Their lifestyle – expressed in their music and their strong views on how to furnish their caravan interiors – appeals to our imagination. It’s what you might call ‘precursor Versace’: a cheerful combination of colours and materials. Gypsies. The gypsy singer Betcha accompanied OBJEKT©International to a party held by Vetla, his wife Poepa, their children and grandchildren. We were plunged into the world of authentic gypsy caravan interiors.

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An authentic gypsy interior enhanced with a creation by John Hutton for Ensemble. Hutton made an enduring impression on furniture design world wide. He was a typical modern gypsy, who demonstrated his designing skills wherever he went. His collaboration with Angelo Donghia, for whom he made, amongst other things, furniture designs, marked the rising of his star. Many of his clients became his close friends – including Ann and David Sutherland, with whom he built up the collections for Sutherland furniture and Perennials fabrics.

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The life of gypsies is cloaked in romanticism – a life of travelling, moving around and, especially, partying around big bonfires, to the accompaniment of guitar music, singing and dancing. It runs in their blood, as we discovered at the 71st birthday party held for Vetla, one of the gypsy leaders. He lives with his wife Poepa in a camp on the outskirts of Gerwen, a village in the southern Netherlands. When OBJEKT©Intenational arrived, the bonfires were already burning. As we entered his caravan we were met with a spontaneous song of welcome. Vetla’s children, grandchildren, cousins, in-laws and friends trooped backwards and forwards in a jolly procession. There was an abundance of food and soon varying groups of guitar players were assembled outside, providing a musical setting for the rest of the evening. Everyone here seems to be, and invariably is, related.

PHOTOGRAPHY HANS FONK
TEXT RAPHAELLE DE STANISLAS