Color, Chaos & Creativity Returns👏

It’s been a while since I posted but since my trip to Oslo has been so inspiring I had this awesome urge to share!

Invited by the Norwegian Consulate to attend the Fushion Show in Oslo (August 28-30) celebrating fashion, art and music by redefining the creative standards through innovative performances revolving around fashion.

Our first stop was at the LMN Gallery showcasing ESP/Morie Fashion paired with innovative artwork and interactive models in motion.

After taking the reins of a 60-year old outerwear factory at Økern in Oslo in 2015, designer and entrepreneur Elisabeth Stray Pedersen established her label ESP. Ever since, the brand continued to develop the factory’s signature style, which was iconic blanket coats in pure wool, besides creating new designs. ESP utilises the finest Norwegian lamb’s wool from freely walking crossbreed sheep in the highlands around Gol in Norway. The wool is Nordic Eco labelled and their fabrics are Woolmark certified.

Founded by Creative Director Charlotte Fische and Head of Design Linn Sannes Brevik-Ribeiro in 2016, Moiré is the offspring of Oslo based Moiré Fashion Agency.

The brand speaks to the modern minimalist who wants to embrace their inner maximalist – with a strong focus on keeping it elegantly feminine. Totally opposed to the use-and-discard mentality, the brand is built upon a mutual wish for more tailored clothing, one-of-a-kind details and high-quality textiles. 

Moiré loves storytelling and the design process is a significant part of the small but highly curated collections. Every season is a result of a creative development that often involves a range of different designers and artists.

Tonje Plur is a womenswear designer and artisan based in Oslo/Norway. She combines social and geographical references with a variety of craft work and designs, making her collections a visual reaction to the present time.

Avenue is a woman’s and menswear brand founded in Oslo, Norway by Ingvild Abrahamsen, Gustaf Gyllenhammar and Espen Follestad. They showed their first collection in 2015 for Autumn-Winter.  With a long background in music, design and textile production, they are creating clothes highly influenced by their music references. They specialise in high quality garments with natural fibres and make distinct design suitable for everyday comfort.

Established in 1997, Cathrine Hammel is an Oslo-based fashion brand, producing new collections based on a variety of themes each season. The team consists of designers, a garment specialist, tailors, a production manager and a creative director working closely together to create elegant clothes that are meant to be worn in the real world. The clothes are laboriously altered to fit a progressive lifestyle, whereas the boundaries between work and pleasure collide into one single entity. Each garment reflects a Scandinavian way of living and its democratic ideals: Gender equality, a sustainable approach to the environment, social cohesion and a balance between life and work. Cathrine Hammel is a modern wearable fashion brand, catering to open-minded people, who recognize quality and durability as the most sustainable approach to fashion.

Retail Redo Overseas in Paris and London

Why is it that you can go into any store anywhere in the world and find duplication in products. What happened to originality, newness and craftsmanship justifying an original idea at retail. Lifestyle trends translate down from macro trends so interpretation should be varied and unique, right? Well that theory was lost along the way and in order for brick and mortar to survive at any level, we need to bring back the newness which is lacking! We all need to take the blame, move on and make it right again.

Just returning from overseas this week I unfortunately had the same experience..do not get me wrong, walking the streets of Paris and London were awesome and the food incredible, that might be why many of my photos were food or street trends because they were inspiring in color, texture and dimension.

Walking into Conran’s both in Paris and London as well as Harvey Nichols, Miss Selfridges and sadly John Lewis…it was a wall of sameness.

Plant Wall ✅

Global Artisan Baskets ✅

Cute Cafe✅

Appliances in red, white and blank✅

Enlarged Candle Areas✅

Smaller Furniture Space✅

Growing up in a retail centric family, my parents were both retailers, stores looked unique. Produce space was allocated more towards the personality of the store, window displays were original and technology was pretty much non-existent…which is why I feel products had personality. No one needed to compare every little detail and stores were not all things to all people…I do not remember walking into a department store to buy ketchup?

Hoping we will see change in the coming year in retail, both on-line and at brick and mortar stores.

Take Merci in Paris, I know, I know it’s a “weird concept store”, my favorite for that very reason because it allows you to look at products in a more creative and non-conforming way! Yeah!! Oh and did I mention the line to buy items was literally out the door…guess you get my point…originally needs to return to retail!

Sharing some images that were unique in some form, either color, retail setting or just plain FUN!

Merci, Paris

Food Fav’s

Bold Color And Product Finishes.

I took 2K pictures last week so I will be posting many of them throughout the month of February. Published articles can be found at http://www.designworksintl.com under press or on my personal website http://www.nancyfire.com


Designers Dream de Gournay Paris

Current Situation…meet my new friend Taylor [bucket list worthy] unrolling the archives for me this morning…could not be more thankful and appreciative of my VIP tour..so get this..I walk in, totally waited for Deco Off Paris to be over cause the crowds are crazy…and this awesome, yes awesome young lady opens the door and after hearing my American version of “Bon Jour” says welcome…this 24 year old superstar has been living in Paris and working there for 6 months before she heads back to nyc to work in the de Gournay Showroom in NYC..exciting Design events coming our way New York City.

As a designer with a BFA degree, the artisan techniques still used in the de Gournay wallpaper collection allows one to appreciate every detail. From tea stained paper to silk ombré subtleties their style is forever timeless. Here are just a few delightful images from my behind the scenes tour…thanks Taylor for making my trip to Paris a designers dream!

