Pamela Pierce, MILIEU's Founder and Editor in Chief, had the idea of bringing together velvet and leather, two of our favorite textures, for a feature story. She shared her thoughts with Katrin Cargill, our talented European Style Editor, and off went Katrin with the focus and task-at-hand.


Based in London, Katrin found the perfect location, the Master Shipwrights House, and shares the latest from Behind the Scenes.


We photographed this story in the Master Shipwrights House, built in 1708 on the banks of the Thames in London. From its windows, you see Canary Wharf and the Cutty Sark. This extraordinary house was built for the area's master ship builder, who oversaw all of the ships that were built there all of which figured into the creation and maintenance of the vast British Empire.


It's a magnificent and crumbling house which served as the perfect backdrop for our piece that examines two of the most versatile and luxurious fabrics available. 


The perfectly proportioned Georgian windows worked so well for us, since they brought in just enough natural light. However, because the house is a listed property, meaning that it is historically significant and protected by preservation laws, we were not allowed to drive a single nail or screw into a wall. As a result, the curtains for the bedroom shot were held up with autopoles. The velvet throws hanging from the wall were suspended with fishing wire. 


Even though it was the hottest week of the summer, when all of Europe heated up in ways it never has before, we nevertheless lit a blazing log fire in the sitting room, all for effect. 


We think this feature is one of our most poetic and moody and affecting. The leathers and velvets we chose stand out against the weathered rooms, with the textures/materials and the patinas of the rooms complementing each other. Just as we titled the piece, both the fabrics and the house itself become Better with Age.


Katrin Cargill and The MILIEU Editors