An artist-interior designer pairing is making waves this summer: Michael S. Smith and Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias have worked together on a new outdoor fabric collection for Smith’s Templeton Fabrics line, an extension of the work they began last fall on fabric and wallcoverings. The artist and designer chat with EAL about how their collaboration came to be.
From top: Breeze – Autumn; Fortuna – Sky Blue/Wheat; Madeleine – Linden Green; Dottie – Sky Blue; Paradise Lost – Original; Madeleine – Cerulean; Breeze – Summer; and Je t’aime – Rouge
How did this collaboration come about?
Michael S. Smith: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Konstantin for a number of years now. I’ve always admired his artistic talents and thought our collaboration through Templeton would be a perfect vehicle in which to offer his fabric collection. He combines the best of art, fashion and design and presents it in such a charming and whimsical manner. Like his alter ego, Mrs. Tependris, caricature doyenne of the art world, Konstantin has the uncanny ability to draw with such depth and personal flair while still making patterns very fresh and current. He is a remarkable artist.
Konstantin Kakanias: I have always enjoyed Michael’s spirit and admired his work. We’ve long talked about a collaboration, but this collection came about pretty quickly. Michael and I spoke about creating original fabrics based on my drawings. I was interested instantly and Michael gave me enormous carte blanche to envision my drawings into the fabric collection you see before you. It’s a tiny glimpse into what nourishes my soul and inspires me every day.
What do you enjoy most about designing for fabrics? What's the biggest challenge?
K.K.: I enjoyed the process of fabric designing very much. Every phase, as it’s intensely personal for me. The biggest challenge is paring the collection down! I really love fabrics in all different aspects and usages. Periodically, I have collected fabrics (mostly Ottoman or Baroque). The biggest challenge for me is the fact that these fabrics are for the home. Since I was very young, I have always designed fabrics for fashion, but home fabrics are a completely different concept. They live much longer…that is the challenge. I’m very happy with the outcome and especially delighted in the newly released Konstantin Kakanias for Templeton outdoor fabric collection.
Do you have future collaborations planned with other artists?
M.S.S. Yes, there are a number of debuts upcoming, which I can share with you shortly. I enjoy the collaboration process very much and am always searching out and on the lookout for enthusiastic and highly talented artisans to showcase and offer original items for the home marketplace.