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Brocade Arcade

It’s not just for grannies in southern florida anymore! When you hear the term “brocade,” you should no longer thing of gaudy, gauche, flowered couches adorned in plastic covers.

Marchesa Collection – Cassarro Fabrics

Francine Collection – Cassarro Fabrics

Brocade fabric or brocade patterns are known for being “rich” and “opulent” because of how labor intensive and time consuming (and thus expensive) the creation of styles can be.  These decorative shuttle-woven fabrics are usually made using colored silks ($$) and with or without  metallic (often gold and silver) threads. True brocade must be made and largely woven on a Jacquard loom. This allows the textile to take on the look of a complex tapestry or large woven quilt. Although many brocade fabrics look like tapestries and are advertised by fashion magazines, brands, and home decor catalogues as such, an actual brocade piece is hard to come by in this machine age.

Fall 2012 Louis Vuitton

Marni 2012, Balmain 2012, Marchesa 2012 – aka the Brocade Brigade – found here.

Balmain Fall 2012

Deacon’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection brought Victorian opulence with a modern twist while contrasting androgyny with all things feminine, here.

Dark, deep, secretive and sophisticated. Via.

Brocade is often associated with Italy and the high Renaissance, but the success of the fabric is also a testament to the expansion of the silk road. Cultures in China, India, Persia and the Far East would copy, replicate, or repeat Italian motifs throughout their manufacture. Italy would then “steal” from China, no one is really so sure as to when and how the techniques were created. To this day, in Guatemala, brocade is the most popular technique used to decorate fabric woven by Maya weavers on backstrap looms. Some societies used to only reserve the style for special occasions. However, brocade’s steeply fell out of fashion after the Victorian Era and hardly existed in the 1900’s. Perhaps the textile would make an appearance in a purse here or a brooch there, but overall it was not en vogue. In recent years, such as at in 2005 or Fall 2012 , high-end designers have toyed with brocade fabrics even for everyday wear.

Brocade Damask Turquoise /  Custom Option: Isolate  © DLM Studio

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antionette falls apart, but looks good doing so. Image found here, original source unknown.

Brocade is most often associated with upholsteries, draperies and evening-wear, but can also be used in unconventional ways. By marrying obscure  and slow weft techniques with an assembly line society, reliant on mass production, a sharp contrast can be drawn.

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DRYDEN VELVET by OSBORNE & LITTLE

Like living inside of a cream colored Faberge egg, here. 

Sea Cliff Home by Niche Interiors

Beauty escorted by apes and monkeys as pages, from Beauty and the Beast, 1896, found in the New York Public Library.

Neon Brocade via Houzz. 

Wes Gordon 2012 ONYX AND GOLD LEOPARD BROCADE
AND BLACK WOOL COCOON DRESS & FLARED LEOPARD-BROCADE PANTS

Florentine Damask and a bit of Brocade upholstery? Via the Royal Design Studio.

East Meets West via DecorPad.

This clutch bag by ASOS Collection has been crafted from a brocade fabric with metallic detailing. The brocade Flatforms, Flats, and Chelsea ankle boots are driving me wild – they are clever and quirky.  Brocade is not just for the rich anymore!

Here’s a bit of a nomenclature lesson. All weaves consist of warp threads which run down the length of fabric and weft threads (also known as woof threads) which pass over and under the warp threads. Damask and brocade are related patterned fabrics in that they both exploit the play of light falling on the weave structure. Damask and brocade are both made on a jacquard loom. Brocade is usually made with richer colors, several threads, and is not reversible – that is, the fabric, when turned over, will create a photo-negative like effect. When in doubt, pull a Scarlett O’Hara curtain dress!

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Let the Rumpus Begin – An Artist’s Dwelling (8)

Today’s post is in honor of Maurice Sendak, prolific artist, illustrator, and author. Sendak is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963. He is from Brooklyn, NY and was born to Jewish-Polish immigrant parents. During his childhood several of his family members were still in Europe and died during the Holocaust. He decided to become an illustrator after viewing Walt Disney’s film Fantasia at the age of twelve. To read a more complete life story and obituary, go to the New York Times, HERE. 

