Yesterday I told you about a collaboration between ethical interiors store Aerende and broadcaster and chef Rosie Birkett, today we are looking another collaboration – this time between a textile designer and a manufacturer who have combined forces to create something fantastic – and looking at the products you will see I mean that in its most literal sense.
Textile designer Emma J Shipley has teamed up with Clarke and Clarke to create a range of gorgeous chairs upholstered in her signature fantastical designs. The collection is now on sale exclusively at Harrods for the next three months, and Emma will be in store – in the fabric library in the third floor – on 12 May signing prints and talking about her inspiration as part of London Craft Week.
The collection follows on from her Animalia collection of fabrics and wallpaper and has been adapted for wooden frame and upholstered arm chairs. Fans of her work will recognise three of her best known designs – Audobon, Kruger and Tigris.
Emma said she wanted to take “the viewer on an enchanting journey, discovering new specoes and curious beasts in a maximalist jungle environment.”
The designs are taken from her original, and very detailed, pencil drawings, and inspired by trips to the Amazon, Africa and the Far East. This is Clarke and Clarke’s first foray into furniture design. The collaboration came about after the CEO of the company, Lee Clarke, was at home when his wife, Emma, received a delivery of a cheetah cushion she had ordered – and don’t we all hate it when our partners are unexpectedly around when the stealth shopping arrives?
A few weeks later while lying on a sunbed on holiday, he and Emma (Clarke) were discussing potential collaborations and she reminded him how much he loved the giraffe cushion. Twenty minutes later he had rung Emma (J Shipley – many Emmas) from his poolside seat to suggest working together and the deal was done.
Emma’s label launched at London Fashion Week in 2012 after she graduated from the London College of Art and Browns immediately started selling her graduate collection of scarves. She went on to win numerous awards and, as well as Harrods, is also stocked at Libertys and Fortnums.
Now a word about the accent chair as it’s often known. Don’t be scared of the pattern. Usually you only have one and it’s great to make a feature of it. Yes you can have bold and brave cushions but how much more fun to go all out with the chair. That’s a real confident statement and it’s always good to do that in a room.
There are, of course, two ways of going about it, either everything else is quite pared back and simple and the chair does the talking – that’s the fabulous scarf with the black trouser suit approach, or you go all out with lots of pattern and colour. But it’s kind of one of the other. There’s no middle ground with a chair like this.
The frame chair starts at £499 and the armchair is £699. The frames come in a variety of different colours as well as the wood which is shown here – acid pink and green being just two of the options.