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Magazine    September 2001

Port Eliot

Fabric Masterpieces

In his first collection of upholstery and curtain fabric designs, for the Lee Jofa home furnishings company, New York interior designer and textiles collector David Anthony Easton navigates through time and exotic locales with prints and weaves inspired by Rococo Europe, Imperial China, a lodge in the Scottish highlands, striped awnings in the hills above Florence and his beloved England. Displaying a distinct reverence for the past, the collection of 25 fabrics encompasses complex Gothic textures, dramatic motifs sublimated by deep earth tones, Provençal bouquets of berries, flowers and foliage, Venetian velvets, baroque damasks and oversized pastel plaids.

Many of the designs are taken from antique textiles that Easton has collected during his travels through Europe, the Scandinavian countries, Russia, the Middle East and Asia. Without sacrificing the luxuriousness of the original fabrics, Easton has tweaked the designs—enlarging a pattern or updating a color—or he has chosen strong motifs from old textiles and created new patterns around them to give the collection of cottons, linens, blends and silks a fresh look.

Setting the overall tone of the collection is Ashridge, with its bouquet-filled Delft vases inset in an elaborate trellis design—a traditional English pattern that Easton has redrawn to appeal to modern day tastes.

Villandry is a baroque damask pattern with raised and lowered pile. Resembling a medieval tapestry and colored in such deep jewel tones as emerald, berry, sapphire and sable, it was made to upholster any type of furniture, from an ornately carved chair to a sofa or ottoman.

The burlapy texture and earthy tones of Port Eliot, a print based on an antique hand-blocked document, make for a naif design that is both elegant and rustic at the same time. The firmness of the linen makes Port Eliot a good candidate for library walls or solidly proportioned furniture.

Easton’s fabrics reveal a fondness for versatility, as do his interior design projects, which are as varied as formal Manhattan apartments, country houses in New York and in Connecticut, and a ski lodge in Vail.

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