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Magazine    November 2002

A Light Palette for Fall

Brunschwig's Les Touches cotton print

Brunschwig's Fragola weave

Schumacher's Les Gazelles au Bois

Royal Flush from Scalamandre

O'Marra from Scalamandre

Anyone recognize the fabric in the library (photo, top left)? Geoffrey Beene sheathed an entire room with it, and Tiffany's legendary design director, Van Day Truex, also used the fabric in his own home. It's Les Touches, a design the major U.S. home furnishings manufacturer Brunschwig & Fils introduced in 1965, inspired by the post-war vogue of black and white and some French photographs taken during that period. Brunschwig reissued the fabric in 1988 and now again for the fall, this time as a cotton print offered in four basic colors, including the ever-popular noir et blanc.

The rest of Brunschwig's fall offering is infused with color, texture and pattern. Some of the large fabric manufacturers seem quite intent on de-beiging the design world, and their creative departments have been surveying historic documents for inspiration. At least that's what Donna May Woods, the Scalamandre company's design director did as she sat down to plan a fall collection for the luxury fabric house. Woods did some extensive mining of Irish Georgian fabrics produced during the 18th century and came up with a collection of prints and weaves called A Grand House.

One of the most elaborate patterns in A Grand House, which is inspired by the saturated blues, greens, reds, pinks, yellows and lilacs found in Irish Georgian rooms, is O'Marra (above right), a handprinted paisley intended for curtains and tufted furniture. Dauphine (below right) is a striped lampas, or jacquard, that takes its inspiration from a late-18th-century fabric. A delightful surprise comes in the form of Royal Flush (above center), which was shuffled into the collection for family fun.

Brunschwig's Moutan cotton print

Dauphine weave from Scalamandre

Brunschwig & Fils also had a Georgian component in its fall offering. A Georgian house in New Bedford, New York, was chosen as the site for a photo shoot of highlights from the new Brunschwig line of more than 40 fabrics. Dozens of pieces of Brunschwig furniture were upholstered in the classically designed fabrics from the collection. In the conservatory (top right), the Bandon sofa and Rebecca dining chairs were sheathed in Fragola, a woven lisere that is actually part of the company's line of fire-retardant and durable Trevira fabrics for the hospitality industry. The sitting room (above left) was chosen to display Moutan, a contemporary cotton print of alternating color blocks which takes its name from the Chinese word for tree peony. The ottoman and dining chair are upholstered in Pietro woven stripe, and the armchair features Sea Coral figured plaid on the seat and Fletcher taffeta check on the back.

Among F. Schumacher and Company's two dozen new damasks, silks, sheers, stripes and plaids, there is one design that stands out for its historic inspiration. Les Gazelles au Bois (top left) is an update of an elegant 1927 rayon damask taken from an art moderne design by Pierre Pozier. Schumacher applied the pattern of leaping gazelles to an epingle weave with cut cotton details.

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