Friday, April 6, 2012

...about Friday field trips: Frazier Collection

Frazier Collection, the dark and swanky furniture and lighting showroom created and assembled by Richard Frazier, is one of the newest introductions to the chic tenant roster at the New York Design Center, which made headlines awhile back when it opened its doors, and its entire tenth floor, to the first brick-and-mortar iteration of 1stDibs. And the edited Frazier Collection is just as welcome an addition to the building known by insiders as 200 Lex.

Frazier’s vibe is masculine and muscular, but without ever losing a sense of grace… and a sense of history. Proportions are elegant (and mostly apartment-scaled), and the pieces pull from lands far away and times long gone. There are Deco references, influence both Asian and Arbus, plus a little Wiener Werkst├Ątte worked into casegoods and upholstered pieces, all managing to seem fresh and evocative, not mere replica. John Eason, of John Douglas Eason Interiors (himself known for the tailored and timeless, smoky and swank) heartily agrees: “These pieces have historical reference to a not-so-distant past, yet feel modern and new.”

One thing that links them all (and their historical origins) is a love of metalwork, in studs (yay!), banding, ferrules, finials and jewelry-like hardware. Bronzes, brass, warm nickel and burnished gold are the metals of choice at Frazier, and a high level of customization means you’ll get exactly the piece you came in for.

Caning, shagreen, leathers, raised and patterned wood grains and mottled surfaces add a layer of elegant texture. In some ways, it evokes the “timeless history” of design heavy-hitter John Saladino and finds a slightly more contemporary counterpart at the vaguely vintage and Mad Men infused Ted Boerner showroom (both must-see stops at 200 Lex).

But the story of Frazier is also a color story… and the palette is muted and muddy (in the good way). It all stays one part earthy, one part urban. Color even finds its way onto woods, which are tinted, stained and washed with color (a trend seen more and more, here and at places like The New Traditionalists).

The Frazier Collection has already found fans, among them, Kati Curtis, Principal at Nirmada Interior Design, and one of the designers in the NYDC Access to Design program: “Our clients are looking for furniture with unique details, heirloom quality materials, and impeccable craftsmanship. Frazier fits the bill perfectly!”

Designer Kirsten Brant Casey, of K. Brant Interiors, loves their occasional pieces, particularly the Scalloped End Tables, citing the "chic details on the legs and the brass fitting-- including the wrap-around on the feet." And Kirsten likes the balance of masculine and feminine, a harmony many pieces in the Collection manage to hit without losing anything in the mediation.

On the topic of successful marriages, Richard is happily married to the lovely and talented interior, furnishing and lighting designer Laura Kirar, no stranger herself to jewelry-caliber metal touches.

Frazier pieces are also all highly usable, fitting perfectly into a project that veers either more classic or more modern. “Frazier’s line is exactly what we’re looking for in the market today – exquisite pieces that blur the line between traditional and contemporary,” says Kati.

No doubt, the Frazier pieces will seem like vintage finds of an era that you just can’t quite put your finger on. But if true vintage is your style, the Frazier Collection can hook you up there, too. Dotted around the showroom (feeling every bit the chic loft, with bare floors and exposed industrial elements) are antique and vintage pieces hand selected, and they share line and interest with their newer cousins. Showroom manager John Anthony Harrison is actually pleased when people can’t tell the difference between new and old. That, he says, is the ultimate compliment.

Frazier is the perfect stop when you’re looking to invest in a piece that will add warmth and patina to new construction, bend the gender lines, and add a hardworking and dramatic player into, and onto, any stage of your life. John sums it all up, nicely and neatly: “Frazier feels like that missing line of furnishings that I've been trying to find for years.”

Take another Friday Field Trip! Visit John Lyle.

Get Social! Find Nirmada Interior Design, the New York Design Center, Laura Kirar Design and the Frazier Collection on Facebook.

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