Flamingos Collection Eclectrique

Palms Collection Eclectrique Colors Gaugin

Temple Newsam Collection de Chinoiseries

Portobello Collection de Chinoiseries

Silk Tree Collection Japonaise + Coreenne Colors Blossom

Deco Monkeys Collection Of Panoramiques

Portobello Collection de Chinoiserios

Textile Treasures at ‘Paris Deco Off’

What better way to add color and style to a rainy, cold and grey day in Paris…by visiting Deco Off, an international textile event that takes place once a year in the interior design district on the left bank of Paris.

Global, Graphic and Tropical inspired patterns were among the most popular in many of the textile showrooms. Most featured embroidered accents, appliqués and textured printing techniques.

More information regarding Paris Deco Off can be found at http://www.paris-deco-off.com/

Graphic Greats…Black and White Prints and Patterns in Paris

Bold bedding geometric inspired prints in black and white in BVH department store in the Marais section of Paris.

Gift set mug collections in black, white and gold featuring text graphics in various type fonts.

This teal color [on the blue side] is the second largest influential color behind black at retail in Paris.

Over scaled geometric prints lend a graphic vibe to any sofa, bed or chair.

At the Merci Concept Store in the Marais section of Paris, tabletop was truly a trend to be reckoned with adding mini dishes and plates to the mix.

This bed set at Conran’s on the left bank of Paris was just one of many graphic inspired beds throughout the city.

At Galleries Lafayette Maison, these graphic towels in black and ecru have a tribal vibe that coordinate well with the graphics aesthetic of the season.

At Le Compagnie Francaise, graphic one color ikat patterns compliment this mixed substrate chair of leather and vinyl cording.

This woven bench detail at BVH is not only trend right, it’s a practical solution for expanding seating in your home.

At Merci Concept Store, it’s all about the graphic and global mix, showcasing authentic woven baskets in black and white, mixed with rustic matte and glossy black ceramic vessels.

Surtex NYC Trend Updated From Color, Chaos and Creativity…Part 3

Last month in NYC I spoke about print, pattern and color trends at Surtex NYC, representing our design studio, Design Works International, a lifestyle/product design firm specializing in the home, fashion and accessory industries.

Out Of This World…literally..we are talking Galaxy inspired prints, patterns, embroideries with an iridescent sensibility and style. Nocturnal tones of deep purple, indigo and magenta are part of the color plan to heighten the vibe of this celestial superstar.


Even after a year of playful pineapples…we are still craving for more…NEW this season…the use of millennial pink mixed with metallic and textural accents.


Somewhere Over….yes it’s all about iridescent finishes and rainbow colorways in fashion, home and decorative accessories. The more color…the better and these saturated shades are cross generational…NOT only for the millennial crowd.


Boho Style continues to increase as a lifestyle look and we are seeing the resurgence of Folk Florals..[did they ever go away] as wallpaper, clothing, home accessories and garden tools in Americana color combinations that coordinate beautifully with denim…another trend that has cross generational appeal.

This is the last of a 3 part series …so if you missed part 1 and 2 please take a peek either at Color, Chaos and Creativity or at Design Works International’s blog.

All prints and patterns designed by Design Works International are property of our studio until a purchase agreement is signed. If interested in purchasing prints, our website is Designworksintl.com or call our studio at 212-594-0777 ext 112.

Stay tuned for our next series on new color combinations…2018

Surtex NYC Trend Update Part Two

Surtex NYC Trend Updates From Color, Chaos and Creativity….Part Two


Colorful Contrasts highlight this season by adding fresh and fun color to an assortment of products from paper goods, tabletop, fashion as well as home decor accessories. Do not be afraid of positioning primary colors together especially in full coverage patterns. Royal blue, teal, red and fuschia are leading the pack with a powerful punch of color!


Jewel Toned Textures keep our textured trend alive in 2017-18 with a shift in color to a warmer color palette. Fuschia, tangerine, golden yellow with accents of blue are updated color combinations for the season.


Mostly in home decor we are still seeing soft pastel shades mixed with deep accents trending in fabric prints and patterns. Millennial Pink continues to take the lead with lilac, grey and yellow creating this Soft Edge update!


It’s back, looks like Seaform of the 80’s is back with a vengeance looking new and updated mixed with black and white.


Transitioning from Millennial Pink to Mauve/Lavender will be a trend we will be watching as pinks transition over the next few months.

All Design Works International Prints and Patterns are owned by our studio until time of purchase. To purchase designs log into designworksinternational.com and click on shop prints…you will need to sign into your account or create a new account. Any questions e-mail nfire@designworksintl.com

Merci. Have you been?

Have you ever been to Merci in Paris? You know that lifestyle store that has a cult following from all over the world… which I guess Includes me!!

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Take a detour, you will be happy you did! Located at 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais in Le Marias.

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Merci never disappoints because they are on the cutting edge of style with fashion as well as Home Decor.

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The vibe; bustling with trendy people from all over the world coming to see the newest textures, substrates, colors and style updates.

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Today they were making custom chair tops from a powdery substance that allows you, the consumer, to design your chairs on the spot! Right in the store! Pretty awesome! Pretty millennial! And Pretty Fast!!

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The beauty of these custom chairs is that no two are alike since each one is individually made. With the various color combinations and ombré effects that you can create using these powder substrates…it’s an instant DIY! Each one is an original work of art and a true one of a kind… I am ready to create mine!

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