When Colefax and Fowler, the venerable British decorating firm, bought the Parisian fabrics company of the talented colorist Manuel Canovas several years ago, Colefax and Fowler made a commitment to keep the quality of design and the richness in color that Canovas is known for.
Manuel Canovas’s latest spring collection of fabrics offers 15 entirely different designs and textures with one common thread-they’re flush with the glorious color that is distinctly Canovas. Inspired by exotic motifs and patterns found in the Orient, South America and Africa, the group includes velvets, damasks, cotton prints, chenilles and raffias.
The cotton print Les Cavaliers, taken from a Ming Dynasty Chinese painting that dates back to the 15th century, depicts a procession of horsemen in a forest. It also comes in a soft velvet, which looks stunning because the dignitaries’ robes have an iridescent effect. In Isadora, another cotton print, the rippled petals of the irises are photo-realistic. Kosan offers an almost three-dimensional pattern of geometrically patterned African baskets, and the inspiration for the large urns overflowing with verdant fruit and berry branches in Tosca is the gardens in Provence and Tuscany.
Canovas designers mixed textures to great effect in Junko, a matte raffia that is set off by woven lotus medallions in a contrasting shiny texture. Rio combines the crispness of linen with the softness of chenille in a stripe that isn’t just any old stripe-it recalls the clothing worn in the high plateaus of South America. But the Canovas designers gave it a modern twist in one of the colorways, which alternates a thin fuschia stripe with a thick chartreuse stripe bordered by dark green strips.
The new Canovas collection includes a number of other striking weaves: Tsuba, a damask that evokes the richness of Japanese kimonos, has the same pattern as Junko only the stylized lotus medallions are woven in silk flame threads. Chicago, a luxurious horizontally ribbed corduroy, has a 1930s look and feel and comes in 20 saturated tones.