Plus a new tome celebrates 50 Black designers
Words by ANUSH J. BENLIYAN, KERSTIN CZARRA, KELSEY McKINNON, and ELIZABETH VARNELL
Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters of Forbes Masters interior design studio are featured in ICONIC HOME.
Celebrating Design Diversity
June Reese has gathered a trove of standout projects from an influential group of Black interior designers, including Brigette Romanek, Justina and Faith Blakeney, and Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters in her first volume, ICONIC HOME: INTERIORS, ADVICE AND STORIES FROM 50 AMAZING BLACK DESIGNERS (Abrams, $50). Reese, who helms her Houston-based design firm and serves as vice president of Black Interior Designers, Inc., partnered with the pioneering nonprofit to create a vibrant compilation of captivating spaces paired with behind-the-scenes details about the creativity fueling each subject’s work. From Leah Alexander’s black-and-white powder room with its lush red ceiling, to vintage chairs reupholstered in Justina Blakeney’s colorful Tigress fabric from her L.A.-based Jungalow brand, to Romanek’s pairing of a bold Roman and Williams onyx bar with Jan Ekselius lounge chairs in Montecito, there’s a fresh fearlessness among this collection of projects. E.V.
A vase from KELLY WEARSTLER’s Dune collection.
KELLY WEARSTLER’s Malibu home presides over a famed stretch of Carbon Beach (often dubbed Billionaire’s Beach), but the eternally cool Los Angeles–based designer turned to another celebrated stretch of sand a few miles down PCH to inspire her debut dinnerware collection. With Zuma, Wearstler employs futuristic 3D vector grids that result in a windowpane-effect on black, white, and amber-hued porcelain sets meant to be mixed and matched. The Dune collection takes on a more casual, natural feel with marble chargers, sculptural plates, and ebonized wooden serving platters. Produced in partnership with Belgian design brand Serax, the pieces offer a contemporary upgrade to the china cabinet, whether at the beach or in the city. Her new book, Kelly Wearstler: Synchronicity (Rizzoli, $60), also drops this fall. kellywearstler.com. K.M.
NB SHOP offers furniture, textiles, accessories, and vintage finds.
Old Meets New
Keeping her collections close at hand, L.A. interior designer NATASHA BARADARAN has opened her first storefront, NB Shop, on the street level below her studio in the La Cienega Design Quarter. The new space functions as a guide to key pieces of her nationally sold furniture; it also houses her textiles and editioned, small-batch home accessories and curated vintage finds. In celebration of the opening, Baradaran has launched her richly hued Persian Garden textiles based on the idea of pardis, an ancient Persian term for a private garden that also evokes an earthly Eden. Through the end of the year, Baradaran, a breast cancer survivor, is donating proceeds from her pink-colored fabrics to Magnolia House, the support program at Tower Cancer Research Foundation. 725 N. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 323-456-4314; natashabaradaran.com. E.V.
KNEELAND CO. has a new assembly of handcrafted rugs. PHOTO: Tyler Whiteside.
Joanna Williams has a formidable knowledge and passion for vibrant, eclectic fabrics, which she curates in her West Adams vintage textile library and celebrates in her retail shop next door, KNEELAND CO. Her latest offering is a rug collection with Temple Studio. The five designs (in various colorways) are handcrafted by weavers in Nepal and India and capture the stories that span the globe and history. The Akhet, a nod to the sun god Ra, is set in hues of blue sky, dreamy lilac, and lemon yellow, while The New Wave style’s zigzag lines and purple-and-black palette is a love song to the ‘80s tunes found on Williams’ playlists. As worldly as the prints are, Williams notes Southern California’s nature, music, film, and art are represented in each. “Living in L.A. is about accessing the things that feed my soul.” 4767 W. Adams Blvd., L.A., 323-402-0975; kneelandco.com. K.C.
The new FARROW & BALL line includes 12 paints and three wallpaper patterns. PHOTO: James Merrell.
