Design Centre Stories

A Couture Crossover

“To always be pushing at the boundaries of our craft is what really excites us”: Arte gets inspired by high-fashion

Couture fashion produces some of the finest examples of craftsmanship in the world – so it’s no surprise that Arte chose these rare skills to influence its latest collection. The Belgian wallcovering company, known for technical innovation and thinking outside the box, launched Le Couturier to bring new techniques to interiors.

“To find new ideas to bring into our design process, and always be pushing at the boundaries of our craft, is what really excites us,” says Arte’s managing director Philippe Desart. “Fashion is of course a constant source of inspiration for Arte, and with Le Couturier we really wanted to connect with the painstaking, handcrafted detailing that has existed in haute couture ateliers since the mid-19th century – where each garment, laboriously finished by hand, attests to the couturier’s savoir-faire and exceptional artisanship.”

The hero product is ‘La Perle’ (pictured top), a fabric-backed wallcovering layered with embroidery: the black and white version is additionally hand-embroidered with clusters of small pearls. It should have Coco Chanel’s famous missive – “a woman should have ropes and ropes of pearls” – ringing in your ears.

‘Franges’ (above left), meanwhile, is a jacquard with a three-dimensional twist, its loose threads creating a delicate fringe along the edge of each zigzagging chainlink motif. ‘Majesto’ (above centre) also features fringing, but the story here is more rustic, with vertical lines of loose threads breaking up a checkerboard pattern; and ‘Papillon’ is the last word in luxury, a plain silk in a mouthwatering palette that includes rose pink, turquoise and olive.

Desart explains more about the journey that Arte typically goes on to develop a new collection: “The process is long and detailed and takes lots of research and time: some designs can be a work in progress for a few years,” he says. “Many designs are very complex and require a lot of patience and, above all, a lot of perseverance. If something seems impossible, Arte will do everything it can to make it work. Arte never chooses the easiest way, but instead opts for the best result.”

Arte, Second Floor, Design Centre East