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Author/illustrator Maurice Sendak standing by an life-size scene from his book “Where The Wild Things Are” at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Credit: James Keyser/Time Life Pictures/Getty

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Actress Catherine Keener and director Spike Jonze on Maurice Sendak and Wild Things Way. The intersection commemorates where the book was written in Greenwich Village.  Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 was officially declared “Where The Wild Things Are Day” in New York City. Photo by Julienne Schaer courtesy of NYC & Company, found HERE. 

He has been quoted, during a PBS Interview, as saying, “My gods are Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Mozart. I believe in them with all my heart.” Elaborating further, he has explained that reading Emily Dickinson’s works helps him to remain calm in an otherwise hectic world: “And I have a little tiny Emily Dickinson so big that I carry in my pocket everywhere. And you just read three poems of Emily. She is so brave. She is so strong. She is such a passionate little woman. I feel better.” His work is just weird enough to be off-kilter!

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An organic and tree based canopy just like Max would have! Found HERE. 

Max can’t have all the fun, here’s a room for the Maxine in your life. Under the apple tree canopy bed  features a modern romantic Scandinavian design from Sleep Therapy. I would feel like a fairy or nymph in this woodland fairy tale scene.  Image found via Etsy, HERE.

Found in Belsay Hall in Northumberland. In 2007, the abandoned Belsay castle housed an exhibition called “The Picture House”.  Artists, film directors, actors and musicians were invited to fill Belsay Hall’s empty rooms with installations to delight and amuse the visitor. The above image is from Geraldine Pilgrim who imaged a tree growing directly through a bed. 

Verdant green walls, a convex mirror, branches, stars, and rustic wood make this feel like a hidden childhood jungle. Image found HERE, originally from Toula’s, a home-and-garden boutique that is now closed in Athens, Georgia

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In his New York Times obituary it is noted that Sendak’s work was the subject of critical studies and major exhibitions (recently at The Jewish Museum, in NYC); in the second half of his career, he was also renowned as a designer of theatrical sets. His art graced the writing of other eminent authors for children (Little Bear) and adults, including Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, William Blake and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

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In the 70’s some really hip parents allowed this fantastic Where The Wild Things Are room-sized mural. The paint even camouflages the door and armoire!

Whole tree architecture is a form of building refined by Roald Gundersun that works with the local ecology and economy to allow buildings to be sustainable. To read more go HERE.

 Designed by Turkish Designer Asli Tunca.

Oh, to build a childhood fort, to live in a secret and private treehouse! Must have a password to enter and NO BOYS ALLOWED. Image found HERE. 

Or perhaps you like your tree canopy beds to be pine wood and a bit more minimal and sophisticated? Image found HERE.

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His work was dark, mangled, odd and yet somehow gentle and nostalgic. He Sendak grew up  lower class, Jewish,  and gay — permanently shunted to the margins of things. His images and text both celebrate and chastise humanity – the judgement on those with AIDS, the expectations of childhood, homeless children, the anxiety of separation and loss during childhood, and the dingy nightsscapes of New York. Sendak explained all with a sense of sharp humor, surrealism, observations, and imagination. His work has touched millions of children, adults, and those in between. Let the wild rumpus never end!

“And he sailed off through night and day

and in and out of weeks

and almost over a year

to where the wild things are.

There, Max leads the creatures in a frenzied rumpus before sailing home, anger spent,

to find his supper waiting, and it was still hot”

Sendak explains, “And it is through fantasy that children achieve catharsis. It is the best means they have for taming wild things”, perhaps through a fantasy room of our own we can tame our “wild things” as well.

NOW HOW TO TAME THESE THINGS AND LIVE IN A WILD RUMPUS?

Shop by the Numbers: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10a / 10b / 11 / 12 / 13 

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Mixology (3)

Bracelets: 1) Black and White Enamel Link Bracelet from White House | Black Market, 2) Crystal and Green & Yellow Plexiglas bracelet with Swarovski© stones by Miu Miu / Room: Designed by Bruce Norman Long of BNL Interior Design, from Princeton, NJ. 

Bracelet: MARC BY MARC JACOBS Red, Lilac, Gold Bracelet / Room: Designed by Bruce Norman Long of BNL Interior Design, from Princeton, NJ. 

Bracelet: Turquoise, Coral & Pearl 18K Yellow Gold Handmade Bracelet, 1960’s(which is also the PRICE of the room) from Fourtane / Room: Blue-green midcentury room photography by IPC+Syndication, found HERE.