Pierre Frey took heritage textile brand Le Manach under its wing two years ago, and its newest collection is moving in a new ‘haute couture’ direction. Toiles de Tours woven textiles are available to order in 115 designs, 220 colours and three textures, meaning that the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to creating a distinctive look. Toiles de Tours were first conceived by Le Manach in the 1920s as an alternative to expensive silk jacquards, and many of the modern designs have a bold jazz-age look. Le Manach has a distinguished history: founded in 1829, it was originally known for its beautiful woven silks. The company’s archive has now passed into Pierre Frey’s hands, and is a fantastic resource that clients can use to have historic textiles remade to their own specification.
“It’s so exciting to see new brands and new names at the Design Centre,” says the editor of Livingetc.
Gail Taylor of th2 designs on the pleasures of running an interior design business from the Design Centre: “It’s an exciting place to be based.”
The crossover between fashion and interiors is not merely about shared trends in colour, pattern or material. The luxury interiors market is now taking key values from haute couture – creativity, craftsmanship and technical ability – and applying them to the home. Luxury products have gone beyond mere status symbols; these days people want them to be imbued with the makers’ passion and curiosity, their ability to see the potential of materials, and the use of complex techniques – all to achieve something extraordinary. What’s on show at the Design Centre is often a mere springboard to a remarkable bespoke scheme: success stories include Fromental’s custom-designed wallcoverings for The Goring, hand-painted on silver leaf, and referencing the hotel’s idiosyncratic history (pictured). Because the stakes are high, bespoke design can be a risky business – but the results speak for themselves.
The founder of Casa Botelho on the inspiring diversity of products at the Design Centre.
“Everything we do is about telling a story,” say the co-founders of interior design firm Madcap Cottage
With a circular top and three slab-like inclined legs, Armani/Casa’s ‘Jim’ table recalls the design traditions of the Far East. Cementing that aesthetic is an optional brass inset in the style of an enlarged tsuba, a Japanese sword guard (the keyhole-like shape in the middle of the tsuba is where the sword would be fed through). The symbol appears in other pieces in Armani/Casa’s collections, including ‘Jazz’, a sophisticated bar cabinet, where it is repurposed as a circular handle.