charles de Noailles preferred men sexually, the ill-matched couple had two daughters.

Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, Biceps and Jewellery, 1928, directed by Jacques Manuel

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, the couple were important patrons of modern art, particularly surrealism; they supported film projects by Man Ray, Salvador Dalí, and Luis Buñuel; and commissioned paintings, photographs and sculptures by Balthus, Giacometti, Constantin Brâncuși, Miró, and Dora Maar.
BrassaÏ, Marie-Laure de Noailles and Leonor Fini, Le bal des Têtes au Pré Catelan à Paris,1940's(C)RMN -@Jean-Gilles Berizzi

Marie-Laure de Noailles's fabled hôtel particulier at 13 Place des Etats-Unis in Paris, which was built by her grandfather Bischoffsheim, is now the headquarters of B a c c a r a t, the crystal company. 

Marie-Laure de Noailles had fabulous parties there and she loved to transform the interiors to suit her mood or theme of the party and her home was dedicated to artists, writers and musicians.

What is Chinoiserie?

C H I N O I S E R I E is a French word that means “in the Chinese taste” and describes a European decorative style that was wildly popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. For wealthy Europeans, owning artifacts from the Far East was a status symbol and owning a piece of Chinoiserie was en vogue.

It all began with M a r c o   P o l o  in the thirteenth century, a time only a few people travelled the world. Exotic goods reached Europe via a trading route known as the Silk Road, which carried goods across the entire Asian continent. Marco Polo was the first westerner to travel to China for 17 years. Returning to Italy in 1295 he published what he had seen, but people didn’t believe him and called his experiences “the million lies”.

The S i l k   R o a d  was connecting the major cultures of the world. Japan and China were highly sophisticated cultures with a long history of art. In fact, in the 8th century, when Europe was in the D a r k   A g e s ,  Chinese artists were inventing Impressionism! 

Chinoiserie i s   a c t u a l l y   n o t   f r o m   C h i n a   a t   a l l. As more people could afford decorative goods, European artisans were hired to create designs “in the Chinese taste” to meet the growing demand. The result was pure fantasy, blending Chinese, Japanese, Persian or Indian elements.
Chinoiserie motive
Chinoiserie is displayed in a tremendous variety of 'Oriental' scenes and decorative f a n t a s i e s on textiles, wallpapers, porcelain, and furniture. Details are intricately detailed pagodas, Indian palaces, layer upon layer of fretwork, tassels, and monkeys, lions, and elephants. The major decorative pieces are Fu Dogs, fretwork screens, bamboo chairs and pagoda lamps. Have a look at my previous post to see a masterpiece in Chinoiserie elegance,  Claydon House.
George III carved giltwood rococo chimney, 1755
Chinoiserie pieces have the u n i q u e   a b i l i t y   to   l o o k   r i g h t  with many different decorating styles. In fact, if you love to decorate with Chinoiserie artifacts, you create a home with the message: “Here are living well-travelled and sophisticated people”

Mixing contemporary styles with Chinoiserie speaks about who you are, where you’ve been, and where you hope to go.

Claydon House - Masterclass in Chinoiserie Elegance

 Claydon House Details
Claydon House Details
Claydon House Details
Claydon House Details
Claydon House Details
Claydon House Details
Claydon House Details

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