Style Agenda: Where to Go, What to Wear
The fall is always a good time to brush up on design trends and take some inspiration home. In London that means cruising through several neighborhoods and events during the annual London Design Festival—we’ve highlighted our best bets below. Meanwhile, in New York we’d recommend a leisurely day perusing a few of our favorite design shops and showrooms in Soho and its surroundings. As always, we’ve compiled a list of where to go and what to wear when you do.
3 Mercer St., Soho
With its workshop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and a roster of lighting designers that includes Lindsey Adelman, Jason Miller, and Bec Brittain, it’s no wonder Roll & Hill has been among the most in-demand lighting studios for New York’s in-the-know. The cat’s out of the bag now, though, with a sleek space in Soho that highlights each sculptural piece with just enough furniture to give it context. It’s a traditional showroom, so you won’t walk away with anything on the day, but everything is technically for sale.
16 Howard St., Soho
As if founding and designing the now international furniture brand BDDW wasn’t enough, now the brilliantly creative (and energetic) Tyler Hays has opened up a second space in Soho named after a general store in his hometown of Lostine, Oregon. The reverence to Hays’s childhood memories is ever-present here: Everything in the shop–from clothing, to knives, butter dishes, and beyond—is handmade in Tyler’s studio in Philadelphia and has an irresistibly playful and whimsical quality.
324 Canal St., Tribeca
At this design co-operative, designers like Flat Vernacular, Fort Standard, and Meg Callahan co-exist in beautiful vignettes scattered throughout the space. It’s founder Jean Lin who has a special knack for the whole mix, giving high-design furniture, textiles, and accessories a home-like context. This month, catch quilter Meg Callahan and textile artist Hiroko Takeda’s work at the space.
55 Great Jones St., Greenwich Village
When The Future Perfect first opened in Williamsburg, it made waves by selling contemporary, well-designed furniture, and small home goods by young, totally unknown designers. Nowadays, the store has grown up a bit and moved to Manhattan (and added a location in San Francisco, too). They still highlight their discoveries, but in an almost gallery-like manner, giving each piece space to speak for itself. In fact, this month, they’re presenting the first ever stateside exhibition of Italian wunderkind studio DIMORESTUDIO. You can still find their excellent selection of gifts and small goods online.
405 Broome St., Soho
Jamie Grey’s gallery-like design store carries exquisite furniture, lighting, and homewares from a mix of today’s most cutting-edge industrial designers. You’ll find pieces from Rich, Brilliant Willing, Bec Brittain, and Roman + Williams—including many exclusive collaborations. Though the aesthetic that runs through the space is extremely minimal, they make an effort to make home-like displays, which makes every visit inspiring.
175 Mott St., Nolita
The first thing to catch our eye upon entering this striking black interior is an antique black carriage full of books and hand-made cushions: It’s just one of many visual statements throughout the space. Look around and there are shelves lined with design objects of diverse provenance, and of course there are no labels, as those would fetter the very calculated, striking displays. While the main room features a mix of furniture and objects, the annex features a deeper look at the work of their stable of craftsmen, from Malian textile designer Aboubakar Fofana to Oyuna, the Mongolian cashmere designer.
Strand, Covent Garden
Through September 27th
As if the annual citywide London Design Festival weren’t enough to give us the pulse on design, the first ever Design Biennale adds a global perspective with over 30 countries converging at Somerset House to display newly commissioned works on the theme of utopia. For the UK, represented by designers Barber & Osgerby with a mammoth kinetic sculpture that moves with the wind, utopia may come through renewable energy in the future. The U.S. pavilion says it starts at home, with a display of thousands of digitized wallpapers you can choose from. For South Africa it comes through freedom and play with an installation by artist Porky Hefer of hanging animal sculptures you can climb into. The interpretations are as varied as the countries represented.
67 Vyner St., Bethnal Green
September 17th–October 1st
We were bummed when one of our most beloved design shops sadly closed its doors earlier this year, but Darkroom has made a comeback in the form of a pop up residency on the Regent’s canal. They’ve collaborated with tile and design brand Bert & May and settled into a Dutch barge moored outside the Bert & May showroom in East London. Alongside Darkroom’s Bauhaus-vibe wares, this will also be a chance to check out their new tile and fabric collaboration—centered around three simple geometric shapes: the circle, the square, and the triangle—with Bert & May.
1 Manette St., Soho
The New Craftsmen, which highlights English craftsmanship and which is hands down one of our favorite home shops in London, is collaborating with none other than Burberry on a four-day “making” extravaganza where a selection of The New Craftsmen’s talented artisans and designers will create works of art influenced and inspired by Christopher Bailey’s most recent collection. This is the inaugural show at Makers House, a new show space for Burberry, proving just how the fashion and design worlds are growing more and more entwined.
September 17th–25th, late night opening September 20th
Shoreditch is one of the most vibrant neighborhoods to be in during LDF, as many design companies and shops are based here from Vitra to SCP and beyond. Start at the Ace Hotel, the Triangle’s de facto HQ, where in collaboration with the magazine Modern Design Review, they’ve commissioned a series of new designs for use (and sale) in the hotel, not to mention a patterned climbing wall by Patternity. Then head out for a walk down the nearby sidestreets, including Redchurch Street, where virtually every shop will have a special exhibition in honor of LDF.
3-5 Duke St., Marylebone
The design purists at Vitsoe are, true to form, presenting an exhibition on the Brown Betty, the classic English teapot that’s become “archetypal” as curator Ian McIntyre puts it. A trite show on the history of tea drinking in England this is not, but rather an investigation into the honing of a classic design. It also doesn’t hurt that, like most things, even the Brown Betty looks stunning presented on Vitsoe’s sleek shelves.
Bankside Design District
For anyone even remotely interested in typography, the events produced by this small outfit sound incredibly enticing. Better Letters is bringing famed sign painter Mike Meyer over for a series of all-day hand lettering workshops at Borough Market. And meanwhile, sister company Ghostsigns, are launching an app that gives an audio walking tour of South London and its famous, old hand-painted advertising signs left on brick walls scattered through the streets.
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