Fabric need to know: A taste of the newest and best in fabric design
Two must-see events on the European design calendar took place one after the other earlier this year. It was understandable then that New Zealand trend spotters in the textile trade abandoned the beach for the chilly streets of the City of Love.
Maison et Objet and Paris Deco Off are the premium showcases of evolving consumer trends in decor and fabrics. We spoke to the Kiwi contingent to find out what we can look forward to in the material world.
YUM YUM COLOUR
Matcha lattes and kale creations are on the menu at fashion-conscious cafes, and green schemes are cool for decor too. "With Greenery named the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2017, we are seeing lots of it in interiors and design worldwide," says Catie Wilkinson from James Dunlop.
Dayle Bygrave of Seneca Textiles agrees: "Green is the new black." Green linen criss-crossed with viscose in the Solo Collection by Elitis is hard-wearing with a raw, natural look.
Carol Fry from Unique Fabrics enjoys the eye-catching iridescence of peacock green. One of her favourites is the jewel-green richness of Avantgarde velvet by Carlucci.
Blue and green are often seen in tandem, as evident in the Majolica collection by Designers Guild, which takes its cues from the covetable glazed pottery of the same name. Strato Emerald in this collection has the soothing appearance of water dropped onto inks. This watercolour impression can also be seen in Palermo Duck Egg from Harvey Furnishings.
Another hue du jour is mustard yellow. In the Elitis Lucia Claro collection from Seneca (above left) a mustard fabric is interwoven with a fine thread of silver for extra glamour. From Zoffany, via Textilia, Leighton in Tigers Eye is a plush mustard velvet with delicate embroidery in the pile to give a soft geometric look.
Mustard was popular in the art deco era, says Rebecca Fitzpatrick of Atelier. It's also a go-to colour for both a mid-century and 70s feeling.
Larger-than-life florals are everywhere and mainly presented with loose, organic styling. Flourish Petrol in the Floranova collection from Warwick (top right) is overrun with blowzy deep-pink blooms on a dramatic dark background. By contrast, Palissy Grande Camellia by Designers Guild in the Majolica range is smothered with an explosion of camellias.
Looser styling comes to geometrics too. Stripes aren't precise in the conventional sense, but unstructured. The Outcross outdoor fabric by Dominique Kieffer from Atelier is a modern alternative for deck chairs with arty attitude.
Maximalism makes a grand entrance courtesy of UK-based House of Hackney and the bold textiles of husband-and-wife team Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley. The Tarovine design depicts a luscious taro leaf on a midnight background. From Icon Textiles.
Tropical is still topical and the simple introduction of banana palm leaf cushion covers, from Harvey Furnishings, can do the trick indoors. For a Club Tropicana vibe, Utopia from Unique Fabrics can also be used on outdoor furnishings. Paradiso by Mokum, from James Dunlop, is tropical with a twist. Designed by Academy Award winning costume designer Catherine Martin, it includes a funky Helios pattern (bottom right).
Venture through a jungle with Rain Forest by Osborne & Little. Designed by Kit Miles and available from Seneca, these fabrics feature luminous birds and big blooms. Art lovers can amble through the Rijksmuseum in The Netherlands with Herbaria from the Romo Black Edition (opposite) with florals that are reminiscent of 17th century Dutch still life paintings.
Add an eastern influence by upholstering a chair in Colefax and Fowler print Perseus inspired by a 16th century Persian carpet. From Atelier.
Folk songs played in the operatic style – yes, really – is a new musical movement so it's no surprise to see folksy prints coming through. With a sophisticated woodcut look, the Maharaja collection from Warwick is a good example. Folk patterns, too, inform Mokum's Nomad collection from James Dunlop.
IN THE FINISHES
Embellishments were in abundance at Paris Deco Off and at the Heimtextil trade fair across the border in Frankfurt, Germany. Accessorise plain fabrics, cushions or curtains with lavish embroidered Savoy Braids from Osborne & Little or an edging of Elitis Stucco fringing, above, from Seneca.
Simple artistry can be seen in Keiro by Samuel & Sons, a collection of borders inspired by Japanese obi (the sash around a kimono). Or take your imagination out to play with cords and tapes that can withstand the weather – Regatta, also by Samuel & Sons, is a collection of borders and decorative performance trims. Both available via Atelier.
Channel the animal with Neox snakeskin tie-backs by Houles, from Unique Fabrics.
Elevate the everyday with faux horn buttons and toggles on cushions and drapery as seen in the latest offerings by renowned designer Barbara Barry. Or get the uptown girl edge with a trimmings collection by New York-based Kate Spade for Kravet. Both from Warwick.
Bouclé has come out of the closet and into our living rooms. At Warwick, Kelly Wearstler's Tessellate for Kravet has a soft texture that people are going, well, loopy about. Terazzo Opal from Textilia is a chunky upholstery nap featuring multicoloured bouclé yarns.
Velvets with high or low piles and finishes from antiqued to shiny are still the last word in tactile style. Luxe velvets by Carlucci named Italian Touch come in saturated hues: we love the lustrous jewel green shade which, on an ornate armchair, would make a statement evocative of 18th century palaces. From Unique Fabrics.
Chenille velvet ranges from the classic smooth finish to relaxed aged looks. Landseer by Zoffany (on curtains, above) is a drapery fabric with a damask design based on the lions of Trafalgar Square on a shot-silk cloth. From Textilia.
The cut-velvet patterns in Murrine by Designers Guild are a touchable treat. For instance, Zanfirico in Pear is a design that echoes the Italian glass-blowing technique of filigree. From Icon Textiles.
Clear sheers are so last year: semi-sheers with texture are all the go. Whether they have a fleck, a subtle crinkle effect or a faux-linen look, such as the Tussah collection from Warwick or the Caracas range from Charles Parsons, go for a weighted hem to ensure they drape beautifully.
Texture need no longer be formed by the warp and weft. Hashtag by Dominique Kieffer (above) has an apt techno-savvy name, and its complicated construction of embroidered squares adds dimension and, says Rebecca Fitzpatrick from Atelier, a "wee bit of madness".
- NZ House & Garden