Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Just last week: Maison & Objet

all photos Le style et la matière

It's a sophisticated monster of a salon professionel -  and this is only one of the 8 halls from which it hails at the Parc des expositions to the north of Paris twice a year in September and in January. But you know of it, of course,Maison & Objet.  80,000 buyers, 4000 journalists, and you?

Since last year it has arrived in Asia (Singapore) and in May 2015 there will be Maison & Objet Americas located in Miami Beach,
 It is exhausting and essential, almost exhaustive and essentiel with its 3000 exhibitors from the world of decoration. How will it export? It will certainly retain it's French concept - but what character? It will be interesting to see how local savors will blend into this already international colossus.

This show doesn't stop with what has been designed and produced; it takes a leading edge in lifestyle and creative conception. One thing I really appreciate are the forays into the artistic and conceptual that don't stray too much from the idea of the tangible object. It's not an easy exercise.

This is the entry to Elisabeth Leriche's Observatoire exhibit that explores the dynamic of words in our hyper-connected world right now. Continuous news coverage, twiterature, the ever growing flow of social networking - we're more wordy than ever. The only way to be distinguished from the mottled mass is with a finely chiseled text and a new attention to the plasticity of police.

Story Vases
These wires were made into vase-shaped moulds into which glass was blown. With the Story Vases, Front Design used its conceptual approach to design, material and narrative to explore new ways of working with Zulu bead craft in collaboration with the Siyazama Project.

Siyazama women traditionally work with beads. Each vase here tells one of their personal stories.

rain that drips from the end of tree branches
rain that falls mixed with dust and pollen

spring rain
 autumn or winter rain

Nendo, Rain Bottle

The Japanese language has nearly 100 words for rain dependant on the climatic conditions and the area where it falls.

Ebon Heath liberates letters from the page 
and quotes Maya Angelou,

I believe a word is a thing. It is non visible and audible only for the time it is there. 
It hangs in the air but I believe that it is a thing. I believe it goes into the upholstery and then into
the rugs and into my hair  and into my clothes. Finally into my body. I believe that words are things and I live on them.
I'm just saying. Mind you it's just an idea that words are things.

The text on the wall is by Adrien Frutger:

The most important thing I have learned is that legibility and beauty stand close together and that type design, in its restraint, should be only felt but not perceived by the reader. 

I hope I'll be hearing from you about the Asian and Americas versions of this
15 year old French salon. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Telling Transparence

School of Fontainebleau
Museum of Art and History Geneva

La nature, qui sur l'invisible met le masque du visible, 
n'est qu'une apparence corrigée 
par une transparence.
Victor Hugo

Nero's second wife was said to be calculating. Through her scheming Sabina Poppaea ousted Empress number 1 and took her place. Ambitious and without scruples, reported Tacite. Beauty alone with no other qualities, agree all but one of the historians from the ancient world. Flavius Josephus on the contrary believed her to be extremely religious to the point of proselytism.

Most see an seductive vision of beauty in this painting. To me, she is a ravishing
spider waiting in the center of its web, gazing out from the thin, circling folds of her veil.

Portrait of Cardinal Filippo Archinto, 1556
Philidelphia Museum of Art
The Philidelphia Museum of Art says of this portrait with a translucid curtain, "the unusual portrayal of this man can be explained by facts known about his life. Archinto was appointed archbishop of Milan in 1556, but political troubles prevented his taking possession of the post. The veil obscuring him from view stands for these difficulties. The episcopal ring, which the artist carefully reveals just outside the veil, symbolizes Archinto's legal right to office." Another portrait without the veil is held in the Metropolitain.

Eric Rondepierre
from the series: Précis de décomposition ,Masques
silver gelatin print on aluminum
This is a veil, but not a cloth. In his series Précis de décomposition, photographer, Eric Rondepierre worked with archival fragments of anonymous silent movies that had been corroded by the effects of time, humidity and poor storage. Here a woman from a forgotten scenario stares from behind what appears to be a panel of lace.

Revealing, isn't it?

Nature, putting the mask of the visible over the invisible,
is only an appearence corrected by a transparence.
Victor Hugo

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm moving in with a friend

René Magritte
Les mémoires d'un saint
 Le style et la matière has been dormant and yet it still feels like a good home to come back to.

I've decided to take up residence here again and to move in with my textile blog, St Tyl.
Many topics concerning textiles over-flow into other domaines. This merging of the two blogs will permit me to be more playful and touch on other topics while continuing to explore textiles with all  the readers and fellow bloggers I appreciate so much.
 Fortunately, I've learned that exporting blogs is very simple!

