The living and kitchen wall of Es Devlin’s house in the green London area of Dulwich are constructed of London stock, which are the ubiquitous yellowish sandstone blocks that were used to construct the first home in 1895. They’re the most popular bricks in the city, however Devlin’s style isn’t the same as what it appears to be. “I wanted a brick-free wall however I was not happy with how the bricks were laid out,” she says. “So I contacted the painter from the National Theatre to come in and touch them up. She was able to do it so beautifully that it’s hard to tell the difference. They’re enhanced.”Visual illusions are a breeze for Devlin she is a petite, gorgeous 46-year-old, who is one of the most famous stage designers of today. She has designed stunning designs for Otello in the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and Salome in the London’s Royal Opera House, and is the stage designer of choice for royalty from the world of music, including Adele, Beyonce, Kanye West as well as the Weeknd. On stage during her 2014 tour Miley Cyrus was soaring down a massive slide that stretched like tongues from the mouth of the huge Cyrus portrait that was the center of the stage.jack galloway costume designer, Devlin is also the one who designed the futuristic setting that Nicolas Ghesquiere’s runway show in the name of Louis Vuitton. “Our dialog is extremely valuable for me” Ghesquiere says. “Es is a true storyteller who is able to create an environment that is it’s own.”
The most important picture of the world she has created along with her husband the costume designer for the theatre Jack Galloway, 53, as well as their daughter, Ry 11 as well as their son Ludo eight, is their beautiful garden. It is unusually large for London It is brimming with wild garlic, as well as other plants, grasses, and trees of the past, and appears as stage sets through the 60-foot wide glass wall Devlin was able to install on the rear of the home. “This space is focused on the gardens,” Devlin says, admiring the garden from her black uniform, which includes trousers and shoes, Louis Vuitton military-style jacket and a grey Homburg hat. (“If you’re like me, you’re a short person, want to stand out on sets, and don’t have time to sort your hair, just put on the hat and voila!” she says.)
The home of her family also houses two studios. One is for the team of six while the other is for Galloway’s. The couple purchased the house in 2016after they decided to relocate closer to their children’s schools, and to get rid of the old paint factory they bought in the year 2000. “I was a bit confused about this home at first,” Devlin recalls. “It was all small rooms and wallpaper with chintz. I left and said”Thank God that we don’t need to live in a place similar to this. Then Jack told me, ‘You’re missing the idea Es. What other way are we going to find a place with that wide “
The house was demolished to transform into “little room” into smaller, larger ones. Devlin sketched the new design of the house as well as their contents. They were sketched in great detail from her designers, and made by local artisans. The majority of the furniture and the flooring are constructed from Douglas planks of fir, similar to those she and Galloway were awed by from the insides of British design guru John Pawson. On one side of the living area is the kitchen that is filled with wooden cooking appliances that they came across in Africa and bowls created by local potters, as well as vessels designed by Jazz musician John Alfredo Harris. The lounge space is home to some of the works of one of the British artist Antony Gormley (a birthday gift for Galloway from Devlin who taken most of the artwork in the house from shows of students from nearby school) and two human figures made of corrugated cardboard she created to accompany the set made of all cardboard from the 2004 Royal Shakespeare Company production of Euripides’s Hecuba.
Mirrored doors divide the working and living zones. In Devlin’s studio is a model of sets that she developed in 2 Don Giovanni productions and a new ballet by Alastair Marr that will premiere in the Royal Opera House in November in addition to her three conceptual models of The XI The XI, a block-long development that includes a pair of residential towers designed by Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels, which sits between The New York’s High Line and the Hudson River. jack galloway costume designer, (The installation, which was commissioned from the development company HFZ are currently in view in The XI gallery.) The windows of the studio are two massive hands, a replica of the ones created for the performance of Carmen at Austria’s Bregenz festival. “Es is a masterful artist who has the ability to make the synthesis of thoughts, emotions and the artist’s dreams into an image that imprints its own image into your mind,” notes Alex Poots who was one of her first collaborators as well as the director at the Shed a multidisciplinary arts center that is scheduled to be opened at the end of this year in New York City next year.
Moving to pop-culture has brought Devlin more visibility and more money. “At Louis Vuitton, fashion shows are more expansive than life and Es is able to meet the challenges,” Ghesquiere says. However, she’s still drawn to performing in the theater, and she adds personal touches in her productions. For the 2015 production of Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch, at London’s Barbican she brought furniture from her home to enhance the stage. “Some among her more stunning designs have been created with simple material,” says the design curator Libby Sellers, who wrote about Devlin in her book Women Design. “Yet she is elevating set design from a supporting role to the forefront.”