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Pattern Selections

May 2, 2013 03:19 PM  

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Photograph by Joel Benjamin

A checkered skirt mixes with diamonds on the wall at Paris Ceramics. Boston fashion designer Luke Aaron dressed model Kacy Emmett in a crossover top in silk crepe de Chine and a layered organza and taffeta ball skirt.

It is a design move that may seem reserved only for the brave, but mixing bold patterns and prints has leaped from the elite fashion runway to the home. The trend is showing up in every room, in exterior facades, and even in landscape design, as we demonstrate in our Selections feature in our May/June issue of Design New England.

To inspire us, we turned to Boston fashion designer Luke Aaron, who brought his talent, and luxurious clothing from his Spring/Summer 2013 collection, to the Boston Design Center where we spent the day with photographer Joel Benjamin trying to create the perfect visual to open our fashion-forward Selections. Yes, it took all day to come up with the final shot. In the process, we got plenty of photographs that are way too gorgeous to leave on the cutting room floor.

We started at Osborne & Little, a showroom we chose for its colorful racks of Designer Guild fabric and a seating vignette that manager Ashley Flowers says gets redesigned, right down to the sofa’s upholstery, seasonally. In addition to Aaron’s sumptuous dresses, our stylist Robin Pucillo of Anchor Artists, brought shoes, hats, belts, necklaces, bracelets, you name it, to accessorize our model Kacy Emmett from Maggie Inc. Jesse Lawson, also from Anchor Artists, handled Emmett’s hair and make-up.

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Joel Benjamin

In Osborne & Little, Luke Aaron’s wrap front halter top with peplum and a floral print silk crepe de Chine pleated skirt blends and contrasts with the yellow and green palette of the showroom’s seating vignette.

Before developing his fashion brand in Boston in 2011, Aaron was involved with theater and costume design. He attended Tufts University and Yale School of Drama and then moved to New York City where he worked on his own fashion endeavors between assisting renowned Broadway costume designers. Now at his North End studio, he designs gowns, dresses, and lavish pieces. For his Spring/Summer 2013 line, he uses lemon-and-lime floral prints based on 19th-century botanical woodcut motifs. The patterns are screen-printed on semi-sheer silk chiffon for a soft look that reveals, and is enhanced by, skin tones beneath.

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Joel Benjamin

Kacy Emmett, amid rows of Designer Guild fabric at Osborne & Little, is dressed in a floral print silk chiffon top and a flowing multilayer silk organza skirt.


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Jesse Lawson makes sure Emmett’s hair flows perfectly for the shot in Paris Ceramics.

At Paris Ceramics, Benjamin headed for a display of black-and-white diamond-shaped tile for a graphically strong, sophisticated backdrop to Aaron’s checkered skirt. A necklace made of circular wood pieces added just the right amount of contrast. Voila, we had our opening shot — but we didn’t know it just yet.

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The final page for the opening of May/June Selections.

We wanted to try one more location. At Studio 534, we posed Emmett with, just for fun, colorful macaroons as she stood against a blue patterned wall covering. Her silk bodice dress with pleated silk organza skirt, is without pattern, but it is, understandably, one of Aaron’s favorites.

Below are more shots from the day. We think we picked the right photo to make our opening point, but if you think differently, let us know!

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Joel Benjamin

Wearing a wrap front halter top with peplum and a floral print silk crepe de Chine pleated skirt, Emmett is standing against a subtle-pattered wall at Osborne & Little (left). At Paris Ceramics (right), she is dressed in a crossover silk metallic gold stripe dress in front of a wall of textured tile.

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Joel Benjamin

A close up in Paris Ceramics.

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Joel Benjamin

At the end of the shoot, we deviated a bit from the pattern-on-pattern theme to inject some playful ideas into the day. Emmett is wearing one of Aaron’s favorite pieces, a silk bodice dress with pleated silk organza skirt.

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About this blog

An insider's look at must-have products, fresh trends, and inspired spaces from the team at Design New England magazine.

Gail Ravgiala is editor of Design New England and a fan of both the region's historic architecture and its growing inventory of modern houses and public buildings.

Courtney Kasianowicz is associate editor of Design New England who scouts the area for new design, charming products, and local artisans both innovative and daring.

Jill Connors, Design New England's editor-at-large, is an antiques maven and design scout and will post about trends and discoveries in the field.

Bruce Irving, Design New England's contributing editor for architecture & building, is a renovation specialist who will share his insights on design and construction.

Estelle Bond Guralnick, Design New England's style & interiors editor, will post about interior design and interior designers and her favorite finds.

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