Colors of the Season
Over the past six years, Christopher John Rogers has rightfully risen through the ranks of the fashion industry with his vibrant, drama-forward womenswear designs. The young American talent’s brightly hued, boldly patterned, and glamorous, voluminous designs have even been exhibited at The Met. Now, as a bona fide maestro of color theory, Rogers has teamed up with FARROW & BALL on an exclusive collection of 12 debut paint hues and three new wallpaper patterns inspired by his Louisiana upbringing. Much like his ensembles, the Carte Blanche range — which marks the historic British house’s first-ever collaboration with a fashion designer — brims with playfulness and joy. Statement-making options include the verdant green Raw Tomatillo paint color (an ode to a dish made by Rogers’ grandmother), the muddy yellow Hog Plum (named after the Southern fruit), and the ombré Dot wallpaper pattern (a nod to the circle motif in Rogers’ fashions). farrow-ball.com. A.J.B.
The new chair was inspired by FENDI’s Peekaboo handbag. PHOTO: Johnny Dufort.
FENDI’s Peekasit Los Angeles edition, designed by Controvento, is making its West Coast debut at Mary Ta’s MASS Beverly showroom. Ta says the exclusive chair design, which has woven raffia upholstery and was inspired by the Italian house’s elegant Peekaboo handbag, joins the latest Fendi Casa collections — all part of a new partnership with the Roman house — that are “arriving with great expectation” in L.A. this fall. Ta, a self-described passionate collector of Lagerfeld-era Fendi, finds a similar fusion of creativity and traditional craftsmanship in the furniture line, which also includes Marcel Wanders Studio’s angular Five sofa and Landscape bed, Dimore Studio’s rounded Roma daybed, and Toan Nguyen’s curvy Sandia sofa. “This is where fashion savoir-faire meets design craftsmanship,” she says. MASS Beverly, 9000 Beverly Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-271-2172; massbeverly.com. E.V.
This resort-inspired offerings from INTERLUDE HOME uses natural, sustainable materials.
INTERLUDE HOME creative director Wendy King Philips wanted to curate a casual resort-inspired collection that could exist in concert with the line’s current designs. The resulting Naturals collection incorporates rattan, sisal, grass cloth, and, of course, wood. The new finishes are designed to seamlessly mix with core styles in the line’s existing collections, a sustainable way to introduce refreshed elements amid beloved staples. Philips says the extensive project allowed her to introduce new iterations of the company’s classics, including such favorites as the Maryl chair. The best-selling dining chair was reworked in wood and rattan, and the Southerland console table is now covered in sisal, a handwoven fiber that patinas over time. 8900 Beverly Blvd., Ste. 106, West Hollywood, 310-734-7775; interludehome.com. E.V.
Banana Republic debuts BR HOME, its first store dedicated to home.
Banana Republic, inspired by travel since its inception, has opened its first-ever standalone store devoted to its new full-line BR HOME collection in Los Angeles. The brand is housing its extensive new collection of furniture and art inside a 5,000-sq.-ft. Design District space created with Stefano Casati on Melrose Avenue. Elegant, slender sofas, marble side tables made in India, carved wooden floor lamps, milled-in-Italy alpaca bouclé throws, and chandeliers crafted from clay beads hand-formed by women in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, are among the introductions headlining the launch. Complimentary BR Atelier interior styling services are also on offer. The romance found in each journey is evoked in wildlife photography prints and landscapes curated by a global team of artists. 8552 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323-205-1243; brhome.com. E.V.
Feature image: Yayoi Kusama is having her first solo show at SFMOMA. PHOTO: Yayoi Kusama, LOVE IS CALLING, 2013, installed in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: I Who Have Arrived In Heaven, David Zwirner, New York, 2013 © YAYOI KUSAMA. Courtesy the artist, Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner.
This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2023 issue of C Magazine.
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