Tradition is a source of strength

Tradition is a source of strength for many of our favourite European textile houses. A quick survey of the founding dates of some of the most prestigious fabric designers shows that they have a rich heritage on which to draw: Christian Fischbacher (1819), Larsen (1930) and Gaston y Daniela (1876). This year, we’ll be sure to send our best wishes to the team at Pierre Frey as they celebrate 200 years of excellence @ Maison Braquenié

There is always a danger that longevity can give rise to complacency, but that is clearly not the case here. A glance through the latest collections from each of these design houses shows that they are still very much cutting-edge; they remain curious and committed to pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with fabric.

It’s clear that mastery takes time – a popular adage maintains that it takes 10 000 hours to master a skill. The 200 years that Pierre Frey has been in existence equates to over 1.75 million hours, which really puts this in perspective.

Decades of dedication to fabric design means that each of these houses boasts a remarkable archive which can be delved into for inspiration as they reimagine and reinterpret classic designs of the past. However, they are far from content to rest on their laurels; instead, they continue to explore.

The 2023 collections from each of these studios speak to the idea of design as a journey. Pierre Frey’s bicentennial collections feature tropical floral motifs that look as if they might have bloomed in one of Paul Gauguin’s Tahiti canvases.

The Larsen designers have looked just as far afield: their 2023 fabrics have an unmistakable air of Japan about them. Gaston y Daniela have cleverly combined the themes of history and the Orient by channelling the wandering spirit of Marco Polo, the 13th Century explorer who made some of the first contacts with mysterious eastern empires, and helped create a European market for the exotic which persists to this day.

Designers from Christian Fischbacher may not have travelled as far, but leafing through their 2023 fabric lookbook makes it clear that the beauty and ever-changing permanence of Nature have been a major inspiration for their 2023 collections.

As aficionados of great fabric design, it makes our hearts glad to see that these wonderful design houses have lost none of their elan or eye for detail. The fact that they have endured through some of the most turbulent decades Europe has ever known speaks volumes for their lasting relevance, and the fact that great design is timeless.

Whether forging new paths around the world, retracing the steps of legendary travellers or allowing themselves to wander through woodlands and meadows, we can look forward confidently to many more years of outstanding fabrics from these true masters of the art of fabric design and weaving.

You may never have visited Asia, or perhaps you live in a city far from the countryside. Very possibly, you will not have had the chance to peruse the Pierre Frey archives… but we’re delighted to tell you that you’re bound to be just as inspired by these collection as we were.

You’ll find that they work spectacularly well in your home, giving you the opportunity to experience the moment of fulfilment that occurs when tradition and innovation come together.

To learn more about these design houses mentioned in this blog, please contact us: 011 444 1584