Friday, June 19, 2009

No. 9 Thompson and the Orientaliste Collection

Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Jerry Pair Showroom and view No. 9 Thompson's new fabric collection, The Orientaliste Collection. For those of you who might not be familiar with No. 9 Thompson (and truth be told I really wasn't until last week), it's the more current, more relaxed, and moderately priced line offered by Jim Thompson.

Richard Smith, designer of the line, and Chad Holman,Vice President of Jim Thompson, walked me through the new collection, and I can't tell you how impressed I was. Inspired by the Far East, Smith took classic Chinoiserie patterns and motifs and transformed them into something so fresh and so unique. There is a classic toile, florals, abstracts, and stripes, but each print has a twist: a stripe is given subtly wavy lines; a peony has ever so slightly metallic leaves; and a traditional porcelain print is rendered in a graphic way. And many of the prints have a painterly quality to them, not surprising as Smith is an artist who paints many of his designs first before taking them to Thailand to be woven.

There are so many great things about this line. The colors are so rich, vibrant, and yummy. The fabrics mix well together- and with those from other lines too. And despite the fact that the fabric is well made and looks expensive, it's actually so affordable. (Many of these fabrics cost less than what you find at discount fabric stores.) Anyway, I could go on and on, but I won't. I'll let the photos do the talking for me.

"China Lilly" is a print of lilies and clouds conceived and painted by Smith.

"Fretwork" is the most beautiful printed linen. That golden yellow colorway almost made me faint- and I usually am not a fan of yellow.

"Hexastripe" was based on the shapes of Chinese paving stones. The colors are amazing. I'm crazy for this print.

The peonies of "Kesi" were inspired by those in an antique Chinese tapestry. Some of the leaves have a metallic overprinting to them- subtle but still so chic.

"Nanking" is a far cry from the traditional porcelain prints favored by Nancy Lancaster, but the fresh, graphic look of it just might win over a new audience.

"Puwen", the Chinese word for striped fabric, has a herringbone weave.

"Tea Party", a print that I think will have a lot of fans.

"Treillage" is a linen weave. The colors are so much more rich in person than in my amateur photograph.

"Yangtze" is the print with the undulating stripes.

Image at top: "Hexastripe" on the console and "China Lilly" on the shade. The professional photographs are courtesy of David Christensen. The photos with the bad lighting...courtesy of me.


  1. I do think I'm in love with Fretwork and Tea Party but I'm also taken with the pagoda lantern (garden ornament?) in one of the vignettes!

  2. C- You like two of my favorites! That lantern is very you! You should get a similar one for your patio. It would look great with the dog statues you're thinking about getting.

  3. A great collection! I wish we had a Jim Thompson source here - darn the luck.

  4. Love the fabrics, and I am really liking the chair! These are so unique and I see myself in another time when sitting in them!

  5. I love Jerry Pair-I need to get down there- Love that Nanking is wonderful and the fretwork too. la

  6. Wonderful, but I think you could have guessed that I would love it. I especially like Tea Party, Treillage, and Fretwork. The colors are indeed yummy. Have a lovely weekend.

  7. Love them all--the colors are amazing, so fresh and each with a slightly different twist. I think Kesi (peonies) is my favorite of the moment. Thanks so much.

  8. Yay ! I just used some of this collection on a current project. The textiles are beautiful. The prices are fantastic. Seriously, they are just amazing. and SO damn sturdy - lol.

  9. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Jim Thompson, Jack Lenor Larson, and Alan Campbell: fabric gods of the modern era.


  10. What a great alternative to his luxe line. Thanks. I love the Tea Party print. Its sure is going to be a great seller.

  11. Love the hexastripe pattern

  12. Absolutely love Fretwork, just specified the yellow colorway myself! We have both the yellow and the black and white colorways in our library, very Alan Campbell inspired, if you do not mind me saying so;)

  13. Peak, I have an award for you on my blog if you are up for that kind of thing. If I had a High WASP Seal of Approval award I'd give you that:). I love the restrained classic taste you show.

  14. i love when you show fabrics.
    these are really great ones.
    i love the jerry pair showroom at the dcota in dania beach florida !
    they have beautiful ' everything' !

  15. Tea Party has indeed found a fan here.

  16. A dear friend of mine was given the most lovely Jim T.
    collection of silk elephants for her little one at a baby shower I attended and I was incredibly enamored not only with the fabric but the level of sophistication.
    Fabrics and craftsmanship really are my weakness.

  17. I'm not usually a floral lover, but Kesi is beautiful!

  18. do you have any advice on obtaining the designer fabric without a decorator? How can i purchase fabric that is "to the trade"? thanks, amy