We talk to Mokum Design Director Stephanie Moffitt about our latest collaboration with acclaimed production and costume designer Catherine Martin. Stephanie discusses how the Mokum studio goes about developing a collection with Catherine who is now based in New York.
Majorelle - A Collaboration
You have just come back from launching Majorelle in New York at Catherine Martin and Baz Lurhmann’s New York home. How did it go?
It was an extremely exciting week, we were not only launching our largest ever Mokum collection into North America but we were doing so from Catherine’s beautiful home. Catherine has filled her home with Majorelle fabrics, trimmings and wallpapers, and their home is very much in keeping with her style, which is both brave and sophisticated. We held press presentations in the morning and then Catherine hosted a cocktail party in the evening. These events allowed the New York media and interior designers to experience the range in a very glamourous and holistic way, showcasing how the collection layers and mixes patterns, plains and wallpapers insitu.
How do you start a collection with Catherine Martin and where did the theme behind Majorelle come from?
The collections are very much inspired by Catherine’s recent work, often a Bazmark film or a large design project. Our latest collection was a continuation from the Paradiso outdoor collection which was inspired by her work on the famed Faena Hotel in South Beach Miami, but we took it in a new direction after meeting with Catherine in New York.
We had just received the first woven sample of Majorelle and agreed it was looking very ‘moorish’, it was then that we talked about Yves St Laurent’s Marrakesh retreat and choose to explore this as a key influence. With Yves coming from France this also allowed us to reference Catherine’s French heritage and love of European design within the collection. We also wanted to pay homage to classic luxury textiles of the last 100 years, developing our own take on animal skins and a contemporary tropical palm which resulted in the beautiful La Palma textile and wallpaper.
What is the biggest difference between collaborating with Catherine and the development process for a Mokum studio based collection?
The biggest difference for us is the influence of the guest designer; our goal is to meet her vision for the range in keeping with Mokum’s view of luxury textiles. Every idea, design, construction and colour is approved by Catherine. Now that she is primarily based out of New York it does slow down the development process but this is such a small price to pay for working with such a creative talent!
Also, Catherine’s collections are primarily pattern driven and embrace a very theatrical colour palette which adds diversity to the Mokum brand’s product offering.
What is your favourite design in the collection and why?
I love Bengal Tiger. It nearly didn’t make the range as we had originally experimented with printing it but we weren’t happy with the direction it was heading. We wanted our tiger to be able to hold its own against the iconic silk tiger prints which are staples within the luxury interior design community. At the eleventh hour we redesigned it to be a jacquard velvet which enabled a much more complex look. The final Bengal Tiger is a European piece dyed velvet with beautiful binding details within the spine and features subtle metallic shadowing to create even more glamour.
The collection includes plain drapery and upholstery designs, which is new for the Catherine Martin by Mokum brand. What was the thinking behind this?
We wanted the collection to be a complete offering, delivering a holistic range of textiles, trimmings and wallpaper. In order to achieve this we needed to incorporate luxury plain weaves in which to layer the patterns on. Interestingly Catherine, who is known for her love of pattern, is besotted with Bespoke, our new textured velvet plain, custom dyed to deliver an extensive and fashion driven palette.
The Majorelle Wallpapers are printed onto paper based vinyl, why did you choose this substrate?
We wanted to create a product which was both beautiful and practical. The paper based vinyl substrate is suitable for both residential and commercial applications. Another element to developing with vinyl was our ability to emboss pattern onto the surface, adding beautiful texture to the designs. Majorelle and La Palma wallpapers are the first pre embossed digital prints that our English printer has ever produced which was an exciting advancement.
Lastly, what’s next for this collaboration?
We are producing an outdoor version of the La Palma print and have just begun initial discussions for our next range based on Bazmark’s next film project, which is very exciting – it will take us in a completely new direction!