haute so fabulous


Sexy Fish, London

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

A regular hit on almost every London hotlist, Sexy Fish is one of London’s most seductive Asian fusion restaurants. The experience-style eatery, located on the corner of Berkeley Square, Mayfair, is not just a hit in the sushi department but notably celebrated as an meeting place of the senses, where Japan hits London with a flavour difficult to describe as anything other than sexy AF. 

The upmarket seafood brasserie is another brainchild of British businessman Ricard Caring, who boasts Annabels, The Ivy Group, Le Caprice and Bam-Bou as just a few of the famous restaurants he light’s up London’s food, drink and club scene with.

Designed by the infamous Martin Brudnizki of Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, the interiors are lavishly over-the-top and just as much an attraction as the food itself. With works of art that reportedly make it the most expensive collection of artworks created exclusively for a London restaurant ever, it’s a feast that delights many tastebuds. Damien Hirst collaborated with Caring to create bronze mermaids that bookend the bar while Vanity Fair’s style editor-in-chief Michael Roberts produced a custom-made golden mural that spans a large part of the ceiling. One of the prominent features is the statement bar, which lays beneath the largest collection of Frank Gehry’s iconic Fish Lamps. A huge live coral reef tank features in the basement’s private dining room which hosts a party of 48 and is supposedly the largest in the world. Drinking in the reality of your surroundings, it’s more a museum vibe than just simply another place to grab a bite to eat. 

Taking your eyes from the room to your plate though, the food itself is a delectable treat too of course. And in keeping with it’s general grandeur, Sexy Fish is home to the largest collection of Japanese whiskies in Europe - 358 varieties and counting. 

|  Book Online Here |  Monday - Saturday 12pm to 11pm / Sunday 12pm - 1030pm  |


Stay At Soho House Amsterdam

Travel, InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Superbly located amid the Dutch-gable-house-style lined canals in the heart of Amsterdam's city centre, Soho House's latest edition is officially open for business on Spuistraat and is undoubtedly another architecturally successful venture for the members club brand which prides itself on an impressive portfolio of houses around the world. Housed in a six-storey, 'monumental' (listed) 1930's Bungehuis that is as strikingly sturdy as it is imposingly powerful, the house features 79 hotel rooms, the brand's infamous screening rooms, a gym, HIIT and yoga studios, a Cecconi's restaurant and a Cowshed Spa (both of which will open this coming September).

Design director, Linda Boronkay, keeps the tradition of the group's distinctly characteristic interiors well and finely intact with prompts from local landmarks and the building itself. Incorporating new touches such as the wall-lighting, produced by local designers, and contemporary signage which compliments the 1920's tiled floors around the building. Guestrooms possess an art deco feel with an innate sense of the luxuriousness of any of the group's 21 locations. Crowned by the wraparound rooftop which boasts a graceful lap-pool where guests can enjoy days spent on parasol-covered sun loungers bar all which can be enjoyed with panoramic views of the city, Soho House, Amsterdam is perhaps one of this stylish city's best new hotspots.

Soho House is accepting applications for new members now.



Architect & Designer Gulla Jónsdóttir, The Interview

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

In person, Gulla Jónsdóttir is as fabulous as her work is fierce and quite frankly put, a force to be reckoned with. Based in Los Angeles, California she heads up her own firm, Gulla Jónsdóttir Architecture + Design which she set up in 2009. After years of designing hotels from LA to Hong Kong, private residences in California and New York, restaurants in Paris and Mexico, a superclub in Beirut and a skyscraper in Dubai, the infamous designer has a portfolio that puts her on the map as one of the 21st centuries most skilled and sophisticated engineers of design. Growing up in Reykjavik, Iceland she left for LA where she studied architecture as an undergrad in SCI-Arc. Following in the footsteps of those who truly succeed in their trade and ultimately find their own path, upon graduating she sought out the greats and looked to learn from those who inspired her. After years of creating as part of incredible teams at Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Dodd Mitchell Design and Walt Disney Imagineering she now takes pleasure in leading her own team and continuing her work which now inspires and ignites the lives of all who enjoy her creations. I was thrilled to chat with Gulla and discuss where it all began, her inspirations and aspirations, taking in exactly why this visionary has been hailed as the new Zaha Hadid. 

Gulla, where did your love of design begin?

In Florence Italy when I was 12 years old.  I was mesmerized by the beauty of the city and the arts. Architecture and design are undoubtedly one and the same, merging aesthetics with structure, formational with the ornamental.

Was it a natural evolution for you to move away from straight architecture to what you do now?

I am still very involved in architecture and especially architecture with artistic integrity, this is my first passion and design is my second passion and indeed a very fluid transformation from architecture. There is no limitation to creativity so whether I'm designing a skyscraper, interiors or a piece of furniture, it's only a different scale and mindset to me, but it all relates to the same DNA of site-specific beauty that can complement its surrounding nature.

What was your first job in the industry and what stands out to you as some of the most important lessons from early on in your career?

