Lee Jofa now exclusively offers Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam Ltd. In anticipation of this exciting collaboration, we spoke with the design duo behind this luxurious fabric brand – Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen.
How would you describe the overall aesthetic of this collection? Can you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
Paolo & Philip: With over 40 patterns and many more colour ways in the Paolo Moschino Fabric Collection, there is more than one source of inspiration. Aurora, for us, is the freshest a floral fabric can be, which was the intention behind it. Cables was designed for a superyacht and Bamboo Cane for a project in Palm Beach. Some of our designs are inspired by antique originals from our archives. For example, Melba Flowers was discovered in the attic of a historic house. We were about to redecorate and discovered a beautiful old pair of curtains, obviously very faded and worn, but there was enough of the pattern for us to create a new fabric. There really is a story behind every fabric. However, we try to keep one thing constant across the collection—quality! The quality of our fabrics is second to none and we are fortunate to work with the very best artisans to achieve prints that have both depth and character.
Is there a particular pattern (or patterns!) that stands out to you in this latest introduction?
Paolo & Philip: Riviere stands out because there is a funny story behind it. A couple of years ago we had a leak in the dining room of our country house (yes, it sometimes happens to us and NOT just an unfortunate client!!!). The curtains in this room were made of our Natural Glazed Linen, and the water damage left marks in a rippling pattern on the fabric. Philip LOVED the design of the wavy marks and we tried to recreate it. It took multiple iterations to finally arrive at Riviere. Palmyra is also one of our favourites, it is inspired by the Art Deco designs of Serge Roche, one of our idols of French decoration.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Was it always designing?
Philip: As a child, I had no idea interior design was a profession. But from a very young age I was drawing things nonstop, and I am told my grandfather said, “Let’s hope he doesn’t want to be an artist.” After a 17-year career in financial services at American Express—which I loved—I made the jump to my original passion. Today, I cannot imagine doing anything else!
Paolo: Design was always in mind since an early age, but also a job interacting directly with people. I have been extremely lucky to have both.
Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to design?
Paolo & Philip: Ohhhh— there are too many to list— but we can give you just two examples to start: curtains that are too long and feature walls. We always say “we can do any style EXCEPT vulgar,” but we do like to have humour in all of our interiors.
What emerging design trends are you most excited about?
Paolo & Philip: We are not very good at following or predicting trends, and if we can identify them, we don’t like them. We hope the trend is to create happy interiors, instead of those that are constricted or contrived. Nobody likes an edited/chic look more than us, but we should never forget humour to make us smile.
What is one place on your bucket list you’re just itching to visit?
Philip: The Great Barrier Reef—but also Dresden Castle and Corsica (I have never been !!!)
Paolo: I just wish I had the time for a one-month drive across America. There are so many places I would like to visit, like the Grand Canyon and all the beautiful lakes, and I would like to stay in some charming log cabins.
If you could have one designer (past or present!) design your dream home, who would you pick?
Paolo & Philip: Albert Hadley or Stephane Boudin (if we had a palace!) or Rose Tarlow.
What is your favorite room in your home? Why?
Paolo & Philip: Our dining room, because we can create different moods and environments on the table every day.
Paolo & Philip: Alstroemeria (aka Lily of the Incas). We often have them in our house in the country because they always look happy— and most important—they last for three weeks!!!
Philip: Calèche by Hermès and Rive Gauche by YSL spark memories of my mother; for myself, my favourite scent is Modern by Banana Republic.
Paolo: And of course our classic Bad Boy candle!
Favorite design book (aside from your own!)?
Paolo & Philip: Jansen Decoration – absolutely.
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