Among the surging sea of colors at Paris Deco Off was also a strong undercurrent of black and white. From exuberant prints to handsome wovens, it proved the graphic and enduring power of the most basic color combination. At Pierre Frey their new Jungle collection of wallpapers tells the story of a yet unexplored South American country. Pampa, also available in a fabric, is a fresh interpretation of a classic toile. Printed only in black and white, it recalls engravings documenting voyages from another time to exotic lands.
Another paper in Jungle, Amazon, is a completely hand drawn pattern expressing the secrets of the jungle. Look carefully and you will see life within the leaves.
There’s always a story behind the style at Pierre Frey. Art Deco is a period of special significance for La Maison Pierre Frey, as René Prou, Creative Director Patrick Frey’s grandfather, was a renowned designer of the period, having participated in the decoration of both the Orient Express and legendary French luxury liner the Normandie. It was also a period rife with black and white inspiration and is the muse behind both their new Charleston fabric collection and the new Fox Trot wallpaper line. The namesake of the latter is a spirited interpretation of American 1920’s style from Charleston dancers to graphic skyscrapers and jazz musicians.
Train Bleu is a refashioned vision of a 1920s print, based on the 1924 Ballet Russe ballet of the same name. With the new interest in a sporty life, it is set in the resort town of Deauville, where Chanel, who also designed the costumes, introduced her casual chic style of Breton striped sweaters and sailor pants. The sporting theme of the ballet translates perfectly into this charming paper.
The 20’s introduced specialty cocktails that were all the rage, the Side Car one of the most enduring. The wallpaper of the same name, below, also references the sequins and sparkle of women’s period fashion.
Embroidery was a theme throughout Deco Off, and Boussac’s geometric Prism fabric features graphic black embroidery accented with white saddle stitching on natural linen. On the bench is Cube with unusual embroidery in geometric pattern with textured relief. Not pure black and white – but close.
Gaston y Daniela‘s Tierras collection recalls the geometric characteristics of Spanish tiles. The large scale hexagonal pattern of Parioni pairs beautifully with Lorenzo Castillo’s Zhou Jun from his Hispania collection for the house, evoking the Oriental influences on 18th century Spain.
Swiss textile company Jakob Schlaepfer is a name well known to the fashion industry for years, creating thousands of fabrics for everyone from Dior and Louis Vuitton to Alexander Wang and Vivienne Westwood. But they also create some of the most innovative interior fabrics as well.
We’ll come back to visit them but in the meantime, I was wowed by their new wallcovering collection including this black and white Poppy Xilitla, a matt non-woven fleece inspired by the surreal garden of Las Pozas in Mexico’s rain forest.
Also drawing on the 1920’s as inspiration, Lori Weitzner‘s new Poiret As Muse Collection references the French fashion designer Paul Poiret, known for introducing a new modern liberated silhouette for women with dramatic flair. The beautiful Odette, below, is a creative and innovative fabric of (almost black) wool flannel medallions appliquéd onto a sheer ground. As you can see, it creates a wonderful pattern play at the window in the Paris apartment where the collection was presented, with peeks at the courtyard beyond seen through the cutouts.
Another offering from several of the houses is paperbacked fabrics. Below, Ou Baholoyodhin’s dramatic Aragon for Jim Thompson, on the walls below, anchors this chic black and white scene.
On the pillow is Conrad fretwork velvet, named for Joseph Conrad, who brought the now famous pattern to the West and on the seat cushion, Bargello, with graphic movement. Also in black and white is Bourbon, a grand scaled and bold crewelwork based on the emblem of the famous European house.
Dedar‘s lively Wild Party is an imaginary forest reminiscent of both Far East cut paper art as well as Matisse’s cut outs. Traditional screen printing on cotton and jute gives it a natural organic appeal.
During the presentation, Dedar brother/sister co-owners Caterina and Raffaele Fabrizio had the crowd in stitches describing Too Cool, a linen hand pierced with metallic rings – as they explained, something they had always wanted to do but never had the courage to do to themselves. “For all those who are like us, this is the solution. This is the starting point – we don’t know where we end up.”
Even at Manuel Canovas, known for its vibrant use of color, black and white entered the mix. The beautiful embroidery of Nagar would be striking on its own
but is intriguing in the mix below.
The large scale linen appliqué Rosa looked lovely hanging on the wings
but even lovelier in situ below.
And the versatility of the small textural print Lou
is shown in this unexpected mix with their colorful print Hazara.