Pattern Powwow: Julia V. Bainbridge

Julia Bainbridge is one heck of a talented lady. She’s an editor at Bon Appetit with a keen talent for discovering and discussing all things tasty, is notorious for her excellent dinner parties, her sense of humor, and just so happens to be a lovely person as well. Her aesthetic sense is one I admire. She’s unafraid to mix patterns, loves color, and is always put together with polish – exuding a kind of understated yet colorful glamour. In my mind, JVB is always walking down a street at golden hour wearing some red lipstick looking slender and powerful in a well-cut blue patterned caftan, chunky jewelry, and a pair of her grandfather’s old shoes. She’s probably carrying a bag of groceries for the dinner she’s about to cook for 15 people and a fresh copy of BA hot off the press. I’m so honored that Julia let me photograph and interview her to kick off this new blog series of mine: Pattern Powwow. Frequently, I have the pleasure of meeting and getting to know clients who have used our wallpaper. Pattern Powwow will be a collection of those who I connect with and a few of their thoughts. Thank you for being our first, JVB! I’m so happy to be losing my Pattern Powwow virginity to you.

Why did you choose the wallpaper Full Bloom in Silver Sword?

Because it’s wacky.

What room is it used in, and why? What mood does it create?

It’s in my bathroom, which I’ve always believed should be the Crazy Room of the house. I entertain often, and I love the idea of my dinner party guests running to the loo and then returning to the table feeling as though they’ve stepped into another universe. This wallpaper makes it a truly altering space — a trip, if you will. (I also love the idea of men in this room, surrounded by ultra-femme, psychedelic flowers).

What is your profession?

I’m an editor at a food magazine.

Who or what provides inspiration for you?

George Michael. Prince. Paul Simon. The Cocteau Twins. Robert Plant. Charlie Parker. Bjork. Tribe Called Quest. Music, basically. Sends me into these tonal, colorful, weird little magic worlds. Otherwise, people on the streets of New York. We all say it all of the time, but goddamn if it isn’t worth saying it again: The streets of New York are the most inspiring of any streets anywhere.

Describe your personal style.

I like funky old lady stuff. Like, I want to be one of those chic older women who looks like she’s worked as a curator her whole life, who wears flowy monochromatic outfits and has beautiful grey hair cut in a severe bob and wears red lipstick and gobs of silver and turquoise jewelry. Like, rings on every finger, bangles, multiple necklaces….Or, I’m just going to be Iris Apfel. Like, tomorrow. I like pattern, I like fabric, I like big, aggressive jewelry, and I like being a woman.

Name your favorite artist.

I cannot name just one! Here are a handful: Sophie Calle, Marilyn Minter, Joan Miro, Pieter Hugo.

If you were wallpaper, describe what you would look like.

Oh, jeez. Can I be lots of different things? Because sometimes I would want to be colorful, sometimes I want to be dark, sometimes florid lines, sometimes graphic… I guess if I had to pick one, I would be black and navy – a navy so dark it’s almost black – and I’d be like a Rothko. But I’m not going to explain why!

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