New York City native and textile designer Thomas Paul is in this week’s Friday Five hot seat. A former neckwear and scarf designer for Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, and DKNY, he went off on his own — in an entirely new direction: the home. You can definitely see the neckwear inspiration in his designs, which range from bedding to pillows to rugs and our favorite: the Luddite collection. P.S. he still does scarves, too!

1. Loro Piana Cashmere Toys
I’m obsessed with these cashmere “toys” from Italian outerwear house Loro Piana. The helicopter in particular combines everything that I love when it comes to design, something whimsical and fun, but well made from the highest quality materials.

2.  Hermes Scarves
I love everything about Hermes; they always manage to combine a lot of fun, color, and whimsy into all of their products, but with the highest standards of quality. Their scarves have always been a great source of inspiration to me.

3.  “The Colorful Realm” at The National Gallery, Washington D.C.
This exhibit of the Japanese artist Ito Jakuchu’s flower and bird paintings was one of my favorites of the year so far. The series was created over a span of ten years (c. 1757–1766) and consists of  30 panels of images of birds, flowers, fish and insects painted on silk.  The exhibition was at the National Gallery in D.C., unfortunately it was only up for one month as the panels are quite delicate and could only be displayed for a limited period. They are now on their way back to the Imperial Household in Japan, the exhibition was organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift of the cherry trees to Washington D.C. I love the details, colors and the unusual way the subjects are positioned on the silk. The overall feel is very contemporary.

4.  Piero Fornasetti
I love Fornasetti because the style is so distinct and is very much in step with my ideas about design and the use of pattern. Surface pattern applied to almost any object and a lot of trompe l’oeil effects.

5.  Tiffany & Co. Bird on a Rock Brooches
I love birds, I love colored gem stones, and I love brooches, so this piece is a no brainer. It was designed by Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany’s in 1956 and is still being produced today. I love how no two are alike. It all depends on the gem stone chosen as the “rock.”