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Brian Edward Millett

Where all things beautiful collide

Some posts I plan out with a calendar, figuring out when fashion week is or where a certain award show lands, but other posts just happen from sheer random inspiration.  This is one of those posts, all about ‘Toile de Jouy’, a fabric with a grand pedigree, brought into the modern-day with a youthful sensibility, but nonetheless classic.  I might say the spark that started the fire to this post was Carven‘s spring 2013 show, with a handful of looks conceived in red and white, and black and white toile.  Guillaume Henry, the Creative Director at Carven, is maybe best known for his modern silhouettes often featuring cutouts.  This combined with an old French fabric made for an interesting presentation.  This got me thinking about some favorite interiors using the fabric, and with the fall 2013 shows still fresh in my head, a few looks at Oscar de la Renta came to mind.

This fabric is easily defined as a two-tone “busy” fabric with scenery depicting people, animals, etc. in everyday life, usually the upper class, and was used most often to cover everything in a room, from the bed coverings, walls, windows, and furniture.  This treatment somehow makes the fabric less busy, and I’m a huge fan of using one great fabric all over a room, toile or not.  I think you’ll agree that this fabric definitely has a place in the 21st century.  I would use it in both traditional and modern situations, and would even think about wearing it, although I think you ladies look better in it!

It’s spring…time to be joyful!!

Tom Scheerer

Tom Scheerer

What better place to use toile than a Parisian bedroom?!  American designer Tom Scheerer thought so.

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Tom Scheerer

Tom Scheerer

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber covered walls in a tile-like toile print, adding even more energy to the fun mix of color and pattern.

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Carven spring 2013

Anne Claire Taittinger

Anne Claire Taittinger

Another very Parisian space, complete with classic herringbone floors, feels fresh even with what could be considered fussy French furniture.  It’s kept light with the palette, objects and lighting, and the toile that greets you through the carved doorway doesn’t feel overbearing.

Brunschwig & Fils 'Tien' velvet

Brunschwig & Fils ‘Tien’ velvet

For a smaller dose like an upholstered chair or even a headboard, I’m loving this heavier velvet version of a traditional toile by Brunschwig & Fils, with a bit more of a Far East influence to it.

Richard Saja

Richard Saja

In creating this post I discovered artist Richard Saja, who takes traditional toile fabric and adds his witty spin to it by embroidering right over the existing scenes, creating a new story of sorts.  I love his fabrics for small accents like pillows in a formal room that needs a little humor.

Richard Saja

Richard Saja

Richard Saja Keds for Opening Ceremony

Richard Saja Keds for Opening Ceremony

Saja collaborated with super hip Opening Ceremony and Keds for some of the coolest kicks around (I never say kicks!).

Richard Saja

Richard Saja

John Knott and John Fondas

John Knott and John Fondas

Even with its French heritage, with a simple change in the scenery, toile can feel very American thanks to some Revolutionaries and an American flag!

Oscar de la Renta fall 2013

Oscar de la Renta fall 2013

Oscar de la Renta fall 2013

Oscar de la Renta fall 2013

Oscar de la Renta fall 2013

Oscar de la Renta fall 2013

With a little help from British designer John Galliano, who spent most of his time at French fashion houses like Dior, Oscar de la Renta‘s fall show felt full of classic Oscar and new ideas.

Jeffrey Bilhuber's Long Island living room

Jeffrey Bilhuber’s Long Island living room

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Jeffrey Bilhuber

It’s not a toile, but the energetic chinoiserie fabric Jeffrey Bilhuber chose to cover windows and upholstery in his lime green Long Island living room exudes the same feeling.

Alease Fisher

Alease Fisher

A traditional toile would cover the headboard, bed skirt, and bed hangings just like this fabric is, but this is a more subtle toile in a way, with scenes minimized to small “frames” on a small geometric print.

Lee Radziwill's Paris apartment

Lee Radziwill’s Paris apartment

The ever-stylish Lee Radziwill took the idea of covering everything with the same print and ran with it in her Paris apartment, with super chic results.

Jamie Creel's Paris apartment

Jamie Creel’s Paris apartment

Jamie Creel of Creel and Gow, chose Pierre Frey‘s ‘Monuments d’Egypte’ for his Paris bedroom in place of a more traditional toile.  I’m obsessed with this fabric and the color!

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