Directional fashion designers who often collaborated with revolutionary artistic figures and a renowned contemporary art patron have inspired the new furniture collection by Francis Sultana. The tide of the collection is Homage to the Art Deco. Most recently, the works were shown at the Pavillon des Arts & Design in Paris this spring.
This is the first collection of the famous decorator. So far, he exercised his taste in creating elegant interiors of apartments and villas. Today the designer is the author of unique furniture pieces.
Francis Sultana creates elegant, modern furniture and interiors characterized by exceptional 20'" century and contemporary design. As the World of Interim Magazine noted of his future classic style: "Sultana ardently advocates mixing traditional and up-to-the-minute."
Fusing a patron's taste and aspirations with his sophisticated vision, the designer curates the ambience in outstanding homes and conceives striking interiors characterized by unique furniture. His recent projects include a London mansion, a Greek island retreat as well as two Manhattan properties - an Upper East Side pied-a-terre and a grand-scale SoHo apartment.
For a decade from 1999 on, Sultana was creative director of David Gill Galleries and he continues to consult with the company. He also advises private collectors and public institutions on the acquisition of design and decorative art.
The designer has a rare talent for combining pieces from collections and prototypes, lines of furniture designed by him and limited edition pieces by Andree Putman, Mattia Bonetti and Zaha Hadid. All of them have radically different styles and genres, of course, but Francis Sultana nevertheless manages, like any good collector, to bind them.
He ardently advocates mixing traditional features (like Georgian fireplaces or classic English bath- rooms), Art Deco pieces and contemporary designers. “I don’t decorate. I edit. What I do is to edit peo- ple’s interiors and design collections. I help them put something together and build a 20th century and contemporary collection. It’s about their vision, what they want to create. I also help in the process of commissioning one-off pieces from artists – decorative artists rather than designers.” – says Sultana.
The new collection presented at the Pavillon des Arts & Design is truly impressive with its clever ed- iting of the styles of the modernity era.
The finest European workshops with whom Sultana has worked with for two decades - originally as the creative director of David Gill Galleries - have hand- crafted this 18-piece collection comprised of tables, lighting and furnishings upholstered in sumptuous hand-loomed French textiles. The opulent jewel- toned shades and shimmering metallics were pro- duced according to Sultana’s discerning eye.
As is customary with furniture, each piece is a bespoke edition which is to be signed, dated and recorded with the client’s name and the room for which it was created. Every piece can also be customized and made to order according to a client’s individual specifications.
The dramatic bronze nickel banquet lavishly swathed with emerald green kiddassia, for example, recalls the exotic fur pieces Elsa Schiaparelli produced in her 1930s Surrealist Heyday. The seductive “low lying” silhouette defining exquisitely proportioned chairs adorned with aquamarine kidassia - as well as a chaise and coffee table both of carved lacquered wood - bring to mind the sensually urbane tailoring of Alexander McQueen. Exploring the decadent world of Halston prompted Sultana to streamline his collection and lend to it a seamless line redolent of the fashion legend’s relaxed luxuriance as well as a polished serenity informed by the airy ambience of Halston’s sweeping apartment on the 22nd floor of Manhattan’s Olympic Tower.
Sultana also looked to the exuberant Pop Art of Halston’s friend, Andy Warhol. So the sinuous, hand- carved abstract pattern embellishing a gilded wood and bronze nickel piece was motivated by Warhol’s 1986 Camouflage Paintings and portraits, which Sultana admires for their streetwise sophisticated flair.
“Warhol was the king of Pop Art and at the forefront of a movement that inspired art, fashion and jewellery but rarely furniture,” he explains. Prompted by Warhol’s abstract manner of adapting camouflage, the designer redefined the pattern originally conceived by artists in the 20th century to conceal military equipment and personnel, rendering his own textured motif in an original array of lavish light-hued gilded shades which lend dynamism to bold items such as a curvaceous desk and an expansive cube-shaped coffee table.
The entourage surrounding Warhol and Halston also prompted Sultana to personalize his collection and name the pieces after his close friends including Yana Peel. The sleek strong sculptural form and modernity characterizing this collection is informed by the spirit of this renowned art collector and design patron.
Timelessness is a hallmark of the Sultana’s luxury furniture brand and while an an array of classic pieces, including a gilded glass cocktail trolley, a circular coffee table and his Saint Moritz sofa, factor into this new body of work, the collection would lend beauty and grandeur to a traditional residence or a contemporary setting.
The second collection of Francis Sultana will be pre- sented this autumn in London.