You know how it is with good stories. They happen to the sort of people who can tell them, and of course we all know that poets will engineer the future. Selena Beaudry, Clemmie Myers and Natalie Tredgett, the three women who launched the ongoing and always evolving “Mrs and Mr Bateman” installation last year, are very aware of this fact. They may have underestimated the alluring effect the imaginary couple Mrs and Mr Bateman and their notorious, illegitimate son Vincent would have and how strongly they would influence them in their work and lives, but it is precisely the Batemans’ backstory that makes the scenario and set up so special and extra dense. This year`s installation “I AM BATEMAN: The Relations” will not only bring together handpicked, exquisite vintage clothes, interior design and boldly curated artworks but is also the next chapter in the story of those flamboyant, eccentric Batemans whom we simply can´t get enough of!
To find out what drives these three read on …
Selena, when I look at your works I feel they have a maladjusted, wild vibration which seems to be “camouflaged” by the very subtle and light pastel colour palette you are using. In Germany, we have a saying “Wolf in sheep´s clothing”?
Yes. I like playing with that idea.
It is sort of like the idea of eating a large bag of sour patch kids all in one go.
They look and taste so good at first and then you end up with soars in your mouth.
Clemmie, when you select pieces for Mrs and Mr Bateman, is there a certain layer, quality or criteria that makes a garment “A” Bateman piece?
I’m always looking for extra special pieces for the Bateman’s because Mrs Bateman and Mr Bateman are the absolute top of their echelon in terms of style and admiration so their collection needs to reflect that. I look for unusual statement and high-end designer vintage one-off unique pieces that express their creative flair and individual styles. I also work with designers who represent their sustainable ethos and forward thinking an eye for fashion and accessories.
They think out of the box so I have to too.
Vincent, Mr Bateman’s illegitimate son, is often heard saying “one person’s heaven is another’s hell.” How do his interior design heaven and hell look like?
I surrounded Vincent with velvet gothic panels to show the intensity of his character and the privilege of his background.
The red and purple rug lies in contrast to the blue velvet walls. A beautiful emerald green rug is piled in the corner with disregard. The golden wall lights shades have been slashed with black paint showing his desperate need to separate himself from his present feeling of anguish.
How much are you inspired and influenced by Mrs and Mr Bateman themselves, they are very distinguished, particular characters and already inhabiting a very independent space with the viewer and visitors. Do they influence your work?
I am completely engrossed and inspired by the Mrs and Mr Bateman. They have definitely influenced my work and my way of working.
I have become freer and more willing to take risks.
I have introduced fabric in my work and my colour choices seem to be reflected in their home. The family seems to keep creeping into my titles.
How would you describe the outstanding vibe and style of Mrs and Mr Bateman?
I think otherworldly would be a good way to describe Mrs and Mr Bateman’s style and flair – Mrs Bateman is ethereal and enjoys distinctive drapery and fine fabrics, feminine cuts and distinguished designers although she is more likely to go for the slightly unusual piece from the collection rather than the most popular she has a forward-thinking eye but is always elegant and considered. Mr Bateman is a magician and Bon Vivant he likes layers and plays with trickery, leather that looks soft and floaty, glitter and shimmer, mirrored effect, lashings of fabric, statement shoes and boots, jewellery and kaftans, cuffs and accessories – what others might consider frippery but Mr Bateman gets it just right.
Both of them are sublime dressers and admired for their unique style and charisma.
Vincent´s reupholstered chair turns into an item of living memory. Which of your own pieces of furniture has the highest emotional value for you? Why?
My new occasional tables which are titled In Between Lines. I have thought of making my artistic led furniture for years. These are my first collection. I have 3 colours – green, pink and gold. I am one of 3 sisters and I have 3 children.
3 is a special number to me and is often reflected in my work.
You are translating everyday moments, screams, questions into the material you use and how you use it, the cutting has a very strong symbolism to it. There is a lot of tension and energy, and your pieces are very much “your works”, very personal. What do you want to trigger within the viewer?
I want the viewer to bring their own thoughts and memories to the work.
I would like them to be able to enter the work visually and be able to stay there for a while.
Wanting them to wish to take a bite, touch or to smell them.
In your opinion, which contemporary designer will be “the” Vintage in 2050 and why?
I think Alexander McQueen and John Galliano and Galliano for Dior – these designers and collections up to 2010 were hugely dramatic, cinematic and thematic. These kinds of pieces can be collected to view and admire and hang or display as art pieces as well as wear and are so synonymous with the time period of the early to mid-2000s. I would describe them as Visionary artists.
It was a real moment.
Natalie, your own interior designs are flamboyant, colourful, joyful and full of contrasts.
Especially through the contrasts – patterned wallpapers, colour combinations, Leo prints – you create a very appealing harmony.
What does your interior style reveal about you?
If you love it, anything goes!
I AM BATEMAN: The Relations
James Graham-Stewart, Paola Gratsos, Iva Gueorguieva, Sarah Hendler, Patrick Hughes, Zoe Jordan, Minnie Kemp, Karina Kochejeva, Vanessa Konig, Lily Lewis, Clemmie Myers, Nicole Myers, Lisa Penny, Clio Peppiatt, John-Paul Pietrus, Phoebe Rolls, Nathalie Seiller Dejean, Birgit Tabbarah, Barbara Campbell Thomas, Brad Thomas, Natalie Tredgett, Ian Vail, Frederike Von Cranach, Ottoline de Vries, Alice Walton, Margit Wittig
26 April – 11 May 2019
2 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill, W11 1NN
For the event and trunk show schedule visit:
Author: Esther Harrison