Designs from a "New Antiquarian"!!!!!!

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My friend, NY Times writer Penelope Green,  wrote an article several months ago about the latest design trend .... The New Antiquarians. Revolving around a revival of interest in anti-modern or fantasy vintage furniture and accessories  ..... or as Penelope says "the accouterments of the turn-of-the-19th-century leisure class," a number of 20-&-30-somethings are creating spaces that are designed to resemble parlors of the Edwardian Era. Over-stuffed rooms are often filled with ancestor portraits; antlers from a variety of species; taxidermy animals and birds; medical cabinets filled with potions, petrified bone, skulls, and other small trinkets; old tufted leather seating; candlesticks and candelabras; and a variety of other ephemera of that age ...... all in all, a look worth thinking about!!!!


As a lover of "time travel,"  visual fantasy, and new design trends ..... especially ones that scream "accessoration" ..... I saved the article for future reference!!!!! And it was a good thing I did!!!! BECAUSE........


One night last week, I was in a taxi going down Chrystie Street, and as I was passing Sammy's Roumanian Restaurant (thinking of chicken fat & my old friend Bernie Ozer), I noticed an unusual and intriguing store next door!!! I went back several days later and learned that it was owned by Ryan Matthew, one of "The New Antiquarians" that Penelope had written about!!! Ryan, a silversmith, is transfixed by this "new vintage" and his  apartment in Brooklyn is accessorized with "mummified hunting dogs, wax figures and Black Forest taxidermy"!!!  Several weeks ago, he opened Against Nature on Chrystie Street, as an "homage" to this new visual.  The men's store is stocked with tailored and be-spoke suits by Doyle Mueser, custom denim by Simon Jacobs and a selection of jewelry and leather accessories by Ryan. I find the interior design of the store and its "fantastical" antique furniture and accessories fabulous!!! The furniture includes vintage cabinets, a divine blood-red tufted leather sofa, turn-legged tables, and antique showcases. The accessories are true "period," including mummified skulls under glass, a pair of taxidermy albino peacocks, vintage leather bound books, silver candelabras. The concept, from store design to clothing, is a feast for the eye, it appears to have been on Chrystie Street since the 19th Century!!!!!


Against Nature is an "inspirational must see"!!!!! Whoever says there is "nothing new under the sun" hasn't taken a trip to Chrystie Street ....... everything old looks new here!!!!



  1. I am long overdue for a stroll on Chrystie Street. I have barely the time to leave my showroom in Tribeca…Finally, people are becoming sensitive to the small treasures of the past and looking for warmth and spunk in their homes. I have always been of the school since I opened my showroom some 15 years ago, that old and the new mixed together with spirit and style create the warmest most welcoming environments.

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