Color Collab: Amelia Holmes | architecture now
Your experience is in both fashion and interior design.
Tell us how the two worlds collided.
Amelie Holmes (AH): I studied textiles design therefore, during my studies, the two fields naturally crossed. I’ve always had a strong interest in textures, tones and how materials work together. Upon graduation, I first worked on interiors in New Zealand for Penny Hay, then traveled to New York to work as an assistant fashion designer. It was a perfect job for me in my mid-twenties. At the time, we mainly worked on print editorials for teen vogue, American vogue, identifier and Muse. I came home one summer and I really wanted to be at home for a bit. That’s when I started working on interior editorials here and my interest naturally shifted from fashion to interiors. It was a very smooth transition. For the past four years, since having children, I have only worked on residential and interior projects. That said, I have very fond memories of editorial work, whether in interiors or fashion.
When you were in the United States, did you travel a lot?
Oh: Before living in New York, I had been to New Mexico several times because I have family there. My first visit was alone at 16. I really had no expectations and it was very different from the urban America I had been exposed to through the movies. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to the neighboring states of Colorado and Texas, but other than that, I’ve only really been to California and New York. I would really like to explore more.
Do you think the New Mexico landscape influenced your thinking about interior design?
Oh: New Mexico is a special place. Geographically, it’s so different from the New Zealand landscape. The desert located in the mountains, the ski slopes and the endless skies in this part of the world are so different from the natural environments here. All buildings in Taos, whether residential or commercial, must be constructed in the adobe style. The application of these natural materials used in this part of the world had a great effect on me.
Your collaboration here was inspired by artist Ken Price, whose vibrant fluoros and surreal comic reliefs aren’t necessarily something we would associate with your work.
Oh: Initially, when I was approached to create this collaboration with Resene, Taos, New Mexico, it was the first place that came to mind when I thought of color. It doesn’t necessarily relate directly to my work; however, the raw natural interior and architectural finishes really influenced my work.
Taos is not an overly colorful place but there are so many intricacies in the landscape and architecture. The houses must strictly be adobe so they are all different shades of brown but, although they all appear the same color due to the natural materials used, there are subtle differences in the tone of each building. I felt that Resene Blank Canvas and Resene Chilean Fire reflected the earthy tones of the architecture.
Interiors are mostly very traditional adobe finishes: exposed beams, plaster walls and concrete floors. However, I was lucky enough to visit a few homes that pushed traditional boundaries, mixing modern and industrial elements. I ended up babysitting artist Ken Price’s house one winter. The house was full of modernist sculptures, which contrasted quite well with the surrounding monochromatic landscape. It made the artwork more surreal than when you usually see it in a gallery. The Resene Siesta and Resene Touche colors are bold and dusty in contrast to the natural hues of the landscape. It is these different facets of Taos that make it such a special place.
See more of the Resene Color Collab Series here.
ArchitectureNow works with a range of partners in the A&D supply industry to source appropriate content for the site. This article was supported by Resene.