by Lynn Byrne
I always want to know the back story. If that is a gossip gene, then I must admit guilt. I prefer to think I am a design Curious George.
A week or so ago, I attended a presentation of Scalamandre’s new fall collection by their vice president of design, Albert Sardelli at their showroom at the D&D. It’s always fun to go Scalamandre’s showroom, if only to revel in their classic and fabulous Zebras wallpaper.
Frankly, however, I find everything about Scalamandre to be fabulous. Their legendary history can’t be beat. Some of our nation’s most important landmarks, such as the White House, the U.S. Capitol, United States Treasury, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, The Morgan Library, Wrightsman Galleries at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum, Winterthur, the Mansions of Newport, and the Metropolitan Opera House–have turned to Scalamandre to supply wallcovering and fabrics for their restorations.
But the company does not rest on its laurels. Sure they mine their rich archives for inspiration. Why not. It is one of the best. But each fabric and wallpaper is looked at in a fresh light, often rescaled, restyled and recolored in beautiful new hues for today’s interiors.
Many of the fabrics in Scalamandre’s new fall collection, named “Ovation,” have an illustrious story behind them. I thought it would be fun to compare past and present for some highlights in the new collection. For example, a centerpiece of the new collection is the fabric “Tableau” which back in 1989 was created for the curtain at the Metropolitan Opera House. Look closely at the first picture. The raised motifs in the fabric were derived from the architectural details flanking the stage.
Tableau comes in 9 jewel-toned color ways. Here are four of my favorites.
Scalamandre also is introducing a lush cut velvet, silk pile zebra pattern inspired by, and named after, the celebrated Manhattan nightclub, El Morocco.
A Billy Baldwin favorite , Pitti, has been updated with some new colorways and a subtle pinstripe in the fabric’s cotton ground. Baldwin used the fabric in the iconic La Fiorentina villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat for his client Mary Wells Lawrence.
Scalamandre’s Tigre fabric has long been popular with legendary decorators such as Madeleine Castaing, Jacques Grange and Yves St. Laurent. Here it is seen on the chairs of a dining room by Renzo Mongiardino for Lee Radziwill. This fall Scalamandre has added two new colorways, a silver and black and a blue and black.
For Scalmandre’s Focal Point fabric, Op Art, initially popular in the 1960′s, is the inspiration. I received a wonderful accent pillow in the fabric in my goody bag from Scalamandre which happens to look great in my front parlor. Take a peek at my pillow and some additional colorways next to works by Victor Vasarely, a leading artist in the Op Art genre. The top image is a detail from a Vaserely tapestry that I saw at the dealer Keshishian at the International Fine Art and Antiques Dealers Show last week.
No post about Scalamandre would be complete without sharing what’s new in their iconic Zebras pattern. They have introduced an all-weather Zebras fabric in their classic Masai red–I envision one fine porch! In addition there are three new colorways for the wallpaper —silver, gold and an Hermes orange (fabu!). And while I like classic red, I always have adored the green colorway seen here in Kate Spade’s home.
Visit the Scalamandre website to see the entire collection.
Photo credits: Product photos from Scalamandre. Metropolitan Opera House photo also from them. El Morocco photo from The Rock Hudson Project and logo from nochelatina.com. La Fiorentina from Great Home Design. Lee Radziwell’s dining room from Agent of Style. Kate Spade apartment via the Glam Pad