Everything Old is New Again

Yesterday, I installed a chair for a dear client.  It was a chair that had sentimental value to him and he wanted it recovered in a fabric that had some meaning as well.  This client is a huge fan of Art Deco and has a lot of art deco patterns and furniture pieces in his home.

The fabric that fit the bill was Schumacher’s gorgeous reproduction of Less Gazelles au Bois in black. Originally designed by Pierre Pozier in 1927, this iconic print of the leaping gazelles ended up decorating the ballroom of the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1931, when it moved to Park Avenue. Quite an honor for a brave new design! Very surprisingly, I could not find a great image of the fabric in the ballroom – so here is a picture of Marlene Dietrich at the April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf!

art deco Marlene Dietrich April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf

After we installed the chair into my client’s home, I started thinking more about this time in NYC, this fabric and the exquisite pattern/metallic colors. The hotel itself was heralded by President Hoover “The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality…marks the measure of nation’s growth in power, in comfort and in artistry…an exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation…”  The suites were named after their most interesting guests: The Cole Porter Suite, The Royal Suite named for the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor, The MacArthur Suite and the Churchill Suite.

There is so much amazing history there – probably deserves it’s own blog post at some point.  But, for now, we can feast our eyes on some of the great new ways this pattern is being used in 2015! Lisa Perry’s gown at Barney’s

art deco inspired fashion design


Dempsey and Carroll’s stationary is so beautiful.  I would love this for my birthday… tomorrow… hint hint hint…. schumacher-gazelle art deco inspired stationary


Design*Sponge Interview

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge.  We talked about set decoration, interior design , and of course, wallpaper!

The radio station, Heritage Radio, where we did the interview was really great – in the back of the super popular Brooklyn restaurant Roberta’s Pizza.  Check out Heritage Radio’s great programming here.   I hope you enjoy the interview!!

50 Cent chooses The Top of the Strand

I was thrilled yesterday when the Huffington Post described how Andre Morris, president of Varran Media, chose the Top of the Strand, the rooftop bar we designed,  as the venue for a party hosted by 50 Cent!  “Morris knew that in order to please the celebrity rapper, he’d need a venue with the right mix of sophistication and tranquility” — sheathed in Ralph Lauren fabrics and complete with outdoor fireplaces, he found it in the “graceful atmosphere” on the 21st floor of the Strand Hotel.

outdoor fireplaces at the Top of the Strand

Ralph Lauren fabrics

The article includes a list of the best roofbars in the country – we are in great company! Below is an excerpt of the article by Adam H. Graham, or you can go to Huffington Post to read the whole article and see the list of must-see roof bars.

“Andre Morris, president of Varran Media, had a challenging puzzle to solve last December: where to throw a Manhattan party for his VIP client, hip-hop star 50 Cent. Morris knew that in order to please the celebrity rapper, he’d need a venue with the right mix of sophistication and tranquility; that’s why, once his search began, he decided to “go up”–that is, to look at rooftop bars.

High above the bustling din of Midtown Manhattan, Morris found what he was looking for atop the 21st floor of the Strand Hotel. The Top of the Strand had a retractable roof, chestnut wood-box planters, flickering hurricane lanterns, plush banquettes in wooly Ralph Lauren upholsteries and an overall graceful atmosphere designed by Sex and the City set designer Lydia Marks, which added to the rooftop bar’s selling points. But it was the awe-inspiring views of the city’s skyline that sealed the deal.

“The moment you step off the elevator, you feel as if you’re transported to a South Beach, hot spot,” said Morris. “But once you look up, you’re in the shadow of the Empire State Building.”

Cinema Style

Cinema Style (a blog that I love) had a great post yesterday:  When Worlds Collide: Fashion and Film.   The post discusses how the influence of celebrity can affect our purchasing choices.  Specifically, moving beyond celebrity endorsements, how celebrity partnerships and inspirations actually may guide this market. Check out the article and while you are there  take the time to look around.  There are a lot of excellent posts to read if you are interested in film design.

At Marks & Frantz we are always interested in these intersecting worlds and try to foster these collaborations in our own work as much as possible.  Our redesign of the Top of the Strand, the rooftop bar at the Strand Hotel in New York City, was a creative partnership with Trina Turk for Schumacher and the set decoration for the films Sex and the City and Devil Wears Prada were chock full of fashion/design/furniture crossovers.





The Strand Hotel opens a new restaurant

The Strand Hotel in New York City has opened its new restaurant – with American cuisine by a 3 chef team formerly of Oceana, Gotham Bar and Grill and Olives.  It joins the Top of the Strand, the roof top bar and lounge, designed by Lydia Marks, as a new food and drink option at the hotel.  We are very excited to try it!  Here is a link with some details:


The Top of the Strand

One of our commercial projects, The Top of the Strand (hot new rooftop bar at the Strand Hotel) is finally open to the public. It’s got fabulous views, great cocktails and, of course, fabulous decor!

We’re official! Check out our new website!

Press contact:
Serena Merriman
917 952 3089



New York, NY (May 3rd, 2010) – Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz will launch their interior design firm, Marks & Frantz, in May 2010 in Manhattan, NY. The duo share a passion for design informed by their work as set designers for film, television and print advertising. Between them, they have decorated and designed sets for films including Sex and the City 1 & 2, The Devil Wears Prada, Broken Flowers and the Namesake Films, for advertising campaigns for labels including Mercedes Benz, Calvin Klein, Loreal, Maybelline, Wyndham Hotels and for luxury labels including Neiman Marcus, Vanity Fair and Saks Fifth Avenue. Both have designed interiors for residential and commercial properties including the rooftop bar at The Strand Hotel in Manhattan.

Marks & Frantz will focus on design and decoration for residential and commercial properties, offering an extensive range of services including space planning, color palette selection, furniture design and custom upholstery, custom metal work, art consultation and custom artwork.

“Designing interiors for film and television changed the way we approach design, because the characters were so important” says Marks. “When we work with a client, we aim to incorporate their personality and lifestyle into their spaces, not simply create rooms that are well designed. We use space, color, light, texture, art and furniture to create highly individual, personalized homes.”

After 15 years of working as interior designers, Marks and Frantz have established relationships with showrooms, antique rug and furniture dealers, contractors, architects as well as specialized craftsmen.

“Our experience in commissioning custom pieces has given us unique access to furniture fabricators, metal workers, and decorative painters. We are loyal to our talented vendors and are able to pass on our preferred pricing to our clients” says Frantz.

Marks & Frantz’s offices are located in new York City but they are available to work on projects across the globe. A full list of services, bios, portfolios of their work and contact information can be viewed on their website, www.marksandfrantz.com.

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