I have been a fan of floral designer and stylist Amy Merrick for quite a while. Her flowers are sublimely nostalgic, moody, and feminine. Beautiful, every last detail. I was so pleased to see her collaboration with West Elm on a collection of ceramic and sandstone vases. Simple shapes, subtle textures. I love how the swirls of the sandstone add movement and dimension. Yes please.
A design trend that I can’t get enough of, Shibori continues to please, and for good reason. The deep, saturated, evocative patterns and hues draw you in, melding modern, geometric, and abstract with a global, painterly feel. Shibori is a form of Japanese tie dying in which there are an infinite number of ways to twist, bind, and tie the fabric to achieve patterns. What is interesting about Shibori, is that it is not only the desired pattern that dictates the technique used, but the type of fabric. The Shibori techniques work in harmony with the characteristics of the cloth used. I appreciate that.
Pepa Martin and Karen Davis are the Australian design duo behind Shibori, a boutique textile agency which has pushed the boundaries of this ancient Japanese craft, modernizing the shibori techniques on new materials. Shibori Wallpaper is an example. So striking, I love them all. The wallcoverings are available both at retail and to-the-trade. In the U.S. they are available at Studio Four NYC. See all the colors and patterns here.
Whether by campfire or by couch, these traditional Mexican blankets, serapes, and textiles add a natural, bohemian, yet modern feel. Created by Mexchic, a contemporary design company which works in unison with master Mexican artisans in fusing elements of modern design with traditional Mexican handwork. Founder Christina Hattler studied fashion design at the Pratt Art Institute. From there she went on to create one-of-a-kind designs for celebrities and the like, while also working at Condé Nast’s House and Garden. In 2005 she moved to Malinalco, Mexico with her husband and soon-thereafter created Mexchic which prides itself on creating low impact, socially and ecologically responsible, hand-made, high-end products. I’m smitten.
The blankets are made in the beautiful mountainous, pine tree-filled region of Central Mexico using the highest quality, pure virgin wool. The wool is left undyed, in natural shades of cream and grey and woven into these fabulous designs. They are traditionally used in Mexico as a ‘sarape’ or shawl and also as a garment worn by ‘vaqueros’ or cowboys to shield them from the cold when riding at night. Perfect for the creeping chill of fall nights.
I find myself completely enamored with the wood casting series by Isreali designer Hilla Shamia. Shamia begins with a whole tree trunk and pours molten aluminum directly onto the wood, burning the surface and darkening the wood. The trunk is then split lengthwise and put into a mold, where the legs are cast, creating benches, tables, and stools. Each piece is one of a kind – the grain of the wood, the pattern of burn, and the way in which the aluminum infiltrates the trunk.
My world revolves around textiles. I have such a passion for the color, the patterns, the textures, the hand. And it’s only recently that I put two and two together and realized that it’s not my fault, really. It was born into me.
I grew up in the world of Laura Ashley. In the early days, when the company consisted of just a handful of people, my mom used to work with Laura on fabric designs and patterns. Shortly after I was born, my dad, with my mom and I in tow, opened the first Laura Ashley store in San Francisco – which is how we ended up moving from the mountains of Wales to America. He then went on to open the next two hundred during my formative years – and so fabrics and fashion shows, and yes, florals flowed. And interestingly, I now work for Anichini, which has the most extraordinary collection of artisanal textiles – the handloomed silks and cashmeres, the linens, the brocades and jacquards… see I just can’t help myself when it comes to textiles.
So what really made this innate passion in my blood stir were these fabulous towels from Pendleton, a company with its own rich history in textiles. They have taken their Native American inspired blanket patterns and recreated them in terry for the bath, spa, or beach. And they are amazing – the patterns and the colors, seriously how do you choose? Adding even greater difficulty to the decision making is that the reverse of each is equally intriguing and transforms each design into a totally different look. I love them. They are definitely going to give my beach towel a run for its money.
Founded in 2009, The Loaded Trunk is an online global boutique showcasing found art objects, artifacts, and textiles from Africa, Indonesia, Turkey, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Guatemala, and other remote and exotic locations around the world. Roni Jaco, the founder, loves living out of a suitcase ~ traveling the globe in a continuous exploration of other cultures – collecting art and textiles that speak to her through their organic beauty and artistry. Thankfully so, because there are some truly fabulous pieces, for truly fabulous prices.
One thing’s for sure, Victor Dubrovsky sees the souls of animals. And he is able to convey them with such subtle suggestion of form and posture. Victor Dubrovsky is a multi-talented artist living in Russia who creates these extraordinary felted animals. What I love most about his creatures is the truth behind them. He shows nature as it is, sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes harsh, sometimes warm. Simply amazing, I love each and every one of them.
To see more of his wonderful creatures, visit his site here. Make sure you check out his photography to see more of his ability to capture the essence of animals.