La Manufacture Cogolin’s Immersive Design at London Design Festival

La Manufacture Cogolin, the esteemed French rug atelier, has recently been honoured with a special commission from Sketch, the iconic London establishment renowned for its amalgamation of fine dining, entertainment, and artistic brilliance.

This exciting partnership involves a captivating takeover of Sketch’s entrance space, resulting in an immersive and visually stunning installation for the esteemed London Design Festival. With a legacy dating back to 1924, La Manufacture Cogolin has consistently crafted hand-made rugs of unparalleled elegance and distinct personality.

Now, they embark on a journey to reimagine the very essence of Sketch’s entryway, guided by the creative spirit of the 20th century’s polymath extraordinaire, Christian Bérard (1902-1949), whose talents spanned painting, fashion illustration, carpet design, mural creation, interior design, and stage and costume conception. The outcome is set to be an experimental design that will leave a profound impact, immersing visitors within the captivating realm of the ‘Bérard bubble’.

Delving into Heritage: A Captivating Collaboration

In a reflection on this remarkable collaboration, Sarah Henry, the Managing and Artistic Director at La Manufacture Cogolin, highlights the significance of their Idylle collection. “Our Idylle collection has allowed us to dig into our archives to create something that captures Cogolin’s heritage while also highlighting the modernity of our tradition. We wanted to ensure that the rugs reflect, as accurately as possible, our technical expertise from the 1930s while also paying tribute to a period that had so much impact on modern art and design.” 

Christian Bérard’s influence reverberated across the vibrant Parisian art scene of the 1930s and 1940s. He effortlessly navigated the worlds of fashion, drawing, and interior decoration, contributing significantly to the realm of modern art and design. His circle of acquaintances included luminaries like Christian Dior, Jean Cocteau, Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, and the interior designer Jean-Michel Frank.

Bérard’s artistic repertoire encompassed a myriad of forms: paintings, carpets, screens, rugs, tableware, tapestries, lampshades, and planters. Many of these exquisite creations found their place in the homes of eminent figures, showcasing the fusion of creativity and craftsmanship. A pivotal moment in this story occurred when interior designer Jean-Michel Frank commissioned Bérard to design a rug for Nelson A. Rockefeller’s apartment. The resultant piece marked a pivotal collaboration between La Manufacture Cogolin and some of Europe’s most celebrated designers.

A Legacy of Craftsmanship and Continuity

Preserving its legacy with unwavering dedication, La Manufacture Cogolin has safeguarded its essence and savoir-faire for generations. Its archives, brimming with a century’s worth of history, provide a wellspring of inspiration for contemporary collections and bespoke projects. Drawing from this well of history, the atelier revisited its collaboration with Bérard, creating custom adaptations of its Idylle Collection in 2016.

These vibrant, hand-knotted wool rugs draw inspiration from Bérard’s gouaches, carefully unearthed from the atelier’s timeless archives. By staying true to Bérard’s distinctive brushstrokes, colour palette, and quality of rugs produced in the 1930s and 1940s, the collection stands as a testament to his monumental impact on art, fashion, interior design, and theatre.

A Lively Tapestry of Colour and Design

The installation at Sketch is a burst of vibrant colour, brought to life by modernist hues drawn from the atelier’s archives spanning the 1930s to 1950s. Drawing inspiration from the Idylle collection, La Manufacture Cogolin has meticulously crafted custom adaptations that infuse new life into the space. The Eloge pattern, creatively re-coloured in a vibrant yellow, adorns the alcoves of Sketch’s foyer, while a striking yellow runner, a reimagining of the Dilection pattern, guides visitors towards Sketch’s dining destinations.

This dynamic contrast against the deep blue walls amplifies the visual impact. The seating area sees the playful dance of La Manufacture Cogolin’s Songe design, enlivened by custom fabric. Adjacent to this, a trompe-l’oeil door panelling pays homage to Bérard’s prolific design motif, seamlessly blending with Sketch’s existing mouldings.

A Fusion of Heritage and Modernity

The use of exuberant and vibrant colours serves as an invitation to experience the ground floor of the 18th-century townhouse through a multi-sensory lens. With its rich history and adaptive approach, La Manufacture Cogolin stands as a testament to the fusion of heritage and modernity.

The installation aligns seamlessly with the spirit of the London Design Festival, showcasing the city’s creative prowess on a global stage. The ‘Bérard bubble’, an experimental and maximalist design installation, emerges as a striking centrepiece, boldly exemplifying the atelier’s dedication to innovative craftsmanship.

This remarkable collaboration with sketch shines a spotlight on Christian Bérard, a luminary of the 20th century whose versatility and prodigious talents continue to inspire. As La Manufacture Cogolin approaches its 100-year anniversary, this collaboration stands as a tribute to its enduring creative legacy. By seamlessly weaving the wonders of the past into the fabric of the present and future, the atelier celebrates its journey and contributions to the world of art, design, and craft.

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