For fashion designer Alexandra O’Neill, who designs ready-to-wear clothes for Markarian, the part of her job she loves the most is finding ‘a reference or an inspiration’ around which to develop an entire collection. For her close friend, the interior designer CeCe Barfield Thompson of CeCe Barfield Inc, it’s all about ‘finding the narrative — one-of-a-kind things that come together to create a unique story’.
Christie’s approached O'Neill and Thompson, who first met at college while studying art history, about curating its Interiors sale in New York on 21 and 22 August. After viewing the lots in the Christie’s warehouse, however, they felt impelled to do more.
‘We love antiques, we love design, we love history,’ says Barfield Thompson. ‘So we thought it would be fun to take [those elements] and create something together.’ The result is two capsule collections — one home wear, the other dresses — inspired by lots in the sale.
‘Imagine having the perfect hostess ensemble,’ says a smiling O’Neill, who produced special fabrics for a collection of dresses, ‘where you can have the dress that matches your linens, that matches your china and crystal. The great thing about antiques is that they can translate into something beautiful and modern for your home, that also has a history to it.’
‘That’s what we have tried to do with the collections we’ve made,’ confirms Barfield Thompson, ‘to show how you can breathe new life into older pieces and to make them your own.’