Schiaparelli’s gilded aviator eyeglasses have been living in my head rent-free since I first saw them on Instagram late last year. I’m fascinated by their surrealist design, intrigued by their Dadaesque appeal. And like a magpie attracted to shiny objects, I need to own a pair (and I’d take those Swarovski-studded finger bijoux too, please).
Would I ever wear them? Probably not. I’m no fashionisto, nor am I a particularly bold dresser. But I’d totally see them work as part of a coffee table arrangement, crowning a stack of books or between a set of funky vases on a sideboard.
Some fashion and jewelry pieces deliver more than a sartorial statement. They’re displays of excellent craftsmanship or smart manifestations of the designer’s creativity and outlook on the world. They can make you think, Damn, that’s clever, just as good art and design can. So there’s no reason not to treat them as such.
Approach fashion like an art form, and a whole new world of interior decor options opens—here’s how to give your home a sartorial zhuzh-up.
Frame the flat stuff
What is a scarf but a silk-printed work of art? Whether it’s a vintage Hermès or a contemporary piece by an indie designer (I have one by Bangkok-based Saran Yen Panya), silk scarves don’t just look great draped on shoulders—when framed, they can double as wall art. If you have a square frame, some patience, and a garment steamer, it’s a fairly straightforward DIY job, but valuable pieces are in better hands with a professional picture framer.
And while you’re at it, you can frame other textile garments as well. Sports fanatics have long mastered the art of jersey framing; you can steal their techniques for, say, a vintage Comme des Garçons shirt. Fold T-shirts over a sturdy frame backing or display them in a deep frame with some smart pin placements and cut-to-size cardboard. Alternatively, Amazon has a wide collection of shirt display cases on sale, such as these T-shaped versions by Umbra.
Treat accessories as artwork
Who’s to say a designer shoe or handbag isn’t a sculpture of some sort? Instead of hiding them away in a closet, add your joy-sparking fashion possessions to your mantelpiece or bookshelf as you’d display any other artwork. Arrange them between books, vases, or other sculptures, or elevate them further as objets d’art by mounting them on display stands (like this stainless-steel shoe stand) or in clear display cases (such as these custom-fit handbag displays).
Elaborate headpieces, such as the whimsical fascinators by British hat designer Philip Treacy, look almost like ikebana arrangements when displayed on one of those glass heads (or a less creepy wooden version)—with the bonus that they’ll never wilt. Similarly, the metal display stands often used to showcase tribal jewelry of questionable origin work just as well for a bold contemporary piece, like these funky rope-and-stone necklaces by Proenza Schouler.
Keep an eye out for fashion-furniture crossovers
Sometimes the realms of fashion and furniture collide, when designers bring their trademark aesthetics from the catwalk to the living room. Houses such as Fendi and Missoni have long established themselves as homeware brands, but almost every salone sees new fashion houses launch a furniture or home accessories collection.
Now, Gucci translates its nostalgia-tinged prints into jacquard-woven room dividers and velvet armchairs embroidered with its signature tiger designs. For its yearly Objets Nomades collection, Louis Vuitton collaborates with interior designers for limited-edition furniture pieces (I’m particularly fond of this furry number made in collaboration with London-based design duo Raw Edges), and you can dress your living room like an über-stylish Italian donna with the kaleidoscopic woven PVC baskets, chairs, and cushion covers by Marni.