To socialize or talk informally preferably over a drink. Word forms: 3rd person singular present tense hobnobs, present participle hobnobbing, past tense, past participle hobnobbed.
But honestly. Hobnob is a safe space for women who prefer iced coffee over a perfectly curated wardrobe. It’s is a daycare center for women who are intrigued by trends, but also don’t care. It is an open bar for those who swear on vintage Chanel and whose pension funds hang in their closets.
I had scheduled an appointment with the creative director of Svenskt Tenn and the talk of the town, quite literally, Luke Edward Hall. Hall was not only in town because of the collaboration with Svenskt Tenn, but also because he just opened an exhibition at Arsenalsgatan 3 the other day. Me and Linn have both been admirers of Hall for quite some time. I mean, how can you not be, really? He has the most colorful feed on of all Instagram and his personal style is impeccable. Not to speak of his actual artistic work. With his wide repertoire he is an icon of his time. He does not keep himself boxed in. With both hotels, furniture, ceramics and collaborations with fashion houses (yes we are de-fi-ni-tely talking about the Burberry collab) on his resumé. Feel free to listen in on our conversation.
FE Cyber space told us that you’ve been a fan of Sweden for quite some time and swedes (as we are), were ofc thrilled about that. LEH Yes, I’ve been wanting to come to Sweden for quite some time, but I just didn’t get around to it. So, I am very excited to be here!FE How was your first meeting with Svenskt tenn? LEH It was several years ago. I first came across Svenskt Tenn at Liberty, the department store in London. My first purchase was a pillow, I think it was seven or eight years ago? I kind of became a fan right away. And particularly of Josef Franks fabrics which I totally fell in love with. I actually studied fashion design at university and then went on to work with interior design. I would always buy a lot of things at Svenskt Tenn, both for work and for my home. FE How was it coming into the store for the first time, it’s a pretty special store.
LEH It was amazing! I know the products so well, but seeing them in their original context here in the store was really just amazing. The way they display the products in different room is not something you see everywhere. It’s great.
FE What is your favorite Josef Frank print for Svenskt Tenn fabric?LEH It’s difficult to choose, they are all so special. But I am moving in to a new house on the countryside, so tomorrow when I have a day off here in Stockholm I am gonna go shopping. I am thinking about which fabric to put on a specific chair and it’s probably going to be Mirakel. FE I really like the Teheran pattern. LEH Which one is that again?FE The black and neon with flowers. LEH Oh yeah, I know it it.. It’s really hard to choose just one. My favorite ones are the fabrics with dark backgrounds though, with the exception of the Manhattan one.
The marketing- and creative director of Svenskt Tenn, Thommy Bindefeld talks to us about how many of Josef Frank’s prints are extraordinary, not only because of how beautiful they are, but how they all are hand drawn and so advanced in their constructions. The pattern Mirakel is called miracle because he really thought it was a miracle that he got it all together.
Josef Frank always used to say “If you just have white walls you get stressed, but if you have colors and patterns you can rest your mind in letting it travel away with the ornaments”.
FE Thommy, where did you find Luke? TB It all started when we read about him in Vogue Interior about two years ago. And I read the article and your aesthetic caught my eye right away. So I just contacted Luke. We met in London this November and we immediately felt that we needed to do something for spring and summer 2019 together. We just can’t wait ‘til next year.
The collection Luke Edward Hall made for Svenskt Tenn is a limited edition. Both its printed pillows and trays, and its hand painted lamp shades and bags. In addition to the collaboration Svenskt Tenn will also be selling unique ceramics and vases made by Luke Edward Hall.
FE Tell us about your collaboration? TB Every unique piece has its own look which is really fantastic. What we did was that we made the bags and lamp shades as blank canvases and sent them to Luke for him to do his magic.
FE Do you have a favorite one?LEH It’s hard, I like them all. I really like the pillow with the male and female face. But the green printed pillow is my favorite. It’s the initial design. A lot of my work is inspired from Greek mythology. And this collection is actually named after one of my favorites, Endymion. He spent his whole life asleep. It was his punishment from Zeus.
FE It was his punishment? LEH I can’t quite remember, there are a lot of different stories about him. But It was something about him and a woman and because he was so handsome, Zeus punished him by putting him to sleep for life. But he has many facettes. He is a favorite of mine.
FE How do you work? LEH I hand paint, print and cut. I really like doing the hand painted pieces though, because you think they will look a certain way and then they turn out completely different so they’re all unique.
FE And what has the process been like? LEH For me it’s been a dream. I’ve done a few collaborations before which I really like but Svenskt Tenn has always been in the back of my mind. Because there is no other concept like Svenskt Tenn, you know.
FE Of course. But let’s talk interior. You said earlier that you were moving, how are you going to decorate your new home?LEH We are moving to the countryside. So I am going for a full-on countryside look! We are renting it though, so I can’t do too much with it. But I always end up doing too much anyway. We were joking about statues in the garden at first, but now I really want to do it.
FE I know you are a big fan of old things and things with a story. Where do you go to shop for interior? LEH I really like fine pieces and we (we being Luke and his boyfriend, interior designer Duncan Campbell) find them everywhere. But I love to shop at auctions online, like Ebay, Pamono or The Sale Room. It’s almost too easy to just do it over your phone when I am traveling…
FE Do you always have a plan when you decorate? Or do you make it up as you go?LEH I don’t follow trends, I don’t follow rules. But it’s very exciting to have a reason to decorate again, because me and Duncan has been living in the same flat for 10 years.
FE When you visit other peoples homes, what to you notice first?
LEH The colors really. For me, colors is like the main thing. But I always say I don’t mind what other people do with their homes. If they want to live minimal, they should. It’s not my thing, obviously, but I don’t like when people tell each other how to live their lives.
TB: ”We love to think about Luke and Josef Frank as having the love of color in common. Josef Frank who started creating fabrics for Svenskt Tenn in the middle of World War II and Luke doing what he does right now when people also need to turn to something else than the rough reality “
FE What do you do on your free time? Do you have any?LEH Not really. No that’s not true. I make sure I have some free time.
FE What do you do on a Sunday off?LEH I cook. I love going down to our local farmers market, get some nice veggies, ge the newspaper and cook. And take care of our small balcony, there are so much things on it now it’s about to flow over. So that’s partly why we are moving too, I want a big garden.
FE Instagram is often judged to be too accessible in fine culture, how do you look at that with being both an artist and big on instagram? LEH I think art and design should be accessible. For me, Instagram is a way to show all that I do. It’s just like here on Svenskt Tenn, you can buy a really expensive sofa, but also a napkin and it’s the mix that makes it great. I don’t believe in art being this thing on a pedestal. I think it should be democratic.
FE That’s nice, I agree. Where does it come from, your interest in art? LEH It’s not from my parents, but I have been creative and have had an urge to work with my hands all my life. For example I started a magazine when I was 14 years old which I made all my friends contribute to and then I went on to study at St Martins School of Design.
Favorite destination? Italy and Venice. But I am longing to go to Sicily.
One meal for the rest of your life?Pasta. Pumpkin ravioli with sage butter.
Fvorite color? Why? Pink. No green!
Most used garment in you closet? Absolutely knitted vests.
Vintage or new? Both actually. It’s the mix that makes it interesting.
Luke Edward Hall for Svenskt Tenn
Fanny Ekstrand is a writer, creative consultant and founder of Hobnob. She says she is the master of vintage shopping and knows all the pasta dishes in the world.