The Vintage Inspiration
The colors, graphical allusions to the past and techniques, such as embroidery, patchwork, tucking , shirring pleating and overstitching are present in many a collection of household linens at Maison & Objet here in Paris. They are hinting in particular at references from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, i.e. the turn of the century from the 19th to the 20th.
Judging by the many diaphanous frocks in ivory or nude tones, many of them ruffled or heavily embellished with lace or appliqued with self-fabric roses that are promenading the Paris streets - and no, not in the evening or at special occasions but at 10 o'clock in the morning and on the Metro - you would think that a Victorian revival is already upon us.
Leaning more toward Edwardian are foulard designs mixing different scales, colors and patterns for the newly popular pattern-on-pattern look best exemplified here in Kenzo Bed and Bath.
It's a trend already well pronounced in apparel and is catching up fast in home furnishings. It is especially noteworthy in the settings of high end interior firms, such as Mis en Demeure, for instance, which makes lavish use of contrast button tufting and piping on velvet chairs and settees, some of them sporting interesting combinations of contrasting fabrics, such as mustard with teal, garnet with purple, and near black graphite gray with lacquer red. Worth noting is a general tendency toward much darker and richer colors on walls, floors and furniture than previously seen. Undulating shapes form wall hugging banquettes and freestanding recalmiers not seen in a good while.
1950s style is also back and evident in many colorful collections, such as Culture Maison and Moeve. Bathroom linens offered by this influential German giant were inspired by those produced for the German swimming team for the 1952 Olympic games in Helsinki.
Natural Tenderness is a priority for many household linen companies. With the skin as close to bed and bath linens as well as homewear, manufacturers are finding natural materials and adopting environmentally friendly fibers gentle and soft to the touch. Homewear, which is a popular adjunct to many European bed and bath lines, often are fashioned in ultra soft jerseys. They recur at Descamps, Yves Delormes, Decopur, Studio Natural, Charvet, Libeco and others.
This quest for natural tenderness is also reflected in the renewed focus on high quality natural fibers, such as cashmere, silk, alpaca and mohair.
More to come.