Friday, November 8, 2013

La Reine des Fleurs: from bedroom to ballroom and onward

photo St Tyl
La Reine des Fleurs woven document from 1895 Tassinari et Chatel.
There is something classic and modern about the unusual design disposition of this
beautiful brocade on a ground of cannetillé

Cannetillé is a weave that is similar to cannelé or a more sophisticated reps with horizontal ribs that have been worked into little pavés or alternating squares or lozenges. (My own black and cream design used on the sides of this blog shows a close up of a modern cannetillé technique.) The pattern is still hand woven today in 100% silk for those privileged enough to acquire it. The brocading technique requires very attentive weaving wrong side up; mirrors are installed underneath the loom to survey the progress on the right-side.

photo Marc Walter
from La Soie en Occident by Jacques Anquetil
The same looping garlands of roses in a different coloration are found
in this ball gown by Worth taken from a truly marvelous book with sublime photography. The book is entitled Silk in English. Worth used plainer fabrics such as taffeta and satin earlier in his career but used pronounced, large-scale designs such as this toward the end of the 19th century.

( You may recognize some of Marc Walter's more recent photography in 
Un Certain Goût Pour L'orient / Exotic Taste: Orientalist Interiors and 
Versailles just out this month) 

photo Versailles

In the apartments of the Duchesse du Barry at Versailles, we see the brocade draped
à la reine and with coordinated passementrie.

photo Anthony Denney
This seems to be a 1950s interior with a 18th century bed à la Polonaise and comfortable armchairs 
decoration by Antoinette Bernstein.

photo: Delprat
 Here, several fabric designs served as inspiration for this spectacular rug designed by Patrick Norguet  made by Tai Ping in 2010. In the foreground, La Reine des Fleurs which blends into other florals from the Tassinari archives, Courson, Compiègne, Choisy. More on this rug project here.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth...

La Reine des Fleurs is still produced on special order at Tassinari & Chatel.

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