Celia Birtwell ‘Classics’ Fabrics
The design houses of ‘Celia Birtwell’ and ‘Blendworth Interiors’ have come together to re-launch Celia Birtwell’s ‘Classic’ designs.
A series of prints already well loved within the interiors market has been given a new lease of life with a Blendworth twist whilst retaining Celia’s distinctive style. The collection is presented on fabric as four designs and twenty eight colour ways printed on linen union.
A true bohemian and one of the most important and iconic textile designers of her generation, Celia ‘is the face that launched a thousand prints, enchanting and inspiring her fans across the globe for the past five decades’. Designing with a desire to amuse herself and her audience, her unique, innovative witty style is timeless, yet like many true artists she sought to find a mentor who could help her realise her vision and goal, bringing her ‘Classic’ designs to a wider audience, hence the creative synergy with Blendworth began.
CBE, muse of David Hockney and partner of the pioneering fashion designer Ossie Clark, Celia’s bold, romantic and feminine style has had a major influence on both the fashion and interior scenes. Her iconic designs have featured in both British and International exclusive hotels as well as catwalks for couture brands such as Valentino, who have called upon her design expertise to create seminal and exclusive prints.
Drawing inspiration from the life around her, the V&A, Kew Gardens, life in Notting Hill and more recently the Shropshire countryside that she retreats to, Celia has created amongst many others, the prints below which form the Celia Birtwell ‘Classic’ Collection in collaboration with Blendworth.
During the reign of James I of England (1566 – 1625) and his wife Queen Anne of Denmark, a major collector and great patron of the arts, emerged an extravagant and luxurious style of decoration. This was known as the Jacobean period and was heavily influenced by the latest European and Asian designs. The interest for interior prints of this nature was specifically established by James I’s son and other sophisticated courtiers that he associated with.
Celia has always loved the block prints from this era, taking inspiration from one she came across during a visit to the V&A, she created Jacobean. Tumbling foliage was entwined with her signature hearts, dots and insects creating a multi-directional scrolling historic design.
Inspired by woven cotton or linen ticking fabric tightly woven to prevent down feathers from poking through the fabric. Traditionally colours were quite muted and set against a neutral back ground. Ticking designs now evoke the mixture of the homespun ideal mixed with industrial chic, designs have barely changed since the late 18th century due to their versatility and classic nature.
Despite Celia’s rich design history she has always loved a simple stripe and especially a good ticking so decided to create one of her own.
Milson began it’s life as a sub pattern within a grander design inspired by her retreat in the Shropshire countryside. The demand for simpler co-ordinating styles for more neutral interior schemes meant Milson has been a firm favourite since its conception.
Beasties was inspired by a similar design called ‘Little Animals’ drawn from an embroidery circa 17th century in the V&A.
Celia fell in love with the animals and every day would visit and sketch another, adding her own charm and personality to each one. The foliage within the design was inspired by a tapestry from the same period.
Medieval pictoral fabrics of this type, which were mostly tapestries or wallhangings depicted subjects that were inspired by illustrated manuscripts of the time. Hunting scenes were big with stylised heraldic animals such as stags, dogs, lions, griffins, unicorns and enfields. By the end of the 17th century this style of design had become even more spectacular remaining in vogue in different formats ever since.
Designs featuring stars are famous world wide whether on ceremonial or national flags, representing astrology, astronomy or created to to represent excellence.
Classical Star as with Milson was taken from a more complicated design called Manon and was inspired by historical paper mache and ceremonial stars. Customers were calling out for simplicity, so a new star was born and has been one of Celia’s most successful and iconic interior designs ever since. Its’s versatility means it can either be viewed as a geometric, a floral or just a star.
Colourways are quintessentially British with mystical and uniform blues, sitting perfectly with Valentine red. Mimosa yellow and aqua shades of south seas complement each other. Medieval black adds drama along with compassionate pink. Paste Casablanca white on scoured linen union evokes soft shades for a chic, simpler style of interior.