D’ you know, I’d never thought of that . . .
'Jaipur Rose Collection'
'Jaipur Rose Collection'
'Jaipur Rose Collection'
Following on from last month’s editorial, when I was expounding the virtues of a good interior designer, and why you should really consider getting one, I was visiting a new client the other day, when the lovely lady said something that pulled me up short.
“Your column is really good” she said (I liked that bit), “and I’m glad I got in touch with you, despite being worried that everything you did was going to be ultra-flamboyant.” And that got me thinking; I suppose that pretty much all the product I wax lyrical about in these pages from month to month is, to say the least, on the impactful side. It’s the same with our showroom window. We always have at least one fabric or paper on display that is designed to be a “Wow, look at that !!!” traffic stopper.
Of course, none of that means that’s all we work with, or would necessarily suggest for most homes. In fact, I’d say the really strong stuff features in considerably less than half our schemes. Mind you, we always put together three possible schemes for each room we’re looking at, one of which tends to be a “wild card” scheme. You’d be amazed how many folk say “I’d never have thought of that, but that’s the one I’m having.” Plains, semi-plains and textures are fabulous – the backbone of many an interior, but they can be a bit yawn-provoking to talk about.
That’s why, dear reader, it gives me great pleasure this month to introduce to you the new, and yes pretty blooming flamboyant, collection from one of my favourite design houses – the fabulous Designers Guild !!!
Their new Autumn/ Winter 2018 collection is entitled Jaipur Rose, and draws inspiration from a remarkable woman, the nineteenth century explorer Isabella Bird, who travelled the globe from China and Japan to India and Persia. This seems to me entirely appropriate, and more than a little reminiscent of the way Tricia Guild, the delightful founder of Designers Guild, searches far flung lands for her own design inspiration in our day – but I digress. This season’s designs are imbued with a global and glamorous sophistication, inspired by mementos, writings and photographs from Isabella’s travels.
The collection feels distinctly exotic. The designs are stunning, enhanced by the fabulous range of base cloths used; sharp linens, softer linen unions, heavy cottons, crisp taffetas, sumptuous velvets . . . the list goes on. The colours are distinctly Designers Guild - saffron and scarlet, rose and ochre, alongside moss, celadon and linen tones.
The main print book, bearing the collection name, is just exquisite and somewhat ground-breaking. Rather than follow the well-established route of producing a design in four or five colourways – some of which are superb, while the rest can be somewhat average – they have opted to offer mostly just one, and sometimes two, colourways only in each design. But my goodness, they are the RIGHT colourways. I was flicking through the book, trying to pick out one or two of my favourites to tell you about – but it was impossible. There are just sooooo many fabulous designs !
Indian Summer is a luxurious heavyweight linen, where beautiful vivid florals bloom on a vintage feeling distressed background. Shikhara is a modern and graphic abstract print with rich organic tones of colour, digitally printed onto a scoured linen union blend. Manchu is a dramatic fusion of Chinese and Indian design, with bright painterly flowers and graphic print in gorgeous ochre and rose tones. The signature fabric Jaipur Rose is an energetic patchwork inspired by travel to Asia, denoting layers of memory and imagination, where inky and jubilant floral blossoms sit on a graphic ground of tiles and stamps. Oh, and then there’s the fabulous Surimono, the brilliant Kashmiri, the splendid Sumi, the incredible Tulsi. I really should move on now . . . but I guess you get the idea that I absolutely love this book.
The other books in the collection certainly don’t let the side down. Chandigarh is a collection of velvet textures and weaves, containing modern geometric patterns such as Jeanneret, along with Manipur - a dynamic and refined rich pile velvet weave, comprising of perfectly scaled hexagons with a unique woven ground, and Varese Lambusa – a gorgeous irregular stripe, printed on a rich, dense cotton velvet.
Zardozi is a vibrant and versatile collection of contemporary jacquards with graphic geometrics and exuberant stripes in a rich, sensuous colour palette that encompasses both vivid tones and calm neutrals.
The wallpaper book, also entitled Zardozi, is a captivating collection of decorative designs, subtle textures and sophisticated geometrics, incorporating glamorous metallic highlights and stunning scenes. There are some really usable papers here, in fabulous colourways. I must say, however, that for me the two stand-out designs are both wall panels, neither of which are for the faint hearted (please refer back to paragraphs two and three of this article). Indian Sunflower is a sweeping scene of (believe it or not) Indian sunflowers, zinnias and botanicals, brought to life via vibrant colour. Aruna Leaf is an immersive scene of beautiful hand drawn botanicals, leaves and palms in striking viridian tones, available with or without a resplendent peacock.
And before you get to thinking that Designers Guild only offer fabrics for the super-bold, the collection is completed by Birkett weaves - a wonderfully diverse collection of robust upholstery weaves, all with an easy-to-clean finish, Calozzo - a sophisticated washable taffeta, woven with subtly contrasting yarns for an iridescent shot effect, and Melton Wools - a book of pure wool plains with eco credentials. Something for everyone I’d say – but just you try wrestling the Jaipur Rose print book from my hands !!! .
John Biddell, John Charles Interiors
Live 24 7 magazine editorial - September 2018
All images courtesy of Designers Guild