Luxury today has become more than just an indulgence. For the high-flyers, it’s no longer restricted to soft goods – a high-end bag or branded clothes just don’t cut it any more. To really live the luxurious life, one must be surrounded by it. Today, your favourite high-street label can not only provide you with clothes, accessories and perfumes – it can even help you decorate your home. We’re talking furniture, furnishings, table ware and the whole hog! Now its not just you, your home too can look dressed to the nines in high end décor.

The connection is apparent – what fashion and home décor have in common is the importance given to fabric as well as the emphasis on design. As with haute couture, décor too is easily altered by the fabric used and in both cases, a well-designed piece is priceless.

The move into décor seems to be a natural progression for high-end luxury brands and one of the pioneers has been Ralph Lauren. The Ralph Lauren Home line has been manufacturing bed linen, lighting and even paints! Clearly a visionary, the brand now retails across the globe and even does customised interior decoration.

Designer Vera Wang is a name to be reckoned with across runways and while most brides would kill for a wedding dress that flaunts her label, they can now do up their new home with her creations as well. Started in 2006, Wang’s homeware collection has bed linen, tableware and textiles, and all of that in the subtle colours, delicate prints and elegant luxury that has become the brand’s trademark.

A recent entrant into the sector is Hermès with Hermès La Maison that debuted its homeware collection at Milan in 2011. Cushions and blankets with the familiar ‘H’, porcelain cups with their beautiful paintings in pastel shades and furniture that incorporated Hermès’ signature leather accents – for those who swear by the brand, there’s a lot more of them now.

The Indian connection

In India, the high-end couture brands have slowly started making their presence felt in the interiors sector. The demand for luxury goods has increased exponentially and it’s only natural that the market sees a demand for luxury that is available globally.

The first to enter the Indian market was Versace Home in 2011, when they opened their first stand alone home boutique in Delhi. It catered to all the housing and dining needs to the luxury consumer, and in the same opulent style characteristic of the fashion house. From fabric for furnishing to cutlery, crystal and porcelain – for loyal Versace customers, there was a lot more to choose from.

Fendi Casa, the décor branch from Italian fashion house Fendi, has been creating magic for the last 13 years and it finally set foot in India this year. Retailing at Maison by International Furniture, their luxury furniture is available at Delhi and Mumbai. Their latest collection shows the same strong Italian design sensibilities that the fashion brand has made famous and every piece manages to look modern and contemporary without compromising on good old fashioned classic comfort.

If luxury is to be really experienced, then Fendi’s use of exotic materials like onyx, layered hide, marble and more will ensure that your interiors are luxurious in every way. The opulent bedroom done up in glossy, white lacquered wood will ensure that even when you are relaxing in your inner sanctum, you’re never low on style and luxury. Accessories from chandeliers to vases and hand-blown Murano glass ware are only part of an exhaustive list of options for those looking to give their homes a luxurious update.

Armani/Casa was founded as part of Giorgio Armani’s vision of a comfortable yet sophisticated living space that reflected the brand’s minimalist, ultra-chic style statement. With an eye for the tiniest details and a classic style that has become the brand’s forte translated into the décor at Casa, the interiors at Armani/Casa are definitely living up to its name, since 2000.

Launched in India in October this year, the lifestyle store Maison now retails merchandise from Armani/Casa. Sleek materials and statement colours are at the crux of their décor themes and the brands offer everything you would need to do up your entire home. From carefully designed tableware in steel and semi-precious stone detailing to jacquard satin for bath towels – luxury is taken to a whole new level at Armani/Casa.

Room for more?

Names that have made a niche for themselves in fashion and design are extending into hospitality as well.

Taking its passion for interior decoration one step further, Armani now has the Armani Hotels and Resorts, one in Dubai and a second one in Milan, which offer a lifestyle experience that promises to deliver all things ‘Armani’. And the house of Armani is not alone. Iconic designer Diane von Furstenberg has specially designed an entire suite at Claridge’s in London. Done up in eye-catching colours and incorporating the latest in technology to make the rooms as luxurious to live in as it is to the eye, the rooms have a classic elegance that is characteristic of DvF. It is also the best possible example of a great fashion brand extending its reach into arenas where its expertise is equally appreciated.

Italian fashion house Missoni too has made a foray into the hotel business with Hotel Missoni, a lifestyle hotel chain. Their first property was Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh in 2009 and a second one in Kuwait. The hotel has same brightly-coloured aesthetic and eclectic luxury that the brand is known for in its couture.

Décor is the perfect medium to bring together fashion and luxury. The idea of creating a living space that combines your favourite luxury brands with utility makes the package even more irresistible. Sporting your favourite labels is no longer enough – you have to live the brand!

(This article was published on December 18, 2012)
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