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The Happy De­sign trend is on the rise, there’s op­ti­mism in the air, and this bright, flo­ral fab­ric is the def­i­ni­tion of pure joy

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Contents -

We re­veal the sea­son’s most eye-catch­ing fab­ric: ‘Manchu’ by De­sign­ers Guild

De­sign­ers Guild’s lat­est range of fabrics and wall­pa­pers, ‘Jaipur Rose’, has a hint of Mex­i­can artist Frida Kahlo’s con­fi­dent use of colour (see Lon­don’s V&A block­buster sum­mer ex­hi­bi­tion, ‘Frida Kahlo: Mak­ing Her Self Up’), but it also draws in­spi­ra­tion from an­other his­tor­i­cally in­flu­en­tial fe­male, Is­abella Bird. A cler­gy­man’s daugh­ter from York­shire, born in 1831, Bird trav­elled to North Amer­ica, Ja­pan, Korea, China, In­dia and Kur­dis­tan, as well as many other des­ti­na­tions, in pur­suit of warmer climes to ease her ill health – jour­neys rarely heard of for a woman in her time. On her trav­els, she be­came a keen pho­tog­ra­pher and writer, doc­u­ment­ing the ex­otic places she vis­ited. It’s these pic­tures and rec­ol­lec­tions that were the start­ing point for this new range.

The col­lec­tion’s stand­out de­sign is ‘Manchu’ (pic­tured), a printed cot­ton linen fea­tur­ing cosmos, pe­onies and dahlias painted in wa­ter­colour, seen here against a spicy lime and pa­prika-coloured fret­work mo­tif. Other pat­terns fea­ture trop­i­cal leaves (‘Ar­juna Leaf’) and feath­ers (‘Tulsi’), all equally fun and bright. ‘Manchu’ in ‘Al­chemilla’, £69 per me­tre, De­sign­ers Guild (de­sign­ers­guild.com).

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