Saturday, 9 March 2013

The Chevron Stripe

This week's interest in American Indian life led to my thinking about Navajo rugs (and how much I'd like one, or several), when it occurred to me that my natural aesthetic has been tending that way for a while, anyway, insofar as I've become utterly obsessed by the chevron stripe.  Take this image:

Doesn't it just scream youth, joy, vitality and happiness?  (Not to mention endless hot summers in rather glamorous locations?)  Obviously, it's from the Missoni archive - nobody does a chevron stripe better.

Missoni was founded by husband and wife Ottavio and Rosita (potentially interesting aside: they met at the London Olympic Games of 1948; he was a runner and responsible for the Italian team's uniforms.)  Many of the original designs were inspired by their collection of art, which included pieces by the Russian artist Sonia Delaunay (who herself combined art and fashion when she opened her own dress shop on the Pont Neuf in Paris; Perry Ellis produced a collection inspired by her in 1983), and the Italian Futurists Giacomo Balla and Gino Severini.  The minute one looks at a painting by any one of those artists, the connection becomes obvious:

Swifts:  Paths of Movement and Dynamic Sequences by Giacomo Balla

Simultaniety of Centrifugal and Centripedal Groups (Woman at a Window) by Gino Severini

Sonia Delaunay Swatch

So, in feeding my obsession, I acquired a Missoni jacket.  I probably didn't need to prove the direct link to some of my husband's favourite artists in order to do so, but I figure it might help when it comes to explaining how, actually, it's an heirloom for Esmeralda.  (Thank GOD our second child was a girl, otherwise that excuse just wouldn't wash.)  

However, that still wasn't enough. . . . 

I had been looking for a lampshade for our bedroom for a while.  It was, in my opinion, worth finding a good one, as I actually spend a lot of time in bed - I work, read, hang out with the children etc. - basically, there is a lot of opportunity for me to look at the bedroom lampshade.  So if one applies the cost per wear ratio that one does with clothing, but turns it into a cost per glance ratio, well, I figured I could justify spending metaphorical millions.  

There were some false starts.  Prior to chevrons, there was a lengthy ikat interlude - think whole days spent pouring over Rifat Ozbek's website - and about six months ago I traipsed the whole way to Brunschwig et Fils at the Chelsea Design Centre to track down something exquisite I'd spotted in US Vogue.  It wasn't there - though they offered to make me one, bespoke, for a smallish King's ransom.  

But to cut a long story short, this is what is now hanging in my bedroom: 

It is the Bell Moth lampshade, in pink, by the Glasgow design studio Timorous Beasties. The fabric was initially designed for Liberty, and I never tire of looking at it.  And so pink is the pink silk lining that when the light is on the entire room glows.  It's amazing.  The children love it, and so do I.  They do cushions, too, in the same fabric, but I'm rather aware that, technically, I don't actually need any more cushions at the moment.  (In fact, I have spares.)

Incidentally Sholto seems to have caught chevron-itis from me.  I keep finding him practicing his drawing of zigzags.