50’s textile is funky

Tiny disclaimer – This is the first time since I began studying design that I stumble upon a bit of history that inspires me to write about here. Please bear with me as I haven’t fully researched the subject, I just did a very short and quick paper on it so this is more ‘oh look at the pretty!’ than an actual study in textile history.

In one of the new classes of the semester everyone had to pick one word with personal meaning, and the teacher gave each of us a different assignment based on what we chose. I chose “London”, and my assignment was to research women textile designers in 50’s era London. I didn’t have a lot of time so I didn’t hit the books (I mainly hit the search button on Google..) but I did use this wonderful set of pattern books from the V&A, a gift from my lovely coworkers. It was so much fun turning to my own private little library for school work, and it made for a quick source of photos as each of the books comes with a cd of jpegs – handy!

50’s era prints were bold, vibrant and fun, epitomized in the work of the most popular designer of the time, Lucienne Day. I love how the influence of modern art  is so apparent in her designs, specifically Joan Miró’s, one of my favorite artists. Looking at her fabric designs (that were mostly used for furniture) is uplifting. She really made home textiles an affordable form of art. A number of prominent women designers worked and transformed the field alongside her, and I briefly touched upon works by Jacqueline Groag, Mary White and Hilda Durkin in my paper.

Here are some of my favorites:

Calyx, 1951, Lucienne Day's most famous and sought after design

Calyx, 1951, Lucienne Day’s most famous and sought after design

Herb Anatomy, Lucienne day/Heal's, 1956

Herb Anatomy, Lucienne day/Heal’s, 1956 – So Miró-ish!

Coppice, Mary White/Heal's 1954

Coppice, Mary White/Heal’s 1954

Jacqueline Groag/David Whitehead, 1952

Jacqueline Groag/David Whitehead, 1952


2 thoughts on “50’s textile is funky

  1. Pingback: 81: Starts and Ends with Homes. | Almofate's Likes

  2. This is how the world looked when I was small. Curtains, table cloths, furniture… This makes me feel home :-) Thanks for posting.

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