Exploring The Work and Influences of Designer Faye Toogood

I’ve long been aware of the work of designer Faye Toogood  appreciating her work as an interior stylist for “The World of Interiors” magazine, which she worked on for 10 years. I’ve always admired her organic shapes and over sized scale of interior products which give them an other worldly appearance and so it was really interesting listening to her talk recently on a podcast for The Modern House. 

What was particularly interesting about the conversation was that Faye was interviewed by her husband Matt Gibberd, co founder of modernist estate agents, The Modern House and so the conversation was very informal and light hearted but Matt also dug deep to investigate what really makes Faye’s brain tick when designing for either interiors, products or clothes through her studio collaborative Toogood.

In the podcast which you can listen to here, Faye talks about a memorable childhood trip to St Ives and particularly the spark that a visit to sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s studio and gardens ignited and it is evident from Toogood’s designs that this has been a huge inspiration in her work ever since.

From the simple neutral colour palette of Hepworth’s studio, to the use of honest materials such as stone and marble that she often employs in her work, even some of the figurative sketches that she has used on fabric designs, all are reminiscent of Hepworth’s body of work.

A photo I took from my last visit to The Barbara Hepworth Studio in St Ives

The Hospital sketches Hepworth made after her daughter was hospitalised in 1944

This is no patische of Hepworth’s work though, there are many other influences, most notably Ettore Sottsass of The Memphis movement. Toogood is an amazing designer in her own right. Her work exists in many museums permanent collections, including The V&A London and her clothes are stocked in 60 shops worldwide, including Dover Street Market Her designs will continue to be referenced by many future creatives.

What I particularly loved about the interview was that she describes her own home as a sanctuary and a personal space where she gathers together her collections of found objects and ephemera, which are so important to her. It’s something she’s done since a child and something I could totally relate to. Have a listen and see if you recognise yourself in what she says.

I also came across this video that was produced a few years back by interior designer Rita Konig for The New York Times Style magazine, in which she interviews Faye about her home and what it means to her, with a tour of the interior. It’s probably changed quite a bit since then, in fact I don’t think she even lives in this house anymore, but it speaks volumes about her as a designer and what she actually loves to surround herself with in her home. She’s obviously a great sentimentalist when it comes to her most precious possessions. Be prepared to be mesmerised. I was!


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