OrnamentAt Leighton House with Connolly
"Navy caban trousers contrast with a leopard print intarsia knit cardigan in cashmere; the deep, cool blue of the print mirrored by the lapis lazuli floral decoration of the Arabic tiles behind."
Small dots of radiance dance across Arabic tiles – geometric splashes of daylight, cast by a latticed jali screen in the qa’a at Leighton House Museum, London. Corinthian columns and Arabic vases augment the walls of the reception hall, while the vaulted ceiling rises into a high dome, ornately decorated and illuminated by a bright chandelier. Sculptures and oil paintings in gilded frames line the corridors and sitting rooms of the Holland Park property.
The former studio and residence of Victorian sculptor and painter, Frederic, Lord Leighton, provides the setting for Connolly’s S/S 2019 Collection. Reminiscent of the Andalusian heritage that inspired the colours of the collection, the house was gradually constructed between 1864 and 1879; it was also around this time that Connolly was first founded, originally operating as a saddler, before growing into a supplier of high quality leather for much of Britain’s luxury motor industry throughout the 20th century.
The collection, designed by Marc Audibet, is inspired by classic holiday destinations, such as the Marbella Club, frequented by European royalty, nobility and film stars of the 1950s and 60s. Caban double-breasted blazers with short, cinched waists befit summer black tie occasions, and long shirts and liquettes in light chambray cottons suit languorous days by the pool, as does Connolly’s first dress – a breezy, simple silhouette in a custom, silk cotton leopard print.
Stark silhouettes offer fertile ground for bold contrasts between plain and patterned fabrics. Navy caban trousers are juxtaposed with a leopard print intarsia knit cardigan in cashmere; the deep, cool blue of the print mirrored by the lapis lazuli floral decoration of the Arabic tiles behind. The same print on a light, unlined trench coat reflects in the inky surface of a lacquered banister. A single-breasted, deep burgundy jacket in an Ikat fabric, exclusively commissioned by Audibet, complements a pair of light red, horizontal striped trousers with a dark red leopard print shirt. Framed by a wall painted a dusty, burnt pink, the bold colours evoke a warm summer evening in the Mediterranean.