[Photograph of Rebecca Vizard walking toward her dad's house, in Louisiana, taken by Emily Hamilton Laux courtesy Rebecca Vizard.]
There are a couple of things I do every December: buy paper whites and unpack my mini B. Viz stockings.
Longtime readers are already familiar with my B. Viz posts. Back in 2008, Louisiana-based globe-trotter Rebecca Vizard, the creative force behind B. Viz, gave us a behind-the-scenes peek into her St. Joseph studio brimming with luxe antique trims and textiles.
[Photos of textiles and trims directly above and below by Emily Hamilton Laux courtesy Rebecca Vizard.]
As Rebecca often says, she has one foot in the door of the very high-end design world (Melissa Rufty and Gerrie Bremermann are fans of B. Viz pillows made from fragments of antique priests' robes, embroidered Turkish caftans, hand-printed Fortuny, suzanis, and other remnants) and one foot in her poverty-touched rural community overlooking Lake Bruin. Hiring only local seamstresses -- creating jobs -- helps to bridge the two.
[I snapped this picture last January at Rebecca's Foxglove Antiques booth in Atlanta.]
Really, sewing, textiles, and a general appreciation for creativity have always been a part of her life. Comfortable with a needle and thread in hand, and possessing a great eye for color, texture, and scale, Rebecca earned a B.A. in Studio Art and Communications from an institution with a history of emphasizing the arts, Newcomb. Today, when she begins a pillow design, she looks at the stitches on the back of her found textile and thinks about the person who created it.
[Photography by Emily Hamilton Laux]
This season, a wider international audience has seen the B. Viz team's work via Neiman's Christmas catalog. For the famous book, Rebecca was commissioned to design an over-the-top fantasy yurt inspired by I Dream of Jeannie. (Learn about New Orleans-based lighting designer Julie Neill's contribution here.)
But the stockings are still the most attainable pieces in the B. Viz collection. Since I'm partial to Central Asian embroidery, I've emphasized those examples here. However, I also treasure a few made with opulent European fragments and metallic trims. Rebecca takes care with the fine details -- the linings, the loops for hanging -- just as she does with her big ticket pillows, and knows how to keep the most lush textiles from appearing too precious or fussy. As I've mentioned in the past, I love how functional the ornaments are: perfect size for holding candy, notes, treasure hunt clues, or gift cards, but also great left empty, simply hanging on a door knob or tree.
[Screengrab from ABC Louisiana affiliate news video.]
Another reason for today's B. Viz recap (peppered with new images) is that I wanted to work in a random tidbit -- something that may only interest me and the illustrator behind my blog logo, Anne Harwell. Years ago, Anne painted a vintage Louis XV-style chair that I actually owned; in 2009, I asked her to 'reupholster' it to resemble a time-worn leather example photographed by New Orleans artist, Amanda Talley, at Gerrie Bremermann's. Fast forward to 2011 and news coverage of Neiman's catalog -- Gerrie's antique chair, or its doppleganger, can be seen behind Rebecca as she is interviewed.
To see Rebecca in the field sourcing textiles check out her FB page. (BTW, I've been collecting the ornaments little by little, on a very modest scale, since before I started blogging.) We've already talked about the sumptuous embroideries currently on view in San Francisco in Maharaja, but the related film series continues; on Sunday, December 11 at 1 p.m., the Asian Art Museum will screen Chandani: Daughter of the Elephant Whisperer, a subtitled documentary suitable for kids.
[Image courtesy Daniela Kamiliotis.]