Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Thanks for the Inspiration, Fabrizio Rollo

I can't seem to get this photo out of mind as I find it so striking-and that goes for both the fashionably clad subjects and the decor around them. I found this photo on the blog of Brazilian based Fabrizio Rollo, the man seated in the middle. Fabrizio is currently the director of House Beautiful Brasil, though in the past he has held editorial positions at Casa Vogue and Vogue Brasil. Not only is he a natty dresser (Google his name to see what I mean; Fabrizio has a stellar wardrobe!), but he also has an eye for interior design. Even if you can't read Portuguese, it's worth visiting his blog as the images are really beautiful. The photographs transcend the language barrier...just like the one above.

What especially caught my eye was that beautiful tapestry. If it looks familiar, that's because it once graced the dining room of Yves Saint Laurent's Rue de Babylone home. The c. 1720 Gobelins tapestry, titled The King Borne by Two Moors, was purchased by Fabrizio's friend at the YSL auction at Christie's. And now it hangs in his friend's Paris apartment where the photo at top was taken. I think it's worth noting that the tapestry depicts the Dutch colony of Brazil, the (now) country that Fabrizio calls home.

I have to admit that I've never been a big fan of tapestries. That's sacrilege, I know. Still, you don't see them very often in American interiors as they're perhaps too grand for our more casual homes. Also, I've always thought the colors were a bit drab, though I realize the more monotone nature of many tapestries is due to fading and possible limitations in the number of colors used. But then I saw the Gobelins tapestry above and it completely changed my mind. The colors in this one are so vibrant, and they are made even more so thanks to the red sofa beneath it. Even the tapestry's subject, so exotic for the time, is something I find to be charming.

Perhaps someday you just might find a tapestry in my home. Will it be as grand as the YSL one? Maybe not. But in the meantime, I'll just have to live vicariously through Fabrizio.

The Gobelins tapestry as it appeared in Yves Saint Laurent's dining room.

Designer Jacques Grange has rotated this 1930s looking tapestry throughout his Paris home.

The Paris apartment of Madame Cuttoli, c. 1937. Cuttoli revitalized the Aubusson workshops during the 1930s by inviting artists like Lurcat, Matisse, Derain, and Dufy to design tapestries. In this photo, the two floor to ceiling tapestries that flank the fireplace were by Lurcat.

Here, a Beauvais tapestry, "Le Voyage du Prince".

Alidad furnished this Parisian living room with an Aubusson Louis XV tapestry.

Image at top courtesy of Fabrizio Rollo; #2 from The Yves Saint Laurent-Pierre Berge Collection: The Sale of the Century; #3 from The French Touch: Decoration and Design in the Most Beautiful Homes of France; #4 from Jacques Grange: Interiors; #5 from The Decorative Thirties; #6 from Les Reussites De La Decoration Francaise: 1950-1960; #7 courtesy of Alidad.


  1. I have to admit the very word "tapestry" is an instant turn off to me. I envision cheap reproduction French textiles with bullion fringe or some gawd-awful thing with a tiger on it. If I could have one with such an exotic image I might change my tune.


  3. We had a framed tapestry which added a pleasant formal note. As you noted, the colors were faded, but this lent an understated air, a different effect from this invigorating St. Laurent example. My favorite detail in this post is the proportions and architecture of the Jacques Grange living room.
    --Road to Parnassus

  4. I'm converted! Although I really also like antique French wallpaper screens.

  5. Wow, I am impressed, a comment from Fabrizio himself. I happen to love the the colors in this tspestry as well. The red stripes on the umbrella did it for me. It almost reminds me of a scene found on a Scalamandre wallpaper or fabric.
    Love all of your chic posts,

  6. Marília4:48 PM

    Beautiful blog and tribute to Fabrizio is fair!

  7. My first impression was that the group on the sofa under the tapestry was a Slim Aarons photograph. It seems to have all his hallmarks. I particularly love that tapestry but am generally fond of them, I guess. But it makes me realise that what we English call a tapestry (and you I think call needlepoint), can't really pretend to that term. It's only going to be a cushion dammit.

  8. LOVE that first tapestry! The red striped hat & umbrella and the subject matter really do it for me!

  9. Just divine! Any tapestry from any of these pics will do for me :-))

  10. LUV that fabulous tapestry - so exotic and colorful. I think I might just have to google Fabrizio to check out the wardrobe!! And jus love his comment! Thank you for the introduction!

  11. Julia H.6:41 PM

    Sorry, but Duarte Pinto Coelho is not spanish, he born in Portugal, in Cascais.

  12. Marília3:44 PM

    I'd love to have my house decorated by Fabrizio Rollo, for their excellent taste and knowledge of styles.