by Naheed Simjee
There has been no shortage of excitement from recent collaborations between artists, designers and some of the world's most recognized luxury brands from Gucci and Fiat to Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton. Most recently, Audi tapped New York-based fashion designer Derek Lam to work together on the design of the backstage Green Room at the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (airing Sunday, 23 September). This is the room where television's favorite meth cook, nurse and serial killer can relax in comfort and style on a Vladmir Kagan sofa or pour a whiskey from a handsome bar that looks like it have lived in Don Draper's office—surrounded by Lam's inaugural foray into interiors.
Lam, an award-winning womenswear designer who is well known for creating ultra-feminine ready-to-wear with a vaguely '70s vibe, appointed the space with antique rugs, mid-century French coffee tables and a Gibbons settee (a piece Lam suggests is perfect for an actress to sit down and check her lipstick), minimal contemporary artwork and fresh orchids.
"This was more of a personal project for me," Lam told us during a sneak peek of the Green Room. "Deciding how to bring the sensibility of Audi, my appreciation of interior design and the glamour of the Emmy Awards and really imagining ways to make these three elements come together." For this project, Lam successfully applied his expertise in creating elegant, wearable clothing to transform the backstage area into a sophisticated and welcoming lounge.
The Audi influence is apparent in the sleek LED light displays inspired by the car's headlights, while flowing metallic fabrics form the space. Flatscreen television monitors broadcast highlights from Lam's recent runway show during New York Fashion Week—a novelty even for Lam himself, who with a smile pointed out that it was his first time seeing it on a TV screen. When asked about his initial reaction to being approached by Audi, Lam said, "I was intrigued. It was a wonderful way to create a room that doesn't feel like a traditional backstage area, but rather, something you are magically transported into. I feel that way when I get into a well-designed car. It takes you out of your normal understanding of space."
Anyone who has experienced driving an Audi will likely agree how well designed and comfortable they really are. For Lam, it's about creating an environment that seems lived-in. "Our lives are layered and the layering is created through the choices we make," he says. The room reflects the thoughtful design choices Lam makes, as well as his appreciation of other designers. The space, he says, "is not meant to be intimidating. It's a place to unwind."