A tribute to David Collins

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The death of David Collins on Tuesday was sad news and a great loss to the hospitality industry. The Dublin-born designer, only 58, has left a great legacy in his signature vintage-classic style at bastions of British luxury including The Wolseley, below, and the late Alexander McQueen‘s stores in London, Miami, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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His work in the nation’s leading hotels is legendary – not least the iconic Blue Bar at The Berkeley in Knightsbridge, with its Lutyens-blue colour scheme and black crocodile-print leather floor.

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Other Collins-conceived bars include Claridge’s and The Connaught bar, as well as The Bassoon Bar at The Corinthia hotel, whose bar is a 22ft grand piano and the hotel’s dazzling Massimo oyster bar.

Bigger projects included Lime Wood Hotel in the New Forest where Collins’s brief was to create a country house hotel for today and the future – his subtly art deco-meets-vintage-clubhouse style translates beautifully in the bucolic setting.

 

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In the US, Collins brought British style, first to New York, with the London NYC hotel, then to the west coast with The London West Hollywood in Los Angeles, proving that his classic style was transferable to locations beyond the British Isles. He had also worked on the Delaire Graff wine estate and lodge in South Africa’s Cape Winelands.

His style has been admired, imitated, but most of all, will be missed.

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