For Schumacher’s Vogue Living collection, the brand worked with legendary Vogue editor Hamish Bowles to produce the prettiest fabrics and wallcoverings that would capture the romance of English style. To tell the story in images, we enlisted visionary florist Emily Thompson to help us bring it all to life.
TO SHOP THE ENTIRE VOGUE LIVING COLLECTION, GO TO FSCHUMACHER.COM >
As International Editor at Large for Vogue, Hamish Bowles traverses the globe seeking out the defining edge of style. Steeped in the history of fashion and decorative arts, Bowels brings his extraordinary eye and refined discernment to everything he does.
HOW DOES FASHION INFLUENCE HOME, AND HOW DOES HOME INFLUENCE FASHION?
I find the two synonymous. Creative people, be they interior designers, textile designers or fashion designers and editors, are all absorbing the same visual stimuli, seeing the same exhibitions, movies and theater, listening to the same music, catching the zeitgeist, and I think this all impacts the way they put together environments, collections, fashion pages. So inevitable there is synergy–even if fashion moves at a faster pace.
THIS COLLECTION IS ALL ABOUT ENGLISH STYLE– HOW DO YOU THINK THE PATTERNS AND COLORS EXPRESS THAT SENSIBILITY?
I find that the collection reflects the eclecticism of English style, which draws from so many historic and global influences. So there are classic, old-fashioned country house chintzes in it, but also references to Elizabethan embroideries and Regency wallpapers, the plaids of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Provencal textiles, the organic checks and stripes of Eastern Europe, even the exoticism of a Moroccan riad.
WHAT DOES HOME MEAN TO YOU?
My home is autobiography–it’s an ever-evolving diary of my travels and experiences and passions.
WHOSE HOME INSPIRES YOU MOST?
I am inspired by all homes that truly attest to the character of the people who live in them.
YOU’VE TRAVELED THE WORLD—ARE THERE ANY MUSEUMS OR PUBLIC PLACES THAT HAVE INTERIORS YOU FIND UTTERLY RIVETING?
I am constantly discovering new and wondrous museums and public spaces. I have just returned from Croatia, for instance, where the cities of Dubrovnik and Trogir and the towns of Korcula, Hvar, and Lopud were revelatory–and I am sure there are so many more things to be discovered there. Every day is full of discovery, large and small.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOUR JOB?
In so many ways I have a dream job, but I would say that access is the greatest luxury that comes with it–the access provides to the most extraordinary, beautiful and fascinating people, places and experiences that the world has to offer.
WHY DO YOU HAVE SUCH A LOVE AFFAIR WITH THE COLOR LAVENDER?
Let’s call it lilac! It’s difficult to say where this comes from, but it was certainly a favorite color in two of my own favorite historical periods: Regency England and Belle Epoque France.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER?
Fiendish question! But I suppose I would have to choose old English and French roses–if you want to get specific, I love the varieties Pierre de Ronsard, Gloire de Dijon and Gertrude Jekyll. But really, there are so many glorious ones, it’s probably invidious to pick favorites.
Raised in northern Vermont, florist Emily Thompson grew up immersed in the wild glories of the natural world. From her Manhattan atelier, she creates stunningly inventive arrangements and installations full of local and foraged flora for a wide range of clients.
WHAT DOES HOME MEAN TO YOU?
For me, home is rooted in landscape and somehow lodged in the season. I feel most at home in the Northeastern climate, with harsh winters and humid summers, where everything is always changing.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER, AND WHY?
Every flower in its perfect context is beautiful, but I do have my favorites and my bugbears. Delicate, tiny spring things are favorites, such as fritillaria meleagris, Berberis thunbergii, buttercups and late-blooming clematis tangutica.
DO YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO WORK WITH FLOWERS, OR DID YOU COME TO IT ANOTHER WAY?
Though I was raised in the garden, I never thought about working with flowers until later in life. My education and early work were in sculpture, and I always, always intended to be an artist. Flowers were a playful side gig that took on its own life and then quickly absorbed my sculptural ambitions–the living materials invaded. Now, my team and I work toward a greater mission: to draw peoples’ eyes to the natural world and its infinite glory through our designs.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE FLOWER INDUSTRY?
I love the materials. I love the breakneck pace of our work. I love that there is a thirst for flowers, a need for them, particularly in our brutal urban environs. I love the growers and wholesalers who scour the planet with me for beautiful and interesting things. I don’t love the industry.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE FLOWER BUSINESS IF YOU COULD?
Our industry has wretched environmental and labor practices that must change.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I strive to show the innate power of the materials I champion, so I suppose I like the idea of being savage in style.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I always look toward the landscape, but everything I do and see informs my work.
WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE TIP FOR FLOWER ARRANGING?
Respect your materials, let them be as they are.