The House that Fashion BuiltGo inside Roksanda's Grand Design, aka Londons' chicest penthouse
“THERE’S A REALLY BIG CROSSOVER. THE WAY YOU APPROACH FASHION AND INTERIORS IS THE SAME.”’
PHOTOGRAPHY i MICHAEL SINCLAIR
STYLING i OLIVIA GREGORY
Roksanda recently designed the Penthouse space at Gasholders in King’s Cross, a prestigious residence built within a refurbished Grade II-listed cast-iron gasholder guide frames.
Spanning three floors, with a double-height sunken courtyard garden and feature staircase to access a private roof garden, views of London’s latest Coal Drops Yard – as well as London’s skyline – are all there to see. The Interiors are feminine and bold, reflecting her trademark fashion aesthetic, and champions female talent. The designer chose ceramics, furniture, textiles and objects designed and made by women to bring the space to life.
WHEN WERE YOU APPROACHED TO WORK ON THE PROJECT AND HOW LONG HAS IT TAKEN TO COME TO FRUITION?
I’ve been approached by developers in the past, but this location really prompted me to do it. As a previous resident of Kings Cross, one of the first people to build a home here when the first regeneration took place, the Gasholders were an iconic landmark that always captured my attention and one which I found particularly beautiful. To be invited by Argent and be able to revisit a neighbourhood that felt so familiar to me and which now hosts the institution which moulded me as a designer, Central Saint Martins, felt like an exciting opportunity.
HOW IS DESIGNING AN INTERIOR DIFFERENT FROM A COLLECTION?
The Penthouse talks to my brand DNA and is the voice of my collections, but is still something different. It was interesting that somehow the final result was very similar to what I do in my read-to-wear. I think that’s the beauty of it. It was important that the penthouse felt like an extension of my world, a curated space that is a true extension of the aesthetic that I apply while designing clothes but also something that reflects my passion for merging different disciplines in design and the arts.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASHION AND INTERIORS? (E.G. MUSIC AND FASHION ARE OFTEN SAID TO BE INEXTRICABLY LINKED - CAN THE SAME BE SAID FOR THIS COMBINATION?)
Fashion, art, and interior design have merged closer together, and it is so exciting to be living in a time and in a city where these disciplines are inspiring each other. Art and architecture are consistently starting points in my own collections, and while designing the penthouse it was easy to translate the codes and DNA of my brand into interiors and curation of this wonderful space.
I think there’s a really big crossover – the way you approach fashion and interiors is the same. You start with your inner feelings, the instinct that you have, and the knowledge that you’ve picked up along the way.
TELL ME SOME INTERESTING DETAILS THAT I MIGHT NOT REALISE - E.G. ARE THERE A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SPECIAL FIXTURES; IS THE COLOUR PALETTE DISTINCT FOR A REASON; ANY STATS THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO KNOW
One of the important elements of my brand’s voice is celebrating and empowering women and I wanted to use this project as a platform to highlight the incredible work of female artists, architects and makers, both established and emerging whose vision inspires me. I wanted them to be part of this journey with me.
As a fashion designer, I think when you design clothes for women; you’re automatically championing women and being inspired by them. For this project, I really wanted women to be at the heart of it, not just in the selection of furniture, but also with the makers who helped us create this space including the florist, the gardener and the ceramics we used. Even the books that line the shelves and pepper the apartment are about or by women. I wanted to have iconic and emerging female makers coming together in this space.
My initial feeling when I walked into the flat was that I liked what I saw, but it was quite absent, stark and maybe too masculine for my taste. I needed to bring a little warmth and a little feminine energy to create a sort of calmness.
The master bedroom is where you can feel my full sense of colour particularly around the bed where there are four different shades of red. I love this room – I wanted this feminine red colour and the book on the bed is by my art teacher and favourite tutor Selena Vickovic.
WHAT TO YOU MAKES A GOOD PIECE OF INTERIOR DESIGN?
With interior design, I am consistently inspired by the discovery of something unique and unknown. I am very passionate about vintage and attend vintage auctions and search websites that offers pieces that are different and that might not be known to people.
Lina Bo Bardi was always my great inspiration. There is a hidden little room on the lower level that feels like a sanctuary and hosts my favourite Lina’s chair – that moment of tranquillity is my favourite place in the apartment.
DO YOU THINK WE'RE EXPERIENCING AN INCREASED INTEREST IN THE AREA? E.G.. HEDI WORKED WITH VARIOUS DESIGNERS TO CREATE HIS CELINE SPACES
I think there's a really big crossover – the way you approach fashion and interiors is the same. You start with your inner feelings, the instinct that you have, and the knowledge that you've picked up along the way. It was interesting that somehow the final result was very similar to what I do in my ready-to-wear. I think that's the beauty of it.
WHAT OTHER SPACES WOULD YOU LIKE TO DESIGN?
A sense of architecture and design comes naturally to me. You can feel that in my shows. It’s definitely something I’d like to explore more in the future.
BURO.’s edit of the high fashion homewares to add to your wish-list.