Design Centre Stories

Imperial Grandeur

Interior designer Eric Egan has had an illustrious career: brought up in Chicago but based in Milan, his studio, L’Artigianato, was founded to bring the richness and skill of Italian craftsmanship to residential and hotel projects, including recent work at Mandarin Oriental Lake Como and the Belmond Hotel Caruso in Amalfi. He’s also the custodian of a much-coveted apartment and office in Milan, housed in a grand late-19th-century building, made all the more grand by Egan’s glamorous layered interiors.

It’s here that the designer’s recent passementerie collection for Houlès was photographed, and makes the perfect backdrop for such sumptuous examples of the passmentier’s art. Imperiale brings together several threads of design inspiration, including tiles from the Belmond Hotel Caruso, Fabergé eggs and chinoiserie wallpaper.

“We wanted to treat the trimmings like jewellery, so who better to turn to than Fabergé with their rich colours, and the surprising colour combinations and finishes they used?” says the designer, who adds that he started with the tieback designs and created the rest of the Imperiale collection from there.

The ‘Embrasse’ tieback (above left and above centre) is the star of the show, with its egg-shaped moulds cupped by a leaf detail that was inspired by Napoleonic laurel wreaths. The 12 pieces in the collection also include a delicate rosette, a jacquard braid gimp and a bullion beaded fringe that rivals the tie-back for opulence and detail: much of it is handmade, highlighting the incredible artisanship for which Houlès is known.

Houlès, Second Floor, South Dome