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FROM CANVAS TO CLOTH
Jessica
Doyle looks at twofabric houses that are
working with artists to create innouatiue collections,
and prouides a round-up of other news and eaents
ver since the fauvist painter Raoul Dufy
designed textiles for the French fashion
designer Paul Poiret in the early twenti-
eth century, fashion and fabric houses
have turned to art and artists as a way to add an
extra edge to their collections. Recently, this has
become something of atrend - so much sothatthe
Fashion and Textile Museum willopen an exhibition
on the subject, Artist lextiles, at the end of
January.ln addition, two British fabric houses have
released collections that show how technological
advances in printing have made it possible to
translate ever more faithfully an artist's brush-
strokes on to cotton, linen and silk.
Lewis & Wood has worked with a number of
artists in the past, including wood engraver
Andrew Davidson and equine artist Jo
Taylor, and recently launched the
Rococo collection by Melissa. White,
BELOW Chair and
curtain in'Rococo'
linen by Melissa White,
from Lewis & Wood,
RIGHT'Breathe' linen
and wallcovering,
by Jessica Zoob
for Black Edition
Romo has gone a
step further with the
new collection for its
Black Edition brand. Having
spotted the work of abstract land-
scape painter Jessica Zoob at an exhibition a few
years ago, the company came up with the idea of
reproducing her paintings f iril-size on three-metre-
wide fabric panels, as well as printed on linen and
.
velvet bythe metre, and cushions.
-
Again, texture is a key element of Jessica's
impressionist style, and it was this - along with the
focus on nature in her work - that appealed to
Romo. Justas we'reconstantly inspired by natureb
delicacy of form, Jessica's enthusiastic layering of
paint allows herto express natureb vibrant textures
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an artist known for her reproduc-
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order to give the impression of pati-
nation and age; the aim of the fabric
house was to recreate a design that
she had painted on broken plaster using
velvet, linen and pearlised metallic wallpaper.
For managing director Stephen Lewis, the
appeal of an artist-designed fabric lies in the
approach. A textile designer will always be thinking
about the market and what will sell,' he says,'so, for
us, it's interesting to work with someone who
brings a different approach. ltb the equivalent of
using fresh ingredients in cooking, rather than
processed goods - you get a more zesty flavour.'
Melissa is currently collaborating again with
Lewis & Wood, along with fellow painters Flora
Roberts and Su Daybell, to create English Ethnic, a
floral-inspired collection due for release in March.
so beautifully,'says design director Emily Mould.
For Jessica, the project not only allows her to
expose her work to a wider audience, but also
expanded the possibilities of her paintings. 'The coF
our representation is spectacular; I've been amazed
bythe samples,'she enthuses.'The collection has a
timeless feelto it - it almost looks a bit vintage, but
in a charming way. You could use it in a cosy coftage
or a New York loft. A lot of textile design is fashion-
led, but because this collection has come from
paintings, I don't think it fits into any trend. l'm
hoping these designs will buck the trends and
become something that people will keep for ever.'
Leu's 6 Wood: 01453-878517; www.lewisand
wood.co.uk
I
Black Edition: 01623-756699;
www.romoblack.com>
FEBRUARY 2O]4 HOUST E GARDEN 47