Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Out of the Powder Room and into the Closet...


While browsing Nordstrom's accessories department with my mom and sister yesterday, I spied Kate Spade's cheerful summer bon shopper ($175) with its playful, leaping zebras. If you're as fanatical a reader of shelter magazines as I am, then no doubt you are also struck by the similarity between this print and Scalamandre's popular zebra wallpaper. While the lack of arrows (which I'm not a big fan of anyways -- it takes the safari-theme too literally) and the different colorways make this print not an exact replica of the wallpaper, it nevertheless bears an uncanny resemblance to the iconic paper.

To refresh your memory, here are a few examples of the pattern in question being used by two of my favorite designers:


Miles Redd

And lest you think the similarity is purely coincidental, check out Jack and Kate Spade's very own guest bath (via Habitually Chic), which sports the wallpaper in a cheerful green:

I should add that it's entirely possible (even likely) that Kate Spade had permission from Scalamandre to use this print; I have no idea. Rather than making any legal accusations, I'm more interested in generating some discussion around whether or not you like the increased interrelationship between fashion and interior design in recent years. So what do you think? Is what's good on the runway good in the home?

While I love the fact that runways and design showrooms now speak to each other (both literally and figuratively), I'll admit that I think the line isn't completely permeable. After all, fashion is (or at least should be) much more about trends and seasons: the "It" bag, the hot new colors for fall, etc. Interior design, on the other hand, should perhaps be more timeless and more impervious to trends. I think we've come a bit too far with disposable decorating, which is both fiscally and environmentally irresponsible. But I'd love to hear what you think on this one....

21 comments:

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Wow, pretty much identical - I agree about losing the arrows, those kind of creep me out!

Kathysue said...

Very interesting Sherlock!!! Hmmmm, It does look very close to the wallcovering and the fact that it is in her home makes it a bit suspicious I am not sure what I think because I love both!! I know I am a big help on the issue you have brought to our attention, aren't I. Love Kate Spades bathroom, you know me with black and white and a pop of green, Heaven!! I will come back and see what others say, Interesting topic as always Averill!! Have a good week!! Kathysue

Kitty said...

yes, the arrows detract from the fabulosity for sure!

Jeannine 520 said...

For all we know Kate has license to use it from Scalamandre.

Averill said...

Jeannine - As I mentioned in my post, that's entirely possible. And, given Kate's relationship with Scalamandre (Scalamandre and Spade entered into an agreement to launch a fabric line based on Kate's designs a few years ago), more likely than not. The question for me isn't a legal one; it's not whether or not she had a right to do it. It's whether or not you like the idea of fashion incorporating interior design trends, patterns, etc.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Interesting point about fashion being about trends and the season, whereas interiors should be more timeless. All of a sudden I got the sense that this is becoming an aspect of interiors as well, and that isn't a good thing. It simply costs too much and takes too much effort to put together a room properly, and then to have it become dated too quickly? Fortunately I think economics alone will keep this possible change in interiors at bay.

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

i love them — the bags and the powder rooms! why shouldn't life emulate art? beautiful post.

Sanity Fair said...

lol - we're on the same wavelength today for all things Spade! I had not even seen these - what an idea. I have to say, while I love the wallpaper, I like it less so on the bag - it would be more balanced, I think, to have one large zebra or just a few. It's a pretty whole-sale translation.
On the other hand, I have a really hard time separating my style and my decor. For instance: wearing patterns that would look a lot better on my pillows than on me! :)
-SF

The Zhush said...

There is a famous Italian restaurant in NYC that has the red colorway zebra paper all over its walls, I can not see this paper without thinking about shrimp scampi or baked manicotti...weird, but true.

Haven and Home said...

I love the idea of the wallpaper now being a bag. I agree though, fashion can be far more fickle than decorating should be.

Cornflake said...

I LOVE that zebra red wallpaper - I'm so INSPIRED!! :-)

SogniSorrisi said...

I struggle with this when it comes to home decorating, I'm always so afraid I'm going to tire of a certain look, but also would be bored if I went the total classic look.

I think with interiors and in fashion its best to spend your money on quality staples. For the home you can change things up with cheaper accessories and with fashion you can buy cheaper, trendier items to liven up the basics you already have.

Fran said...

Interesting....while in Nantucket, I saw a store that carried 'imperial trellis' skirts, shirts and coats. Now, I love imperial trellis in the home, but as clothing well, I didn't love it. It was a little too much of a good thing?? But, all that said, I am of the same thinking as Mackenzie as long as it is legal, why shouldn't both fashion and interior design influence each other? Great post....Averill!

sarah @ realestatestyle said...

i have always like the zebra paper, but am seeing the green version for the first time, and i LOVE it!!!! i agree, i wouldn't want trendy wallpaper, but the link to fashion is good for us to get in on the trend. instead of wallpaper, we can get the bags!

The Shiny Pebble said...

I am thinking handbags are keepers. 'it' bags are for celebrities in my opinion. as far as the blurring lines between home and fashion design, I think they have always been hand and hand. Actually fashion first then followed by home design. In this case, the relatioship order is clearly altered. Great catch!

Laura@JourneyChic said...

I agree that decor should be more timeless, but perhaps that's because I don't have the disposable income to keep updating my home based on trends! The arrows in that wallpaper are rather creepy. I definitely wouldn't want to look at zebras being killed all day. The handbag is much more my speed!

Christy said...

I actually like the handbags, but not the wallpaper - too creepy. As for whether it was right...I think not. Unless she'd labeled it Scalamandre for Kate Spade - then it would be okay. But in general, I do like the collaboration between fashion and interiors!

ashlina {the decorista} said...

hi gorgeous girl. sorry i have been MIA for a minute....i love this pattern, kate spade always finds the best stuff and makes is better. gotta love her for that....love the bathrooms! :) hope you had a great fourth sweets. xoxo

Michelle said...

I LOVE that paper, soo much, but I priced it out for my bathroom, and it was too pricy :(

Hello Lover... said...

I definitely agree that things for the home should be much more along the lines of something you want for a long period of time, where certain items such as a bag or accessory you wear would be much more trendy and probably not something you would wear for over a long period of time - so interesting though how much you see interior design and fashion cross over now!

Meander said...

love the green!!!

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