The aesthetic of English interior designer David Hicks will forever be remembered in the zeitgeist of 1960s interior design. His work is noted for the pairing of bold colors and modern art with antique, especially Georgian, architecture. Hicks helped revolutionize 1960s design. Similar to what Vidal Sassoon did for hair, Hicks’ work gave a new look to home decor that 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. The designer transformed the rooms of some of the most stylish in the world, including a purple apartment for beauty magnate Helena Rubinstein that was inspired by a silk Balenciaga dress.
The impact of Hicks’ aesthetic also influenced another field, fashion. For years, Hicks’ design has inspired fashion designers to bring a brighter, more geometric shape. “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.”
The early to mid-aughts was a time of bright colors and prints. An emphasis on geometric shapes, especially trefoils and medieval-esque forms, recalled Hicks’ grand rooms. One fashion designer that has built an empire on the Hicks’ aesthetic was Tory Burch.
Tory Burch is recognized for her Malta Cross-inspired logo and preppy meets aristocratic clothing. Since beginning the company in 2004, Burch’s aesthetic has favored bright colors and geometric prints..
Tory Burch isn’t the only fashion designer who was inspired by the noted interior designer in the early to mid- 2000s. Diane Von Furstenberg infused Hicks inspiration for her Spring 2011 Ready To Wear show, with separates, jumpsuits, and dresses. Anna Sui’s Fall 2005 show featured dynamic colored pieces accentuated with geometric shapes and 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 by way of graphic prints. Coach’s Reed Krakoff were inspired by Hicks’ H logo for the brand’s crossed C label, and Jonathan Adler has called Hicks’ work, “totally optimistic, playful, over-the-top and panache-riddled,” which could be described for Adler’s own clothing line.
Today, the David Hicks aesthetic hasn’t been as popular, but there is a build up to color and geometry in recent fashion. At her Fall 2016 Ready To Wear collection, Tory Burch continued to include Hicks design with silk prints on upscale printed separates and dresses.
The 2015 Resort season was full of Hicks’ prints, which were seen at Marc Jacobs and Marni. Both houses featured high-end clothing paired with casual silhouettes that were designed in luxe coloring and details.
Hicks’ use of modern decor and art paired with opulent antiques, with a splash of color and geometric prints will inspire the design world for years to come. As athleisure is rising in status, more and more fashion designers are adding a high fashion touch. And when the wheel of fashion spins towards a Hicks’ aesthetic again, designers will have their prints ready.