I was very lucky with my first job and grateful to land a job right out of architecture school at Richard Meier's office working on the Getty Center Museum; then the largest project in California. I learned so much from Richard Meier and I still appreciate his work and how peaceful it is. There is an element of elegant geometry in all of his work and since I majored in mathematics before studying Architecture this very much appealed to me.

Your work takes you around the world, what’s been your most exciting project to date?

There are many and I feel like they are all like my children, just living in different cities. I like working in Mexico and my recent project there, Comal at the Chileno Bay Resort and Residences in Cabo, is very close to my heart. So is the Macau Roosevelt in Macau China, which is the first ground-up hotel I designed under my own company name; a 368 room lifestyle resort which just got an award as the Best Resort Design 2017 from Interior Design magazine.

When working on projects abroad, how important is it to bring about contextual elements to your creations?

It's very important to me! It's the first concept I start working on with each location. I like to walk around the site, scope for natural elements that can influence the design and always prefer to use local materials and handcrafted local furniture whenever possible. 

The new Kimpton La Peer hotel in L.A is your latest gift to the world. Could please explain the creative process involved in such a huge work of art..

This project is particularly dear to me as it is the same location as the studio I started in 2009. We have taken it step by step for the last few years through careful consideration of the neighborhood, and fellow artists and artisans are installing a piece of their energy and soul in the project and in the end I feel like we have succeeded in our tempt of creating a symphony of the arts for the neighborhood in a very comfortable setting that can feel like your home.

How do you balance consistency in your work as a designer while never letting your ideas become repetitive?

I follow my heart and I believe that design comes from within. The exciting challenge derives from creating something new for each project and this is what drives me. Always.

I hear you’re working on a jewellery line too, can you tell us a little about it?

The jewellery line came organically as looking at a 3D model of a facade I previously designed but didn't get built. Rotating it around I thought it could look like an interesting ring. We test printed it in 3D and gold plated it and it feels good so this is the beginning of something more brewing that we will launch later this year.

You have a great sense of style and are always dressed so beautifully, has fashion had an impact on your story thus far?

I believe high fashion is an art form so yes sometimes it does inspire me. I can see a flowy fabric and imagine it in a solid concrete shape and so forth.

Where do you feel the world’s of art and fashion collide? Do you consider them to be one and the same?

The real haute couture in terms of artists such as Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and others in that calibre is in many ways equal to fine art, the only difference is that it is wearable for your body and other art is sometimes a social and or political statement or for its pure beauty and storytelling. What they have in common is beautifying the world with creative energy.

That is such a beautiful way of explaining it. Wow. What does a day in the life of Gulla Jonsdottir look like?

I wake up around 8 am and make an espresso, shower and answer emails at home, although my New Years resolution is always to start with meditation instead of looking at my phone.. ( one day.. ! ). I arrive at my studio around 9:30 am and catch up with my team and clients and walk down the street to get a delicious almond milk cappuccino. Late morning I visit my nearby projects that are under construction in West Hollywood and downtown LA.

Twice a week at lunch, I work out with my trainer at the park and usually eat a healthy lunch like a salad with salmon or chicken at my desk. In the afternoon I have conference calls and continue on designing, sketching new and ongoing projects and thankfully no day is the same when you work in a creative environment. Right now we are working on our first atelier which will be inside one of the hotels I'm designing so this is a new exciting challenge for us and a new business that I will invite other artists to participate in.

Late afternoon I call my mom in Iceland before she goes to sleep, text with a few friends and by 7 pm its time to grab a glass of wine with friends or colleagues and some snacks at the bar and then I go home and pick up my suitcase that I half hazardly packed late last night, and catch my midnight flight to Hong Kong or anywhere the projects take me.

I make sure to set up dinner with friends in that city when I land and happily turn off my phone because I refuse to believe there is wifi on planes and this is my time to do absolutely nothing. I love it.

Is there a fundamental rule you live by, personally and professionally?

To be true to my heart, genuine, loyal and honest. I sleep very well at night because I live an honest & peaceful yet adventurous life filled with very good people around me both in my personal and professional life and for them, I'm very grateful.

How do you navigate between the public's view of you and your own private life?

I'm always the same, I don't have a poker face and I treat everyone the same; with kindness. 

What are up-and-coming architects catching your attention right now?

The architects in China are doing some fantastic things right now. I see a big growth in Asia in pushing the boundaries and exploring new forms and materials in a very interesting way.

What was the last book you read?

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Who or what is your greatest inspiration?

Nature, always nature.

Is there something you dream of designing?

A museum, a skyscraper and an Olympic stadium. 

..and what building do you wish you had designed?

Anything by Santiago Calatrava 

What are your unfulfilled ambitions? 

Learning more languages fluently. I speak a few but I need to find the time to fulfil this ambition.

If you weren’t a world-renowned designer, where would we find you and what would you be doing with your days?

Interesting thought, wow. I think I would be a Sherlock Holmes or James Bond sort of a woman solving mysteries and travelling and then would retreat to my villa in Tuscany painting paintings and drinking red wine from my vineyard.

Photographed below is Gulla's latest project, Kimpton La Peer Hotel which recently opened in West Hollywood, LA.


Read more about Gulla's career on Haute So Fabulous here. 


