Scottish designer JonathanSaunders is the latest in a formidable line of fashion talent to segue from sartorial design to interiors. He debuted his furniture and textiles collection ‘Rhythms of Color’ under his surname at the LA edition of Frieze Art Fair in February. Revealing, perhaps, a desire to delve into a slower creative process that results in something more permanent than the fleeting world of attire. But this development has, in someways, been years in the making.
Saunders studied product design at Glasgow School of Art prior to his MA in fashion design at Central Saint Martins, and has already conceived characteristically vivid home textiles for The Rug Company. ‘This is something I have wanted to do for a long time,’ he says, clearly keeping himself busy since departing Diane von Furstenberg as chief creative officer in2018. ‘From an early age, I was making objects and playing with colours and materials. I always dreamed of incorporating furniture within my fashion brand but there was never the time.’
Showcasing his signature jarring juxtaposition of bold colour, the collection is composed of three groups. ‘The Rhythm of Colour’ utilises marquetry, a craft that he likens to screen printing in the way different coloured veneers are layered and interlinked. The blocky pieces include a bench, stool, shelving and screen in a mixture of dyed timbers.
Equally rigid and geometric in form are his Bauhaus-inspired tubular steel pieces, ‘Repetition of Form’,an armchair, stool and table, which are respectively combined with nylon, leather and resin. Lastly are the screen-printed textiles,‘Freedom Without Constraints’, which is kind of Saunders-does-Rothko but in his own joyful assorted palette, with pigment free-poured so that blends run from yellow and cobalt to pink and jade.
Saunders has found the project rejuvenating: ‘I decided to do something that felt personal, in a field where I could design with enough time to develop ideas. I’d always wanted to learn more about certain traditional techniques, but use them in a modern way.’ Currently bespoke and made to order, he’s already considering the next interiors step. It’s clear that this is just the beginning of Saunders’ creative new adventure in colour. saundersstudio.com
This article appeared in ELLE Decoration May 2020
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