Meet the Beaumonts, fifth avenue’s most stylish anthropods.
To celebrate Fortuny’s 2016 Micromondo collection (which means micro–world in Italian) I created a miniature world of cosmopolitan, domestic bliss inhabited by sophisticated ants with a taste for midcentury furniture and modern art. They also really love christmas – that’s part 2.
The ants are 6 inches tall and made from the Micromondo collection. I made furniture, drapery etc. – everything a fully appointed ant penthouse needs – from the new wools, velvets and linens as well as many of the classic patterns – the blue and bronze above is one of my favorites. I also made ant art – I got super into the art making – and family portraits – lots of tiny details.
I’ve been experimenting with new botanical shapes. The flower below is the rare cloaked Bishop Lilly – it only blooms at night. If the moon is full. Once every ten years. And only for an hour…..
There are also seedpods, toadstools and another rare specimen the Royal Cone Flower – valued for the rich crimson bloom as well as it’s medicinal properties – it’s petals make a potent sleeping potion – it is found only in the Black Forest and is nearly extinct.
I love the mystery and strangeness of flowers and I’m exploring them further – playing with the idea of translucency and things gone to seed. I especially love the foresty parts of the botanical gardens here in Brooklyn and I’ve been finding inspiration in antique botanical prints too – for my invented species as well as the photographs of them – I’m thinking of a postcard set of strange new specimens – what do you think? Also – In addition to the tiny rag doll pattern I’m working on a botanical pattern for a seed pod with a root system – that will probably be next out. Have a lovely weekend,
You can find the sewing pattern for the little toadstool above right here – I printed the pattern at 50% for this little guy.
And among all the strange flowers – tiny rag doll #4 – miss lilac.
Mosquitos! Delicate mosquitos, hand stitched from Edwardian garments. I wonder what she would think, the 19th century girl who floated across lawns in the gown their wings are made from. They are mischievous ladies who will bite! But they will be so gentle you won’t feel a thing. There is a special place in my heart for the less sympathetic creatures – the rats and bats and spiders and who is less loved than mosquitos?
“It is your hateful little trump
You pointed fiend,
Which shakes my sudden blood to hatred of you:
It is your small, high, hateful bugle in my ear.”
BY D. H. LAWRENCE
I made 6 – I had a truly marvelous time – completely lost in them for days. They are all in the shop (there are some songbirds too).
I can never remember where I parked my car or what I had for lunch but I have an excellent fabric memory – sort of. I have clear and very distinct memories of the fabrics of my childhood – my whole life really. I think I could draw them all – maybe I’ll try. And now, even if a tiny scrap has bee tucked away for years, it’s cataloged in my head, just not very specifically……. I was absolutely positive that the fabulous little blue scrap in the photo below was here somewhere. Positive. And positive that that blue songbird had to have it. Had to. And it was – that one little piece – in the only place it could be – at the very bottom of the very last box I looked in.
I’ve been working on this group of Sri Threads songbirds for weeks and they are just about ready. I was hoping for this week but I’m still climbing out of a crappy spring cold and everything is in slow motion. Some of these and a few other things will be in the shop next week sometime (sign up here to be notified by email if you like).
I spent the better part of the autumn working on something special with Fortuny to help introduce its first new fabric collection in more than two years. The collection plays with the idea of what is seen and unseen and draws inspiration from Japanese folklore of “The Fox’s Wedding”. The legend is that foxes marry in secret in the forest and only during a sun shower – far from prying human eyes.
From Fortuny’s creative director Mickey Riad:
“We decided upon the theme of ‘The Fox’s Wedding’ as we were playing around with halftones and production techniques,” “The way a sun shower can fool what your eye sees, Japanese legend attributes this phenomenon to foxes that often play tricks on humans. The idea that the new collection plays tricks on the eye fit perfectly with that theme, in addition to the pattern and color choices that were inspired by Japanese art and textiles. ”
Sun showers and foxes and secret forest weddings – I loved this project. The collection is being introduced in Paris today. Three foxes traveled to Paris for the occasion, another two will leave for Venice this week and two will remain in NYC at the Fortuny Showroom.
For the past few weeks I’ve lived with fox companions and it’s a little sad to let them go – they so inhabited this place.