Design Centre Stories

Baroque Masterpieces

Ardecora’s Trinacria is a tribute to the art and architecture of Sicily, called after the ancient name for the Mediterranean island. The collection, available from Zimmer + Rohde, celebrates noble materials, from silk and Italian linen to alpaca and virgin wool: it was shot on location at the baroque Villa Palagonia near Palermo, a fitting backdrop for the fabrics.

Katharina Schmitter, Ardecora’s design director, confessed to a fascination with Sicily’s baroque era when she introduced the collection in the showroom. “Every building, regardless of its size or function, is really an artwork in itself” she said of towns such as Noto and Syracuse. “Every fabric tells a story of art and architecture.” She explained how “the DNA of Ardecora is very much connected to craftsmanship,” so using the most beautiful materials chimed with its ethos: for example, this is the first time that silk has appeared in its collections for a while.

‘Villa Palagonia’ (above left) is the hero of the collection, a cotton/silk featuring baroque buildings (all of them real) set in a tree-filled landscape dotted with the odd flamingo and strolling tiger. It’s digitally printed in 30 colours, lending it an exceptional complexity and depth. ‘Palazzo Gangi’ (above centre) meanwhile, is an opulent cotton and silk velvet whose lustre and shallow pile give it a distinctive patina: “if you’re looking for perfection, stay away” said Schmitter about its finish. ‘Ortigia’ (above right) is a flowing jacquard damask which comes in some dramatic contrasting colourways as well as tonal neutrals, while ‘Vulcano’ is a suitably powerful tribute to Etna, a technically sophisticated jacquard velour with a vibrant play of colours.

“Timeless Sicilian charm, combined with the modernity of our time,” is how Schmitter describes Trinacria, and with so many of these sensuous fabrics having a tactile appeal, they deserve to be experienced in person in the showroom.

Zimmer + Rohde, Ground Floor, North Dome