David Hicks’ Fashionable Touch

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English interior designer David Hicks will forever be remembered for his contribution to 1960s interior design. His work is noted for his unique pairing of bold colors and modern art with historical, especially Georgian, architecture. Similar to what Vidal Sassoon did for hair, Hicks’ work challenged standard English interior design. Hicks is quoted in his 1968 book, “David Hicks On Living- With Taste” saying “My greatest contribution as an interior designer has been to show people how to use bold color mixtures, how to use patterned carpets, how to light a room, and how to mix old with new.”

The majority of Hicks’ work came from private clients who were incredibly stylish people. One of his most famous works is a purple apartment for beauty magnate Helena Rubinstein, which was inspired by a silk Balenciaga dress.

As Hicks was inspired by fashion, the industry has also been influenced by him. “His design was very classic, but always with a sense of whimsy,” said Burberry’s Christopher Bailey. ” That’s very British — a sense of being conservative, but doing it in a playful way.” Designer Jonathan Adler has called Hicks’ work, “totally optimistic, playful, over-the-top and panache-riddled.”

For years, Hicks’ aesthetic has inspired fashion designers to embrace bright, geometric shapes. His work has been especially significant during the early to mid-aughts. Clothing from this time period often included geometric shapes, especially trefoils and medieval-esque forms, which recalled Hicks’ grand rooms. One fashion designer that has built an empire around the Hicks’ aesthetic is Tory Burch. The designer is known for her Malta Cross-inspired logo, and preppy meets aristocratic clothing.

Aside from Burch, Diane Von Furstenberg infused Hicks inspiration for her Spring 2011 Ready To Wear show. Anna Sui’s Fall 2005 show featured dynamic colored pieces with geometric patterns in upscale Swinging 60s silhouettes. “To me, Hicks’ colors always remind me of colors you might find in nature,” Sui states in her book, “Anna Sui by Andrew Bolton.” At the height of this colorful, graphic trend, stylist Tila Taichman debuted a series of handbags that were designed with Hicks in mind, and Coach’s Reed Krakoff was inspired by Hicks’ H logo for the brand’s crossed C label. 

Although not ‘on-trend’ at the moment. Hicks’ pairings of modern and classic shapes with bright colors and graphic patterns will have a resurgence in the design world. And when the wheel of fashion spins towards that signature aesthetic, designers will have their prints ready.


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