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It’s now been bucketing down for so long in the UK that even the prospect of some lightning this afternoon promises to break the monotony. What the afflicted need on a day like this is pattern with a sense of place, preferably somewhere warm, like this sublime new Elin fabric from Swedish textile and wallpaper company Sandberg that summons up the delicious dry heat of the Mediterranean where the temperature is north of 25 degrees on the Riviera. In London it’s twelve…

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The British painter Sir Howard Hodgkin – he of the big, emotion-laden brushstrokes – has a long and fruitful association with Designers Guild. Here’s a beautiful new addition to the collaboration that is almost hallucinogenic in its intensity and almost impossible to look at without thinking, why beige? Why indeed? Why would you?  Why go for a walk in a desert when you could wander in a tropical paradise?

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Even if you could find a house with an uninterrupted view of a pastoral scene like the one depicted in Lewis & Wood’s exquisite new Royal Oak fabric, the chances are that it would be prohibitively expensive. Or if you could afford it, you would be gazumped. Or the local farmer would have just flogged the pastoral scene for development into a retail park, a housing estate and a six lane bypass. Far better to create the same view for yourself with the sort of design which reminds you that fabric is about so much more than curtains and upholstery – it’s an opportunity to create your own private paradise.

 

At passionforpattern something in our bones tells us that the world of textiles is on the cusp of an exciting revolution. A loosening up. A shaking down. A backlash against pre-crunch pomp and bluster. Its manifestation is a new wave of fabrics that are less about decoration and more about mood, ideas, humour even, from those with the most modest prices to the maddest. Over the course of the year, we’ll be hunting them down and showing them off, starting with this fabulous new brand Scion that will be available in John Lewis from early March. Prices will be around £25 a metre. A happy new year? A completely delirious one, more like….

Despite all the worrying talk of inflation in the news, passionforpattern wonders whether there are some things that are actually getting less expensive… fabrics for example. Does this look like a £42 fabric? Does it feel like one? (take my word for it, it doesn’t). Nor has it been discounted. The secret is that it is simply a very, very clever design by a very, very clever designer, William Yeoward. It’s called Caharrack and is part of the Polperro collection, inspired by his beloved Cornwall. It’s the sort of fabric that, despite its price, creates a feel that looks a million dollars.

Over the last fifty years there have been a few designs or designers that succeed in re-defining fabric. This just might just prove to be one of them, a stunning new fabric inspired by abstract art. As big and quietly self-assured as a Maserati,  Le Soleil Qui Brille costs £174.90 a metre from Dedar  and could only really be Italian. Love it? Passionforpattern wants to sleep in it.  Watch out for pale imitations that will inevitably be on their way. 

Passionforpattern loves the new fashion for breathing new life into classic designs with vibrant colours, often in striking combinations. This new example of the genre is from Passionforpattern hero, Lulu Lytle, the driving force behind Soane Britain, an inspirational treasure chest of classic gorgeousness on London’s Pimlico Road. While you’re there, check out the fabrics from Bennison round the corner. Owner, Gilly Newberry is master of re-creating original designs in vibrant colours.

 

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patterned fabrics from the Homes & Gardens collection

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