A while back, I wrote about the much loved Le Lac print and its popularity with designers. Well, with so many wonderful prints on the market, Le Lac is not alone in the pantheon of iconic designs. What other prints seemed to have passed the test of time? Why, La Portugaise by Brunschwig & Fils, and it's one of those prints that seems to pop up over and over again.
According to Brunschwig & Fils Up Close, La Portugaise is reminiscent of indienne prints and is "a nineteenth-century adaptation made up from the borders of a palampore formed into stripes." And in Keith Irvine: A Life in Decoration, Irvine notes that the print, one of his favorite fabrics, used to be available at Rose Cumming's shop before Brunschwig & Fils began to offer it. Just another tidbit to add to the print's illustrious history.
Now, I know that many of you might look at this print and think "No way!" La Portugaise is certainly not for everyone. I like how the print has been used in the rooms below, but would it work in my home? Probably not. Still, there is a delightful quality to this print that lends to its allure. And as it is a favorite of so many design legends, it certainly deserves recognition as a top ten fabric!
How can you argue about a print that is found in THE most famous room in the history of American design, Brooke Astor's famed oxblood lacquered library designed by Albert Hadley. (My tip to you: save any photos you can of this glorious room- just in case the new owner decides to disassemble this masterpiece.)
Keith Irvine has used La Portugaise throughout his career. It seems that this print as well as Le Lac are his two favorites.
Jeffrey Bilhuber used the print on an upholstered chair in this room; it's a nice counterpoint to the hushed neutrals used in the rest of the room.
And that charming, erudite Mark Hampton used the print in the living room of his Hamptons home. With a painting like this, who needs a photograph?
Image at top: A close-up shot of a La Portugaise upholstered chair in the library of the late Brooke Astor.