So starting tomorrow, everything will be in one place.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Hair of the Beast(s): Angora

via skiourophilia
Jean Honoré Fragonard and Marguerite Gérard
Le chat Angora 1783

 The painting was the collaborative effort of two artists.
"Marguerite Gérard and Jean-Honoré Fragonard worked so closely together – sharing a studio in the Louvre – that the paintings of  one are occasionally attributed to the other. For a long time Gérard, who was Fragonard’s sister-in-law and pupil, was thought to be the sole painter of this work, but it is now considered to be a joint production by both artists."
(The Wallraf-Richartz Museum)

Anyone would admit that it is the cat poised to attack his reflection in a gazing globe that steals the scene here. The Angora was the first long haired cat to arrive in Europe. Angora was the ancient name for Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Once in France, these companions were royal favorites from Louis XIII up to Louis XVI. Their elegance represented another facette of luxurious court life.

This charming genre scene shows an admirable rendering of satin folds and a colorful, long  fringed Turkish rug cascading off a table, but why is the painting, The Angora Cat, on St Tyl today? 

a modern day angora cat
source: Wikipedia.fr
With a wave of its paw, the cat in the painting has reminded me of other angora fibers that have nothing to do with cats. Or do they? Do they all come from Turkey? 
Some say that it is the silky fur of this popular puss that gave its name to the rest of the angora animals.

a French albino angora rabbit
source: Wikipedia.fr
Despite the existence of angora cats, sheep, and goats, the wool of the angora rabbit is the only fiber to be labeled as such in the textile industry. Its hollow hair causes its loft --the characteristic fuzzy, floating quality associated with angora fibers. It is much warmer than sheep wool, but since it is extremely fine and fragile and not very elastic, angora wool is rarely used alone. 

Some of the best quality angora fibers are obtained by combing the rabbits over-abundant coat at sheeding periods though shearing and other more violent methods have been decried in recent years.

an angora goat
photo: MH Perraud
Mohair France

 The fleece of the angora goat provides the wool called mohair.
From Turkey via Tibet, the word mohair comes from the Arabic  mukhayar meaning the best or most beautiful one. This lusterous, silky fiber is known for its beautiful color variations and its durable strength. (Strangely, the word mohair will then provide the term moire; my guess is that those shaded colors bore a resemblance to the ondulations of watered silk.)
Mohair doesn't stretch or pill so it is ideal for both high quality clothing and upholstry.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fabrics in the Louvre, bis

photo St Tyl
Salon Pisani
  named for it's ceiling fresco (not shown here) originally located in the Palazzo Pisani à Venise 
Tapestries: The story of Don Quixote  1732-36

photo St Tyl
reproduction à l'identique of an 18th century chinoiserie silk
Tassinari & Chatel

photo St Tyl
fire screen with tapestry from the
Manufacture de Beauvais 1690-1750

photo St Tyl
salle Château d'Abondant
 mid 18th century

photo St Tyl

photo St Tyl
Reproduction of an 18th century painted silk
from Château d'Abondant

Tissus Pierre Frey

Friday, August 29, 2014

New rooms, new fabrics at the Louvre

photo St Tyl
The department of decorative arts at the Louvre has been reorganized to include period rooms. Jacques Garcia headed off the scenography and has provided his generous support to the museum. 

photo St Tyl
Art objects of the early 18th century, 

wood paneling from the hôtel Le Bas de Montargis, place Vendôme
with modern additions

photo St Tyl
Re-weavings of "lace" pattern damask typical of the period

Tassinari & Chatel

photo St Tyl
Restored original textiles

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rubelli and Moroso

photo: Rubelli
Last year, the Musée des Tissus et des Arts décoratifs of Lyon, hosted the exhibit  Lo sguardo laterale /A sideways glance - Moroso and exploration in decorative arts and design. The event show-cased two creative Italian firms:  furniture maker, Moroso and weaver, Rubelli. 

photo: Rubelli
Very seductive in itself -
this 18th century Philippe de Lasalle textile document was chosen from the Lyon museum archives

photo: Rubelli

to be part the upholstery project.
 The element of fun in Rubelli's recreation of this design is in the ground of the fabric. Those graphic squares are a woven representation of the point paper used for the technical drawing that is usually seen only by the manufacturer. The design is brought into the 21st century with the discreet modernity and a sort of 'textilian' inside joke!

photo: Rubelli
chair design Patricia Urquiola
photo: Rubelli

The fabric was made on a warp of 9600 fine yarns of organzine silk woven with none less than 12 wefts - 11 of viscose  and 1 metallic yarn. The Italian weaver explains, "... 50/60 wefts per centimetre are normally used for a rich fabric, as many as 180 were used for this precious brocade."