Trend Alert: Tapestries
Tapestries — Newsflash–tapestries are trending! It’s been some 40 years since tapestries have been a trending item. Now, they’re reaching new horizons. This is a true comeback story of an old and sometimes under-appreciated art form that’s receiving a major makeover and a huge popularity boost.
Trendsetters in Paris welcomed the tapestry craze in 2013 by hosting an important and forward-thinking exhibition focusing on modern tapestries and rugs with an urban flavor. The Pompidou Center’s “Decorum” collection was the largest textile exhibit ever displayed at the Musée d’Art Moderne.
It included everything from Picasso carpets to modern tapestries depicting plush sneakers, a furry bathrobe and a supersized Welsh corgi. Smaller galleries in Germany, Italy and China are currently enjoying this “Neo Craft” movement that has brought new artists into the spotlight.
Around the world, traditional neoclassical and baroque tapestries in the style of Aubusson, the Savonnerie and Flanders are experiencing a revival. The famous “Lady and the Unicorn” series recently toured Japan and has brought renewed interest in an art form that was once considered superior to painting. Neoclassical tapestries like the one spotted in the hit drama Downton Abbey are popping up on the runway. Tapestry fashions from Dolce & Gabbana, Anthropologie and shoemaker Jeffrey Campbell artfully blend neoclassical designs with Bohemian variations reminiscent of Bessarabian blossoms, colorful Karabagh bouquets and the high-contrast flowers found in Russian lacquerware. This melding of couture and folk art is making its way from elite fashion houses to mainstream brands and home interiors.
Handmade tapestries and limited-edition works are also gaining favor. Eccentric tapestries, both vintage and contemporary, are appearing in stylish interiors everywhere. Small wall hangings impart an eclectic flavor while larger textural works have an experiential effect. Shaggy rya tapestries, flat-weave kilims in the Navajo style and colorful Bauhaus works that employ advanced slit weaving techniques or use a combination of materials and weaving methods are trending as well.
These unique items are often one-of-a-kind or created for limited production runs. Design and production aspects also align with increasing preferences for rustic and handmade creations that have a raw natural beauty. Inside and on the street, this is what’s trending in 2015, the year of the tapestry.