Thursday, November 28, 2013

Festive Thanks

photo: St Tyl
Museum of Decorative Arts Prague

Fragment of cloth with figurative pattern 2nd half 17th century 
cotton direct indigo printing
purchased from Joseph Krauth Frankfurt  1886

Friday, November 15, 2013

French Trotters: real Parisian jeans

La beauté de la main et la machine--
The beauty of man and the machine.
crafted in Paris

Saturday, November 9, 2013

La Verdure

Martine Aballéa Le jour et la nuit
Man has always wished to tame nature, to bring it inside. John Hopper of The Textile Blog believes it to be our greatest inspiration and source of creativity. Though many today may feel increasingly distanced from nature, the subject is so much a constant source of marvel and decorative exploration that it could never be dropped from the textile artist's repertoire. A verdure is characterized by the use of foliage and plant forms which cover the surface of a fabric almost entirely. Any appearance by man is incidental.  Eloge de la verdure is a tapestry exhibit that explores the subject through mille-fleurs and various plant forms, landscapes, and the changing seasons from the 16th century onward to signed works by Monet, Buri, Hadju, Alechinsky, Prassinos et Traquandi...

JPEG - 286.3 ko

Verdure à feuilles de choux
Tapisserie des Flandres, XVIe siècle

Photo : Mobilier national/Isabelle Bideau
Dom Robert Mille fleurs sauvages Tapisserie d’Aubusson 1961
Dom Robert Mille Feurs Sauvages tapestry d'Aubusson 1961

JPEG - 337.9 ko

Jean Lurçat Jean (1892-1966)
Le Printemps, 1946
Tapisserie d’Aubusson
Paris, Mobilier national

Photo : Mobilier national/Isabelle Bideau

JPEG - 126 ko

Milva Maglione (1934-2010)
Vent de printemps dans l’après-midi, 1962
Tapisserie des Gobelins
Paris, Mobilier national

Photo : Mobilier national/Isabelle Bideau

Jacques Monory Velvet Jungle n°1 Tapisserie des Gobelins 2012
Jacques Monory Velvet Jungle 2012 Tapisserie des Gobelins

Eloge de la verdure 
at the Galerie des Gobelins
jusqu'à 1 jan 2014

Friday, November 8, 2013

La Reine des Fleurs: from bedroom to ballroom and onward

photo St Tyl
La Reine des Fleurs woven document from 1895 Tassinari et Chatel.
There is something classic and modern about the unusual design disposition of this
beautiful brocade on a ground of cannetillé

Cannetillé is a weave that is similar to cannelé or a more sophisticated reps with horizontal ribs that have been worked into little pavés or alternating squares or lozenges. (My own black and cream design used on the sides of this blog shows a close up of a modern cannetillé technique.) The pattern is still hand woven today in 100% silk for those privileged enough to acquire it. The brocading technique requires very attentive weaving wrong side up; mirrors are installed underneath the loom to survey the progress on the right-side.

photo Marc Walter
from La Soie en Occident by Jacques Anquetil
The same looping garlands of roses in a different coloration are found
in this ball gown by Worth taken from a truly marvelous book with sublime photography. The book is entitled Silk in English. Worth used plainer fabrics such as taffeta and satin earlier in his career but used pronounced, large-scale designs such as this toward the end of the 19th century.

( You may recognize some of Marc Walter's more recent photography in 
Un Certain Goût Pour L'orient / Exotic Taste: Orientalist Interiors and 
Versailles just out this month) 

photo Versailles

In the apartments of the Duchesse du Barry at Versailles, we see the brocade draped
à la reine and with coordinated passementrie.

photo Anthony Denney
This seems to be a 1950s interior with a 18th century bed à la Polonaise and comfortable armchairs 
decoration by Antoinette Bernstein.

photo: Delprat
 Here, several fabric designs served as inspiration for this spectacular rug designed by Patrick Norguet  made by Tai Ping in 2010. In the foreground, La Reine des Fleurs which blends into other florals from the Tassinari archives, Courson, Compiègne, Choisy. More on this rug project here.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth...

La Reine des Fleurs is still produced on special order at Tassinari & Chatel.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

That spider cloth

Because I mentioned it only briefly in my post Halloween Ambiance, I'm coming back to this exquisite spider silk fabric presented last year at the Victoria and Albert for those of you who are interested.

 The above fabric was a project of Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley and its threads, the product of more than one million female Golden Orb weaver spiders of Madagascar. The color belongs to Nature; no dying was necessary. The above image is a detail of the cape shown in the previous blog post. It is a plain taffeta which has been embroidered with more of the same spider silk.

image Wikipedia
In the myths of many cultures, the spider is the creator of the Cosmos, creating seemingly something from nothing. Stronger than steel, stronger than Kevlar, the silk issued from the spider has been considered an interesting but difficult pursuit for quite some time. Spiders are not the most amenable creatures on the earth and they have an incorrigible cannibalistic tendency when brought together for production purposes.

image Victoria & Albert

The blog, Balades Entomologiques, reports that in 1610 Réaumur noted it down as important to study its possibilities as a material of the future. Francois-Xavier de Saint Hilaire (1678-1761) wrote a Dissertation sur l'araignée which taught how to spin spider silk. His work was translated into all European languages as well as Chinese. The only sizable known example of spider silk weaving dates to the Exposition Universelle of Paris 1900 where bed hangings of spider silk were on display. As resistant as they were, these seem to have disappeared. The Economist reports that it "was never designed as a commercial venture it cannot be cleaned and shrinks in contact with water." Maybe the 1900 hangings were washed somewhere along the line --several times.

photo The Economist
Incredibly soft Peers says "you literally cannot feel it, it’s quite extraordinary. I think one of the reasons for that is that if you get a cross-section of the silk you can see it’s perfectly cylindrical, the silk, unlike the Chinese Silk Worm which has got this sort of irregular, triangular cross-section." But it is the spider silk's qualities of strength and elasticity that interest scientists most. With numerous applications in medicine and engineering and even music (chord instruments), many attempts to make artificial spider silk are underway. 

more information here

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Covered in textiles

If you are cuckoo about textiles and can imagine them in unexpected places, this new development may interest you.
Rezina has come up with a new way to use textiles on every surface  - tables, walls, floors,

even showers. 

