Kimberly Randall

Bluette by Atelier Martine

Bluette is a textile by an unknown designer made in the design school Atelier Martine. The school was founded by Paul Poiret (1879 – 1944), a celebrated Parisian couturier known for exotic fashions inspired by the Middle East and Asia. Named for his daughter, Atelier Martine embraced the notion of an unstudied, instinctive creativity. Poiret opened Atelier Martine in 1912 following a European tour where he was greatly impressed by the printed textiles of the Wiener Werkstätte of Vienna.
textile, Atelier Martine, Paul Poiret, Wiener Werkstätte, Louis Rorimer, flowers

Keeping Warm: A Pennsylvania Coverlet

The American woven coverlet presents an appealing visual record of the patterns and designs of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The seemingly simple geometric elements come together in a boldly graphic way that resonates with many collectors today. This particular coverlet, acquired by Cooper-Hewitt in 2010, was most likely made before the arrival of the Jacquard attachment – a special mechanical loom component from France that was made of a series of punched cards. Invented in 1806, it was widely available in the United States by the early 1820s.
coverlet, Jacquard, Pennsylvania, woven, snowball, pine tree

Dude Never Would Be Missed

While researching one of our printer-dyer record books for the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition Multiple Choice: From Sample to Product, I discovered a curious fabric swatch on page 105.
record book, textile printing, swatches, fabric, American, opera, 19th century

Lace in Concert

The cravat is an early version of a man’s necktie. It could be a plain piece of white linen tied around the neck, with the free ends falling below the throat. A gentleman’s cravat would have been decorated with fine lace, as lace was especially fashionable for men in the 17th century. During this period, the greatest lace makers were working in Italy and Belgium. France, however, wished to create a competing industry that would stop the costly imports of lace.
cravat, France, needle lace, fashion, 17th century, Charles LeBrun, Jean Bèrain the elder

A Gift of Gloves

For centuries, European rules of etiquette allowed a woman to receive gloves as a gift from men other than her husband. The practice was so widespread that novelty became an important consideration for the gift-giver when making his selection. Light-colored printed gloves enjoyed popularity with women in early 19th-century Europe, but this pair’s eye-catching design is particularly noteworthy for its unusual optic effect.
gloves, spain, leatherwork, intaglio, 19th century, hand-made, craftsmanship