05.06.2018. Emporio Sirenuse
He may only be 28, but British creative Luke Edward Hall has already made a name for himself in London’s art and design world, and his fame is beginning to spread. Hall studied menswear design at Central Saint Martin’s art school in London, but his next move was a two-year stint with architectural designer Ben Pentreath, after which he set up his own design studio.
“I try not to label what I do”, says Luke, who has worked since going solo in 2014 in a range of mediums –painting, drawing, graphic design, interior design and fashion being just a few. He adds that “a lot of the people I admire worked across a wide spectrum of arts and crafts”, citing Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton and Picasso as particular influences.
Luke first visited the Amalfi Coast four years ago, and “just fell in love with the place”. He enjoys the area’s mix of beach and mountain scenes – for the young artist-designer, a perfect day might begin with an excursion to lofty Ravello “with its glorious English-style gardens” before heading down to cultured Amalfi, lunching perhaps in the salty fishing village of Atrani, and ending up in Positano, which in four short years has, he says, generated “so many memories”.
It was during one of his Positano sojourns that Luke met Carla Sersale, founder and creative director of the Emporio Sirenuse stores and e-sales site. Enchanted by his breezily romantic reinterpretations of Greek, Roman and early Modern art, Carla asked if he would be interested in creating motifs for her Le Sirenuse Positano fashion and lifestyle collection. “We began with a small postcard”, Carla recalls with a smile, “and ended with a capsule collection that includes mugs, plates, t-shirts, men’s shirts and swimming trunks”.
Two designs eventually came to the fore. One is Luke’s personal take on that iconic view of Positano’s pyramidical stack of houses, with the polychrome maiolica dome of the town’s parish church, Santa Maria Assunta, in the foreground. “ I wanted it to look like it could have been sketched casually at breakfast from the terrace of Le Sirenuse”, Luke comments.
The other motif is a pattern of line-drawn faces, wistful, androgynous, that for Carla evoke the spirit of “Picasso, Cocteau, and the Russian painters who lived in Positano in the 1920s”. But for Luke it also has another source of inspiration. “I adored Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s Oscar-winning film Call Me By Your Name”, he explains, “and the book by André Aciman that it’s based on”. In the final, heart-rending scene of the film, the young protagonist, Elio, wears a baggy shirt decorated with an abstract pattern of Matisse-like faces. “Quite a few friends contacted me after seeing the film to ask if that was my design”, Luke reveals. “It wasn’t – but I decided it would be fun to do my own version”.
The Luke Edward Hall for Le Sirenuse Positano capsule collection is available now in the two Emporio Sirenuse stores in Positano or online at emporiosirenuse.it.
Photo of Luke Edward Hall © Iona Wolff