Manolo Blahnik Dublin
Retail, Furniture / Dublin / October 2008 / 120 sq m
The first Manolo Blahnik store in Dublin was incorporated into Dublin's Brown Thomas department store on Grafton Street, one of the city's most prestigious retail destinations. Dublin is a city with a rich Georgian history and great expanses of surviving C19 townscape. Taking inspiration from the proportional rigour and decorative simplicity of the Georgian era, Nick Leith-Smith juxtaposed the feel of a grand Georgian living room with a rough industrial finishes and a great expanse of Cole & Son wallpaper, chosen from their archives.
The result is a gracious setting that combines high technology fixtures and fittings with a classical sense of proportion and occasion. Fabrics and furnishings have natural colours and neutral hues to evoke the Irish countryside, while the other materials have a strong, industrial fee; relief cast concrete, blackened steel and etched glass tables, with water-jet cut patterns, and stitched linen panels.
The main seating components are classically-styled armchairs and sofas, finished in bespoke yellow and blue upholstery. The setting has a domestic feel, anchoring the scale of the store to ensure that the merchandise is never overwhelmed by its surroundings. Wall-hung shoe displays are individually downlit to create strong vertical shadows, while tables and standard lamps add to the feeling of a richly austere domestic realm.