by Rachel on 13 Oct 2014
What a day for father-and-son team Peter and Charlie Bowles and the staff of the Original BTC Group, who welcomed no other than the Prime Minister to the Group's Witney HQ last week. David Cameron, in his constituency, toured the showroom and factory floor with Messrs Bowles, talking to staff and discussing the Group's tireless efforts to help save British industry.
Mr Cameron said: "I was delighted to visit Original BTC’s factory in my constituency. The Group, which has remained at the forefront of the industry, is a fantastic example of what can be achieved in a difficult economic climate. I know how much hard work has been put in by Peter and all the staff and it is great to see the rewards of these efforts.” Deserved praise indeed.
To cap it all, Mr Cameron was presented with an iconic Task table light in black, designed by Peter, which Downing Street has confirmed now sits proudly on the Prime Minister's desk.
Portrait is pleased as punch to have a client with such dedication to the preservation of British manufacturing - and to getting a direct quote from the PM for our blog.
by Sophia on 09 Oct 2014
Jonathan Adler’s luxurious Ingmar chair took centre stage at the Campaign for Wool Interiors Collection exhibition at Southwark Cathedral this week, bringing a touch of Scandi-mod with an Italian flair to the prestigious event. Curated by eminent stylist Arabella McNie, the exhibition, which featured over 50 woollen interiors and lifestyle products, formed part of the fifth anniversary celebrations of the Campaign for Wool. Jonathan’s groovy wool letter cushions also took pride of place on the front cover of the exhibition brochure – truly wool-tastic!
by Cosmo Brockway on 24 Sep 2014
It was off to magnificent Syon Park in deepest West London for Decorex International, where Ian Mankin launched its newest wallcovering collection, 'Imperial'. The stand was a visual feast of blue that drew lots of attention from designers and press alike. 'Imperial', named after the brand's historic cotton mill, is a collection of six designs including four signature stripes plus a geometric and a floral motif, each available in Ian Mankin's instantly recognisable palette.
Other attractions included eight installations based on 'A Rakes Progress'. The series by Hogarth, which hangs in Sir John Soane's museum, was whimsically interpreted in set-pieces, our favourite a collaboration between de Gournay and designer Kit Kemp.
As always, Decorex was a place to be inspired by hot new trends whilst meeting old friends and sampling the delights of the champagne bar designed this year by Les Trois Garcons.
See you at Syon Park next year!
by Rachel on 08 Sep 2014
Original BTC Group father-and-son team Peter and Charlie have been hard at work opening their first international showroom in St Germain, the design district of Paris. Split across three levels, the showroom is a whopping 3000 sq ft of Original BTC, Davey Lighting and Beadlight lights... and is truly stunning.
We made sure we were at the official launch party during Paris Design Week to wish the Bowles boys the very best in their international endeavours... This stop, Paris, next stop.... who knows?
If you're in town, stop by at 32, rue Bonaparte, 6th arrondissement.
by Rachel on 06 Sep 2014
From NYC to Gay Paree... We stopped by the Jonathan Adler stand at Maison et Objet to see all the new season fabness with our very own eyes and - ooh la la! - it was worth the wait.
A sexy leather desk, new malachite and brass console and side tables, plus more of his ever-popular accessories (vodka cocktail candle, anyone?) show why designer, author and potter Jonathan does irreverent luxury better than anyone. We're already planning where the new Scalinatella marble and brass day bed will go at Portrait Towers... Vive le style, le craft and le joy...
by Sophia on 21 Jul 2014
The Portrait A/W press show is one of the highlights of our calendar, and this year was no exception as we welcomed more journalists than ever before through the doors at the Vinyl Factory in Soho.
Over delicious sweet treats served from Talking Tables Street Stalls, journalists were shown new season highlights, including the groovy Lucite foot from Jonathan Adler, the latest gifts and games from Wild & Wolf, striking new lighting from Original BTC and Davey, and stunning fabrics, furniture and upholstery from Ian Mankin, Sofas & Stuff and Content by Conran.
And not forgetting our Steiff winter wonderland. The huge Studio polar bear made the journey from the Steiff workshop in Germany especially for the occasion. It took four members of the Portrait team to lift him - he certainly gave our usual star of the show, Archie the dachshund, a run for his money!
by Jo on 14 Jun 2014
The opening of the new Jonathan Adler store was without a doubt one of the great highlights in Portrait's five year history. We had a truly fabulous time hanging out with the man himself plus delightful hubby Simon Doonan at the Westbourne Grove boutique. It was an afternoon of fun, laughter and most importantly - Archie the dachshund's inauguration as Mr Adler's latest - and of course I'd say greatest - muse.
by Jo on 07 Jun 2014
What a treat it was to be the first lucky team to work with the brilliant Harriet Paterson, ex Style Editor of Living etc, in her new freelance role. Two highly succesful days were spent with Harriet styling the lastest offerings from Davey Lighting and Original BTC, including these stunning new Davey pillar pendant lights made at the brand's Birmingham metalworks. Watch out for the largest number ever of new launches from the British manufacturing group at the September shows... Design Junction and 100% Design, here we come!
by Jo on 05 Jun 2014
We are letting out one huge transatlantic cheer at the thrilling news that we've been appointed to represent our fave ever US lifestyle brand, Jonathan Adler. We've read the books, we've drooled over the website and we can't actually believe we're now looking after the man himself (along with all his fabulously life-enhancing products, of course.) For those that don't know - and seriously, your lives must be so empty - Jonathan Adler was founded by potter, designer and author Jonathan and is dedicated to bringing style, craft and joy to global audiences. Jonathan launched his first ceramic collection at Barneys in 1994 and is now well on the way to world domination thanks to his instantly recognisable, irreverent but utterly luxurious designs. We will be launching the 26th Jonathan Adler store in Notting Hill in the coming weeks and are already drooling and counting our pennies in anticipation. We want, we want, we want......
by Sophia on 29 May 2014
Natural materials, tactile fabrics and eye-catching patterns emerged as key trends at this year's Clerkenwell Design Week, 20th - 22nd May - one of Portrait's favourite design festivals. Now in its fifth year, the EC1 festival showcases exciting installations and product launches by eminent designers and brands.
Our very own Tori Murphy exhibited in the Additions area for the first time. Tori's stand featured striking monochrome and hot pink textiles. The new Hamilton Spot footstool, designed in collaboration with the talented Galvin brothers, caught our eye - while the new fluted pouffes proved popular with the design press.
Outside of Additions, Portrait loved the Tile Mile by design studio Russ + Henshaw. This installation featured over 7,000 diamond-shaped ceramic tiles in 10 bold colours laid in strips, creating a colourful passageway under the arches of the Medieval St John's Gate. Mirrors were positioned on the walls and ceiling, creating a decorative and dramatic path that disappeared into the distance.