Fashionable Design

A slew of hotels and clubs have opened up, bearing the name of fashion moguls. The Armani Hotel Dubai, the Cavalli Club, Hotel Missoni Kuwait, and the Palazzo Versace are just a few of the names that the Middle East has seen in recent times.

With the latest news of Al Habtoor Group signing a deal to build the world’s first Fashion Hotel, branded by Fashion TV, in Dubai, fashion and interior design just got even more entwined.

Giovannangelo de Angelis, president, Italy-based Premio Internazionale Ischia di architettura (PIDA) award, said fashion meeting design is an interesting mix because it puts the element of change into the industry.

“Fashion means rapid change, but interior design has a completely different speed altogether; it moves slower than fashion does,” said de Angelis.

He admits, while the design industry is moving faster than it used to, implying a positive turn in the market, he warns against its ecological implications.

“When we have faster design changes, we also face the problem of reuse. If you change the interior design of something, for example, every year, there is the problem of wastage and whether we can re-use things or not. If design takes this path, then sustainable materials need to be used,” he added.

Mike Scully, managing director, Seven Tides, agreed with de Angelis’ concerns on sustainability.

“There are two sides to it. You have got to ensure the fashion coming into your hotel is sustainable. It’s all very well to create modern hotels and new lifestyle hotels, but we need to make sure the fashion hotel is sustainable and will continue to be sustainable in the future.”

However, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, interior designer and founder, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard Designs, said fashion helps him with his design projects.

“I am often very inspired by fashion in my interior design; whether a current colour palette combination, or a shape that inspires me for a furniture detail, or some embroidery on a shirt that I can use to border a chair. I think that fashion and interiors go hand-in-hand, and as such are inspirational to both industries,” he said.

Christian Merieau, managing director, Samuel Creations said boundaries between interior design and fashion design are blurring rapidly, which he considers to be a natural and healthy process.

“I can see two reasons for that: One, the design process of both is based on coordinated usage of material, structure and shapes, to enhance the basic necessities that are clothing and shelter.

Two, under the influence of fashion and technology, everything is becoming a short lived consumable, delivering rapidly a sense of well being, belonging or social identity. Creating spaces to socially interact, interior design is deeply enrooted in our modern civilisation, and it is therefore natural that it follows its trends.”

The dark side of this marriage could be, with fashion designers getting their brand stamped on the property, the interior designers of the project may not get as much recognition as they’d like.

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