When Home & Decor was in Almhult recently to catch a sneak preview of Ikea products coming up in the next two years, one collection turned our heads (and that of many others). It was Giltlig by British menswear designer Katie Eary, with its motif of red eyeballs staring out from textiles and trays, and pictures of dramatic ornamental fish and vampiric felines printed on tableware. We spoke to the friendly designer to find out what inspired this unconventional collection.
How did this collaboration come about?
Ikea asked me to collaborate with them. They wanted to develop a collection which would appeal to men, and I'm a menswear designer. Have been for seven years.
Tell us about the collection, which looks really different!
The collection is a bit bonkers. I'm not a safe designer. I wanted to push it. The images were inspired by Johnny Depp's character in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I thought ‘what would the character want for his home? He would be tripping, so I created bizarre elements like the fish melting off the plate, animal parts, and eyeballs. Ikea knows they need something edgy and fun to keep their customers excited.
This the first time you’re designing for the home, how did you approach it?
It's all about them (the homeowners) now, especially the people who live alone. Not so much about family. People buy furniture like they buy fashion, to show off their pieces. You want to send photos of what your home looks like. It's not about function any more. People buy less but they buy well.
My fashion pieces are quite expensive, so with this, people who can't buy the fashion can still enjoy design from me. There are 55 pieces in the collection, designed over a year, and released next year.
Who inspires you?
My influences are the Young British Artists, a movement in the 90s. Artists such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, anybody that Charles Saatchi collects.I love art so much, it's my whole life.
The Giltlig collection will be launched March 2016.