Last Friday I came across this beautiful Lucienne Day tea towel in a friends’ studio, such a terrific find, and a wonderful source of inspiration!
The furniture designer Robin Day and his textile designer wife Lucienne had a huge impact on British product design after World War II by working with new materials and collaborating with inexpensive furniture for manufacturers like Hille, and developing textile designs with bold patterns for Heals.
Robin and Lucienne rose to fame during the 1951 Festival of Britain, which provided an excellent platform for their talents. Lucienne’s abstract-patterned textiles and wallpapers were displayed alongside Robin’s steel and plywood furniture in the Homes and Gardens Pavilion.
For the Royal Festival hall display Lucienne created her breathtaking furnishing fabric Calyx, an abstract pattern inspired by plant forms, composed of fine lines and irregular motifs in earthy and acid tones. Lucienne’s work was much sought after and commissioned by other textile companies, including Heals, Edinburgh Weavers, Liberty and British Celanese.
The originality of Lucienne’s early designs grew from her love of modern art, particularly the paintings of Miró and Klee. She tried to create a similar vitality in her patterns through irregular compositions, and nature, usually represented with clean bold colours.
I think that this print style and content, is as relevant today, as it was when it was originally produced.
I am the Creative Director at mydeco.com. I started my career in buying with Paul Smith, and spent many years saturated with creative products, and cutting edge concepts. After a brief stint buying for Ralph Lauren Home, I moved to buying furniture and lighting for Liberty. I am passionate about championing British design and manufacture, and young designers. Read more posts by Michelle.