Many designers have the gift of the gab: few can actually write. Kaffe Fassett is a delightful exception. Indeed, the text of the dismally titled Glorious Interiors
is something rare in interior design: a down-to-earth account of a complex and sophisticated personal style. Drawing inspiration from circuses, fairgrounds, the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, the liveries of Pakistani trucks and Slavic peasant costume, Fassett dedicates his book to "all those with a touch of gypsy who share my vision". There must be few enough of them, and going by the vibrant kitsch, the obsessive repetition and the migrainous, fractal surfaces of his trademark interiors, one suspects that not a few of them have ended up, tragically, in decidedly minimal circumstances, complete with soft white walls and bars on the windows.
Fassett's embroidered flower gardens, frog cushions, trompe l'oiel flower plates and postage stamp lampshades teeter spectacularly on the knife-edge separating genius from schizophrenia; his text, meanwhile, with all the honeyed reasonableness of the clearly mad, really makes the reader think--in a way few other books have ever done--about the emotional power of the richly patterned traditions of eastern Europe and the Indian subcontinent. Fassett contends that Western interiors--the best of them evoking "a sterile beigeness ... that chilled me to the core"--have lost all sense of humour. And he knows just what we need to get it back ...
Glorious Interiors is full of lengthy, meticulous instructions for jaw-dropping rag-rugs, collage screens, mosaics and many other pieces. Whether inspiring you or scaring you half to death, Fassett is one interior designer it is impossible to ignore. --Simon Ings
From the Publisher
Kaffe Fassett is almost singlehandedly responsible for changing the image of knitting and needlework from mumsy to designer chic. As the Financial Times wrote, Everybody who sees a Kaffe Fassett design can scarcely wait to own one.
Here he updates the classic patchwork quilt to include designs reminiscent of, for example, Klimt; there are seven other titles available from Ebury to cover every taste and style Mosaics, Kaffes Classics, Glorious Interiors, Glorious Inspiration, Glorious Knitting, Glorious Needlepoint and Kaffe Fassetts Family Album.