Editor's note: Clifford Pugh wasn't the only CultureMapper at fashion week. Contributors Lindley Arnoldy and Annina Stefanelli filed this report.
NEW YORK — During Mercedes-Benz Fashion week, the tents at Lincoln Center pulsate on energy high from editors, stylists, photographers and fashionistas. There is even a designated “blogger” area where techies can plug in and clack away on their keyboards, tweeting and posting about the events.
Beyond all of this mayhem lies the real gem of luxury, the Mercedes Benz Star Lounge, a swanky suite where invited guests can drop in to juice up their iPhones and iPads between shows while nibbling tasty bites and sipping champagne.
For the last few years, Wesley Cadle has been the creative genius behind the Star Lounge’s chic décor and star filled atmosphere. For this year’s lounge, he created a serene environment of cool cucumber greens and pops of pink with Pucci-inspired patterns flanking the walls and ceiling. The message is written clearly on Stephanie Hirsch’s Keep Calm and Carry On black and gold hand-beaded canvas mounted above the sandstone fireplace, designed by Chesney’s UK. The overall result is a calm, welcoming space that has seen the likes of André Leon Talley to Bag Snob editor Tina Craig.
CultureMap: Where have you drawn the inspiration to create this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Star Lounge?
Wesley Cadle: I was inspired by a silk scarf and wanted to wrap the room in geometric prints with cool mint greens and pops of pink. The walls and ceiling are wrapped with Porter Teleo mural panels custom hand made in ink for the lounge.
CM: You have said an environment provokes an emotional response. What emotion do you want to provoke with the Star Lounge?
WC: I want to create a living room experience offering folks a break from the hustle and bustle of the shows.
CM: When designing a space that hosts such a fashionable crowd, do you draw inspiration from the collections that are debuting at fashion week?
WC: I’m attaching it to fashion, but I look into the interior design industry for inspiration. I’m one of those designers that doesn’t heavily rely on following trends, but sometimes am open to using one here and there.
CM: How does the design process begin? How do you approach a project like this, the same as the others?
WC: I like to start with a neutral, like the carpet, and work up from there adding pops of color within the furniture, pillows, and Porter Teleo wall coverings.
CM: Is this a departure from what you have done in the past?
WC: Last year I designed the lounge with a Parisian apartment feel, wrapping the walls with over scaled fashion illustrations by Gladys Perint Palmer. I’ve departed from that this year, wrapping the walls with cool water color palette and fluid nature of the ceilings.
CM: How do you differentiate the design of the lounge from fall and spring fashion weeks?
WC: I don’t want to offend the weather, this could have been a lodge but I made it cool and feminine. I try to keep the design feminine for fashion week. I’m not designing a dress, but an ambiance.
CM: What composes an ambiance? Hosting a serene space for a variant crowd can be complicated. I see snacks, beverages, television, and Antica Farmacista home fragrances. What is the purpose of the extras?
WC: I’m creating an ambiance as a sort of sense theater. I want senses to be uplifted in all of the ways. I want a space like this to juggle sounds, smell, and sight.
CM: How are you accommodating the new world of bloggers and social media players?
WC: The whole lounge offers various hubs for everyone to plug in to recharge, catch up on emails, etc.