Browsing articles from "January, 2008"

Tammis Keefe –

Jan 30, 2008 | 3 Comments



Here’s another textile designer discovery for my files: Tammis Keefe. From what I’ve seen on-line, she produced a plethora of thematic (and quite whimsical) textile designs during the 1950’s, illustrating such subjects as: dragonflies, cats, santas, acrobats, lion trainers, chairs, bottle collections, etc.! While I didn’t know her name before this week, her patterns seem intimately familiar. I don’t know if this is a function of the direct scope of her own work or whether a slew of copy-cats were inspired by her designs. There seem to be a sizable array of Tammis Keefe hankies available for purchase, both on Ebay and at Ruby Lane. She also produced patterns for scarves and tea towels.

Zandra Rhodes –

Jan 25, 2008 | Leave a Comment


As an interiors person I don’t pay much attention to fabrics in the context of women’s fashion but this photo of clothing designer Zandra Rhodes is pretty irresistible! Such unabashed enjoyment of lavish color and pattern! Click here for the 8/16/07 New York Times article from which it came.

Wearing Propaganda –

Jan 24, 2008 | 1 Comment


The subject of my previous post reminded me of literature I received in the mail last Fall for a Bard Graduate Center exhibition titled, Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain and the United States 1931-1945. I didn’t make it to the show but the catalog is available for purchase on Amazon. The kimono above is featured on the book’s cover and is referenced within the mailing I received as “Woman’s haori, ‘The Thrill of Flight.’ Japan, late 1920’s-early 1930’s. Collection of Minoru Akemi and Atsushi Narita.”

Si Je Savais –

Jan 23, 2008 | 3 Comments


I spent the three day weekend several hours north visiting friends in the beautiful coastal redwoods area north of Eureka California. My friend and host collected this fabric in her travels to Sierra Leone a few years ago and it now serves as kitchen curtains. All my own French lessons have escaped me but I’m told “Si Je Savais” means something like “had I only known”. The other phrase, “Se My Siso” is a mystery but is probably from a local dialect. It’s clearly a contemporary fabric (she bought it by the yard in a market) so I wonder if it’s possibly an example of anti HIV/Aids propaganda? Maybe the woman is grieving new knowledge of her own status? In graphic terms I love that the design of her skirt is also the design of the background cloth surrounding each medallion. Mostly though I’m intrigued by what the text of the fabric actually means and who it’s intended for. If it is about HIV did the manufacturers expect the cloth to be purchased and used decoratively?

Timorous Beasties –

Jan 15, 2008 | Leave a Comment


A nice comment from the writer of deuxfrontieres (an American living in Paris) appeared posted to my “about” page this morning — a good way to start a hectic week and a reminder that I’ve been lax in posting an email address for fibercopia. So, here it is:! (Also now included on my About page.) Exploring deuxfrontieres leads to some great sites, one of which is Timorous Beasties. In reading the biography of their company and partnership I feel I’m discovering the source of what’s since exploded into many derivatives of the edgy damask, the reinvented toile, etc. But I really appreciate their marriage of old and new and their social/political approach to design. Above, their black lace “Thistle”. It’s beautiful but also a little bit Goth — and could definitely add a lot of drama to a room.

Sonia Delaunay –

Jan 12, 2008 | Leave a Comment


I’m still trying to get all the important early 20th century textile designers added and arranged correctly in my head, so here’s a new one for my visual / mental database: Sonia Delaunay. Born in 1885, she was an abstract painter, textile and set designer who moved within an elite circle of artists that included her husband Robert Delaunay, Kandinsky, Mondrian, etc. Click here for a brief biography.

Larusi –

Jan 10, 2008 | Leave a Comment



Some beautiful Moroccan flat weave carpets from Larusi, also cited in the latest issue of The World Of Interiors. I love the simple elegance of these floor coverings.

Emery & Cie –

Jan 9, 2008 | Leave a Comment



New goodies from the trove of references that is each issue of The World of Interiors; in tonight’s installment: Emery & Cie. While I find their website a bit hard to navigate (there seem to be lots of unseen layers that only multiple / different clicks lead you to — rather maze-like) they have some beautiful product images, not to mention products. In particular their bedding is very enticing. Both Old World and contemporary in feel – and very opulent.

Molas –

Jan 6, 2008 | Leave a Comment



The New York Times website has an article in their travel section today about the San Blas Islands in Panama and the accompanying photos show some beautiful examples of the local “mola” textile tradition. Here’s the NYT’s subtitle for the top image, above: “A Kuna Indian woman at work on an intricately patterned mola. Molas, layered lengths of fabric intricately cut and sewn into various colors and designs, serve as blouses for Kuna women and prized souvenirs for tourists.” Below that, I’m including an image of a Mola shirt from the “Art of Being Kuna” exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Girard, Fassett and a Happy New Year –

Jan 3, 2008 | Leave a Comment


My lag in posts says it all: I fell deep into the holiday well! But now that it’s officially 2008 I’m actually quite anxious to get back to the land of textile inspiration (and out of my sugar-laced stupor). The two fabrics above are so bright and buoyant that finding them for my first post of the year feels quite auspicious. The stripe is by Alexander Girard, a textile designer who worked at Herman Miller during the 1950’s, ’60’s and ’70’s. (See the February 08 issue of Dwell magazine for an article about him and/or visit Maharam to find Girard designs still being produced.) I found the botanical print through one of my random searches — it’s been attributed to Kaffe Fassett (another unfamiliar name). Born in San Francisco, he’s lived in England since the early 1960’s and in 1988 became the first living textile designer to be given a solo show at the Victoria & Albert Museum. (This according to Wikipedia.) The fabric is beautiful — and goes quite well with the Girard.