29 Oct 2012
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Friday night home alone……Halloween just days away must explain the fact that ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ is currently playing on primetime television (im talking 8pm in the evening…..we used to think it was racy!!)  And yes, in my youth we went many many times to the Roxy’s midnight cinema in Toronto fully clad, water pistols and newspapers in hand, little bottle of ‘hooch’ under our jackets and had the BEST time!!  I adored that movie and no wonder, the camp, the glam rock, Tim Burton, Susan Sarandon AND Peter Hinwood.

And while it DOES often seem that everything brings me back to design this is no exception.

Soon after I first met Nicky we were prowling around Pimlico road and headed down an alleyway towards a black façade.  I don’t recall any signage but I knew it was legendary aesthete Christopher Gibbs shop.  It looked intriguing but this type allure abounds in London, so you never really know WHAT might await.  We walked into darkest vestibule and moved into a vast space, a kunstkamer filled with the most astonishing wonders…..and yes, as is legendary, of the most terrific SCALE.  I was instantly transfixed.  Mesmerized we moved through a vibrant yet gloomthy forest of beauty……this was ‘shop’ like no other.  And while we set our sights on a few potential ‘project finds’, a quiet and gentle slightly disheveled man helped us along.   Nicky nudged me…..’you know who that is don’t you’…I hadn’t the faintest.  ‘Peter Hinwood’ he whispered.   Well NOW it was all too much., too good to be true.  I just shut right up and smiled.

John Harris wrote of his impressions when first discovering Gibb’s earlier shop on Bond St.

Excerpt from his intro to the Christies sale in 2006 when Christopher Gibbs decided to retire:

‘It was a memorable experience to leave the bustle and clatter of Bond Street, pass through that narrow darkened passage, to burst into the high, top-lit treasure house of salivation. Here would be found the genial and constantly creative Peter Hinwood, one of whose roles was aesthetic arrangement and juxtaposition, what one might call a shaking of the kaleidoscope. I was always aware of how object answered object in many sensitive ways, and there was always what might be called creative re-arrangements. I suppose the exhibit that evoked gasps from all and sundry was Lord Iveagh’s sock cabinet from his bedroom at Elveden Hall, Suffolk, its drawers still containing an array of smelly socks wrapped around Sir William Chambers’ designs for the cabinet, no less than the medal cabinet designed for Lord Charlemont at Charlemont House, Dublin. Not even the socks of a monarch could have been stored in such a masterpiece.’

Full length intro here if you have the time!!


Hinwood’s flat appeared in World of Interiors September 2008

(sorry – I photographed this one from mag)

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