Wall Yourself In

17 May 2005|Leah Hunter

I am in furious mural mode.

At home, I’m sketching line-drawings of birds in my bathroom. At work, I’m lobbying to create 30-foot painting to disguise the concrete wall outside our office. At first I thought the mania was just mine, but recent spreads in Elle Decoration and Surface confirm: walls are where it’s at right now. They’re the latest focus in fashion retailing.

Designers aren’t just sticking to satin enamel. Retail wall adornments run the gamut from paint to passementarie.

There are intricate, hand-drawn scenes, like the fairy tale garden French artist Cyprien Chabert drew for Dosa in Los Angeles. (His surrealist botanicals are amazing—very Josef Frank, very cool.)

There’s fabric-as-paint at Emilio Pucci’s Ginza boutique. Lit from behind, the stretched polyester panels glow like a gigantic plasma screens. A perfect background for projected psychadelic swirls.

There’s reptilian metal. Colored steel scales were used to plate the inside of Catriona MacKechnie’s upscale lingerie store in NYC—a fitting skin for slippery under things.

There’s even all-out, super-girly appliqué, my recent favorite. At the newest London Paul & Joe store, romantic overlays of beaded lace border the ceilings, mirrors, and moldings. The rococo look is finished off with a single, silver wallpaper panel printed with an oversized magnolia branch. It’s a sexy cross between Southern decadence and French boudoir.

Maybe I should rethink the birds…

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