Tuesday, 11 March 2014

London Design Week March 2014 Part 1 - Talks at Nicholas Haslam with Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen and Neisha Crosland

 The London Design Week is taking place this week at Chelsea Harbour so this is all very much hot off the press! For those of you who aren't as interested in decor hopefully won't mind if the rest of us design geeks discuss the events I attended today?

I went to the festival to specifically attend two talks - one by 
Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen who run the interior design firm Nicholas Haslam and the other was Martyn Bullard Lawrence.

The first talk was at Paolo Moschino for Nicholas Haslam.
I first remember noting Paolo's work more than a decade ago when he was featured in House and Garden.  In the article he mentioned how pine is an underrated wood, eco-friendly, and fashionable when used right. 
Via AD
Can't find the original image but this is his present London apartment with pine paneling
For more pictures of his London home that featured on Archictectural Digest - click here

 I looked at his way of using pine which was panelled in a period London living room and I was convinced.  So much so that I used it in a cafe that I used to run.

The talk was held at his showroom in Chelsea Harbour.

I wish I had space in my kitchen or dining room for this light.

The area below was where the talk was held so 
it was an intimate and beautiful setting.

The talk was officially 
11.30am: ‘Compendium of Classic Design anecdotes – 
in Conversation with 
Philip Vergeylen and Paolo Moschino’ at Nicholas Haslam

Paolo recounted anecdotes of the legendary designer 
William Haines who is one of his favorites and also added in a few of his own personal experiences he has had in his career.

The dynamic duo - Philip on the left and Paolo on the right
Philip also spoke about his influences which he wanted to share and spread the word about.  One was Eugenia Errazuriz who was a huge influence in the world of both art and design and made the audience want to learn more about her. Apparently she was the one who inspired Coco Chanel and from whom that Coco got a lot of quips that she gets credit for instead of the legendary Madame Errazuriz.

Another design legend he highlighted was Ruby Ross Wood who would not have been out of place in the Million Dollar Decorators.
It is odd because I thought I knew my decorators but I had only heard of her associate which you may know as Billy Baldwin!
Somehow she didn't get the publicity he did.

I loved hearing all the little stories of which there were so many to recount and I just know they have many more that I do hope they come out with a book.  
But I must also note that they were both so personable even to someone like me who is neither a big trade/retail client nor a big blogger.  I did tell him that I was "couldashouldawoulda" and we were Instagram ( his instagram) mutual followers.

 In fact, Paolo for some odd reason follows me on instagram and even messaged me a few hours later on instagram to say it was nice to meet me!?  I am always a firm believer that people who are nice to people that they gain nothing from is a true barometer of someone who is kind and a quality I admire and respect.
Especially when there were other people today who were not as established nor as talented who were being so snooty!!

I couldn't help but get something from his shop filled with goodies so I left with this tortoise candle holder!

After the talk I had a few hours to spare until my lecture with Martyn Bullard Lawrence and wandered around the center and decided to pop in on another talk at Turnell and Gigon.

The speaker there was the artist and designer Neisha Crosland.

As I was the first one there, she was very friendly and 
she chatted to me so affably in a way that the Brits do so well.
She was classically trained in fine arts and went to both the 
Royal College of Art and Camberwell  College of Arts
 so she was talked us through how she arrives at designs and 
her mode of inspiration.
She did attack her designs from an artist's point of view.
She said that while she does have a staff that is very skilled at digital aspects, she still manually draws things on paper as it helps her examine and really see her designs.
She showed us rough drafts of her incredibly beautiful range of wallpaper.
I found them so beautiful as they were a mix of chinoiserie and geometrics.  Her color palette was truly sophisticated as she learned from doing up her house a few years ago that there is a division between editorial and what one can actually live with.

I must suggest that you have a browse through her website as she is a truly talented artist.  In fact, some of her drawings got picked up by Osborne and Little when she was only 18 and still in school!

I will be posting part two tomorrow as I couldn't fit even the edited version in one post.  I must say that any decor enthusiasts must attend these festivals in London as they are sooo much fun!!


  1. Love this peek into a different world! Many thanks Naomi! And I love that wallpaper! And yay for classy people!

    1. These only happen twice a year even in London but it truly is a wonderful way to see new things and hear great stories directly in such intimate settings - it's like having a drink with them at a bar. Paolo, Philip and Neisha were so genuine and I felt so inspired today!


  2. Wonderful. So thrilling to get your insights into this very special world. So nice to hear that the first two designers turned out to be so personable too. Is Paul Moschino, the stylist/designer part of the family of Moschino, the late fashion designer?
    Will be interested to hear your impressions of Bullard. Used to rather like him on Millionaire Decorators but after seeing one or two instalments of his most recent show, doing up London flats to surprise the owners, I thought he came over as almost insufferably pompous - seemed as though his fame had gone right to his head. There was no charming self-deprecation or interesting anecdotes. Maybe he was much nicer up close?
    So looking forward to your second post on this. Pics so interesting too. Cheers, Pammie xx

    1. I honestly don't know why more regular people like me don't attend - it is so much fun and you get to meet lots of interesting people and it is a chance to speak and learn from the top people in the industry. If I were a student I would have been there every day! Bullard was amazing by the way!!! But write more on it later. But I don't know if Paolo is part of the family but wouldn't surprise me if he is as he has that style and flair but Neisha was also a real artist and her talk was the most "artistic" and I look now at her designs with a renewed appreciation! Am relieved that someone finds this stuff interesting so thank you Pammie! xx

