THE BRITISH TEXTILES DESIGNER WORKS WITH JO MALONE LONDON AND COMES UP SMELLING OF ROSES.
The British textiles designer works with
Jo Malone London and comes up smelling of roses
IN A WORLD OF computer-aided design and digital printing, British designer Marthe Armitage still painstakingly draws, cuts and block-prints all her wallpapers by hand. The octogenarian, who has just worked on a limited-edition collection for Jo Malone London, has always proved the exception to the rule. Armitage began designing in the mid 1950s while her children were at school, but it wasn’t until just over a decade ago that her prints gleaned sought-after status. “Everything had been very sparse and minimal and then suddenly people were interested in pattern,” says Armitage over tea at the Jo Malone London headquarters in Marylebone. Among those interested were designer Ilse Crawford and New York decorator Miles Redd — and Armitage even recalls model Stella Tennant and actress Tilda Swinton sauntering up the garden path to her Thames-side west London home studio (where she works with daughter Jo Broadhurst) to pick out wallpapers for their respective Scottish homes. The collaboration with Jo Malone London brings together two very British aesthetics, and Armitage was inspired by some of the fragrance house’s more familiar notes to create the motifs that grace a small selection of products. “Roses are always a joy to draw,” she explains. “The pear was a natural because of its fruit and blossom, honey is depicted by the beehives at my allotment and the lion is from Chiswick House near to where I live.” Named after novelist Henry James’s two favourite words in the English language, Summer Afternoon will be available from 5 June.
clockwise from below: Marthe Armitage in her studio. The Summer Afternoon range includes scented drawer liners and candle, soap collection and Nectarine Blossom & Honey bath oil in an etched glass decanter.