The Best of Rug Fashion
Rugs, whether antique, vintage, or modern, are gorgeous pieces of art that tell a story. Ask anyone with any interest in fashion and they will tell you the same thing about clothes, that fashion is an art form. So doesn’t it make sense to combine these two beautiful forms of art into something entirely new and creative? Here, we’ve compiled some of our favorite rug fashion. These fashion pieces are inspired by the patterns and textures of traditional carpets to create a stunning runway statement.
Olivia Pudelko’s Carpet Shoes
Designer Olivia Pudelko, a Polish graduate of University of Westminster in London, is making stunning limited edition shoes that are reminiscent of carpet. Working under the name “Westernaffair” and currently living in South London, her pieces are incredibly unique and also a conversation piece. They are functional as shoes, but not focused on practicality.
Inspired by pattern and texture, she views her fashion designs the same way she would view traditional art like a painting. Her inspiration comes from many different sources. She browses rugs online, at auction houses, and homes of family and friends. Since her designs are made from real, recycled antique rugs and carpets, the shoes are sustainable and eco-friendly. There is absolutely nothing not to love about these creative and original rug fashion designs.
Chloé New Age Boho Collection
Morocco‘s rich culture and beautiful art are the source of inspiration for many designers, fashion or otherwise. Natacha Ramsay-Levi, the creative director at luxury fashion house Chloé, was no different when working on the brand’s Spring 2019 ready to wear collection. Persian rug motifs popped up throughout the collection, which has been described as boho chic, as well. Even many of the pieces that are not as obviously carpet-inspired borrow inspiration from antique textiles. Notice some of the all over patterns with repeating motifs that are reminiscent of those used in antique carpets.
Totême’s Spring 2019 Collection
Swedish fashion label Totême takes inspiration, naturally, from traditional Scandinavian designs. Totême designers Kling and Karl Lindman rarely incorporate pattern into their designs, but for this collection they chose to draw inspiration from Swedish textile artist Marta Maas Fjetterstrom. They deliberately created a pattern in her style, with their own logo superimposed over the design. Celebrities have been spotted wearing this design, adding to its newfound popularity.
Chufy’s Moroccan Inspiration
Sofía Sanchez de Betak of the brand Chufy always takes inspiration for her designs from her travels. In this collection, a trip to Marrakech, Morocco inspired her Spring 2019 ready to wear collection. Drawing from the stunning tribal patterns of antique and vintage Moroccan rugs, she re imagined and reworked these patterns to become stunning clothing pieces.
Tory Burch’s Worldwide Inspired Patterns
Tory Burch, known for relaxed, put-together outfits, drew inspiration from western Europe for their Spring 2019 ready to wear collection. Inspired by safaris and warm breezes, the pieces from the collection are tribal and stunning. The inspiration drawn from antique and vintage carpets and kilims is obvious. While many of the pieces from the collection are neutral colored, the patterned pieces stand out in bold, colorful stripes and shapes are reminiscent of antique Persian rugs like the Jajim kilims. Even the texture is more tactile than most clothing pieces, just like a rug’s texture. The goal of the collection was to embody wanderlust, and it has absolutely done that.
Paco Rabanne Rug Fashion
Paco Rabanne’s Fall 2020 ready to wear collection is heavy and medieval-inspired, and uniquely represents and draws inspiration from opulent antique rugs. The rugs that graced the palaces of kings and queens from the Renaissance to the 17th century onward are now made into designs to be worn and shown off as fashion pieces. These include all over designs with motifs directly drawn from rugs, as well as pieces that almost look like an entire rug has been draped around the model.
Rugs Make an Appearance in Fashion Runways!
What are haute couture fashion rugs? Is this really a thing? It sure is. Beautiful rugs, from shag to fringe to floral, are now becoming staples of high fashion runways.
