South Africa's Finest Decor Magazine

Light Influence

After a recent collaboration, Kate Moss and de Gournay founder Claud Cecil Gurney share their views on the new range

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Light Influence
Light Influence

In collaboration with Kate Moss, storied French wallpaper house de Gournay, known for its intricate chinoiserie, presents ‘Anemones in Light’, a monochromatic, Art Deco-inspired hand-painted wallpaper that features cascading blooms and dream-like light beams. ‘It adds texture and drama to a room,’ says Kate. ‘It transports you to another place.’

Kate and de Gournay founder, Claud Cecil Gurney, offer their views and opinions on the collaboration.

How did the collaboration between de Gournay and Kate Moss come about?
CCG: A collaboration between de Gournay and Kate Moss was destined to happen since 2000, after I’d spent three hours waiting for her in her bathroom to discuss decorating her home with my 13-year-old daughter who was desperate to meet her. She never appeared, which increased our fascination and desire to meet and work with her. 17 years later it finally happened. We were summoned back to a different bathroom where Kate actually appeared and we found out what a charismatic and charming person she really is.

What prompted you to do an interiors collaboration and is the interiors world a field you plan to explore more in the future?
KM: I have worked with Katie Grove on numerous interiors projects. We both love de Gournay and approached them with the idea of collaboration; I am certainly open to exploring the possibilities in the world of interiors as I’ve enjoyed it so much.

How would you describe your interiors style and does it mirror your fashion style?
KM: Yes, it certainly does, my style is drawn from different eras, mixing the old with the new, custom pieces mixed with found treasures…. like the mix of couture with second hand. It’s how I also like to dress…

Describe your own approach to the way you decorate your homes? Do you find that dressing your rooms is very different from dressing yourself?
CCG: In a timeless way, I buy beautiful things and by moving them around they eventually find their home where they blend seamlessly with other beautiful things. Just as beautiful clothes, whether Edwardian, Jacobean or 1930s will always look wonderful if they are perfectly made and fitted and worn with a dash of colour and much aplomb.

Is your decoration for your inner soul or for guests to appreciate?
KM: Whilst it’s lovely when my style is appreciated, I always dress for myself. I decorate my home in the same spirit.
CCG: It’s entirely for myself and if people don’t like it they needn’t come back. Sadly, they often do like it and keep coming back.

How did you discover de Gournay and what about its unique approach to producing wallpaper do you appreciate?
KM: I’ve always admired it in other people’s houses and I love that it is tailor made to a specific space, with the furniture& architectural features in mind. It is so carefully considered from a single well-placed bird or flower, with the background colour and tones. This is what makes de Gournay so unique.

What do you feel wallpaper adds to a room/ home, especially when, like de Gournay, the wallpapers are of such a bespoke nature?
KM: It adds warmth, texture, dimension and drama to a room. The wallpaper can transport you to another place. It lifts the soul.

What inspired your de Gournay wallpaper design? What was the starting point?
KM: Twilight was the working title for the initial design. I really love this time of day. This wallpaper is timeless in that you don’t really know what time of day it is, sunrise and sunset are equally gorgeous, and the paper changes depending on the different times of day.

What was the design process like between de Gournay and Kate Moss?
CCG: Kate was engaging and fun. As well as being strong willed with a clear vision. We met several times at my home in Knightsbridge or at Kate’s home in Highgate with Jemma, our creative director. We all felt very at home whether chez moi or chez Kate. Kate was full of ideas from the offset. We decided together which ideas to explore further. Jemma and Kate then went forth with the details… sketching and sampling several different designs and colourways. Kate knew immediately when we had the one.

What aspect of designing the wallpaper with the de Gournay team did you enjoy the most? Is there anything you learned that surprised you about the creative process?
KM: I really enjoyed the peaceful afternoons painting with Jemma, she’d come over with her paints (I especially loved her little pot of gold!) and we would sip Lapsang Souchong tea and Seedlip cocktails. I was surprised at how satisfied I felt unrolling the first finished panel.

How would you describe your wallpaper design… what mood does it evoke and why did you choose to install it in your bathroom?
KM: Whilst this design comes in many different colours, this particular colour way is inspired by Film Noir, very monochromatic, and as my bathroom is totally silver it seemed fitting to hang it there.
CCG: The mood depends on the colourway. The one in Kate’s bathroom feels glamour and Hollywood. It evokes a William Haynes interior.

Which interior designers would you most like to see using your de Gournay wallpaper? Do you have any interior designer icons?
KM: Oh… I would love anyone fabulous to use the paper! My favourite interior designers are the iconic Pierre Cardin; I loved the patent effect he did in bold colour, and Christopher Gibbs who did the set for Performance.

Do you think the worlds of fashion and interiors are colliding?
KM: Yes… They always have!
CCG: How does one reflect the other? Both are in a muddle. Contemporary fashion picks on whatever it wants to pick on from the past and adapts it for today’s living. And contemporary design does the same. Both fields have access to all the designs from the past and pick and choose them how they like, without having any clear current fashion or trend. Mix and match is the now. And more often than not there’s more mixing than matching.

This collaborative range is available locally from St Leger & Viney; stlegerandviney.co.za.

Photography Simon Brown; Nikolai von Bismarck