Fashion sense has long been considered a reflection of the way we want to be perceived by others — a complicated picture that makes an impression before we even speak. Not as transparent but equally important is the visual impact of our home interiors, which echo our personal philosophies and mirror the things that give us comfort and consolation.

Natalie Shirinian, a celebrated filmmaker and journalist, saw the links between fashion and interior design almost 10 years ago when she founded the communications agency NES Creative. During this time, she gathered and organized information from several fashion, furniture, and product designers, as well as artists and style trailblazers. NES celebrates the melding of those worlds and how they interact and thrive on each other.

Today, the agency has gone on to be featured in such prestigious publications as The Coveteur, Elle Decor Italia, ELLE Korea, Openhouse, RUM ID, Surface, T Magazine, Variety, Vogue, and Vogue Living. Even better, they’ve just played a big part in the creation of a new documentary film that explores the very same intersections they do.

Inspiration Behind Interior Motives

Stills from filmmaker Natalie Shirinian's new "Interior Motives" documentary.

Shirinian was intrigued by the transitions between the fashion and interior design industries, and the all ways they seemed to so easily complement one another. Interior Motives explores those same relationships, revealing how the bridges were built between them in the first place. It’s the first film to look closely and seriously at the links between the clothes people wear and the spaces they inhabit. 

The experience revealed that whenever fashion designers expanded into home décor or interior design icons delved into creating clothing and accessories, their creative processes proved vastly different from the norm. Shirinian noted how unique each artist’s journey was, and how each of them followed a unique path “whether it be in textiles, different forms in their products, and so on. From that, the lightbulb moment of making this into a documentary was formed.”

Stills from filmmaker Natalie Shirinian's new "Interior Motives" documentary.

She adds: “I wanted to offer a portal view into this otherwise very exclusive world through my point of view. Almost like the viewer is Alice falling into Wonderland.”

Making The Film

Filmmaker Natalie Shirinian, the mind behind the new "Interior Motives" documentary.

It took five years to actually make Interior Motives. Shirinian started by revisiting the 1980s, when the intersection between interior décor and fashion truly began. Tommy Hilfiger was a pioneer in the movement at that time, easily transitioning from designing a groundbreaking line of sportswear to creating interior design products. His reasoning was simple. In the film he states, “I wanted to build a total lifestyle brand. I wanted to decorate the home.”

Renowned fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, as he appears in the new "Interior Motives" documentary.

As the country at large started spending more time at home, the trend of home cooking took hold, and the importance of creating an environment that was more personalized soon followed. Not only was decorating a space that reflected personal interests and experiences more affordable than haute couture for most people, it also last a very long time and could easily be modified as tastes changed. In short, dressing the home to be a safe haven became more important than wearing designer clothes.

Goal Attainment

Shirinian summed up the goals she had for Interiors Motives succinctly, stating: “A person’s self-expression is important to me. When you walk into someone’s home, you want it to reflect who they are, what they love, where they’ve been, the energy they reside in, and what they want to live amongst. Interiors offer you a sense of artistic expression but also a feeling. You’re entering a world, and if you want someone to feel something when they enter your world – interiors are incredibly important.”

Stills from filmmaker Natalie Shirinian's new "Interior Motives" documentary.

Interior Motives premiered at the IFS Film Festival in Los Angeles on May 19, 2019, taking home the prize for Best Documentary Short. It’s available to stream online at select sites.