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Fantasy & Folly at Christopher Martin Gallery — Texas Design Week Dallas

A Trio of Designers and the Chicest Chicken Coop Ever

BY // 11.10.22
photography Jonathan Zizzo

An ebullient trio of designers — Pietro Cicognani (Cicognani Kalla Architect, NYC), Lisa Fine (Lisa Fine Textiles, Dallas, NYC), and Eric Groft (Oehme vanSweden|OvS, Washington, D.C.) — took to the stage. . . or rather, below a group of paintings at Christopher Martin Gallery, for the panel discussion, Creating Fantasy and Folly — Architecture, Design, Landscape. The afternoon of win, books and covetable images was moderated by Chesie Breen.

All three designers had the audience eating out of their hands — especially Cicognani with his so charming Italian accent. Honestly, he could have read the periodical table and we would have hung on every word. Projects he discussed included the renovation of a church into a private residence in Venice; Isabella Rossellini’s residence in upstate New York, which was once a barn; a private chapel shaped like an egg on a client’s estate; and a chicken coop — likely the chicest chicken coop I or anyone else gathered that day had ever seen.

Next up was Lisa Fine, who gave props to Cicognani by quipping, “Italians do everything better, including talks.” The celebrated textile designer, with offices in Dallas and New York City, is perhaps best known for her handprinted linens, which are sold at 16 showrooms around the globe. Fine shared that she was subtitling her group of images “Fabulous Follies and Tombs,” which had everyone rapt.

Last to speak was Eric Groft, who is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects; co-chair of the board of The Cultural Landscape Foundation; and member of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s Bunny Mellon Laurel Society and the Royal Oak Foundation, an affiliate of the British National Trust. His landscape projects were awe-inspiring, but my favorite incorporated a windmill for a client who had been intrigued since seeing one in a 1960s film starring Jane Wyman.

The trio also signed books after the illustrated talk. Pietro Cicognani’s Pietro Cicognani: Architecture and Design (Rizzoli), Lisa Fine’s Near & Far: Interiors I Love (Vendome) and Eric Groft’s Beyond Bold: Inspiration, Collaboration, Evolution (Pointed Leaf Press) drew a queue of fans waiting to purchase.

PC Seen: Nancy Dedman, Brad Kelly, Christy Berry, Janet Gridley, Tyler Fields, Eduardo NatelJoyce Fox, Amy and Aaron Donham, Arin Blaylock, Brenda Blaylock, Coy Barton, Ed Hill, Leslie Martin and Kim Meardon in from Chicago, Mark Curtis, Melanie Turner and Christopher Martin’s Kim Markham.

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Thank you to our Texas Design Week Dallas Sponsors: Dallas Design District, HN Capital Partners, Monogram, New Orleans Auction Galleries, The Container Store, MOUS, Tribute Goods, Neiman Marcus, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, The Joule

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