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July 11, 2017 Cathy Martin

This week I catch up with my friend and former model Katie Larmour, whose design business Katie Larmour Design has found global success in the luxury interiors market with her statement, one-of-a-kind, artisan-made cushions fashioned from antique and vintage designer silk scarves and backed with Irish Linen.

As of this week, I am now the owner of a beautifully striking oversized cushion intricately made from a rare and exquisite vintage Jean-Louis Scherrer silk scarf backed in pure, undyed Irish Linen.  The cushion is perhaps of one of the prettiest pieces of furnishings I think I have ever owned. It appeals to my love of fashion and design as much to the aesthete in me and will no doubt make my once-cool-now-feeling-dreary grey living room a much brighter place to sit! And as I decided to tell its story here on the blog, I thought I would venture into Katie’s story also, because I’ve known Katie for more than a decade as a model and presenter who I represented and who worked closely with me at FASHIONWEEK - being front of camera for the ad campaign, then hosting the popular BFWTV shows.  I know Katie as an artist also, and so I wanted to find out how her art and love of fashion got woven together to create her wonderfully creative company.

But before we get to the interview, (which also appears on the William Clark Living in Linen blog here: http://www.wmclark.co.uk/living-linen-katie-larmour-design/), let’s take a look at my new cushion - it is a thing of beauty indeed, especially for someone as moved by colour as me.

Jean-Louis Scherrer was a flamboyant French fashion designer, affectionately described by Vogue as 'the Aladdin of Couture’, and was known for his forte in creating opulent evening wear. After apprenticing under Christian Dior alongside Yves Saint Laurent, the former classical ballet dancer launched his own label in 1962, and in 1971 was one of a handful of Parisian designers officially granted the prestigious ‘Haute Couture’ status. With boutiques on both the famous Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore and later Avenue Montaigne, his glamorous clients included Jacqueline Kennedy, Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Bianca Jagger and Raquel Welch. This print is an example of his zesty, fluid work, displaying a striking pattern of block colour in strong, bright primaries and familiar bright ‘pop art’ shades. Stylised floral shapes in vibrant sweeping strokes stand out against an ivory white ground, most notably the hot pink buds. Adding interest to the design is the manner in which it is broken up into sections divided by bold yet blending right angles.

Aside from the wonderful design on the scarf, the attention to detail in creating the cushion is outstanding. Before being carefully unravelled to construct this cushion, the scarf edge would have been delicately hand rolled and hemmed, a distinctive French style finish of all scarves. Now backed in new, 100% pure Irish linen - the aristocrat of textiles and certified by the Irish Linen Guild - the cushion has been filled with plush duck feather insert and a concealed dress zip. The traditional oatmeal colour linen is a combination of the unbleached and undyed raw colour of the natural flax plant on the weft intertwined with pristine white on the warp, resulting in a beautiful mottled effect.



Katie Larmour