Friday, 1 August 2014

*Alexandra D Foster Cushions*

Have you heard about Alexandra D. Foster & her cushion collection?
I've only just been introduced to the collection & it is very lovely but be warned it is pricey too!!!
Alexandra D. Foster believes that luxury, quality and style are paramount.
Each of her cushions are printed and hand sewn at one of the most highly regarded mills in northern Italy’s beautiful town of Lake Como.
Alexandra D Foster cushions are all inspired by her travels for example, the Roma is based on Italy and St Barths on her trips to the island!  Alexandra D Foster previously worked in the fabrics section of Liberties London and has travelled the world due to her blog Destinations Perfected.
Here is a little Q&A with the lady herself ...
How did you get into designing luxury cushions?
  I worked at Liberty London for almost two years and re-launched their furnishing fabrics. The role ignited my own love for interior design. I became entrenched in the interior design world, and even studied interior design at KLC School of Design at Chelsea Harbour in London. The more I spoke to designers, the more I became aware that the hardest part of their job is oftentimes finding cushions for a project, and it was there that the idea was planted for Alexandra D. Foster cushions.

What is the inspiration for each of the cushion designs? 
I have been lucky enough to travel the world due to my travel blog Destinations Perfect.  I’ve honestly lost track of how many cities I’ve visited.  Some of the most inspiring destinations I have been to are the Amalfi Coast in Italy, St. Barth’s, Marrakech, Paris, Cyprus, Rome, London and the Far East (Hong Kong and Tokyo).  Each cushion is inspired and relates to a particular place.

Describe a few ‘destination’ inspired cushions you’ve designed? 
 Each of my cushions is inspired by my travels and tells an individual story. The Paris pillow is a photograph I took of a beautiful wrought iron gate in St. Germain on the Left Bank of the Seine.  The Roma cushion is a photograph of a doorknocker I captured across from the Parliament building in Rome. Both of these designs have a lovely 3D quality. A handmade table with an intricate mother of pearl inlay design I saw on a recent rip to Morocco inspired the Marrakech design.

Can you please describe your at-home style? 
 Understated opulence. I love glamour and attention to detail, so I most closely identify with the Hollywood Regency style of the 1930s where the emphasis at home was on wearing an elegant dress and enjoying cocktail hour, not television.

Describe your personal design aesthetic, mission, and philosophy when it comes to Alexandra D. Foster cushions?  
I believe that luxury, quality, and style are paramount. To this end, the hand-sewn nature of my pillows means that they are truly an artisanal product that takes many hours to create. In such a fast-paced technological and machine driven age, it is nice to know that skilled master seamstresses in an atelier in Lake Como are meticulously hand making each pillow as if it were a work of art. I’m driven by the belief that everyone should be surrounded by beauty on a daily basis, and it is my dream to dress the most glamorous interiors in the world with my creations.

What choices have you made with the fabrics of your brand? 
I have chosen to use silk because it is a luxurious fabric with a beautiful hand feel, and the way it takes color is just breathtaking. The colors really do come to life on silk, more so than any other fabric with which I experimented.

What did you do before working at Liberty London?
I started off my career working for PUMA International, scouting trends all over the world and creating cutting-edge footwear. I had an office in both Boston and Germany, our factories were in Asia, and we travelled all over the US/Europe visiting sales teams. I truly toured the world with PUMA.  It was a great experience working for such a large international company, it taught me to have a big vision with my own brand.

How long does it take to craft a single cushion? To what extent are they “handmade?”
The silk is printed in panels at one of the most highly regarded mills in Lake Como. It is a mill that all of the biggest fashion houses and furnishing fabrics brands use as well, so the quality and feel is just stunning. The silk panels are then taken down the road to a small atelier where Italian seamstresses entirely hand sew the pillows adding the cotton lining, zipper, care labels and the hand braided trim from Bologna. Each pillow takes several hours to make and is truly an artisanal product.

Are there any other cities that you hope to venture to and base another collection on in the near (or distant) future? 
I am planning on going to the Middle East in the Fall to visit BLAQ Concept, the store in Kuwait that stocks my pillows, as well as neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. I would love to do a collection based on beautiful Arabic calligraphy.

 What’s next? Do you have any plans to design other home decor items later down the line (such as furniture, or bedding)?  
I certainly plan on expanding my collection and am juggling a few ideas right now. I would love to do silk scarves that you can wear or frame as art in your home. Many customers have used my pillow covers to adorn their walls at home. I am also considering beautiful silk caftans to be worn at the beach, or maybe even blankets/throws.

What should people splurge on for the home? 
A weekly delivery of flowers for every room in the house would be a wonderfully extravagant splurge. 
What pieces can't you live without at home? 
My cushions! They are in every single room of the house, and as each design is inspired by my travels, they serve as constant reminders and fond memories of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of exotic destinations and faraway places that I have visited.

What should people splurge on for the home? 
A weekly delivery of flowers for every room in the house would be a wonderfully extravagant splurge. 
 And last but not least, out of sheer curiosity… why is your logo an octopus? 
 I have always been in love with the sea and marine life; everything from coral to seashells, crashing waves and turquoise waters. While the actual symbolism of the octopus is vast and varied, I chose it because it is a totem of protection and good luck. 

You can find the Alexandra D Foster website



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Love Alison