The textile is fixed with resin to make a surface that is impermeable 
and very resistant while keeping its original appearance and texture.
The pictures on the site show mostly this sort of linen and casual, free form application.I'd like to see a greater variety of examples.

Your ideas?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween ambiance

Heaven indigo resist fabric from Storie della passione 
Genoa, Italy 17th century

Devaux-Bachelard tree design 1889 

Cape woven from  authentic spider silk 2011
by Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley

close up honor of Nature's weavers

Sleeve with spider motif thought to come from burial dress of a Castilian princess
late 14th, early 15th century.

image ebay
Chauve souris et Pavots design by Verneuil 

image ebay

Fabric print design from Edmond Tapissier

Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween glamour old and new

photo Christie's

Hélène Rochas 1946 bat mask at the la Nuit du Pré-Catelan.

image Mme Figaro

Roberto Cavalli owl coat

image Bohemian Chic

Feline scarf Charlotte Sparre

photo Vogue collection Musée Galliéra, Paris

Schiaparelli gloves, Griffes,  complete with gold 'nail art' 1936

Lanvin snake print dress

Valentino dress made of silk and genuine strips of serpent skin 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jean-Paul Gaultier: moods for Maison

all photos from Lelièvre
I always think of the style Jean-Paul Gaultier as a gust of good humor playing at the masterful cuts and seams of his Couture collections. The designer never fails to give a brisk shake to the wrinkles of propriety by using a mischievous print or by converting what is rock, kitsch, and everyday into high fashion. Yet he never stints on rigor and traditional craft. By teaming up with the design department at Lelièvre,  his inventive joie de vivre has recently found its way into the home.

But there's another side to that effervescence, as you can see. I've selected 5 new fabrics from Jean-Paul Gaultier's most recent collection, Le Défilé, and what comes across is a romantic mood even with the state of the art technology that is evident behind these designs.

The relaxed linen digital print above called Vagabond set the tone for me with its flowing composition and roaming, soft focus photographic scene. (The boldest items of the collection, I'll leave you to see on the at the end of this post.)

Lace is a constant in Gaultier's world and this clever Jacquard stand-in, with all its delicate appearance, is actually resistant enough to be used as upholstery.

A small graphic motif with clean lines and iridescent weft.

Large scale irregular dot design with a dynamic painterly spirit on an innovative and resistant 
new cotton material that imitates suede -

in deep,warm colorways.

Sweetly nostalgic with humor creeping in -
there's the ubiquitous striped Gaultier marinère on the putti and romantic figures here. What seems to be a classic arrangement of medallions is in fact a woven compostion of six different scenes which can be isolated and cut out to use creatively in an original decor.

And now, you can follow up on the boldest, most colorful side of the collection at the 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Light as air

photo Lelièvre 

Kenzo isn't alone to have its textile head in the clouds lately. A glance outside was always good for inspiration and now this cloth makes the perfect reverie for a
window with or without a view. 
Lelièvre has designed Cirrus, a wide width textured sheer in grey... 


or blue. 

photo Atelier de Soierie
In Lyon, the Atelier de Soierie proposes cumulus and stratus scarves inspired by two artists. 

photo Atelier de Soierie

and  Boudin

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vincent Darré Print Collection for Frey

photo © Claire Israël
I like a surreal touch here and there, it keeps us on our toes, so the universe of Vincent Darré has always tickled my fancy. He recently gave his particular stamp to the smallest room in the 17th century hôtel particulier, L’Enclos des Bernardins where this year's AD magazine France interior decorating event took place. Darré was one of 15 other leading decorators and architects who worked within the theme of Metamorphosis. 

The narrow room was no limitation for the designer's fancy. In fact, he chose its strange dimensions with its towering ceiling and broad windows for the surrealistic dream place of a "Little Prince," as the Darré christened the bedroom. In collaboration with the celebrated upholstery firm, Jean-Paul Phelippeau, no less than 6 prints from the collection Vincent Darré for Pierre Frey deck the walls and cover the the furnishings here. A trip to the 40s in the Frey archives assured Vincent Darré a meeting with kindred spirits of the era in the designers Monsieur Fontaine and Janine Janet, Irène Rohr....

photo Pierre Frey

The design for the curtains in the picture comes from Irène Rohr's Le Soleil a moustaches, 1944.

photo St Tyl
On the bed,  Rêve d’analyste  and covering the toys Songe zoologique - both are original designs by 
Vincent Darré

photo St Tyl

On the walls, Darré's  Nuit d’architecte 

photo St Tyl
Le Zoo design by Janine Janet

Tassels and trim are from Declerq Passementiers.

photo St Tyl

 Au lasso design by M. Fontaine