written by:
July 23, 2012

Those pink interiors of the 1950s can be traced—not to a prescient interior designer—but the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who introduced a war-weary world to a hue she dubbed "shocking pink" in 1947. Point is: fashion has had a profound influence on interiors, although the trickle down from the catwalk to the couch has been reduced from years to the instantaneousness of the virtual world.

Modern textile designer Dorothy Cosonas, creative director of Knoll

As creative director of Knoll since 2005, Cosonas is constantly looking to fashion because of its profound influence on interior design. Learn how she has collaborated with major fashion houses to take her fabrics to the next level. 

1 / 6
modern navy and grey fabrics by Knoll
Knoll collaborated with fashion house Proenza Schouler on their second collection of fabrics for Knoll Luxe, a line created with high-end residential, executive office, and hospitality projects in mind.
2 / 6
modern grey, blue, and gold pillows by Knoll
The fabrics yielded from the Proenza Schouler collaboration are based off of existing patterns but were translated to materials that will handle the rigorous requirements of interior use.
3 / 6
modern textiles by Knoll
The fabric family's signature is Mepal (shown here), a large-scale silk-and-damask textile design.
4 / 6
modern textiles by Knoll
The inspiration for Canaan (shown here) is a vest from Proenza Schouler's 2007 line.
5 / 6
Modern textile designer Dorothy Cosonas, creative director of Knoll

As creative director of Knoll since 2005, Cosonas is constantly looking to fashion because of its profound influence on interior design. Learn how she has collaborated with major fashion houses to take her fabrics to the next level. 

modern navy and grey fabrics by Knoll
Knoll collaborated with fashion house Proenza Schouler on their second collection of fabrics for Knoll Luxe, a line created with high-end residential, executive office, and hospitality projects in mind.
For her debut collection for KnollTextiles, Dorothy Cosonas, creative director since 2005, looked to the nubby textures of classic Chanel suiting. Since then, she has collaborated with the fashion houses Proenza Schouler and Rodarte on a new high-end line she created for the residential customer, Knoll Luxe.

Even though she has myriad muses, Cosonas often looks to fashion, recognizing its profound influence on interior design. “Fashion designers still have the leading edge when it comes to making a statement about color and texture and pattern,” she says. “They’re still the design leaders in this world.”

modern grey, blue, and gold pillows by Knoll
The fabrics yielded from the Proenza Schouler collaboration are based off of existing patterns but were translated to materials that will handle the rigorous requirements of interior use.
By nodding to such innovators, Cosonas is carrying on a company tradition. Frustrated by the patterns available in the marketplace, founder Florence Knoll adapted classic patterns from men’s suiting fabric to complement Knoll Inc.’s sleek office furniture. Over the years, Knoll has also worked with fashion innovators like Jhane Barnes and Steven Sprouse.

At Knoll, Cosonas’s fashion-forward outlook has helped inject a new vitality into the firm, which, back in the mid-century, was the first to address the fabric needs of the contemporary office. In addition to designing textiles herself, Cosonas oversees some six collections a year.

Her talent lies in an ability to weave together a fashion-forward sense of color, texture and pattern using the latest technologies. Prior to Knoll, Cosonas was design director at Unika Vaev, and her many award-winning textiles were included in a retrospective on women in design at Bard Graduate Center.

modern textiles by Knoll
The fabric family's signature is Mepal (shown here), a large-scale silk-and-damask textile design.
modern textiles by Knoll
The inspiration for Canaan (shown here) is a vest from Proenza Schouler's 2007 line.
Recognizing her influence, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum has selected seven fabrics from KnollTextiles for its permanent collection that have been created by Cosonas or under her direction.

That Cosonas would end up in textiles seems like a destiny fulfilled. She earned a fine art degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, but ended up with an additional one in textile design at the urging of her father, who wanted her to do something more practical. Growing up, her carefully assembled outfits included the right shoes and coordinated socks. “So,” she says, “moving into textiles—studying textile surface design and weaving and color theory and understanding scale and pattern—was really an extension of that.”

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016
senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016
senses sound products
From an alarm to a symphony, audio frequencies hold the power to elicit an emotional call-and-response.
February 06, 2016
Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016
Modern small space Rhode Island cottage with landscaping and cedar cladding
Surrounded by nature, these cottages are tranquil retreats from the city.
February 03, 2016
The couple kept original touches, including the arch.
Historic archways belie these contemporary homes with physical reminders of each structure's storied past.
February 03, 2016
modern guesthouse in norway with angular facade and cutaway patio with spruce cladding and ikea chair
These houses make room for nature, not the other way around.
February 02, 2016
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances
Whether it's a splash of color or bold strokes, this collection of interiors brightens up these homes.
February 02, 2016
Rust-washed concrete wall in Moscow apartment renovation.
This 590-square-foot apartment was stripped down to admit sunlight and dramatically reveal forgotten surfaces.
February 02, 2016
Nendo's collection of objects inspired by Star Wars
In a galaxy not so far away, Japanese studio Nendo has released a versatile collection of objects inspired by classic Star Wars characters.
February 02, 2016