Leave it to Fromental to consistenly produce wallpaper that I just have to have. (And if I had more space in my home, I wouldn't have to resort to simply dreaming about the paper!) What first got me hooked was their stunning hand-painted silk Chinoiserie paper. Their rich colorways (check out Empire and Bubblegum Blue) and embroidered details make traditional Chinese paper seem exciting again. And I never knew that I liked monkeys until I saw their Singerie and Swinging Monkeys patterns. I'd love to use the latter in a closet or niche that has been converted to a bar.
So what's the latest Fromental innovation that has captured my fancy? This hand-embroidered Italian velvet wallpaper, above, that was introduced at last year's Decorex. Named Berard, the faux-paneled design was inspired by the work of artist Christian Bérard.
I'm so intrigued by the fact that the faux painted design is embroidered, and embroidered on velvet no less. It's so unexpected, and yet, that is exactly what I would expect from Fromental.
In this 1939 photo of the Institut Guerlain in Paris, you can see the inspiration behind Fromental's print. At the behest of Jean-Michel Frank, Christian Bérard painted trompe l'oeil architecture on yellow fabric.
Although these stage sets were not designed by Bérard, they reminded me of his work. Designed by Jean Hugo in 1925 for Jean Cocteau's play Orphee, the painted architectural features have a similar feel to the Fromental paper.
Fromental photos courtesy of the company. Guerlain photo from Jean-Michel Frank: The Strange and Subtle Luxury of the Parisian Haute-Monde in the Art Deco Period by Pierre-Emmanuel Martin-Vivier; Hugo photo from Chanel by Jean Leymarie.