Floors Well Dressed
Canada’s hotshot luxury menswear designer extends his fashion style to interior decor.
Lagerfeld. Armani. Fendi. Titans in the world of fashion. But another thing these names have in common is they have all explored the subtle boundary between fashion and interior design by releasing lines of interior furnishing products, no doubt fueled by the inspiration to decorate rooms in the same manner as they had dressed generations of men and women with clothing and accessories.
A recent Canadian to join this club is Christopher Bates, the Vancouver-born and Italian-trained menswear designer whose attention-grabbing work on runways scored him a coup on another runway recently: designing uniforms for Air Canada employees. His newest collaboration is with Alan Pourvakil, founder and creative director of Toronto-based W Studio Ltd., on a new carpet line that is part of the company’s Artist Series.
W Studio’s partnership with Bates is something Alan and Christopher have been talking about for some time since meeting at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week in 2016. Perhaps not surprisingly, Bates integrates elements of fashion in his carpet design, specifically his blazers (Giardino) and his love for bow ties (Farfalle), and like his clothing collections employs bold uses of colour and texture.
“Fashion has always been my personal interest and one of the main pillars of W Studio,” says Pourvakil. “I remember before the age of the internet I was religiously watching Jeanne Beker’s Fashion Television every Saturday and two of my first designs that I did back in 1998 [were called] Paris and Milan.”
This isn’t the first collaboration with a non-rug personality. Through the Artist Series program, “W Studio partners with artists from different mediums who interpret carpet design through their own unique perspectives,” says Zach Jensen, a design consultant at W Studio, and debuting at IDS19 this January were two new additions to the Series: Bates, along with Karim Rashid, whose line carries his signature love of juxtaposing form, colour, and pattern.
Rashid- and Bates-produced designs are executed in the W Dream line, a wool or nylon carpet with ultra-high resolution print that can be used as floor covering but can also be displayed as acoustic wall art that is sound absorbing and non-reflective, transforming any space into an inspiring blend of form and function.
“I am always looking for new ideas and staying ahead of the today’s trends [as well as] creating timeless works of art, as the carpet would last a lifetime or two if it is well cared for,” says Pourvakil. “So it needs to stay beautiful for a very long time and should become [part of] one’s personal belongings and travel with the owner from place to place or perhaps handed down to their children one day.”