Sanscrit is one of ten different designs from Mary McFadden’s first collection of wallpaper for Kirk-Brummel’s Raintree Designs. The collection is based on McFadden’s travels abroad where she studied different cultures and was especially inspired by such ancient cultures as pre-Columbian, Coptic and Byzantine. She re-invents the essence of these antique discoveries with a contemporary sophistication. Sanscrit has the appearance of moving water or fire or smoke traveling upward in a vertical fashion. This example is printed in a very soft monochromatic blue colorway with a seemingly random placement of rectangular shapes containing calligraphic elements or scrolls. Overall the design is very subtle and would be appropriate in any number of rooms. The wallpapers name, Sanscrit, or Sanskrit, is an ancient language and the calligraphic elements are possibly characters of the Sanskrit alphabet or stylizations of such. Many of the designs in this collection are subtle at first glance but contain detailed elements that appear on closer inspection, capturing the essence of her fashion style of simply crafted gowns with ornate embellishments. She is also known for patenting a pleated polyester material which became one of her signatures.

McFadden had worked with major fashion houses and publications both in the States and abroad before launching her own design business. She credits Vogue for launching her fashion career when she was working there as a special projects editor in 1973. One day she wore an outfit of her own design to work and all her coworkers thought she should be photographed for the magazine. In order for her clothes to appear in the magazine they needed to be available at retail. This she managed to do and so began her new career.

Leave a Reply