A giant red poppy, bursting with life: the wall hanging in hand-woven wool Aubusson, a tapestry technique dating back to 16th-century France and Belgium, is part of a new collection by British couturier Sarah Burton for The Rug Company.
Based on her Paris runway line for spring 2011, when she debuted as creative director at Alexander McQueen, the seven pieces include hand-knotted rugs in silk and Tibetan wool that reverberate with monarch butterflies. The same motifs printed on her flowing silk dresses and tailored minidresses have been broken down and reconstructed to adorn these interior accents.
Burton’s contribution follows in the footsteps of her mentor. Like Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Diane von Furstenberg before him, McQueen worked with the London carpet company for a 2010 product launch. His floor and wallcoverings and cushions abounded with gold skulls and colour-saturated hummingbirds.
Burton’s imagery, meanwhile, is softer – “both bohemian and pagan in spirit,” as she puts it; that it took a few years to replicate is a testament to The Rug Company’s artisanal approach. The process involved weaving small samples to ensure that the hues were faithfully translated, and it took another four to six months to produce a rug. Even more detailed, the Aubusson hand weaves take nine to 12 months. The collection will be complete in December, after the Monarch cushion and the Folklore wall hanging make their debuts.