One thing I've missed since the demise of House & Garden is the monthly "Fabric Obsession" piece with Carolina Irving. The images were were always lush and the text informative. For those of you who are also passionate about textiles, I offer a very mini fabric fix.
Shown here are joyful Kaitag embroideries from the remote mountainous region of Daghestan. The textile that appeared on the cover of Hali magazine, Summer 2007, is silk on cotton, 18th-century, and the crisp abstract forms are thought to represent a dragon and simurgh in combat; it's possible that one of the creatures is actually a peacock. (Stylized dragons are a common motif in Daghestan embroideries.)
These examples belong to noted Italian collector Giuseppe Moreschini. For textile connoisseurs, it is the rarity (only about five to six hundred are believed to be around today) of the embroideries combined with the mysterious imagery and vibrant hues that make them so alluring. According to Hali, Kaitag textiles were only discovered by those outside the region in the early 1990s.
At the moment I can't identify the fabric used on Steven Sclaroff's vintage Louis-XV-style chair, but the print reminds me of Paule Marrot. French-born Marrot is a key name in 20th-century textile design who redefined furnishing fabrics in her native country. Best known for her flattened out, upbeat florals that are a bit similar to the work of Fauve painter, Raoul Dufy, she became popular in the U.S. after World War II.
Billy Baldwin had a penchant for bright, painterly flowers on clean cotton, so he was a big Marrot fan. And her fabrics made their way into Jackie O's home.
Above are pages from Irving's 2005 H & G story about Marrot. In 1997 The Museum of Printed Textiles held a retrospective of Marrot's work.