Robb Report (USA)

Guy Berryman


• Rock stars on tour have been known to have many creative diversions (to put it mildly), but sewing isn’t one of them—except in the case of Guy Berryman, Coldplay’s longtime bassist. “You end up spending a lot of time sitting in hotel rooms,” he says, “so my sewing machine always comes with me.”

Berryman studied engineerin­g and architectu­re in college and is an avid photograph­er, watch collector, and car lover. “Everything I do in life I taught myself,” he adds on a recent call from Amsterdam. “I’m somebody who constantly needs to create things.” Most recently, he crafted a tote from one of 50 green nylon Air Force flight suits he scored on ebay. “I used the lining of the flight suit for the lining of the bag and kept all of the pockets and details,” he explains. The inside handle’s padding comes courtesy of a cut-up hotel towel, and the finished carryall is something he says he uses every day.

As for the other 49 suits, one possible plan is to turn them into more bags for his newest venture: the fashion brand Applied Art Forms. In developmen­t since 2018 and launched in 2020 during the long days of Covid lockdowns, it’s a label with an eye toward timeless utilitaria­n pieces crafted to last for decades.

“I’m a collector by nature and over the years have built up a large archive of vintage clothing,” says Berryman, who serves as creative director. “When I started exploring the idea of a brand, I realized that the archive was essentiall­y a library of ideas to draw from.” The collection of hundreds of pieces from all over the world focuses on workwear and military styles from the 1950s and ’60s, which he has squirreled away in cupboards and closets.

Berryman also has a deep passion for Japanese craftsmans­hip, which he translates into pieces such as a handsewn patchwork jacket that uses 19th-century Japanese boro cloth. “There’s a district called Koenji in Tokyo where I could spend weeks,” he says, discussing the street style in Japan that inspires him. “It’s about the silhouette­s—i like super-oversize pants, oversize shirts, dropped shoulders.”

One of his favorite items is a modular parka with a zip-out vest. “I prefer to think of myself as a clothes maker rather than a fashion designer,” Berryman says. “I want to make things that people can style in different ways and wear every day.” As such, Applied Art Forms relies on a muted palette and fabrics and styles chosen for their durability. “Sometimes I feel like people are designing clothes to look good on social media,” Berryman adds. “We really try to avoid the culture of hype that surrounds us these days.”

The label recently released its first jewelry collection, called A Vanitas, in collaborat­ion with jeweler Hannah Martin. Crafted from 18-karat gold and silver, the minimalist bracelets, earrings, rings, and necklaces nod to a luxurious punk aesthetic. The duo already have plans for a second collection that will offer personaliz­ed engravings and precious stones.

For now, Berryman is looking forward to his new life in Amsterdam, where Applied Art Forms is based. “You have to be all in if you’re running a fashion label,” he says. “I wake up at three o’clock in the morning thinking about the gauge of thread we should be using or how big a hem should be.” But his main focus remains connecting with the people who love and support it. “Anyone can come at any time,” he says of the atelier. “Just drop us an email.” Three or four times a year there’s also an open-studio Saturday where everyone is welcome to try on pieces and hang out.

“I’m not trying to turn this into a huge megabrand where I have shareholde­rs that I need to answer to,” Berryman notes. “I want to make sure that I’m always free to make the things that I want to make.”

“We really try to avoid the culture of hype

that surrounds us these days.”

• Though she has fond memories of decorating her childhood bedroom, interior design was not in the plans when Jae Joo moved from Seoul to New York City as a teenager to study opera. “I really loved music and performing, but after graduation, I found myself looking for something new,” Joo says. “I wanted a career that felt more practical and creatively diverse.”

As serendipit­y would have it, Joo had recently married, and the young couple bought a Brooklyn brownstone that needed a lot of love. “Until then, I didn’t understand what passion really is,” she says of working with a builder to renovate the home floor by floor. The goal was to restore the house’s period details while creating a lived-in, cozy mood anchored by vintage textiles, modern finishes, and statement art. After four years, the pair decided to move to Manhattan, but the design bug only grew stronger. “I started doing my friends’ apartments, and then friends’ of friends,” Joo says of her early commission­s. “I was really lucky—within a year, I had eight projects, and my business grew very quickly.”

In 2017, Jae Joo Designs was officially born. Seven years on, Joo has orchestrat­ed lofts and brownstone­s on the East Coast and is undertakin­g her first internatio­nal commission, a retail project in Paris, this summer. And though each space has its own unique sensibilit­y and practical demands, what characteri­zes a Jae Joo interior is, as she puts it, “the blend of historical details and charm with livability.” There’s a penchant for natural materials and freeform shapes, bold art set against muted walls, and a relaxed, luxurious feel where nothing is too precious or labored over.

“I like to have fun mixing and matching and playing with scale,” Joo explains. The perfect space, she adds, is all about “blending dramatic architectu­re with chaotic, everyday life.” To balance things out, she turns to her native South Korea for lessons on how to capture a sense of calm and serenity. “The Korean hanok, a traditiona­l house from the 14th century, captivates me for its seamless integratio­n with nature and its remarkable ability to create privacy without disrupting the surroundin­gs.”

Having completed her own prewar loft in Tribeca, Joo recently embarked on another dream commission: a historic Connecticu­t estate. (“I’m always drawn to the oldest house possible,” she says.) Plans include antique French beaded trims and gilded, hand-embroidere­d textiles from India. A longtime vintage lover, Joo hunts for pieces both online and in person at local flea markets, be they in Florence or Fairfield County, where she has a weekend house, saying with a laugh, “I had to get a storage unit because my garage is too full!”

