A Dramatic Debut

The backdrop to the TALK lecture theatre could not be more apt at London Design Week 2024. ‘Pygmalion’, a wallpaper mural from the new Sanderson x Giles Deacon collection, depicts a sumptuous sepia curtain, pulled back to reveal a scene of rococo dolphins, giant artichokes, fennel, garlic bulbs and shells – a fantastical landscape that sets the mood for the entire collection.

The designer himself lifted the curtain on the show’s acclaimed Conversations in Design series by speaking to ELLE Decoration‘s Ben Spriggs on the main stage, along with Sanderson’s design creative director Claire Vallis. Deacon explained how the collection was a meeting of minds that started off with him visiting Sanderson’s acclaimed archives (“I left incredibly excited about working with them”) and Vallis and her team in turn going to see how Deacon’s couture creations are made in his east London atelier.

The resulting fabrics and wallpapers draw on both Sanderson’s historical collection and Deacon’s own textiles, reinterpreted from the catwalk to the home. These latter include ‘Oology Portal’, a naturalistic study of bird’s eggs (redrawn from the original by Sanderson’s design team) and ‘Regency Aperigon’, a stripe with a distinctive sawtoothed edge that is a Giles Deacon signature.

“What I like about Giles is that inner world he creates – that fascinated us as a brand,” said Vallis as part of the Conversations in Design talk. Deacon elaborated, adding: “I always have an idea about spaces. They have to have a transportative feeling – something a little bit ‘other’ and unfamiliar.” This is reflected in the collection as a whole, with its medieval beasts, trompe-l’oeil swags and beribboned blooms.

The collection was shot on location at the Normansfield Theatre at the Langdon Down Centre in Twickenham, whose high-Victorian splendour is a fine match for the fabrics and wallpapers. “It was important that it was a stage, not a home,” explained Deacon during the talk, about the shoot’s creative direction during the talk. “I wanted to show that sense of theatricality.”

Spot the collection not just in the showroom and TALK lecture theatre, but across London Design Week 2024, on the lift doors, and on the tables and walls of the South Dome Cafe.

Sanderson, First Floor, South Dome