Photograph by Joel Benjamin
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.