Small, but perfectly formed . . .
No, I’m not talking about the late and sadly missed Ronnie Corbett, but the new collections from G P & J Baker and Threads, more about which in a moment.
Last month I mentioned that this is the time of year when all the big guns in our industry launch their spring collections, and that I would be teasing your design taste buds over the coming months. You know, I keep thinking that I really must have one of the best jobs in the world - apart from being the next James Bond of course (I did consider auditioning, but I hate the sound of mocking raucous laughter).
Anyway, this month I want to talk about the new offerings from G P & J Baker, and their cutting-edge stable mate Threads. Whereas some companies feel the need to launch myriads of books (usually plains, semi-plains, semi-demi-plains – I think you get my drift), Baker have kept it small but spectacular this season. They’ve released just 1 main book called Rio Velvets, containing just 3 designs. I say released, but this collection is so good, so vibrant and so LOOK AT MEEEEEEE that if they hadn’t released it, it would have undoubtedly escaped !!!
The glorious exuberance of the Mardi Gras has been captured in two magnificent printed velvets. They’re both good, but Barcelona is blow-your-socks-off fabulous! A riot of colour and pattern, Barcelona is an extraordinary patchwork of fantasy blooms divided by bands of small decorative motifs, while the gorgeous Rio echoes the theme with a clever collage of abstract designs. Both these superb, sensuous velvets have been printed with amazing clarity in a palette ranging from bright vivid colours to deeper jewel-like and subtly sophisticated shades. Salvador, a luxurious cut velvet fine stripe with a harmonising palette, complements and balances them beautifully. Just to top things off nicely, five fabulous new colours of the sumptuous Langdale plain velvet complete this spectacular and exciting collection.
Let’s move on to the new offerings from Threads. When G P & J Baker launched the Threads brand some years ago, it was pitched to epitomize glamour, style and cool sophistication, and was created to add an understated level of luxury to the group’s exquisite but more classically inspired brands. Offering an elegant alternative for those seeking a more contemporary approach, it hit the market place with a big bang, making a huge impression, and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air. While Baker haven’t exactly neglected the brand, it’s fair to say that they have, shall we say, left it on the back burner.
Until now that is !!! The new collections are simply magnificent !!!!!! So much so that when we unpacked our new books all you could hear from me and my design team was a series of ooohs and aaahs as we flicked from fabric to ever increasingly beautiful fabric. Like their big brother Baker, Threads have kept this season’s offering concise, limiting themselves to 4 jam-packed books.
The 2 main books are called Odyssey, and contain a cornucopia of chic, modern statement designs. An extraordinary interplay of textures has been used to create stunning, innovative weaves ranging from the dramatic darkness of Elektra - a magnificent “blinged-up” take on an Ikat design, and Star Fire emblazoned with gold and bronze sequins evoking the opulent 1930s, to the serene sophistication of Rana, a beautiful textured weave that almost reminds me of unravelled string (I really haven’t done it justice in my description, so do come and see it). The 3rd book in the collection is entitled Odyssey Velvets, comprising an exquisitely soft and subtle plain velvet, a striking design of raised squares outlined by glistening metallic threads, and a bold and colourful abstract printed velvet called Saturn. The 4th and final book is Odyssey Weaves which includes a variety of textural upholstery fabrics, some of which have to be stroked to be believed !!!
The whole shebang is totally stunning, and guaranteed to give you shedloads of inspiration. In fact I could wax lyrical about all the various fabrics for hours, but seeing as I did get a little over-verbal last month I think I’d better leave it there. Feel free to check out the collections on-line, but if you want a real treat hot foot it down to your friendly local stockist to see, feel and drool over the pattern books in the flesh.
John Biddell, John Charles Interiors
Live 24 7 magazine editorial - May 2016
Images above or to the right courtesy of GP & J Baker Rio Collection
Images below courtesy of Threads Odyssey Collection