One of my longtime favorite art/home deco inspiration sources has been the art and craft of the Bloomsbury group, Charleston Farmhouse, and the Omega Workshops.
I love the aesthetic–the rich yet muted palette of colors–and also the idea of living surrounded by art on all sides, where each component of one’s familiar space is also a work of art. It’s something I’ve long aspired to in my own home (handmade pottery, painted surfaces, etc.) and now, clearly, touching my wardrobe as well.
(fabric by the Omega Workshops, source: http://www.culture24.org.uk/art/art69644)
Lately I’ve been returning to this inspiration again, thinking of fabric design. The Omega workshops translated many of their paintings into textiles for both home use and fashion, many of the participants wore clothing of their own design, with their own fabric patterns as well.
Various companies have done contemporary interpretations of old Omega/Bloomsbury designs, including my favorite fashion retailer Anthropologie:
I recognize this print from my own library as a very close copy of one designed by Vanessa Bell–and they’ve paired it, so cleverly, with Nina Hamnett plaid stockings.
Here’s Nina, in her own Omega-fabric dress, painted by Roger Fry in 1918:
“I had a wonderful collection of stockings at that time and wore flat-heeled shoes with straps on them like children do. They made my feet look very large. They cost five francs and were worn by concierges. I had red stockings and yellow stockings and some that looked like a chess board. Modigliani would run after me up the Boulevard Raspail after the Rotonde had closed. He could always see me because of my loud stockings.“
-Nina in her delightful kiss-and-tell autobiography, Laughing Torso.
At any rate, I’m brewing Bloomsbury-style fashion inspirations. Whether these will be ideas that come to fruition in some future project, or whether they stay in the brew pot of unreachable crafting aspirations, only time will tell.