"Everything is honest; we hate fakery and pastiche." - Kozerski on Donna Karan's British West Indies retreat, Architectural Digest, Dec 2009.
Kozerski and Donna Karan might hate fakery and pastiche, but personally, I loathe the implication that certain designs are morally inferior to others. "Honesty" in design? For real? What's next, chairs that go to church?
I suppose, according to Kozerski, I partake in a whole lot of "dishonest" design. And you know what? I have fun parading form without function, faux finishes that pose as organic material, new furnishings that look like antiques. Furthermore, there's nothing I relish more than the confrontation of all of these elements— antique, lookalike, and contemporary— all mashed up in one happy, confusing sea of loveliness. Especially when it's confusing.
But really, who doesn't relish that moment when someone has to touch the flower to see if it isn't wax, or caress the table top to assess it's status as marble? Does knowing the secret ruin the decorative effect? Worse yet, is it somehow morally inferior to a "genuine" counterpart? Come on Donna, a little game of decorative tromp l'oeil can be exciting.
Is it pastiche? Who knows. You might call it that, but I prefer to think of it as high-low decorating. And in a time of economic crisis, it's never seemed more appropriate.
Scans from Architectural Digest, Dec 2009. Photography by Durston Saylor.