Life as a juggling game…
September 6, 2017
November 17, 2018
I can always cheerfully lose myself in the pleasures of new fabrics and wallpapers for these materials have so much potential to radically transform any home. I also think launches here are often an early indicator of bigger themes to come as these worlds, with their Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter shows every year, inevitably move somewhat faster than those of furniture and hard accessories. Thus, when the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, the one-stop-interiors-resource extraordinaire, asked all of its fabric brands to exclusively preview their favourite new launches ahead of the main Spring/Summer 2019 show next March, you can be sure I was there like a shot. And so, herewith nineteen fabrics that caught my eye (wallpapers to come in a separate post), and why…
As our world becomes increasingly screen-based, and our days find us constantly in contact only with artificially smooth phones, computers and tablets, the growing desire for tactility, as respite, is a priority. As physical, sensory beings we have a primal need to surround ourselves with surfaces that thrill our fingertips or tempt our toes. Our sense of touch is quite frankly good for us! Tactile stimulation is known to trigger oxytocin, the love hormone; it also lowers cortisol levels, reducing anxiety and stress. It is the language of compassion, helping us bond and connect with other people, and our pets. In short, when we reach out and touch something, or someone, we become happier and healthier as a result. And so, as I indicated in my TrendBulletin Posh Povera, authentic texture in the home will soon be a must-have (as it always should have been to be honest!). In terms of fabrics therefore, I predict a demise in the popularity of digitally-printed patterns, and an upsurge in real embroidery, thick bouclés, linens and all other weaves with seriously touchy-feely texture. And I noted that many of the best were in greys, taupes and neutrals, which chimes perfectly with the Soft Scandi/Humble Materials trends I’m predicting to be on the horizon too (I’ll post more about these very soon). And I’ve included close-up details of every one too so you can really see what makes them magnificent…
1 ‘Bardi in Peacock’ (M570/02) from Mark Alexander. Woven like a soft fabric basket in grey.
2 ‘Marmolada’ fabric (Z576/02) from Zinc Textile. A fabulous knobbly delight!
3 ‘Tetris’ fabric in a Mineral colour way (N9012253002) from Fox Linton. Sophistication in neutrals.
4 ‘Patchwork Marquetry’ (83-251) in 100% linen from the David Collins Studio Collection for Baker.
5 ‘Coronation’ (Buckwheat 02) from Brentano at Altfield. With the appearance of an embroidered felt.
6 ‘Morandi’ (L9226-04 in Ebony) from Colefax and Fowler. Classic, yet complex, stitchery on a crumply linen.
7 ‘Tozer’ (19549 576) fabric from the ‘Etamine’ collection at Zimmer + Rhode. Marvel at the subtle complexity of the colours!
The capacity of a fabric to tell a story, to literally weave a narrative across a length is unparalleled, and some of the best manufacturers really offer us artworks by the metre. These prints embody all of the tempting texture of the above, but add in an extra dollop of joy with glorious depictions of nature or the very physicality of the fabric itself, conjuring Indian flower gardens to mosaics and more…
1 ‘Les Fleurs Bengale’ (B7624003 Garan) by Pierre Frey. Intricate and exotic in one. PS If you were ever in any doubt about the absolute dedication and intricacy of creating some of these fabrics, check out the video on the Pierre Frey Home page of the making of one of its fabrics — the absolutely extraordinary marriage of hand and machine.
2 ‘Mosaico’ (407/3587) Multicolore Indaco, Luigi Bevilacqua at Alton Brooke. Wonderfully narrative. And I loved both the blue and the grey colour way. Each felt quite different. See detail pictures below.
3 ‘Aglae’ (B7631001 Mint) from Pierre Frey. Another absolutely extraordinary design from the French furnishing fabric brand par excellence. PS the yellow tone on the left is unfortunately from the overhead lighting when I took the picture, not an integral part of the design!
4 A Watts of Westminster fabric that didn’t as yet have a name. A thick velvety plush weave in striking peach tones and black.
Just a season ago it was all about bonkers prints and mad flashy colours. But as I wrote in my Trendbulletin Happy Design, I didn’t think it would last because it was more knee-jerk reaction than considered response to the zeitgeist. Sure there’s many a jolly print out there still, however I was more drawn to those displaying what I’d call Earthy colours — think deep burgundy, raspberry reds and a general sense of warmth. Quite unusual in fact to see this many in a Spring/Summer preview; and combined with the generally thicker textures and weaves, it all felt really quite Autumnal. Especially as the colour that really called to me was Terracotta. Woven through many a pattern, or celebrated on its own, something about this rich red just felt very authentic and ‘right’. Call it a hunch, but I think we’ll be seeing more of this hue in the months to come.
3 ‘Petite Terrasse’ (19555 613), Etamine at Zimmer and Rohde. Such a pleasure to touch and hold.
4 ‘Hamada’ (132884 Fuchsia/Marine) from Harlequin. A kind of super sophisticated, and colourful, plaid.
5 ‘Pipe Dream’ (N9012254005 Spice) from No.9 Thompson by Richard Smith. Exploiting the simplicity of the interwoven repeat, harking back again to the humble materials traditions of weaving and basketry.
7 Leading the terracotta charge, ‘Verdi Applique’ (333015 Venetian) from the Icons Collection at Zoffany. Plus check out the detail — that stitching!
8 ‘Zeppelin Coquelicot’ (07948002) from Boussac. Graphically glorious in a perfect natural linen.
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Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.