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Blankets, Throws Thrive at Maison

Carole Sloan -- Home Textiles Today, September 20, 2006

Biennale Gives Broader View of Luxury

By Carole Sloan

Paris — Blankets and throws were an unusual standout category in the home textiles world at Maison & Objet here earlier this month.

Lightweight fabrics, airy in feeling and light as tissue or gauze, were shown in highly decorative but functional throws or shawls. Blankets also assumed a more fashionable look in both fabric constructions and pattern designs. Again, the look was light but functional in terms of warmth.

Naturals and neutrals across the spectrum of home textiles provided further validation of the trend that has been taking hold in the United States.

In bedding, jacquards were few and far between, with cottons, silks and lightweight textures featured as the base cloths for a broad array of top of bed designs. One standout approach featured designs that stretched across the width of a bed, either printed, appliquéd or embroidered.

While there was no single color favorite, soft aquas, hot pinks, reds and the entire purple family worked alone or in tandem with the still-important brown family.

Decorative pillows, from playful novelties to styles created by mixing a mélange of fabrics and trims, were seen in many stands.

Across all categories, stripes were a consistent favorite.

Overall, this was a Maison & Objet of evolution, not major trend news.

Meanwhile, the classic Biennale des Editeurs de la Decoration created a fresh approach to luxury home furnishings events at Carrousel du Louvre.

Formerly a fabric show held in January and primarily dedicated to the editors or decorative jobbers of the home fabric world, this year’s Biennale has morphed into a venue for its fabrics members as well as high end furniture, lighting and art work suppliers.

In addition to a roster of luxury fabric editors that included such marquee names famous for classic traditional design as Lelievre, Sahco Hesslein, and Brunschwig & Fils, the exhibition showcased a presentation staged by VIA that celebrated the creativity and know-how of fabric and furniture design. VIA, a decades-old organization dedicated to the art of home furnishings, supports design work in lifestyle changes and behavior, as well as product design.

With few exceptions, the fabric exhibitors embraced elegant, luxurious classic design — but with a 21st century twist in terms of color and scale, the latter often dramatically overscaled. Colors were soft but saturated, rather than pastel. Silk, linen, and fine cottons were the primary fibers.

Click here for a slide show of products from Maison & Objet. Click here for a slide show of products from the Biennale .

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