For its latest collection of exotic textiles, Beacon Hill has looked to the East, exploring the Guizhou region of China to conceive Festival Outdoor. This bold outdoor collection draws inspiration from the intricate details, lush colours and rich artisanry for which the Miao and Gejia people of Guizhou are known. Constructed from durable Sunbrella yarns, Festival Outdoor combines this handcrafted experience with the luxurious feel and quality of Beacon Hill.
The Beacon Hill design team was drawn to the distinct look of these exceptional textiles as well as the special story surrounding them. Throughout Guizhou, textile craftsmanship is believed to reveal the nature of the maker, with the beauty and workmanship of the fabric showing the quality of the person who created it. A fabric’s ornamentations indicate social class, and adornments on the materials used in traditional festival dress convey spirituality, wealth, and strength of character.
Says Beacon Hill VP Alexis Audette, “The ethnic groups of Guizhou have no written language. Their costumes give voice to their stories and serve as living visual cultures. At Beacon Hill, we aspire to bring a story to everything we create, and the fascinating textile narrative of the Guizhou people allows us to present this special artisanry to the design community with our singular Beacon Hill touch for luxury, quality and colour. The bright colours and bold motifs translate beautifully to an elegant outdoor collection.”
The Guizhou regional groups use an extraordinarily diverse range of textile techniques, such as dyes, weaving, embroidery, batik and metal gimp. They use a mix of natural and chemical dyes to give a full rainbow of colours. The weavers in Guizhou use backstrap or frame looms, and embroideries and appliques are another common technique, often integrated with printing and patchwork to add complexity. When making skirts and jackets, Guizhou artisans often implement a wax-resistant method of Batik and also use metal gimp to add strips of shine and metallic embellishment to matte grounds.
The Beacon Hill design team used these various techniques and motifs as design inspiration for Festival Outdoor, the fabrics of which include the following four.
Mei Festival, inspired by the batik design on a festival jacket, displays an abstract butterfly, the Miao symbol of spring and rebirth.
Kaili Solid takes its inspiration from the same festival jacket as Mei Festival. Kaili Solid is a grasscloth texture that reflects the jacket’s rustic quality.
Niu Fret is based on an embroidered apron. The original document mixes floral and geometric motifs, with the flowers symbolizing abundance and beauty of life.
Armor Lattice is derived from a Gejia baby carrier. The Gejia are said to descend from a legendary general, so this ancestral legacy lends a martial quality to their dress. The document that inspired this pattern abounds with exquisite batik and embroidery. This fine workmanship is reserved for these textiles specifically, as their decorative elements are imbued with prayer and spiritual power to ensure the child’s wellbeing.
ABOUT BEACON HILL
Beacon Hill brings exclusive, finely crafted fabrics, trim and home furnishings to the interior design trade. Inspired internationally and designed for luxury, the offerings are truly one of a kind. Beacon Hill has a tradition of using refined materials, an opulent colour palette and sophisticated construction to provide understated elegance for those seeking a gracious style of living.
For more information, visit www.beaconhilldesign.com.
ABOUT THE ROBERT ALLEN GROUP
The Robert Allen Group is one of the world’s largest designers and resources of fine fabrics for the interior design trade and is recognized as a brand leader in its field. Based in the U.S., the company sells its products under the Robert Allen, Beacon Hill, Robert Allen Contract, and Robert Allen @ Home brands, and is renowned for the Robert Allen Color Library, recognized as the first fine fabric collection to be designed by color. The Robert Allen Group has showroom locations throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and an extensive worldwide agent showroom network.