Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's a Toile world after all...

Mr. Peacock has always had an admiration and curiosity with toile de Jouy. Mention the words “toile de Jouy” and most people think of fabric decorated with pastoral scenes of shepherds, maidens, and sheep. Many toile fabrics do have idyllic pastoral scenes, however, there are many modern toiles that push the boundaries of the traditional themes. Toile de jouy originated in France in the 1700’s and literally means “cloth from Jouy-en-Josas,” a town in north-central France.

Above: Découper Toile wallpaper by Timourous Beasties.

I’ve tried to have “something” toile in each place I’ve lived, whether it was a fabric pillow, an upholstered piece of furniture, or a wallpapered wall.

Mr. Peacock especially likes very traditional toiles in contrast with mid-century/modern furnishings. I used the toile pattern, Hommage de l’Amérique a la France (America pays homage to France), originally from the late 1700’s (reprinted by Pierre Deux, although I'm not sure if they have it now) as the backdrop for my Saarinen dining table in my last apartment.The leftover wallpaper ended up covering a wall in my current bathroom.

These toile tiles would look amazing in my kitchen!

I'm still swooning over this amazing toile shirt by Etro, from a few years ago.

And I’m still flabbergasted by Mimi Kirchner’s amazing tattooed dolls, using various toile fabrics.

The Glasgow based design studio, Timourous Beasties, stock an amazing array of provocative toile fabrics and wallpapers (shown above—London Toile).

Their Glasgow Toile, at first glance (above), looks like one of the magnificent vistas portrayed on early 1800s Toile de Jouy wallpaper, but closer inspection reveals a contemporary Glasgow where crack addicts, prostitutes and the homeless are depicted against a forbidding backdrop of dilapidated tower blocks and scavenging seagulls.

This lovely Tribeca Toile wallpaper is by Paul Kohn Design.

Interior designer, Sheila Bridges, designed a wonderful Harlem Toile—celebrating Harlem, New York. She has many wonderful colors available in wallpaper, and now bedding!

Last fall, fashion designer Jeremy Scott partnered with the Schott NYC, known for classic American leather jackets, to create this limited edition leather toile jacket—a pastoral blue toile with troll dolls!

Above left to right: Detail of a lower part of a dress, c. 1750; Scénes chinoises (Chinese scenes), c.1780. Both toiles from the book—Printed French Fabrics.

My friend, John, turned me onto an amazing book called Printed French Fabrics. It is a must have addition for any toile afficando’s library! The author, Josette Brédif, thoroughly examines the history, process and social context of toile de jouy fabrics.


Mr. Peacock loves the clever wit of Historically Inaccurate's one-of-a-kind hand-embroidered toile pillows and cushions (thanks Kelly Jo). The clever pieces are made by the Queens, New York based artist, Richard Saja—check out his blog here. He is also busy preparing for his first solo exhibition at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont—May 17 to October 25, 2009. More information here.

A few years ago, I even made a pair of pants with toile. Here I am on a roof in San Francisco—holding a pal’s dog (left), and lounging in my toile pants at a bohemian friend’s house in Laurel Canyon (right).

Above: A friend gave me some Schumacher Circus Toile with clowns! I have it folded up and haven't decided what I'm going to use it for.

I find most people either love or hate toile de Jouy. The camp that falls into the hate category, however, I feel just haven't seen toile used in the right context. There's so many different toiles available right now!

Do you like toile?

12 comments:

ginevra / red_swirl said...

Yes, very much! Thank you for the detail in this post, and all the books for me to look up!

MJ said...

While most of the toile examples depicted here are lovely, anything with clowns must go directly into the TOILEt.

Paul Pincus said...

i like london toile. i LOVE glasgow toile. i'm a little obsessed with historically inaccurate's toile pillows!

cheers, -p.p.

Mr. Bluehaunt said...

Love toile!...of course the Tom of Finland toile fabric must be mentioned in the "unusual" category as well...

jezebel said...

Those pants, Mr. P.! They take the cake.

Pigtown-Design said...

Two things:

1) I met Richard Saja in Baltimore earlier this year at the American Crafts Council. He had hilarious pillows with big pink blousy roses on them, with black bugs embriodered on them!

2) Somewhere on Cote de Texas's blog, she's got a picture of a toiled minivan!

ayem8y said...

Mais oui toi I love toile!

Petulia said...

Fabric is so amazing!! thanks for reminding me..I will go out and buy some more toile immediately!

Matt Fox said...

Love!

Jill said...

Look at you in those toile pants!!

Love the interior as well...

shop tienda erotica said...

Hey, there is really much worthwhile material in this post!

Model Baju Dress Brokat 2015 said...

Love toile!...of course the Tom of Finland toile fabric must be mentioned in the "unusual" category as well...