The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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Jason Wu, Brizo & Kitchen Design = NYC Fashion Week

What do fashion in clothing, faucets/fittings and kitchen design have in common? The design and marketing teams behind Brizo, Delta's high end brand, having aligned itself with Jason Wu, designer of Michelle Obama's inaugural gown (one of the most watched fashion designers in recent years) enjoy a relationship that seems to fit like a glove piece of couture. 

I had the opportunity to learn about and examine Brizo's existing line of products a few days ago. Brizo invited a small group of us kitchen/bath bloggers (listed on my colleague Ann Porter's blog) to New York City to see their collection of existing products and to take a sneak peek at new products to be introduced this year. Part of this two day event included attendance at Jason Wu's Fall 2010 collection, part of New York Fashion Week (insert 90 exclamation points here!)

I'll just say this before I get back to the subject at hand. To attend this Jason Wu show was an incredible privilege. It is an experience, simply, like no other I have had, and living near the city, I've attended my share of events in many fabulous venues, sometimes with celebrities in attendance. But, truth be told, I felt downright patriotic (which completely surprised me) as I think back. I feel I was witness to the best in American design and the best in creative production techniques (quite frankly) which, working together (pink carpeting, pink lighting, black flowing curtains, fragrance in the air, amazing music, incredible clothing and let's not forget those super models with 7" heels) produced an atmosphere of awesome creativity as it showcased Jason Wu's very personal design expression. The show manipulated nearly every sense to the max. The creativity, the risks taken, the personal expression, are all qualities that make this country great...I felt a symbiotic convergence of these odd bedfellows (fashion and patriotism) and, thus, felt privileged to be in attendance. 

Back to reality...During these 2 days, I had a sneak peek at new products to be introduced by Brizo this year. My lips are sealed, but, some of those pieces I saw were absolutely stunning! Did I like all of Jason Wu's pieces? No. Likewise, not everything in Brizo's fashion forward collection is for me. That said, I WAS grateful to find myself in another privileged position to be encouraged to offer my comments on their products, which the creative team from Brizo, welcomed.

Jason Wu, for some strange reason, did not ask me what I thought of his collection, although I did ask him a question later in the day when he caught up with us design bloggers at the Brizo cocktail reception. I asked him about his specific vision when he designs a garment and how/if it evolves from that original vision. Answer: The garments are fit precisely to each model within the course of a few hours, so the vision is in "collaboration" with the model's body...much like Brizo's designers need to answer to the faucet engineers and my kitchen designs need to relate to the architecture of the home. Interesting how the creative process connects these disparate design disciplines.

The thread that links fashion, faucet, and kitchen design, begins with creative expression. Creative expression is often influenced by others (in this case, Wu was influenced by Irving Penn). Brizo's designers are inspired by architectural elements, nature, fashion. They wait for a design element to speak to them and the creative process begins. They are open to inspiration. I understand that philosophy; I adhere to it as well in my own work, and I'm thrilled that designers working for a major, mainstream, American corporation are given that freedom of expression, much like the way Wu finds his creative spark. That was enlightening and probably the single most important piece of information that I am coming away with, a sort of satisfaction that ideas are the thing for Brizo. I know that is so because I met and talked to the designers.

Like in kitchen, faucet, and clothing design, function and design blend, collide, and play, ultimately forming the perfect union for that piece of couture, faucet, and for the kitchen of one's dreams. I've been inspired. I'm impressed that Brizo has aligned itself with a fashion designer. THAT is inspiring. In comparison, here was a quick synopsis of a post I did on Fashion Week one year ago, a description of the feeling at that time. We're clearly moving forward. Thank you Brizo for brilliantly linking together American fashion...and fashion forward faucets and fittings. It was an eye opener and a meaningful experience.


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Reader Comments (12)

Great post, Susan: Your narrative really did give the feel of the exploration we experienced. I love how far and wide they look for their inspiration. It has inspired me to think about everything I'm seeing differently. I also became a fan! Happy Valentines Day and hope your week will be a good one!

February 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaxon Henry

What an experience Susan! Thanks for sharing.

I think the one difference between kitchen design and Jason Wu's fabulous couture is that Jason only has himself to please in the process. Then he presents his creations to th public. We have to balance our own creative urges with the wishes of our clients to create a harmonious result.

Of course Mr. Wu still must please his buying public with his couture fashions. Much as an artist must paint or sculpt a piece of art that is salable in the marketplace to survive as an artist.

Unlike Jason Wu, some of what we view as our greatest inspirations are never accepted by the client, and thus never come to fruition. I mourn the loss sometimes.

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Deras, CKD, CID

Thank you Saxon, it was great to meet you, and I know we'll have a chance to chat more in the future. Thanks for the kind words.

Peggy, yes, there sure are some differences between doing a line of couture clothing and a couture kitchen...unless you are Karim Rashid.

Your last sentence is very interesting. I always say that my best work is in the project folders...unpurchased.

February 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Very nice post and pics of the Brizo faucets. From what you've posted I find them refreshingly different and I think we need some fresh air in kitchen design these days. I don't see so much -- as you mentioned, Susan, in your comments when you were kind enough to visit us. I love the idea of bringing in a designer from another discipline, like fashion, as well. I applaud Brizo.

February 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJane F @ Atticmag

I have been reading blogs about this event. I am sooo jealous! Come on and link this post to my Timeless Tuesday party. The premise is timeless beauty in various forms of design and art. These faucets fit right in! I have it every Tuesday (I usually post it Monday night). You don't have to write a special post; just link one that you would like to share. Here is this week's link ~ http://paulagracedesigns.blogspot.com/2010/02/timeless-tuesday-three.html

I hope you become a regular!!! Your just the classic I want to promote.

Paula Grace ~

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaula Grace

Susan: Excellent post. Captured the beauty of the event as well as the essence of how we all felt attending. I am still in awe and have done nothing but talk about it! It was great to meet you and hope to see you again! Cheryl

February 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdetails and design

Hi Susan, I waited to read everyone else's blog posts until I had an opportunity to post my own reflections on attending the Brizo sponsored Jason Wu runway show. I felt a sense of belonging while in New York, like I should have always been a New Yorker, similar to your feeling of patriotism and American pride.

The opportunity to meet my fellow design bloggers and Brizo product designers was an incredible experience and I came away more reinvigorated than ever.

February 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Going to fashion week was amazing, but one of the best parts of the trip was meeting you in person :)

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne

The Brizo faucets look refreshing. Interesting to see the new blends and twists coming from a designer from another discipline.
John Taylor,
liverpool blinds quick tips on selecting the right shape and styling your room

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Taylor

Nice info on brizo products anyone know where I could get them in the UK?

September 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohnb

Very nice picture!

November 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSilver for sale

Very nice article. That faucet is awesome. Jason Wu is the best. I was browsing some Brizo faucets but they are somewhat pricey so I was wondering if there are any cons to the Jason Wu line? They seem almost too good to be true. Does the design allow for normal functionality? It looks so cool, but I hope it doesn't sacrifice anything in terms of use.

July 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterOzzy Caine

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