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25 August 2009

Love or Loathe?

"Chareau" by Clarence House, half-cotton, half-linen - where else but here?


Designed by Vladimir Chopinoff - who? His name sounds worthy of Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes....which definitely adds to my fantasy story built around the pattern. And "Chareau", of course, as in Pierre Chareau, the architect of the iconic Maison de Verre of 1932.


photo by François Halard from La Maison de Verre

So what say you? Love or loathe?

(I know some of you will think I'm being lazy - but another naked shower hangs in the balance.)

16 comments:

magnaverde said...

I'm of two minds about illusionistic patterns. On paper, mounted flat, I love them. The shimmering swagged satin of the old Mauny pattern that Brunschwig & Fils resissued as "Tenture Flottante" was one of the most elegant ever created, a printed interpretation of yesterday's tented walls. And there's a pattern of tufted & quilted satin crossed by diagonal cording that was popular in the Nineteenth Century, and it's come back every few decades since then. It seems like it was on the wall behind Helena Rubenstien's bed back in the 193Os, and B&F reissused that one, too, a while back. And their "Bosphore" border paper was one of the glories of early Victorian design, swagged & looped & tasseled to beat anything. But those kind of patterns only work well when seen flat--as in wallpaper.

Lined & properly applied to the walls, they can also work as fabric, but ya gotta watch out: things go south fast when these kind of patterns get made up as curtains & slipcovers, because the elements get all distorted going in & out of folds & real swags. Besides, the whole point is lost when fabrics start depicting fabrics. A Lisa Simpson line comes to mind: "I don't think the real Radioactive Man wears a plastic smock with a picture of himself on it."

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Magnaverde - there is something in what you say about trompe l'oeil being flat - and how it loses some of its charm and trompe-ness when it pretends to be exactly what it is.... this is very helpful...

now, does anybody know who Vladimir Chopinoff is?

home before dark said...

I stand in awe when The Magnaverde speaks. Love the images and the quite delicious flow of words. Kind of like Peggy Noonan describing Auden's cantos. And then to end it all with Radioactive Man... To hell with a blog, Magnaverde needs a CD!

Agree about swags in print. Could drive your seamstress bonzo. By the by, I saw a picture of Jean Cocteau's study with MC leopard wallpaper and I swear the drapes were your jungle bathroom shower curtain.

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Home, I can never get enough of Magnaverde... and I'm sure Claudine, my seamstress, is breathing a sigh of relief.

now, where did you see Cocteau's study - I'm currently searching for the best pictures - was it AD in the 1980s?

home before dark said...

It was in the book Bohemian Style by Elizabeth Wilhide (recommended to me by Little Augury). The book also has a shot of JC's stairs done in MC's panther, and a shot of JC's adopted son's room with a MC print on walls. Funny thing about this book. I ordered it used from from Alibris and it was shipped to me from across my hometown. She could have hurled it like a frisbee! The book come up in a discussion that my media room not yet done looks like a turn of the century (that would be 19th) small town version of an opera house...or some kind of house repute or not!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Eurekah! There's one copy of Bohemian in stock at the Strand next door - 7 bucks and it's mine - am off!

little augury said...

Oh Emily and Home- I am tickled about your finding the book. I must hurriedly get my little post out about Cocteau dedicated to "home"- who has talked about using a leopard carpet. my little homage stands in the balance!"quel rats" I will just defer to You EEE and you may dedicate it to me.
BAck to your dilemma-
As a general rule these types of patterns are best used just as Magnaverde says. It is funny though the colors in this fabric are very much like Josephine's portrait in your last post- why don't you find your inspiration in the color and do a little homage to Josie? with a solids or a trim or have someone paint something alaJo?

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

E-

I second Little Augury.

Plus--color is so 'off'...you have to use it in a knowing manner. www.thestylesaloniste.com

Anonymous said...

Regarding that Clarence House fabric, Magnaverde said a mouthful~in the best possible way, of course~in that he nailed the real issue here, which has to do with an uneasy reaction to supple materials being printed to resemble yet more supple folds of material. It's a kind of decorative clusterf**k.
TW

home before dark said...

Am I to assume that a "It's a kind of decorative clusterf**k. by TW would be Toby Worthington?

And I just came by to see if the wee book held any amusement, and was treated to a whole new phrase that may be in my head for days. Perhaps it is time to make way for a boy's version of Skirted Round Table with AAE, TW, M, and HOBAC at the wheel!

Anonymous said...

it is great..too much comment on this...clarence house has that famous... fabric name...??? that looks like venetian blinds...now that is chic and appropriate trick of the eye can be on many services and in many materials....it is just that "TOTE"

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Home and la - so glad to have made the acquaintance of Bohemian Style - I think I may have tackled the material a bit differently - but some great unknown photos. No worries - la - it is for the book not blog, so post away!

and yes, Home, TW would be the inimitable Mr. Worthington whom I had dinner with recently - are you jealous? You should be! - he is too much fun.

Anonymous, LURV that Venetian blind fabric which Mr. Worthington also likes (as he has it in his own home).

Special tip for comment readers: Rose Cumming chintz at $10 a yard at Hines and Co. in NY's D&D!!!!

home before dark said...

About the TW: I hope you had a microphone in your—wherever—! Yes, you know I am jealous. Funny what sets me off: great words, knowledge, passion about learning new things all the time, years of accumulated information, zestiness, good natured bantering, one ups man (woman)ship in the most joyful way. You owe me about the book: My payment is the story about your Uncle Mame. How could you drop that name, refer to his impeccable taste and the fender bender episode without telling more. Uncle Mame and no less!

The Peak of Chic said...

Too funny...almost bought some yardage for myself a few months back. Two problems- one, the colorway didn't quite go with my color scheme. Secondly, would the pattern get lost unless it was used flat? So yes, I agree with Magnaverde.

(The print reminds me a bit of the Carleton Varney sheets we ordered. What did you think of them?)

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

jennifer, really?! Great minds! and yes, that colorway is tricky.\

I've only used the Carleton pillow cases so far - but in terms of the feel and quality and look, am VERY happy with them. I wish I had ordered the pink too!

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Loathe.