The inspiration for our new collection comes from a group of visionary designers, whose fabrics have graced homes for generations to follow. The Icons Collection brings an elegant ease to transforming a room through pillows, providing an ideal canvas to highlight remarkable textiles.
Billy Baldwin: l'Arbre de Matisse
Many of the patterns that Billy Baldwin designed were inspired by 20th Century artists. Most famously he designed l'Arbre de Matisse, a fabric, in collaboration with his friend and textile manufacturer Woodson Taulbee for his Manhattan apartment in 1965. The tree design, surrounded by a leafy motif was inspired by a brush and ink drawing by Henri Matisse that Baldwin owned and later gifted to Taulbee for his apartment. The Matisse drawing hangs above the sofa and pillows covered in l'Arbre de Matisse, in the contrasting reverse of the drawing. Called the "Tall Room" it is one of Billy Baldwin's most iconic spaces. It also graces the cover of "Billy Baldwin Decorates" written by the designer himself. It is a beautiful translation of the artwork and a testament to the inspired eye of Baldwin who had an special ability to fuse art, life, and design into unique, glamorous, pared-down and livable spaces.
Countless interior designers and taste makers have enjoyed using the fabric over the years. Here is a brief selection of some of our favorites.
Robert Passal designed this glamorous, eclectic Manhattan living room with a jewel toned palette of colors surrounding the l'Arbre de Matisse upholstered sofa, an homage to Billy Baldwin's original design from the "Tall Room."
Interior designer Patrick Mele wallpapered this delightful Rowayton bedroom with l'Arbre de Matisse. The botanical backdrop of the print makes the room enveloping and dreamy.
Michael S. Smith designed this living room of earthly hues with l'Arbre de Matisse upholstered sofas and pillows.
Alex Papachristidis Hampton's porch features wicker seating cushions covered in the fabric, pictured from his beautiful book, "The Age of Elegance".
Tony Duquette: Gemstone
Tony Duquette loved the saturated colors of nature. Coral, amythyst, and malachite were masterfully combined to brilliant extremes. In Duquette's famous Beverly Hills home "Dawnridge" (circa 1949), he used his own hand-painted vibrant green malachite pattern. His pattern stays true to the elemental properties of the mineral, with deep bands and rings of swirling shades of green and gray. I highly recommend Wendy Goodman and Hutton Wilkinson's book "Tony Duquette," the most comprehensive story of his life and work. The vibrancy and wealth of creative energy of Duquette's art, interiors, jewelry, costumes, and furniture, is truly remarkable.
The "Green Dining Room" at Dawnridge includes his malachite pattern on the walls, tablecloth, rug and plates.
Stay tuned for Artemisia's new tabletop collection next month, including placemats made from Duquette's malachite Gemstone.
Hutton Wilkinson started working for Tony Duquette at age 18 and they collaborated on designs until Duquette's passing in 1999. Wilkinson became owner, creative director, and president of Tony Duquette Inc. and below are some of his inspired designs and adaptions at Dawnridge.
Both Tony Duquette and Hutton Wilkinson mixed the Gemstone malachite pattern with tiger and leopard silk velvet to decadent heights.
Madeleine Castaing: Rayure Cachemire
The early and mid-twentieth century French designer Madeleine Castaing honed an aesthetic so freshly unique as to be later called le style Castaing, so recognizable in the use of leopard carpeting, opaline blue glass, "coolie" lampshades, and an eccentric mix of Neoclassical furnishings. (Please see my pervious post on Madeleine Castaing) She designed fabrics and carpet designs with the historic House of Hamot, established in 1762. Her designs were derived from document textiles, vintage prints from flea markets, and then finely honed through her own signature style.
A selection of her signature fabric designs including the Rayure Cachemire, whose design is based on a Russian shawl she adored.
Styled atop a tabouret, Madeleine's own Rouge Rayure Cachemire pillows.
Designed by Castaing for Francine Weisweiller this red bedroom in her villa Santo Sospir in France features Rayure Cachemire fabric applied to the wall as thick bands of stripes. The fabric continues onto the bed and headboard.
Brunschwig & Fils: Les Touches
The Les Touches pattern was designed in 1965 and has been used by such design notables as Geoffrey Beene, Van Day Truex, and Billy Baldwin, who used the design with such originality, it become an interior design classic. The pattern which takes its influence from an abstracted animal print is as modern as it is timeless.
Van Day Truex's Manhattan apartment with caned chair cushions and pillows in Les Touches Tan.
Ferris Megarity's Manhattan apartment with chairs and matching bolsters in the fabric.
Michael S. Smith designed this bedroom in his Palm Spring house using Les Touches in Green to dramatic effect, including walls, canopy bed, and headboard. The dappled pattern adds subtle color to a room without being over-saturated.
A dining room by Miles Redd with Black Les Touches wallpaper.
Geoffrey Beene's own dining room includes the pattern on the walls and roman shade.
Scalamandre: Prancing Zebras
Flora Scalamandre designed the iconic Prancing Zebra in 1945 for Gino Circiello's New York City Italian restaurant. Gino loved the trademark zebra upholstery of the El Morocco night club and asked the Scalamandre's to make an exclusive design for him. The animated design of leaping zebras fleeing hunter's arrows was set against a saturated red background.
The now closed restaurant was famous for its secret sauce, its veal and peppers, and its Prancing Zebras wallpaper.
Prancing Zebras lumbar pillows are a playful addition to the bed.
"This (pattern) always makes me smile, and I think it's a classic that will endure for the ages," says Miles Redd who designed the glamorous bathroom above.
Albert Hadley: Fireworks
The cheerful Fireworks pattern was made by American interior designer Albert Hadley and now endures as both wallpaper and fabric.
Albert Hadley transformed his own small bathroom in his New York City apartment, into an energetic, sparkling space using his own Fireworks design.
Christopher Spitzmiller's attic guest bedroom designed in collaboration with Harry Heismann cheerfully features Fireworks cushions, pillows, and wallpaper. Spitzmiller was a long-time friend of Albert Hadley and has been inspired by his designs for his interiors and his own beautiful lamps.