PHOEBE LEWIS INTERVIEW
Phoebe Lewis is a freelance set and events designer based in London who's work I ADORE.
Tell us about yourself Phoebe:
After I studied architecture, I had a brief dip into branding and editorial at Tank magazine, then worked as a freelance set designer for Hampstead Theatre and other fringe productions, including a rather twisted Cabinet of Curiosity at Glastonbury festival.
I then worked for a while at Fiona Leahy Design, creating mainly fashion based events, then switched to a focus on interiors design at Studio Toogood. Now I'm focused on freelance event design for different production companies and clients in London. I’m fascinated by all aspects of design, from the detail of a door handle to the vision of a sustainable housing complex. My passion comes from a London upbringing, surrounded by music, film, some of the best galleries in the world and a wonderful range of diverse cultures. Greatest inspirations or influences?
- Just bought the Kelly Wearster 'Hue' book because I love the her use of bold colours and sculptural shapes
- I'm also a big fan of Tony Duquette, Jean Paul Goude and art deco architecture. When I was little I went to Miami Beach few times to visit family and the pastel colours and sharp angles of the buildings in bright sunshine made a deep impression on me.
- Finally I can't miss out the amazing theatre productions by Complicite - so rich in visual ideas and execution. 'The Master and The Margarita' is one of my favourite books so I'm really excited about their up and coming production of it.
Most memorable events to date?
It was great fun working on the Forever 21 London launch, especially looking through a huge vintage neon collection, getting to choose props and furniture for the set and working with set builders to transform the massive derelict space into a colourful indoor festival. One of my favourite things about event design is the oppertunity of bringing caterers or suppliers on board for an event who I admire and respect. So it was great having the talented 'La Grotta Ices' selling her tasty selection of ice creams including Barbados Custard and Raspberry and Fig Ice Cream, as she normally works out the back of a tiny piaggio ape van in a small market in London Bridge! What would be a dream project for you?
- Something food related. I'm always looking out for the chance to work with food as a medium, people like Luxirare and Marije Vogelzang are really inspiring.
- I really enjoyed doing the Claire Clark pop up patisserie in Harvey Nicols and the POP bakery in Top Shop in Kensington. Food as a product poses more problems to solve, so the function part of the design process becomes more important.
- And of course I would love a project with a huge budget and the freedom to experiment!
Favorite websites, blogs, publications?
- Trendland, http://butdoesitfloat.com/, cool hunter,
- sweet station, http://weheartit.com/
Up and coming creatives we should know about?
- Set designer Amy Cook, Nick Balfe who writes the blog For those who love to eat,
- Assemble who created folly for a flyover http://www.follyforaflyover.co.uk/construction/;
- Jamie brown, Artist Mary Stephenson
What are you looking fwd to the most about this upcoming fashion week? The Roberto Cavalli party at Battersea Power Station which I'm working on - the scale of the building is perfect for his motto 'More is more'! Anything else youd like to share with our audience? I've got a couple of other great events coming up, including a Toni and Guy event at Somerset house and the British Fashion Awards, but then I'm leaving London to move to Berlin, which will be a real adventure. I've travelled a lot but never lived in another city and it will be fantastic to explore a city, which I love, and try living and working in another language. ( * editor's note: Good luck Phoebe, keep us posted with your new ventures, we can't wait to see what you do in Berlin)!