Saturday, April 16, 2011

Timorous Beasties

Indulge me. I know that this is at least the third time I've addressed the topic of toile (and insects for that matter) but I promise this will be different.

In this morning's Financial Times there is a wonderful how to spend it Special Interiors Section that had a sidebar on the Glasgow design firm Timorous Beasties. Founded in 1990 by Alistair McCauley and Paul Simmons who studied textile design at Glasgow School of Art, Timorous Beasties was once described as, "William Morris on acid." The name TB comes from the Robert Burns poem, "To a Mouse" (pronounced 'moose") and edgy in their creations. From their website:

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

The Glasgow Toile above and the London Toile below.

Which brings me to their insects. Insects have long been used in traditional design. Here are two from the TB line of fabrics: the Napoleon Bee and The Moth.

Check out Nice Legs, below. Wouldn't you love to have a duvet covered in this pattern? Maybe not a table cloth.

And finally Stripey Legs.

The image at top is Leaf.