For example, Ralph Lauren recently had a 50th anniversary collection that was shown on a patchwork of carpets up and down the catwalk. The autumn / winter show for designer Marni featured guests sitting on piles of old carpet fragments. Meanwhile, Chloe featured a model wearing a mini skirt made from a rug, and the models walked the floor printed in the style of a patterned carpet. And, strangely enough, Balenciaga’s autumn / winter fashion show featured a logo-branded backdrop made exclusively from carpet.
The Bauhaus – trained textile designer, Anni Albers, has a retrospective of her work opened at Tate Modern, and it includes all of her vintage rugs. It is either a really interesting coincidence, or subliminally many haute couture designers have decided to echo her work in recent years. The many homages include the high street chain, Zara, and Raf Simon’s Calvin Klein collection this autumn / winter, as well as Paul Smith’s collection that he stated was directly inspired by Albers rug works.
Rugs are an Important Part of Fashion Society
The rug is not only part of the fashion scene nowadays, it is also having its own moment in the fashion spotlight. This is probably because of the resurgence of arts and crafts as a whole. Many of the fashion designers responsible for bringing crafts back into the limelight believe that creating something with your hands is the only antidote to the emergence and eventual takeover of digital media.
Ironically, though, it may be because of digital media that rugs and carpets had become embraced by high fashion society. Because of Instagram and Pinterest, we are seeing inside the homes of both digital influencers and celebrities. Most of the time this is because they are taking pictures of their shoes or outfits in front of full-length mirrors. And, in another spin on this phenomenon, some of these influencers use rugs to block out these photos’ would-be backgrounds, which put their homes on display.
Seriously, even one particular Scandi-style rug from La Redoute has sold out multiple times because it became a darling among fashionistas. It actually had its own Instagram account, which is too meta for words!
Fashion Designers are Designing Rugs
On the flip side, there are many fashion designers that design their own custom made bespoke rugs and carpets. Zandra Rhodes is the mastermind behind those pink leopard-print rugs and she also added her signature squiggles to the backdrops made from similarly-loud colors.
Jonathan Saunders has not one, but two collections that he designed with The Rug Company. His background in textiles and product design makes designing rugs a natural fit. fashion designers Matthew Williamson and Christopher Kane also created their own rug collections. Kane designed several plant-inspired and floral rugs earlier this year while Paul Smith was, once again, inspired by Albers for his fashion rugs.
Habitat, a less luxurious brand, has also collaborated with fashion designers recently. Henry Holland had a grand collection of fashion rugs featuring floral prints in 2016-17, and Hannah Weiland worked with the store last month. As you might already know, Weiland’s label, Shrimps, is famous for its London-based collections featuring brightly-colored fake fur. Their collaborative effort, the Doodle Rug, features artwork of crowns, stars, rams, and the moon, which was duplicated from the label’s clutch bag.
Kate Butler, Habitat’s head designer, believes that working with fashion designers is the way to go because they can take something with small patterns and tiny works of art and blow them up dramatically into something that makes a statement. It also appeals to the fashion designers because they could duplicate some of their best work and enlarge it so it is more “human sized”. For example, the Shrimps collaboration literally enlarged all the original patterns from the bag and the embroidery was replicated to reflect the inspirational piece.
However, the most successful fashion designer to venture into the realm of fashion rugs would have to be Virgil Abloh, the founder of Off White and the creative director for Louis Vuitton. Many waited with bated breath for his collaboration with furniture giant Ikea last year. He finally released four limited edition rugs on the last week of September. One had a really cool swirling pattern, but, instead of leaving it at that, the slogan “Keep Off” was written across it. Not to be outdone, he also designed a red carpet with the word “Blue” printed on it.
In conclusion, fashion and rugs have been intertwined for a while now. Fashion designers are trying their hands at designing their own fashion rugs, and at the same time they are introducing rugs and “rug-like” patterns and materials to the catwalks and runways. This is a surprising trend, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon. Do you want to add designer fashion rugs to your home? Would you like to wear a skirt based on a simple rug? If either of these appeal to you let us know in the comments.