I have been having a hard time writing this first post of the year. It seems like so much has already happened and at the same time the story continues to unfold. Before I continue to wait some more for the ideas to cohere, I’m just going to put them out there and hope that the chapter and verse make sense later down the road... So how does 2015 begin?

Last December during Art Basel Miami Beach I worked on another LVMH design project. This time LVMH sponsored the production of a modular furniture system designed by Pierre Paulin. The furniture system, originally designed in 1972 for Herman Miller, was never produced until now as one of a kind pieces, prototypes. Having worked as a docent on a previous design project with LVMH, I was looking forward to the many conversations I would have, particularly with designers, architects and interior designers. Comparing the general public’s reaction in 2014 to that of 2013 when LVMH sponsored the production of Charlotte Perriand’s la maison au bord de l’eau, I thought it was interesting to see a much more personal exchange in 2013 between the visitor and the designer. Once inside the architectural structure designed by Charlotte Perriand, the visitor could not contain a curiosity to explore carefully each room, identify its purpose and make a comparison to their own interior living space. Although Charlotte Perriand’s maison was designed in 1934, her ideas resonate still today. Decorative ideas such as displaying personal photographs taken from nature and collected items from places traveled or integrating a vintage tile found at a flea market with a new piece of furniture are all contemporary ideas on how to personalize a space.

Sometimes you need a professional. There is nothing wrong with seeking professional assistance if you are looking to decorate a home or buy artwork. The important thing is, for whomever is going to help you, to understand your taste and what you are trying to accomplish. They should be able to create the best version of you reflected in your home. A home is a work in progress and as we evolve our tastes, so will our home. I believe in the power of cleaning out and making room for new ideas. The idea of beginning a collection with an empty apartment is pretty utopian but it’s important to reflect on the objects we decide to travel with through life and ask ourselves if these are truly the ones we want to hold on to? There is no need to carry forward insignificant weight. Yes lots of “stuff” become insignificant. With 2015 approaching I needed a deep clean and called the professional help I personally needed: Brandon Fogel. Brandon is not an interior designer (although I’m sure his apartment is immaculate) nor is he an art adviser (although I’ve considered hanging some couture pieces on my wall). Brandon is a wardrobe stylist, an image consultant, personal shopper and God sent to help me clean out my closet. Each piece in my closet was carefully examined: kept, consigned or donated. The closet was left a dream, organized by color and with easy access. I had never realized what bad lighting there is in my closet until Brandon pointed it out and it got me thinking about exhibition lighting for any collection. Quality over quantity, classic shapes are must haves, color coordinate and put prints together, a place for everything and good lighting helps make a closet look much better. If I go missing I might just be hanging out in my closet. Thank you Brandon.

I’m big on New Year’s resolutions, Chinese New Year forecasts, daily horoscopes and the occasional psychic reading. I also love fortune cookies, Magic 8-Balls, Feng Shui and keeping good karma. I spent New Year’s eve in the city of Cusco, Peru and the first few days of 2015 exploring the cities of Ollataytambo, Machu Picchu, Moray, Puno and the floating isles of Lake Titicaca. The worse the internet connection was, the more interesting the textiles and traditional costumes were. Every region was more colorful than the last, the further away from Lima you traveled. I studied Pre-Colombian Art in college and there is nothing simple about understanding the cultural history of a country like Peru, which is literally an onion of civilizations that overlap and seep into each other over time. Without trying to become a scholar in the political and social structures of their ancient civilizations, my attention during the trip was engaged with the remnants and developments of Peruvian textile manufacturing. The natural fibers of alpaca and llama have been used for thousands of years. A simple spun fiber is made, dyed in color with organic materials and different looms are used, including the 4- post and back strap loom. The traditional back strap loom dates pre Inca times and is still in use today. The weaving is based on a grid- pattern of the thread and the complex designs can reflect the users town of origin, social status, and gender. The brighter the colors, the better. Later did I learn Peru has one of the longest continuous textile records in history.

I started the year obsessing about color, textiles, with a small collection of traditional Peruvian hats and a beautifully organized closet.

AuthorLina Hargrett