After a recent trip to Paris, Rome and Marrakech, designer Christen Maxwell was inspired by “the incredible motifs that have been seen for centuries by millions of people – from everyday pedestrians to monarchs – and translate them into modern designs.” Specifically, Maxwell cites how a geometric pattern on a manhole cover in Rome, the ceiling of the Pantheon and the glass pyramid of the Louvre influenced a Fall/Winter 2012 collection of textiles and furnishings that mixes natural linens with ever popular metallic accents and pops of neon.
All of Maxwell’s products are made in New York with the exception of the new Chain Stitch Collection, which is handmade in a small farming community in Kashmir, India, in between harvest time as a means of supplemental income. Chain-stitching is an ancient craft that originated in China and has been traced back as far as the 5th-century BC. Because the stitch is only used on the surface layer as embellishment, it mimics ‘drawing’ with thread more than any other type of embroidery. Even with Maxwell’s geometric designs, which you might consider easier as they don’t involve intricate curving lines, the process is still labor-intensive. One square foot take a full day to complete, meaning Maxwell’s one-of-a-kind 20 inch pillows require three days to make.
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