The D&D Building Fall Market, a three-day event held earlier this month, hosted a number of panels, parties and other gatherings. Below, check out EAL’s recap of the most noteworthy happenings.
The festivities kicked off with Architectural Digest editor in chief Margaret Russell in conversation with designer Alexa Hampton about her father, designer Mark Hampton. Russell narrated a slideshow showcasing work from the book Mark Hampton, On Decorating, which will be republished and released on October 28. Mark Hampton’s clients included Estée Lauder, Brooke Astor, President George Bush, and Susan and Carter Burden. “Susan and Carter’s living room [at 1020 Fifth Avenue] was my favorite design by my father. For him, working for people who had collections was the most thrilling thing,” Alexa Hampton said of the room, which showcases a rare book collection. She shared some of her father’s design tips that she uses to this day: Never use a double self-welt; if there are 20 seats in the dining room, there should be 20 seats in the living room; area rugs should go under furniture—there should be no tiny rugs in big rooms.
House Beautiful editor in chief Sophie Donelson spoke at the Donghia showroom with designers Brian McCarthy and Bunny Williams in a keynote discussion about legendary design firm Parish-Hadley. The designers, both alumni of the firm, shared anecdotes about Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. “Mrs. Parish was very intimidating, all business,” shared Williams, who worked at the firm for 20 years. “She was always tough in the office, wanting to see our schemes. You know, she probably never measured a thing in her life, but she’d walk into a room and knew where everything goes. It was uncanny how she could instinctively see a room. I really got to know her when I traveled and shopped with her. She had a sense of humor—really, she could have been a comedian.”
“Albert was a gentle soul and creative genius, and took Mrs. Parish from a decorator to a designer,” McCarthy said. “He was a student of life. In terms of forward thinking, he was inspired by the modernist architects and designers. He loved working with young people. They both wanted each one of us to develop into our own people with our own style.”
The “Second in Command” panel at Chesney’s discussed what it’s like being a top designer at an industry-leading design firm. Go Design Go editor Haley Williams sat down with Alyssa Urban of Cullman & Kravis, Tom Ambler of Drake Design Associates and Heidi Bianco of Kemble Interiors. During the discussion, the three designers spoke about the importance of teamwork and mentorship in these established firms.
Cullman & Kravis divides its office into four teams, each of which meets with the firm’s founder to review the team’s latest project. “Ellie [Cullman] calls them Brain Days. We go into a room to brainstorm and don’t leave until we’ve come to the best approach to a project,” Urban said. “Ellie is good in that way—having her hand in all the projects. After being in business for 35 years, she is open to new ideas and encourages the younger team members to bring that to the table.”
At Drake Design Associates, Jamie Drake sees the project presentation before it goes out to a client. Ambler shared, “Many times, Jamie sees something that none of the other designers thought to include in the design. It’s always a learning experience with him. He’s taught me to always be on my toes.” Bianco said that Celerie Kemble’s team is like a family. She told attendees that her appearance in the magazine Philippines Tatler was not planned, and she had to borrow one of Celerie’s dresses for the photo shoot.
Also at Market, industry professionals shared the secrets to how they market themselves. Osborne & Little designer Nina Campbell joined Product Lounge founding partner Robyn Malin for a keynote discussion. The two spoke about branding and licensing product in the world of interior design. House Beautiful editor at large Chesie Breen moderated. “It is a unique license I have with Osborne & Little,” Campbell said. “It came about in a strange way. Every fabric I liked was discontinued, so I thought I’d make them myself. Osborne & Little decided to license the fabric, and it’s been 25 years strong.”
“Manufacturers are often looking for a designer with a distinct point of view and recognizable brand name,” Malin shared. “They want someone who will fill a niche they may not be reaching that they may want to reach.”
Several panel discussions focused on the connection between architecture and interior design. Warp & Weft hosted a keynote panel with designer Kitty Hawks and architects Hugh Hardy and David Rockwell. Moderated by Judith Gura, the panelists discussed the idea of making interior design work within the constraints of historical landmarks. Hawks presented historic interiors and examples of how a designer could approach them. Featured architects included Andrea Palladio, Robert Adam, Frank Lloyd Wright and McKim, Mead & White.
“The task is to restore the style and work within it, not necessarily to stay completely faithful,” Hawks said. “Furnish these interiors comfortably, subtly reflective of the time. If you go outside the language of the building, do so with comparable value. Historic interiors offer challenges and great opportunities. You learn about the textiles, rugs, architecture used—it’s an educational experience.”
Florence Lafarge, Creative Director of Hermès Home Textiles and Caterina and Raffaele Fabrizio, co-owners of Dedar Milano, discussed the creative process as well as home fabrics in “Creation and Excellence in Home Fabrics,” a conversation moderated by editorial director of Hearst Design Group Newell Turner. The panel was attended by about 100 designers, members of the press and other design aficionados.