Stylist Jane Frosh recently got to work on Sydney’s most exciting new hotel in years, the QT, in the historic Gowings building. She was contracted to design and style the original, heritage listed, Art Deco cabinets on the lobby level and the day spa.
“My concept was to blend the history of the Gowings building with the new funky design of the hotel build,” says Jane. “Gowings was a turn of the century department store. Country folk came to the city and went to Gowings to get a haircut, to have a suit made, to buy underwear etc. Consequently I decided to use paper, string, hessian and women’s underwear to build a concept. The result was an amazing combination of texture, pared back with neon pink (a colour used predominately in the hotel, along with Ives Klein blue), form and story.”
(Why am I not surprised Jane used neon?!)
The cabinets downstairs also contain items for sale. A mirrored skateboard sits next to a floral, designer cravat. Vintage sunglasses rest atop a marble head. “It’s vintage mixed with modernity,” says Jane. “QT plan to develop an app where you can both learn about specific designers represented in the cabinets and also purchase items which will then be sent up to your room or shipped to you. Future cabinets will feature collaborations with designers; fashion, accessories, interiors, all with a story. I hope to change up the cabinets every two or so months.”
Don’t you want to stay there already?
Jane said the project was fabulous and fun: “The hotel is amazing due to the clever architecture and interior design. Architect Nic Graham was incredible to work with. Honestly, it is like spending time in an intimate, beautifully designed private house. There is a real sense of humour mixed up with a quirkiness and a voyeuristic undertone that is really sexy and fun.”
Banks of video walls play silent, voyeuristic films, mixed in with footage from George Street. Retro suitcase walls in the main foyer are paired with designer furniture upholstered with textured fabrics. Here you’ll find houndstooth mixed with Ives Klein blue velvet, for example.
“Whimsical cushions sit atop curved sofas and ‘eye spy’ plates hang provocatively on the mirrored ceilings, reinforcing the voyeuristic theme,” continues Jane. “A gigantic leather rhino imported from overseas holds court in the foyer in a most unexpected fashion. The rooms are all individual. Some have Japanese plunge pools, others have a New York loft feel. The colour scheme is different in each suite and there is a humorous touch added with the inclusion of animal sculptures, gnomes, giant hands holding telephones etc.”