I'm admitting it here for the first time. I’ve become completely preoccupied with the 1960’s. The decade’s influence on music (and design, of course) in particular. Although I was born in the 70’s, I’ve always been intrigued by the Swinging Sixties. Flower power. Lunar landings. Woodstock. Camelot. Pop art.
Roy Lichtenstein's "Drowning Girl (1963)
The impetus was a recent visit to London. While wandering around one of my favorite museums there—the National Portrait Gallery—I stumbled upon an exhibit exploring the cultural impact of influential 60’s bands and musicians.
Entitled “Beatles to Bowie: The 60s Exposed,” the exhibition showcases photographs of everyone from The Dave Clark Five to the Rolling Stones to, well, Bowie and the Beatles. If you’re in London before January 24th, I highly recommend it. It’s fascinating. Even if you’re not a Sixties enthusiast.
Always enthralled with a theme (it’s a hazard of the job), I called a friend at Andrew Martin when I spotted their new catalog on top of my pile of post-vacation mail. It seems that co-founder Martin Waller has a bit of a 50’s and 60’s obsession himself. His newest collection includes pieces with (you guessed it) 60’s pop culture references—from Beatles fabric on a traditional-with-a-twist wingback chair to Picture Show cushions in great eye-popping candy colors.
Andrew Martin's "Picture Show" cushions
Andrew Martin "Flemming" chair in "Discovery" and "Headliner" fabrics
At the bottom of that same towering pile of mail? The Restoration Hardware holiday catalog. On the cover? Yep…the Beatles.
Restoration Hardware's Holiday catalog
Restoration Hardware's LP Converter Turntable, $249.
Inside? The "Ultimate Beatles" collection and some really fabulous retro gifts. Love this 1960's-style turntable... And while paisley didn’t exactly originate in the 60’s, it certainly made a big comeback. Remember John Lennon’s oh-so-fabulous Rolls Royce painted in the psychedelic pattern? One of my personal favorites for the home is designer Paul Smith’s “Paisley Aubergine” rug from The Rug Company. Puts that 70’s shag to shame…
Designer Paul Smith's "Aubergine Paisley" rug from The Rug Company
Finally…while designer Nicky Haslam may not be a 60’s rock star, he’s designed for a handful of them and certainly dresses the part. His new memoir, Redeeming Features, is a dream come true for those of us who like a little dish to go with our design. Haslam spent the 60’s hobnobbing with everyone from Warhol to Dorothy Parker, The Rolling Stones to the Queen Mum—and isn’t afraid to share all the juicy details! Stocking stuffer, anyone?
Redeeming Features: A Memoir, by Nicky Haslam. ($30, Knopf, November 2009)
Now, if only I could dig up that Jimi Hendrix poster from my high school bedroom...