Wednesday, March 14, 2012 4:00 PM EDT
Haven't we all at some point in our decorating lives looked at a rug or a tablecloth and wished it were a dress? Maybe not all of us, but at least I know Kirsten Korhani of the eponymous carpet design studio, is with me...
Korhani Home, the founding member of Toronto's World MasterCard Fashion Week and the largest manufacturer of floor textiles in Canada, kicked off Fall/Winter 2012 (their third year showing) by sending carpets down the runway.
Well, they took their patterned weaves and shaggy rugs and wrought them into wearable pieces of artful apparel -- entire collections full! Models sashayed in impossibly heavy but surprisingly wearable-looking creations, showing both men's and women's wear along three themes: a Silk Road/Mongolian story in neon-bright Suzani motifs; a classic punk story with edgy tartans, exaggerated houndstooth and live baby piglets as runway accessory (a crowd pleaser); and a Baroque/Venetian inspired story, including ornate gowns, fans, masks and lots of drama, darlings. Drama.
But theatrical overtures aside, the very literal marriage of fashion and home décor is a trend among cross-market designers and their retailers. In Korhani's case, making the connection between home decor and high fashion allows people to see rugs as more of a seasonal fashion item and not as the lifelong investment of older generations.
HGTV got to chat with the lovely Kirsten Korhani, Creative Director of Korhani Home, about spring trends, and the best way to bring colour and pattern into our decor.
HGTV: Why rugs down the runway?
Kirsten Korhani (left): Why not? (laughs) Our brand and our product are seasonal, just like garments. It’s not very different in your home. You’re dressing up for summer or for winter. You want to do the same thing for your home. In summer, you want to go for light texture, lighter colours because you spend more time outside, or you want take your inside outside, with a nice patio rug. In the winter you’re cocooning. You want the rich, velvet textures or shaggy rugs. I think it’s a very good way to show our brand. Since carpets are not flying, it’s a very nice way to present it on the runway.
HGTV: How close are trends in fashion and home decor?
KK: I think they are getting closer and closer. Every major designer now has a home line as well. It goes hand in hand. What you’re wearing is your personality, you want to show your personality in your house too. Since our rugs are so accessible, you can redo your home for $100. You can transform your home into a new home without getting a new sofa. Sometimes small accessories like a rug or a pillow makes such a big difference, so you can have something different every season.
HGTV: What’s your favourite this season?
KK: The Mongolian-inspired prints.
HGTV: What was your inspiration for these collections?
KK: We always have three themes. The first is Mongolian Beauty, inspired by textured beige and brown with lots of colourful patterns. The next theme is Glamour Punk, it's the end of the ’80s and the beginning of the ’90s, very London. It’s a little more casual and masculine, created for a different personality. The third one, very theatrical, is called Death in Venice, lots of early ’90s Versace-inspired prints and very dramatic.
Death in Venice, for example, was inspired by the time I was a student and went to the carnival in Venice in February. That was one of my biggest experiences and something I wanted to share with everyone. Colour wise, black is the new black, and burgundy takes purple’s place. That’s a trend for next year. Blue black, green black, red black, all shades of black are back again.
HGTV: How will you be refreshing your home for spring? Any suggestions?
KK: I would say change up the main room carpet under your coffee table, where you’ve had your old rugs for years. Go get something you like, don’t be afraid of mixing colours or of the rug not fitting with your wall colour. Everything goes nowadays. Everything is eclectic. Colour wise, I would say the yellow, the acid yellow, or tone it down to a pale yellow and mix it with a black or white. The chartreuse colour is great. I always like the greens because they’re so soothing. If you want, start with pastels and then go into bold colours. Decorate with pillows. It’s 18 degrees this week. Take one of our patio rugs and enjoy the outdoors.
HGTV: What would you like to see in Canadian home décor?
KK: I would like see people decorate their home by season. We can have a different carpet in spring and fall. Since our rugs are so accessible it would be nice to change it up a bit more. Be more fashionable. Don’t be so safe, just play with it.
Maybe, if I pep talk myself and magically develop master sewing skills, I’ll make that tablecloth into an actual dress.