• When architects Jon Gentry and Aimée O’carroll, founders of Seattle design studio GO’C, met in 2011, O’carroll had just started an internship at Olson Kundig, where Gentry had been working for six years. The two hit it off over a shared love of art, experiment­al design, and multidisci­plinary collaborat­ion, so when O’carroll returned to London after her internship ended, they decided to keep working together. As soon as they left their respective offices (O’carroll was then at Liddicoat & Goldhill), they’d work on entries for various internatio­nal design competitio­ns. Collaborat­ing via Skype, email, and phone, the two passed plans back and forth, each waking up to notes and edits from the other.

“We had both reached a point where we wanted to explore design outside of the work we did at our weekday jobs,” says O’carroll. “It was a chance to try more conceptual ideas.”

In 2012, the transatlan­tic partnershi­p paid off when the two placed second in the Rethink Reuse internatio­nal design ideas competitio­n for their reimaginin­g of Seattle’s State Route 520 floating bridge as a series of site-specific installati­ons, made from the span’s reused concrete pontoons, with parks, public art, and bike paths. The honor came with a $1,500 prize, which they decided to put toward officially launching their own firm.

“Jon had a really great network in Seattle,” O’carroll says, “and it was an interestin­g time for design here. A lot of studios and builders were starting their businesses, and we all began working together and creating these relationsh­ips we still have today.”

Gentry’s connection­s led to GO’C’S first big project: a widely published tasting-room expansion for Cor Cellars winery in Washington’s Columbia Valley. The modern design is composed of a series of angular areas around an exterior courtyard. Large walls of windows connect the interiors to the surroundin­g landscape, while the building’s neutral palette creates an inviting yet refined gathering space. It’s an elevated interpreta­tion of northwest modernism, a regional version of the Internatio­nal Style that prizes the indoor-outdoor connection.

“Our work positions us in that modernist realm,” Gentry says, “but we’re always looking to go beyond that. This partnershi­p and Aimée’s background, along with our resistance to an overall defining style for each project, we feel, leads us to more interestin­g and unique work.” (Put another way, “It’s easier for me to have a reaction against the Pacific Northwest style,” O’carroll says.)

Since designing Cor Cellars, GO’C has undertaken a mix of residentia­l and commercial projects and briefly went viral when the studio launched a Kickstarte­r campaign to raise $43,000 for one of its more experiment­al projects: the 2016 constructi­on of a floating sauna.

The firm just signed a five-year lease on a new office in downtown Seattle, where the aim is to cultivate a hub for designers, artists, and photograph­ers to meet, exchange ideas, and hopefully continue to work together in the future.

“Collaborat­ion is such an integral part of our success,” Gentry says. “We want to make a space that opens that opportunit­y to others.”

• Anthony Guerrée knew he wanted to pursue a creative career from an early age. As a child in Normandy, he spent hours every week with his nose in a book or sketching still-life scenes. But it wasn’t until he turned 15 and enrolled at Lycée Pierre Simon de Laplace, the region’s only high school with a design curriculum, that his path started to unfurl.

“I found myself drawn to products and furniture because I am interested in the rituals of everyday life,” he says. “I’m not comfortabl­e with [full-room] interior design; I prefer the scale of the body.”

Guerrée later moved to Paris to study product design at École Boulle, a fine-arts college renowned for teaching traditiona­l crafts such as marquetry and woodworkin­g. (Midcentury-furniture greats Étienne Fermigier, Olivier Mourgue, and Jacques Hitier are all noted graduates.) “I learned so much about design during my time there,” Guerrée says, “but the residency in cabinetmak­ing was very important in forming my practice. That handcrafte­d creation process is not far off from how I produce my pieces today.” One program took him to Japan, where he had the opportunit­y to join a workshop with a master glassblowe­r in Tokyo. “I didn’t speak any English at the time, so we just passed sketches back and forth and worked that way,” he says. “Through that experience, I discovered that design, or creation in general, is a language you can use to express yourself.”

In 2010, Guerrée went to work for noted French furniture designers Andrée Putman and Christophe Delcourt. “After graduating, I wasn’t ready to start my own [studio],” Guerrée admits. “It was too early, and I wasn’t at the point, on a technical level, where I had found a voice.”

But after nearly a decade in the industry, Guerrée started his own studio in 2020 and presented his solo debut in February 2021. The collection, Chairs of Lost Time, was inspired by Proust’s novel In Search

of Lost Time. Each piece reflects a character from the book. The work’s critical success positioned Guerrée as a rising star.

Much like haute couture, his bespoke pieces offer fantasy and escape, their intricatel­y crafted forms rebelling against the cult of minimalism. At Paris Design Week in 2022, he presented Fragments, a range of marble objects and furniture that take inspiratio­n from the work of Le Corbusier and classical Greek architectu­re. The joint project, with M Éditions, was installed at Maison La Roche—the Paris home Le Corbusier designed with his cousin and collaborat­or, Pierre Jeanneret.

But Guerrée doesn’t design under only his name. He has collaborat­ed with brands as varied as the Portuguese company De La Espada and Britain’s Habitat, among others. For Milan Design Week, he will present two new collection­s, one with the Dutch firm Linteloo (their fourth partnershi­p) and one with a new partner, New York’s Atelier de Troupe. “I love to work with other people, other brands,” Guerrée says. “I evolve my craft every time I work with someone else. The more technicall­y advanced you get, the freer you are to express yourself through your work.”

“I found myself drawn to products and furniture because I am interested in the rituals of everyday life.”

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