Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Scouting Vuillard

[Nature morte au bougeoir (The Candlestick), Edouard Vuillard, circa 1900. 
Oil on millboard. National Galleries Scotland. Larger view here.] 

This post is a sort of test run for a new blog I might start next year. The idea is to scout textiles based on the richly patterned fabrics, rugs, and wall coverings seen in Vuillard's work. Sometimes I might do deep dive research into a particular painting and attempt to find doppelgänger textiles. But I'd also likely share picks just loosely related to what I see in his pictures.

For me, part of the appeal of The Candlestick is the juxtaposition of that rugged brown bag against the lighter feminine florals. And I'm drawn to Vuillard's use of blue and white.

While a silk damask wall covering would probably be a more fitting choice to reflect the vignette in the painting, today I'm drawn to Bennison's Wabi Sabi fabric in Bright Blue on Oyster.

With the tablecloth I'm taking even greater poetic license.

A monochromatic 19th-century Buchara suzani done in brown, olive and beige (spied over at Sarajo) in lieu of European brocade, embroidery or lace.

But another option could be Ralph Lauren's Box Elder embroidery on linen.

[Photo by Jean Pagliuso, circa 1990s, from an unidentified shelter 
mag story produced by Carolyn Sollis.]

Or a cool vintage coverlet. I also realize that there looks to be a great piece of crumple-y white linen in The Candlestick not to mention rich trim on the wallpaper. Those pieces can wait for another day...


Sewing Seeds

From the V & A's collection, this mid-19th-century South Indian floor cloth is rife with botanical imagery. According to the museum, the central medallion and corners include rings of flowering plants, while borders of buta, foliage, and more flowering specimens dominate the remainder of the design. Likely made in Machilipatnam, the piece is woven cotton which has been mordant-dyed, resist-dyed and painted, and glazed.


Flower Show

[From Alexander McQueen's spring/summer 2016 campaign photographed by David Sims; model Natalie Westling] 

Beguiled by Sarah Burton's use of florals in her spring/summer collection for Alexander McQueen? 

Remaining saccharine-free, she referenced the flower-appreciating Huguenot refugees who brought to the Spitalfields area of London their masterful silk-weaving skills and bolstered the region's existing textile industry in the late 17th century.

[Watercolour on paper, design for textile by Anna Maria Garthwaite 1741. V & A collection.]

[Watercolor on paper, design for textile by Anna Maria Garthwaite 1741. V & A collection.]

Watching the runway show, I thought of another designing woman and nature lover, Anna Maria Garthwaite. Exceptional for the era in which she lived, Garthwaite forged a path for herself in the male-dominated world of 18th-century Spitalfields textiles. (Details in this past post.)   

Also, over on Instagram, where I continue to share most of my fabric-related news, I put together a Spitalfields-themed collage of recommended resources. Specifics here.