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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

michele varian

Michele Varian's pillows are often seen in the pages of Lucky and Domino Magazines. Her shop is a wonderful mix of her designs and the work of other designers whose work she admires.

1 ~ what's your name, shop name, and shop location...
Michele Varian
Michele Varian, 35 Crosby Street, in NYC's Soho.

2 ~ tell us about some of the objects in your display...
The gold bottles are by Eva Menz and are 10k gold plated porcelain. They are cast from found bottles (one is Jack Daniels) and each one is made "imperfect" in some way before they are cast, so there are no 2 alike. The jewelry shown is by Alex and Chloe. We sell a lot of jewelry, and I love buying it. I like these pieces because they are a little bit manly/huntery and dark, but they are so beautifully cast and delicate that they are feminine and the dark side makes them sexy.

3 ~ describe the mood, what inspired you, or what you intended when creating/arranging these pieces...
I opened the store as a showcase for my collection of decorative pillows, which are all made in the studio behind the store. My inspiration for designing the pillows and selecting and arranging items for the store is usually the same. I like organic textures and I love birds, but I like to mix things up. Objects are more interesting when they have a little bit of conflict and ambiguity. So, even though I like natural and organic, I like to use gold to luxe it up or to use dark iconic imagery, such as skulls, crosses or guns. I have a lot of taxidermy-esque pieces right now, but none of it is real, making it more funny and ironic.

4 ~ what are 3 objects/pieces sold in your store that you are dying to have or... you already have and love...
We sell a lot of Tord Boontje's designs and even though they are everywhere, I had to have one of the garland lamps in black. Love it in gold, but when I saw it in black, I knew my husband would like it too. I have to be careful with my husband to not make things too precious, so we have a lot of my tougher pillows at home - the flaming heart, the buck, the eagle. I also sell Neisha Crosland wallpaper and our apartment is covered in it. In one room we have 3 patterns - all quite dark, but with hints of metallic.

5 ~ list three things that provide you with inspiration...
I was just in Detroit and bought a set of 1914 World books at an estate sale. They're amazing and in great condition too. Tons of illustrations and prints. Very stylized and dated. Old things usually inspire me the most.

I love early design during the industrial revolution. All these metal and mechanical things with floral flourishes and curving lines. I like to see how things are constructed. That's why I use a tie closure on all of our pillows and make it part of the design - not hidden.

Textiles of every kind excite me. I love the way that they are made. I have to be careful to not go into a technical reverie when customers ask questions about specific fabrics.


Blogger IMEDAGOZE said...

I can hear those pillows on the bottom pic scream "pick me, pick me.." :) They are so gorgeous! Another great shop, Joy! I wish I could visit it. *sigh*

7:15 PM  

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