Event Recaps | Oct 21, 2014 |
Top-notch speakers take center stage at DDB Fall Market
By Staff

The Decoration and Design Building (DDB) in New York City was abuzz last week with Fall Market underway. Six keynote discussions as well as numerous market events drew crowds into showrooms to hear celebrated designers and industry professionals present on various topics. Read on for highlights from the events.

The first keynote at Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman, featured New York Magazine Design Editor Wendy Goodman and interior design duo Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz of Marks & Frantz. After opening remarks by Charles Cohen and Steve Mittman, guests watched a brief video showcasing projects by Marks & Frantz including interiors featured in the movies The Devil Wears Prada and Sex in the City. Goodman then quickly dove into the discussion.

Wendy Goodman, Lydia Marks, Lisa Frantz

“The synergy between set design and interior design is very interesting,” said Goodman. “You pick up character through the design of a room and through a script. How do you investigate character personally and draw that out through clients?”

“We usually start with visual things that are easy to get feedback from such as fabric and color,” said Marks. “You learn what people like. They may not know what they want, but they know what they like. It's an investigation that starts when you shows things to people and listening to their cues.

"It’s totally different for film,” said Frantz. “It's up to us and the art director to communicate that on film. This career has become an interesting development of film.”

“When we decorated Carrie and Mr. Big's apartment, we approached it as a place that he would feel very comfortable, rough edges, rectangular, boxy,” said Marks. “Sarah Jessica Parker’s only request was that she had a place for her to come home to so we added a desk area. Even though you might not see it on film, it makes the actors feel good.”

Goodman concluded the conversation by asking Marks and Frantz about their new furniture collection for Edward Ferrell + Lewis Mittman.

“We were inspired by vintage pieces,” said Marks. “Scale is super important to us and we get a lot of that from film. When we introduced the collection, everybody responded to the scale of the pieces. We care how people look when they sit down.”

At noon, designers gathered in the Lorin Marsh showroom to see interior designer and author Sandra Nunnerly, design and art market journalist and US Correspondent for The Art Newspaper Brook Mason, Art and Design Specialist and Director of Wright, New York, Brent Lewis, and contemporary dealer Andrea Crane.

The panelists shared their insights in a lively discussion on current art market trends, purchasing furnishings as investment quality art, and the evolving roles of designers, dealers and auctions houses in today’s market.

Suzanne Slesin, Andrea Crane, Sandra Nunnerly, Brent Lewis, Brook Mason

“You really just have to start look,” advised Lewis. “Learn what appeals to you. Is it photography? Sculpture? Painting? There are a million ways to learn, just start looking. Get to know the people in the art industry.”

“When I'm about to start a collection I say ‘See, see, see,’" said Nunnerly. “Go to auction houses, museums, galleries. Meet gallery owners and specialists and you will become knowledgeable and create relationships. Look at your lifestyle. What do you want to create to curate conversations?”

To round out the first day of Fall Market, David Sutherland celebrated Elle Décor’s 25th anniversary and launch of its new book, The Height of Style, with Editor in Chief Michael Boodro.

Boodro presented an overview of great interiors from the magazine’s history and discussed design trends and why some interiors hold their appeal and remain fresh and inviting.

Michael Boodro

Boodro started his presentation with a slideshow of trends labeled “Gone,” which included the French country style, wrinkle white slip covers, bare and stark walls, towering plants, Neo-Gothic mission furniture, Majolica, ashtrays and phones.

“But remember everything that goes away in design always comes back,” said Boodro.

Day two of Fall Market at the DDB continued to be jam-packed with keynote presentations at Waterworks, Biasi Catani and Vondom. Designers and design enthusiasts got a taste of kitchen design, the crossover of fashion to interiors and the evolution of design.

Waterworks welcomed designers to its brand-new showroom where CEO Peter Sallick moderated a spirited discussion on kitchen cultures and design with panelists, chef proprietor John DeLucie of Crown, Bill’s and The Lion restaurants, interior designer Steven Sclaroff, and co-founder and CEO of cooking and home destination Food52, Amanda Hesser.

Sallick then asked the panelists what's happening in kitchens as far as design and what should a kitchen be from a design perspective.

Amanda Hesser, John DeLucie, Peter Sallick, Steven Scarloff

“People who are really into cooking want a space that is not too designed, but is personal,” said Hesser. “People are really into collecting things—plates, jars, pantry items. A kitchen should feel like it has its own point of view. It says, ‘I cook in here!’”

At Biasi Catani, market goers were guided through the world of fashion and interior design, two industries whose lines are often blurred. Taking the stage were interior designer Julia Buckingham, fashion designer Ralph Rucci, and VP of Education at Los Angeles Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Barbara Bundy. Home Editor at Vogue Mieke ten Have moderated the engaging conversation in front of a standing-room only crowd.

Accompanied by a slide show presentation of their work juxtaposed by photos of interiors and fashion, the panelists discussed the influence of fashion and design on their own work.

Mieke ten Have, Ralph Rucci, Barbara Bundy, Julia Buckingham

“I'm always extremely interested in texture,” said Buckingham while looking at her interior compared with Audrey Hepburn wearing a helmet in the film How to Steal a Million. “I can't take fashion out of my interiors. I'm constantly inspired by mid- century clothing.”

Day two wound down in the Vondom showroom where Karim Rashid joined a conversation with Museum of Arts and Design’s Curator Ronald T. Labaco. The two discussed the heart of Karim’s practice, “rigorous beautification,” as well as the experience of working with long-term clients, and how companies’ expectations and understanding of design have evolved over the years.

Labaco initiated the conversation by asking how design has changed since the beginning of Rashid’s career and now.

"Twenty years ago, design was all high-end and eccentric,” said Rashid. “It was unapproachable, inaccessible. Many people did not hear about design because it was not part of their lives. Design is everywhere and has become quite accessible. You can find that one-of-a-kind piece for so little. We take it for granted now. I know I do.”

Karim Rashid and Ronald T. Labaco

Labaco then asked how design is important in this day and age of technology.

“I feel like the visual world is moving upward and the physical world is stagnant,” said Rashid.  “Architecture is physical and more than just a sculpture for design. For me, it is the next obvious because I have done so much physical work in the human scale.”

Throughout the two days, designers were also inspired by hundreds of new product introductions across all 18 floors of showrooms. Guests enjoyed numerous book signings with designers like Trudy Dujardin, smaller panel discussions with interior designers Bella Mancini and Michael Tavano, and ended each day with fabulous cocktail parties in many showrooms.

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