Wednesday, 13 February 2008

A stich in time













Detailed photographs, by Jean Louis Garnell, of Christian Berard's creation for the vestibule at Guerlain's Institute of Beauty as they appeared in the article Eye of the Needle, by Mitchell Owens for Nest, Issue 6.

What is often mistaken for as an example of painted tromp l'oiel is in fact an example of the finest appliqué work. Grosgrain ribbon and pieces of silk in shades of lilac, chocolate, black, and white which are all deftly applied to saffron velvet create the Neoclassical illusion. While the composition bears all the hallmarks of a Berard, it was in fact worked by the seamstress Margarita Classen-Smith.

This is the epitome of great decorating. Merely understanding a technique is not enough, having the courage and the foresight to use it - and convincing the client that it must be done - that is where the greatness really lies.

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10 comments:

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Insanely beautiful. Nobody has the genius to do this anymore. Or the nerve.

Pigtown-Design said...

Such an incredible piece! Simply gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

xoxo

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

AL - without meaning to be cocky - I do, on both counts.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Fairfax - I had forgotten this was even in that issue of Nest until I saw it in the comments on PoC.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

No kidding! (Insert whistle of appreciation here.) I wish I had that kind of talent (and eye!)

The Peak of Chic said...

Just amazing! And it helps to have those detail shots. (The book from which I pulled the image had no details or explanation, and from a distance one wouldn't know it wasn't painted). I think there are still talented people who have the imagination and skill to accomplish such things, but I think it's the lack of benefactors that stymie things.

Mrs. Blandings said...

You know, of course, that this made my heart stop for just a moment. It's not just the concept, it's having the workroom to make it happen as well. Thank you for the detailed view.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

PoC I hoped you might like it - most images of this space are misleading.

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Mrs B - it's a pleasure!

maison21 said...

thanks so much for the enlightenment- i've seen photos, but never would have known the technique w/o your post. mrs b. is correct- the concept is amazing, but the execution! there aren't words...