In the 25 years since Nick Jones launched his hip members’ club Soho House, the décor of the properties has influenced, directed and reflected the nation’s changing interiors tastes. From the grunge-meets-glam industrial warehouse conversions of the late1990s to the glossy mid-century stylings and the boho luxe of more recent additions to the group.
Latterly, they’ve embraced trad-ish colour and pattern, in tune with the current mode for contemporary twists on classic style – think velvets, chintzy florals, fringing, ikat prints and embroidery. This is particularly apparent in its new Soho Home collection; the interiors range featuring furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles and accessories inspired by, or seen in, the different Houses worldwide.
An extension of the brand’s exploration of opulent maximalism, experimenting with bold patterns and colour, it has just released a small number of pieces in collaboration with French textile company Pierre Frey, well-known and loved for its historical references and luxurious finishes.
‘Our fabrics have already been used in a number of the existing Houses, so I think we were a natural choice to collaborate with,’says Pierre Frey, grandson and namesake of the brand’s founder, and current communications director.
Meeting at his Parisian headquarters to discuss the project, Frey also gives me a tour of the company’s extensive archive, which features around 25,000 different fabrics, wallpapers and drawings, some dating back to the 16th century. ‘This archive is so important to what we do,’ says Frey. ‘It inspires all the pieces in every collection and other designers come here to research ideas, too.’
It’s all curated by the watchful eye and gloved hands of art historian and textile expert, Sophie Rouart, whose passion for these delicate fragments is infectious. She’s been looking after the unique collection since 2003 and constantly enhances it with new acquisitions, which she sources with Pierre’s father Patrick. ‘Every time I’m in this room, I discover new pieces that I fall in love with immediately,’says Frey. ‘We play a lot with these archives, transforming a print into an embroidery or choosing an element we can blow up or recolour. In this way, we twist the designs in order to make them more contemporary or timeless.’
The six-piece ‘Soho Home x Pierre Frey’ capsule collection consists of three cushions, a footstool, chair and bed all upholstered in fabrics from Le Manach, a historic label that’s been producing textiles since1829, and that was acquired by Pierre Frey in 2014. Today Le Manach includes over 130 designs, which can be customised in more than220 colours, enabling great creative freedom. For instance, the stripe-and-dot interspersed fabric covering the ‘Les Perles’ bed is inspired by a Louis XVI pattern, which has been enlarged specially for this piece, creating a unique element for the project.
Not only excited by the collection, Frey is also looking forward to the imminent opening of new outpost Soho House Paris, scheduled for the autumn. ‘We’ve been waiting for them to launch here for years,’ he says. ‘It will bring something different to the city for sure.’And for those who can’t wait that long, these pieces will provide the perfect mix of Gallic style and British attitude. sohohome.com
This article appeared in ELLE Decoration May issue
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