Learn About Design (and Fashion) Through the Decades at This Chic New Exhibition

As the fashion calendar closes its books on the couture season, the Volker Haug Studio is having a chic affair of its own. Teaming up with Colony, a community of independent designers, the European lighting studio’s luminescence has helped turn three luxury units at 40 Bleecker Street into three iconic eras from fashion history. “Colony’s fashion-inspired design concepts spoke to the core of what our studio does,” says founder Volker Haug to AD PRO. “We bring together creatives from all different design disciplines to create lighting that is malleable to all sorts of interior settings.”

For their entry into the U.S., the Melbourne-based studio’s signature clean aesthetics can be seen throughout Colony’s curated fashion-inspired interiors on a by-appointment basis from now until April. Sconces, pendants, and chandeliers have been chosen accordingly to each represented era depending on their materials and finishes. According to Jean Lin, the founder of Colony, the collaboration was seemingly written in the stars. “Each piece works seamlessly with our design concept,” she tells AD PRO. “They add an element of true discovery to space and I’m extremely honored to play a role in Volker Haug Studio’s entry into the American market.”

A 1980s Tokyo vision.

Photo: Brooke Holm

In the first sequence, Volker Haug’s Brutalist Longton sconces in raw aluminum find themselves bedside within an interior meant to emulate the abstract patterns of fashion in Tokyo during the 1980s. When referencing the links between the interior and designated fashion era, designers like Rae Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto immediately come to mind. Their large Triple Kick Pendant hangs linearly in the dining room of the next unit. Its asymmetrical elements and placement in front of a tartan-inspired textile by Hiroko Takeda elicit a rebellious air similar to the punk-rock trends that took London by storm in the 1970s. Additionally, the Balanced Stacked chandelier takes center stage in a dining room that is not short on sunlight. Its conical plates and grand appearance reflect the popularity of Art Deco in Paris during the 1920s. “In these settings, our signature nods to Brutalism, the economy of design, and placing the light source at the forefront of the composition are really brought to life,” says Haug.

Ultimately, this cross-pollination between a trade show, interior staging, and real estate venture is one big celebration for the living accessory. It proves too the power any such object can wield in determining the mood of a room. It’s this very importance that draws the Volker Haug Studio’s eclectic team (which consists of individuals who work as jewelers, ceramicists, and fine artists) to the craft, notes Haug. “Lighting it the modern-day campfire—it draws people to and around it as a gathering point.… [It’s] captivating and mysterious.”

Parisian decor, as influenced by Art Deco.

Photo: Brooke Holm

The bedside sconce. 

Photo: Brooke Holm