The World of Kelly Wearstler

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

American interior designer Kelly Wearstler is the epitome of California glamour. In her quest to bring to the world her unparalleled understanding of interiors and design, she continues to lead the way in revolutionising our understanding of modern American glamour and design as an all encompassing lifestyle. 

Stay at Armani Hotel, Milano

Interiors, TravelRebecca O'ByrneComment

Located in the heart of Milan’s fashion district, at the end of Via Montenapoleone, Armani Hotel, Milano is one of the city’s most iconic and symbiotic destinations. Utterly characteristic of an Armani lived life, its light sandy hues and minimalistic design anchors it among the world’s most luxurious hotels. 

Shop The Hotlist; Home Edition

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Home is where the heart is and the heart can't resist a little attention at times, let's be real. Attention, as it were today with a focus on the details and accents of home. As the season firmly changes and for those of us stepping into summer, it's time to shop this week's HSF Hotlist Home Edition, the one-stop shop where all the pretty accents and details are just a click away from bringing your home a fresh and distinctive little touch of love..

Bag & Bones, The Interview

InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Gigi and Cavanagh Foyle are two ladies on a mission. A mission of the neon kind. Beginning their careers in health research and aviation law respectively, the two sisters’ current day job is an admirable self-made dream that sees them bring a shining light to the lives of customers the world over. 

Eat at Bar Luce, Milan

Travel, InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Stepping into Bar Luce, whether before, during or after adventuring through Fondazione Prada, is akin to stepping some decades into the past and a rather dreamy Milanee cafe of times gone by. Designed by film director Wes Anderson whose visionary work is typically of a symmetrical world that plays into a weirdly wonderful perfection, his real world creation at Bar Luce is, as it were, a less fantastical reality in which the everyday life can be enjoyed - ratherly chicly. 

Visit Fondazione Prada, Milan

Travel, InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Created in 1993 by Miuccia Prada and her husband Patricia Bertelli, Fondazione Prada is a philanthropic project whose main interest remains loyal to the investment of ideas and the analyses of present times through art. Supporting the the world of contemporary art through artist commissions, research exhibitions and initiatives related to cinema and the hosting of contemporary philosophy conferences, the Fondazione’s mission is to encourage and support the opportunity to extend and intensify the process of learning. 

Gulla Jonsdottir, Architect & Designer

Travel, InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Gulla Jonsdottir’s completed projects include some of the most luxurious hotels, restaurants, bars, lounges and galleries the world over. The architect and interior designer’s appreciation of space, uncompromising beauty and the delicate dance between the sensual and empirical awards her the prestige as one of our generation’s most fresh and dynamic innovators. 

Shop at Tenoversix, Dallas & LA

Travel, Style, InteriorsRebecca O'ByrneComment

Whether it’s the Dallas or L.A location, the feeling of discovering new worlds is hard to deny when you step into Tenoversix. Perhaps it’s the idea that the entire store itself is somewhat of a finding, or more than that, it’s contents an uncovering of the hottest interlacing of brands you could imageencountering in any one place. 

Sketch, London

Travel, InteriorsHaute So Fabulous1 Comment

Conceived in 2002 by restaurateur Mourad Mazouz and infamous French master chef Pierre Gagnnaire, Sketch, London is a slick and desirable destination, or perhaps more accurately an experience, that continues to attract and capture the chic crowd, one hard to get booking after another. Truly 'Instagram' famous since the 2014 opening of ' The Gallery' which is home to a tickiliciously pink creation by Parisian based designer and architect, India Mahdavi. The contemporary pink mix and old-Hollywood style velvet furnishings, in turn plays as a classic backdrop for the most eclectic and 'grammable' experiential exhibit I've had the pleasure of dining amid yet. Showcasing 239 of David Shrigley's original works on the walls, Sketch is a dream any night of the week. It's collision of art and design, humour and panache bring a rather interesting beauty to life. The atmosphere is fun and in fact, it's a rather tempting act to simply stare at the walls, loosing oneself in the mysterious, dark and humorous world of Shrigley's infamous doodles. 

The walls though aren't the sole dwelling place for the exhibition pieces. Tables and their settings are also works of art by Shrigley who said of his ceramic designs, "It is the first artwork that I have made that can go in the dishwasher". Don't forget to check your plate once you're done, trust me. 

And of course, as with any chic collaboration of the creatives, the waiting staff wear the coolest designs by fashion designer Richar Nicoll. 

Although Sketch is admittedly not the new kid on the block these days, it's been on my list for quite some time and upon a recent quickie to London with my best friend I was thrilled to make a fun and fabulous night of it. Admittedly I'm not the girl who goes to places for the love of food but rather the experience, I must stop to say the food is utterly delicious; obviously. I had two starters, the broccoli veloutè to (actually) start and then tuna tartar as my main, both leaving me in the dream of starting all over again to savour every bite. 

Bathroom breaks are off the charts kind of interesting. You've got to see it to believe it. But let's just say it's like landing in space in your very own designer chic shell!

Book your night of fun at sketch.london

And check out DavidShrigley for a taste of why I loved Sketch so much.

Love R x