Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The Jimi Hendrix Experience at London's Cumberland Hotel

With many Hotels opting for glamorously designed suites, or choosing a cool and contemporary style, its nice to see the Cumberland has chosen be a little daring and crazy. Designed to inspire you from the moment you enter the room; to capture the ethos of Hendrix and ultimately be a sanctuary where Hendrix himself would enjoy spending time. Conceived by interior designer Mary Gannon and her senior associate Cynthia Garcia – a stay in The Cumberland’s ‘Hendrix’ suite is not-to-be-missed for any Hendrix fan or design junkie.

Think exquisite statement lighting, flamboyant colours and psychedelic stylised patterns, authentic fabrics uncovered in vintage fairs and from specialist collectors. The room showcases an original 60s printed panel called ‘Peacock’ by Mariji Isola for Marimekko, along with a wall of framed originals of NME covers from the 1960s featuring the rock legend.

Centrepiece of the room is a flaming three-metre Hendrix mural by renowned graphic designer Andie Airfix, whose previous works include designs for Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Airfix drew his inspiration from Hendrix’s infamous ‘guitar flambé’ show finale.

The bittersweet interview with music journalist Keith Altham, can be heard in its entirety in the Suite and gives a fascinating insight into Hendrix and his frame of mind during his final days. In it, he says: “What I wanted to be basically; this is only hyped up by the visual thing – I wanted to be listened to".

Suite creator, Chelsea-based interior designer Mary Gannon, a member of the British Institute of Interior Design, said she has sought to create a space that does justice to Hendrix, with a design reflecting the excitement and exuberance of the 60s, and which also complemented The Cumberland as a contemporary hotel, appearing fresh and inspirational in the modern day. Keith Altham, part of Hendrix’s inner circle, maintains that Jimi would have loved the room. Mary explains:

“Hendrix was truly a style icon. We undertook a lot of research on fabrics, colours and shapes from the period, and scoured specialist textile fairs and visited known collectors, all of whom gave us invaluable advice and guidance."

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