To celebrate the launch of the Heritage collection for Lee Jofa, Traditional Home and Lee Jofa invited bloggers from the Blogfest 2011 event to preview six styled vignettes featuring the fabrics each designer chose to recolor for the collection. Designers were in attendance to answer questions and sign copies of Inspired Styles (Assouline) a beautiful book featuring many prominent Kravet and Lee Jofa designers.
The Heritage collection features classic fabrics from the Lee Jofa archive that have been reimagined and reinterpreted by the designers, who sought to update the designs for today’s market. Designers David Easton, Diamond & Baratta, Eric Cohler, Suzanne Kasler, Suzanne Rheinstein and Thomas O’Brien each brought his or her own unique aesthetic to the project, creating a beautiful juxtaposition and a tribute to the past.
David Easton selected Gaddesden, a screen adaptation of a Jacobean tree of life block dating from the 1920s, with the intent of adding texture to the background and softening the look for today’s market. “Gaddesden utilized the typical vine pattern current to its era that I have always liked, said Easton. “I wanted to make an older, historic pattern fresh and new and I thought this specific design leant itself to this.”
William Diamond and Anthony Baratta of Diamond & Baratta selected Rosebank, which originated in the 1850s during the heyday of Victorian floral design. The handblocked pattern was introduced to Lee Jofa in 1913 and remains in the line to this day as a screen print. Diamond and Baratta love classic floral English chintzes and jumped at the opportunity to recolor this classic print for today’s market.
Eric Cohler was inspired by the Treyes Handblock pattern, printed with 20 handblocks, which was first introduced to Lee Jofa in 1963. Inspired by an Indian tree of life design dating back to the 1920s, the original documentary version was on linen union, but Eric Cohler felt that it would be beautifully presented on glazed cotton as a true English country house chintz.
Suzanne Kasler chose to reimagine the Shiraz print, a popular multicolored floral inspired by an antique rug design, which was developed by Lee Jofa in 1996. “In reworking the color palette, I continued to go back to the basic pattern and how it translated into two colors,” said Kasler. By tracing the outline of the design and recoloring it with one color on white and natural linen, she transformed the pattern and gave it an entirely new look.
Suzanne Rheinstein chose to recolor the classic English documentary floral Clarendon, which was created in the 19th century when the Victorians delighted in bringing the outdoors in. “One of the things I love in my design work is the chance to use things from the past in ways that are suited for the way we live now,” she said. Rheinstein updated the classic design on linen.
Thomas O’Brien chose to work with a favorite handblock, called Nympheus, which dates back to 1915. He added signature elements of deep indigo to the coloration of the classic design. Says O’Brien of his preference for featuring the reverse side of the print, “The rich bleed-through is more abstract on the reverse side, and the pattern is softer. It takes on the feeling of a watercolor.”
These updated and transformed fabrics are now available in Lee Jofa showrooms throughout the country. Thank you to Traditional Home for giving our blogging friends the opportunity to many of their design idols!