A Monday night in London’s Soho district, busy with people, traffic and bright lights. The venue, tucked discreetly in a mews off Dean Street was The Soho Hotel co-owned by designer, and Wilton Carpets new collaborator, Kit Kemp for the official launch of the ‘Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets Collection’.
The reception, incredibly warm and welcoming from the teams at Firmdale Hotels and Wilton Carpets, was enhanced by intimate low-level lighting, perfectly curated modern artefacts and the smoked red Batik carpet. Ten powerful colours blend harmoniously in this runner to draw you beautifully through the space. At the end of the rug, I managed to catch up with Damian Roscoe, Head of Creative at Wilton Carpets for a tour around the new collection recently installed in the hotel.
Design cross-pollination isn’t a new concept, but the idea of design thinking without boundaries, of information exchange, is a heart of future-led business and innovation. Damian explained a little more about how the team at Wilton had developed the collection closely with Kit from initial inspirations to finished designs. It’s interesting that the effects of light on colour, which I’ve seen emerging in design trends were so focal to the process. To capture the essence of light play on silk, the team built the By Way colour palette from five to sixteen. In situ, the Winter colourway creates a gentle shimmer effect, elongating the space without feeling sterile or unfriendly. Spring was tricky to see under the feet of so many animated press, the congregation perhaps a result of this joyful rainbow.
Process, observation and craftsmanship, the backlash against globalised mass production is the design elixir of the morbidly curious. I absolutely love Tweed Fleck and its background story really highlights this. In round table discussions about textiles that inspire or hold special associations, Kit and team discovered a shared love of tweed. As the conversation developed to process challenges of dyeing this material, difficulty in matching the ‘slub’ which throws up rogue colours was embraced for its unique playfulness.
I met three of the Tweed Fleck colourways at The Soho Hotel, the first two in one of the penthouse suites. Whitby has a very soft urban neutral background with intense highly vibrant accents reflective of its midtown Manhattan namesake, which was amazing in contrast with the candy Squiggle rug in the living area. It transitions almost imperceptibly in the bedroom to the Soho colourway that has more subdued accents, more conducive to the restful nature of the space. I have to say that the Knightsbridge colourway stole my trend heart a little for its pure depth of colour within a much smaller room and a Dada interior.
The ‘Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets Collection’ creates some dynamic colour combinations from its red and blue base quite similar to those being used currently in Dutch modern design. In equal proportions, they almost pulsate with each other for statement pieces, but as accents to each other with neutrals, they create a visceral rhythm for boutique flooring.
Image credits: Justine Fox, Materialcolour
Justine Fox specialises in business focused colour strategies and the development of future aesthetic development programs. Her diverse international client list ranges from brand & packaging, consumer electronics, coatings, flooring, industrial design, eyewear, art and architectural materials.
Over the last 12 years in this industry, Justine’s focus and curiosity of our relationship with colour has continued to grow. Her consultancy, Material Colour goes beyond trend forecasting to integrate the principles of applied colour psychology and evolving colour technologies to effectively communicate her clients’ brand values and create emotional connections with the consumer through their products and marketing.
Justine is an experienced speaker on colour design having held seminars and hosted workshops both privately and at some of the most exciting design exhibitions around the world. She’s a member of the Colour Group GB and a lead advisory expert for the NCS Global Trend Program.