    2. So pleased to hear Martyn really was nice as I specially took to him on Millionaire Decorators - thought he was best of all. So I was very disappointed when he seemed to come over all pompous at the start of the new one. Maybe the producers of the new show pushed him into it to make sure audience knew what a fabulous and important celebrity he was, by getting him to say it himself - not really a good idea though. Because the latest show is designed for a UK audience who may not have seen Millionaire Decorators, I guess producers would have wanted to make absolutely clear to everyone. Maybe a voiceover or someone introducing the show each time would have been a better idea.
      Would love to have been able to attend! Sounds completely fascinating, you lucky duck! Thank you for sharing with us. Have also followed Neisha Crosland for some years. Think her mother might have been Roald Dahl's lover after his wife had the stroke (previously her good friend). Also wonder if there was a connection to Richard Crosland? Father, uncle? Looking forward to next instalment. Pammie xx

    3. I don't know much about her background but she is rather posh and everyone seems to be one separation from each other so it wouldn't surprise me at all if that were the case. But I was just taken at how composed and like a true artist she was.

      And yes Millionaire Decorators didn't make it over here believe it or not - not even cable!!! I only saw it because I happened to be in the States when it came on and I have to buy series 2! So the Brits have no idea who he is so that is why they hammed it up a bit. I am so gutted that there is no series 3 though - they must surely be able to round up some people? There is a hard core group of fans out there!! xx

  3. Replies
    1. Oh they did have them! But more prosecco and champagne - I tell you - a day pass here is worth its weight in canapes and a bar tab!!

  4. The pine paneled drawing room with mahogany bookcases is perfection!

    1. Paolo manages to make pine so chic - who knew right? His London flat is quite fab and you would love it GSL!

    2. I love knotty pine and have been in a number of Blue Ridge Mountain cabins that make great use of it.

    3. The few times we see it here is very Swedish or one associates it with cheap furniture but I will google some images of the cabins you mentioned - ta GSL!

  5. +1 for Laoch.

    Can you make a career out of this yourself? You are very passionate about it.

    1. Yes I am passionate but whenever I work in something I am passionate about it sorta kills it! Food, press, and now I look at those so differently so I would like to be untainted and just be a spectator if that makes sense. And yes Laoch is way ahead!

  6. Fabulous review and looking forward to tomorrow's review. Love Martyn.
    So delicious!

    1. Martyn was a huge surprise and delight - in fact all the big names were soooo friendly and nice and it was the local regional designers who were scowling at me...

  7. I love Neisha Croslands designs - her wallpapers are sublime. There's a definite 20's aesthetic in them, and her colour palette is very elegant and liveable. As you said, she does not design for editorial, which is a refreshing change from all the LOOK AT ME design you see about the place. That would have been a fascinating talk, as I love hearing about the artistic process behind design.
    That's nice Paolo was so interesting, and friendly too. I've always wondered why he keeps using the Nicholas Haslam name though. He's well enough known in his own right now, and as Nicky H still is working, it's always struck me as rather odd, and frankly quite confusing to those that are unaware of the split.
    The tortoise candle holder is v. cute. Real tortoise though??? xx

    1. Neisha is so fine art and I was thinking you would have loved her talk. Mind you you would have loved all the talks but she approached it from a very fine art school fashion whereas a lot of other designers seemed to have stumbled upon it with natural talent. She looks at wallpapers like almost a silk screen and she says each print has to be beautiful on its own. She said interesting she has an issue with scale as she gets really indepth to things looking at it from a microscopic view so there are times when you have to tighten things or widen things but the actual end result in upholstery changes things and the practical use usually wins out which is why she wanted to forget all that and approaches things in a balanced way.

      I dont' know for sure re the name but having read Nicky's book apparently it was a parting gift to P or something but I didn't ask! But no it isn't real tortoise - porcelain but I love it! xx

    2. yes I was just thinking how old Paolo dumped him at the airport hotel too….meanwhile what a gorgeous day!!!!! x

    3. Paolo is quite handsome and very debonair so I can see why Nicky couldn't get over him easily...

  8. MB is my have on Million $decorators. I like how he says delicious all the time x

    1. You would have luffed him sick! He bowled me over x

  9. I want to see piccies of that cafe you used to run! Love all that wallpaper, that light floral behind her is so pretty. I am building up to wallpapering one wall of the house, not sure which direction to go in. Those talks must have been fun, wood panneling just makes a room so cosy yet portentious (is that a word??) doesn't it?

    1. I will try and find some but the floor was noticeably pine - I convinced my then business partner - byt alas it was before iphones so I think it is in film!!! I can't wait to see your wallpaper you choose. It is a word when you say it Jody! You are the word legitimizer...x

  10. You are a girl of so many talents!...Where was the cafe you used to run? I adore her wallpaper and also strolling around Chelsea design centre... I did so last year with Mr R-I trailing along behind exhausted and sitting down everywhere!!! I could live there for a week!! xxx

    1. No not really! The cafe ended up being an expensive hobby. It was on Charlotte Street and it was more than a decade ago now - so I am a foodie still but will never get into it again sadly. I hope Mr R-I just sat back and drank the free drinks on offer? xxx


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