I have been periodically revisiting this beautiful vintage needlepoint tapestry of wild birds over the past few months, adding my hand beaded embellishment, and searching for the perfect reverse cloth for the cushion. Thankfully the Guy Goodfellow Collection has just launched a new emerald courway of their popular Fez Weave which coordinates perfectly, so at last the cushion is finished!
Over the past month or so I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team setting up the new Guy Goodfellow Collection Showroom in Chelsea’s Langton Street. We have managed to create a tranquil setting for interior designers to view fabric and wallpaper collections, and led by the creative direction of Jaine McCormack, our little team has built a beautiful, refined environment to house the equally beautiful collections of Allyson McDermott wallpapers, the Guy Goodfellow Collection of fabrics and papers, Volga Linen and Cloth and Clover’s printed linens.
As part of the showroom ethos of supporting artists and makers, I am very proud to have had my cushions selected by the showroom as one of the first featured ‘makers’.
Being accepted into this rarefied world of the interior decorators has really made me re-evaluate my approach to creating my products. Always slightly obsessive about attention to detail, I have sometimes thought of this as a disadvantage, but now I see that it is truly appreciated, and decorators really do accept that perfectionist aspect to my products.
This is not to say that I am aiming for identical, homogenised embroidery or fabrics, as the individual qualities of my pieces are a large part of their appeal, but I no longer worry about unpicking a stitch that is out of place and reapplying tiny beads to be ‘just so’ in order to make the most beautiful heirloom piece I possibly can.
It remains to be seen if this little foray into the world of interior decorators will pay dividends, but it is certainly a fantastic opportunity for me to explore the possibilities of the truly bespoke makers world.
London’s Chelsea Harbour Design Centre was celebrating London Design week with the crème de la crème of London’s interior textile showrooms launching their new fabric and wallpaper collections to the trade. From an overwhelming array of design inspiration I have picked out some themes that emerged as I made my way through champagne sipping, canapé nibbling, interior designers and buyers in the pristine showrooms!
A return to nature was evident across many collections, including Sanderson where the design studio has been busy out in the countryside sketching woodland plants and creatures for their new ‘Woodland Walk’ collection! Embroidered feathers wafted gently across silk in the Osborne and Little showroom on the King’s Road, as if just shed by a passing bird to form a swirl of plumes, and Manuel Canovas had stylised feathers in their collection too. The delicately painted floral design in the Harlequin showroom, whilst not typically ‘English’ in its flower forms, certainly gives the feel of a soft frosted tangle of wayside flowers.
Cole & Son Wallpapers led the trend for design inspired by mineral surfaces and formations, Their stunning ‘Quartz’ design was inspired by the 2009 Turner prize nominee Roger Hiorns’ crystal encrusted south London Flat, whilst the sequinned embroidery of Sahco Hesslein evokes seams of precious minerals across rich grey silk. Osborne and Little have joined the current trend for rich velvets, producing a sumptuous printed malachite effect which is contrasted by the industrial chic metallic surfaces of Harlequin’s wallpaper collection.
The blowsy florals of the 1950’s are resurfacing with a vengeance in the home furnishings world. Designer’s Guild have launched a new collection of ‘Couture Rose’ designs, comprising of windblown Rose stems, Orchids and Irises. The mid-century glamour is epitomised by the loose brushwork of the Designers Guild signature style. Long recognised as the home of beautiful floral prints, Sanderson has revisited some of it’s classic designs in its ‘Vintage 2 ‘collection, bouquets of Sweet Williams and classic pink roses against a stark black and white stripe, hark back to the classic designs of Sanderson’s origins. Jean-Paul Gaultier has created a floral design inspired by the masters of botanical floral art. The photographic reproduction of old masters are mixed with his signature sailor stripe in a clever envelope cushion design.
I have always been fascinated on my travels around the French ‘brocante’ sales, by the finesse of rural French embroidered garments. The fine cotton embroidery belies the tough rural lifestyle of the early twentieth century. Beneath those hard wearing outer clothes must have been these delicately embroidered camisoles, knickers and chemises, embroidered for a trousseau or by a dedicated mother. A glimpse of these delicately stitched garments would have surely been titillating to a country lad.
Who would nowadays think to spend hours embroidering a monogram onto a thick linen nightdress? The fascination for all things vintage has taken us by storm, but these delicacies have often fallen by the wayside in favour of the film star inspired garments of the 1950’s and 60’s. Let’s look underneath those coarse outer garments and see the delights hidden beneath!