long before i met Lisa Fine, before i discovered her gorgeous lisa fine textiles and her irving and fine fashion line, i found her gorgeous paris apartment in elle decor. i think it was almost 5 years ago. i can’t stop thinking about the tented parlor, and i remember exactly what i thought in this moment- i thought, “this apartment is chic, glamorous and stylish!”
what i’ve discovered since then and after meeting lisa exactly this time last year, finding her fabrics, which are now used in all my design projects, admiring her fantastic tunics, caftans, and coats for irving and fine is that she is also chic, glamorous and style- more than even her paris apartment if that’s possible!
she’s actually more than all that, she’s full of life! i love that texas accent, her iconic style, her big smile, i can tell she has even a bigger heart! she’s an original!
please enjoy getting to know more about my dear friend lisa fine- designer, taste-maker, world traveler, style icon, artisan, a true original! she’s chic, glamorous and stylish, she’s what this blog is all about! enjoy!
LF- I am very influenced by color. I love the color of Indian miniature paintings and designs that evoke romance and the orientalist in me. In both interior design and in fashion design, I never like the obvious, or things that look contrived or too matched. There always needs to be something a bit off. Sometimes the accessory or piece of furniture I love the most is the most unexpected but makes the strongest design impact.
“One of my favorite rooms was my Paris bedroom.”
Another view of lisa’s paris bedroom in Elle Decor.
And another from Elle Decor.
MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?
LF- I grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where my family owned department stores. I was practically born shopping and have always loved fashion and retail. My fondest childhood memories are sitting in dressing rooms watching women try on clothes. I think this is where I first started to obsess over textiles.
Fine Brothers Matison in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
“Minding the Store” is the memoir of Stanley Marcus, southern retail giant and founder of Neiman Marcus. He was also the speaker at my high school graduation (Hockaday in Dallas), how appropriate!
MDS- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
LF- I love reading, researching and discovering. I would be very happy in the world of journalism.
Lisa’s paris apartment in Elle Decor.
the tented palor- Elle Decor
MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?
LF- Travel is my passion and greatest inspiration. Every year I try to go to at least one new Indian city in search of new textiles, embroideries and crafts. Calcutta and Hyderabad are two of my more recent favorite cities. My newest textile LAHORE was inspired from an antique embroidered pashmina I saw in Delhi.
In fashion, I am very influenced by old Yves Saint Laurent, flamenco dancers and Mughal costumes.
“Taken in a village in Kutch, near the Pakistan border. This area is famous for embroidery.”
“In fact, our Irving & Fine Kutch coat was inspired by their local embroidery. The Lucky Brand peasant blouse we designed also has this embroidery.”
“This is a workroom in Hyderabad where our metallic and gold embroidery for our caftans were sampled.”
An Yves Saint Laurent flamenco dress.
MDS- What is your favorite room in your house?
LF- My favorite room is a tiny TV room in Dallas. The walls are upholstered in my Malula fabric and covered in miniature paintings I have found in India. I am constantly adding pillows from my travels.
The TV room in Dallas.
MDS- Is there anything you obsessively collect?
LF- I obsessively buy biographies, travel memoirs, cookbooks and textile books.
“One of my all time favorites.”
MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ______.”
LF- I never have enough mileage points or navy blue T-shirts and sweaters. My latest is a long sleeve cotton tie-dye with 3 buttons from LUCKY BRAND.
Lucky Brand navy long sleeved tee.
MDS- If you could decorate anyone’s house – who’s would it be and why?
LF- I would love to decorate or make a caftan for Queen of Qatar Mozah. She is glamorous and I love the way she mixes her over the top jewels and turbans with very classic and elegant clothes. I also adore tented rooms, antique textiles and Islamic tiles. I cannot think of a better place or person to appreciate them.
Queen Mozah of Qatar.
“Tipu Sultan’s tent, my idea of heaven!”
An amazing iznik tiled room in Cairo.
MDS- What do you want to be known for?
LF– Dog Rescue.
Pasha, Lisa’s latest rescue.
MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?
LF- Those who are chic and stylish are never victims of fashion, trends or labels. They possess an attitude and talent that knows when to stop and how to pile it on while seeming effortless. Chic and stylish can be as simple and casual as Ines de la Fressange or as eclectic and formal as Millicent Rogers. Diana Vreeland always said one was born with it. I sort of agree. She certainly was.
For me, old Hollywood movies and stars are the epitome of glamour: Casablanca, Bringing up Baby, To Catch a Thief, High Society, to name a few. The Maharajahs and Maharanis in India are also the ultimate in glamour, especially those of Indore, Jaipur and Baroda.
I love glamour and find it today on the red velvet banquets at La Grenouille (I remember how glamorous I felt on one of my first trips to New York when I went to Quo Vadis. I still remember those red velvet banquets.) Or, in the wonderful and glamorous art deco bathrooms at Claridges in London. i was just in Hong Kong and that is a very glamorous city.
“I think Ines is one of the most stylish and chic. I love her raffia bag, hat…”
“And, I love her tomboy look and mix of classic stripes, dots.”
“Millicent Rogers was not only stylish and chic, she was way ahead of her time. She was wearing Indian saris and American Indian turquoise jewelry long before it was fashionable.”
Bringing Up Baby
The Maharajah and Maharani of Indore.
“The Maharani of Baroda was known for her jewels. There were the famous Baroda pearls. Here she is admiring herself in mirror as she tries on a star of diamond necklace.”
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