October 27,2022

AD Celebrates the Opening of the Decoration and Design Building’s Fall Market

by David Stewart

To kick off the 50th-anniversary celebration of the Decoration and Design Building in New York and the opening of its Fall Market, Architectural Digest editor in chief Margaret Russell and AD100 designer Alexa Hampton gave an engaging and informative keynote address yesterday. The conversation focused on the work of Mark Hampton—the seminal volume, Mark Hampton on Decorating (Potter Style, $30), will be rereleased on October 27—and the two shared a lively conversation about the legacy of Alexa’s father.

Russell described Mark Hampton as a legend in the design world and noted that his book was one of her favorite gifts for young designers and editors. Its tone, she explained, perfectly captures the experience of having a conversation with the master and the timeless nature of the homes he created.

Russell took Alexa through a handful of his projects, noting design lessons that could be taken from each. Alexa remembered a particular aha! moment, when her father explained to her that if a home’s dining room could seat 20, then its living room must also be able to accommodate 20 people. She also recalled her father’s disdain for double self-welting, moire, and the color red in bedrooms.

Both Russell and Alexa agreed that the greatest lessons today’s designers can learn from the book won’t be found in a single chapter, but in the entirety of the volume. “Whatever the topic [was], he could speak to it. A lot of times when a decorator is working with a client there’s a misunderstanding that the creativity that is involved in the space is arbitrary,” explained Alexa to the standing-room-only audience. “He was articulate, and we all have to be that fluent about what we’re doing to underscore the fact that it’s important.”

After a round of questions from the audience, Russell and Alexa were joined by guests in the Kravet Showroom for breakfast. The keynote and reception were the perfect launch to a series of events and panels, made all the more enjoyable by flashes of Alexa’s trademark humor. At one point she recalled a question Russell had posed earlier: If Mark Hampton were here today, what would he say? “He’d wonder why I wasn’t wearing a skirt.”

  • David Stewart
  • October 27,2022

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