The merging worlds of fashion and interiors collide again in the rather unexpected environment of a converted Victorian gas holder in London. Womenswear designer Roksanda Ilincic has unveiled her latest project: the interior of a three-bedroom, three-story penthouse in London’s King’s Cross. The apartment has been kitted out in a rich mix of midcentury and postmodern furniture classics, a magpie’s collection of ceramic oddities, and specially commissioned artwork. It draws on the femininity and sense of texture for which Ilincic’s brand, which she established in 2005, is known. The home is for sale fully furnished for £7.75 million, or almost $9.71 million.
The property is one of nine penthouses in the listed Gasholders London complex in King’s Cross, a neighborhood that was until a decade or so ago one of the city’s most notoriously down-at-heel. In recent years, King’s Cross has been developed as a chichi area, home to shops, restaurants, the Central Saint Martins art school, and Google’s future HQ. Ilincic was in fact a local resident when she first moved to London to study fashion from her native Serbia. “When I lived here, everything was rotting and disintegrating,” she tells AD PRO. These gas holders, which she used to look out at from her old flat, were built in the 1860s—and, in 2018, were filled in with apartments by architects WilkinsonEyre. “To bring them back to life has been wonderful to see.”
Contrary to its industrial setting, Ilincic’s apartment is a glowing, warm, and elegant space full not just of charm but also the design DNA of her fashion brand. Her love of geometric shapes and pattern is evident in the dining room, where the designer commissioned artist Caroline Denervaud to paint an earthy mural across an entire wall. The Roksanda brand is known for its rosy color palette, which is most apparent in the master bedroom with its burgundy Vanessa bed by Tobia Scarpa and pink Kvadrat curtains. From the meadow planting on the roof to the wabi-sabi ceramics on display, the whole space is imbued with femininity.
Ilincic worked with an almost exclusively female team on the project: The gardener, florist, furniture dealer, artist, and ceramists are all women. Alongside furniture by Lina Bo Bardi and Charlotte Perriand, books are scattered through the apartment by artists such as Eva Hesse and Anni Albers. The scented candles are by Lyn Harris. “When I design, I come from the female perspective—thinking how to make women’s lives easier, how to make them feel better in clothing,” says Ilincic. “I wanted to bring that ethos into this as well.”
Dresses hanging in the wardrobe, handbags laid out on the sofa, and half-drunk glasses of water sitting at the desk enhance the peculiarly personal space that has been captured in photographs. Is this like your home? I ask. “It definitely has the same character. I have pink curtains, I can tell you that,” Ilincic says.
Design has been part of her brand’s ethos ever since Ilincic first stepped onto the London fashion scene in the mid-2000s. Before turning to clothing, Ilincic studied design and architecture in Serbia, and the modernist giants such as Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer have influenced her work. She has an ongoing professional relationship with David Adjaye, who designed her flagship London store in 2014. With fashion houses turning more and more to the interiors world, is this project in King’s Cross the first step in a larger design project for her? “A sense of architecture and design comes naturally to me. You can feel that in my sets, my stores, and my shows,” she says. “It’s definitely something I’d like to explore more.”