Design Centre Stories

Making a Spectacle

Taking place under the cathedral-like domes of Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, 1851’s Great Exhibition was a mighty show of the strength of Victorian commerce, ingenuity and human progress. For her second fabric collection as design director of Zimmer + Rohde‘s Hodsoll McKenzie brand, German designer Fredericke Winkler has looked to this landmark event for inspiration.

‘Crystal Palace’ (above centre), is a hand-painted circular motif digitally printed on cotton: the design celebrates Paxton’s glorious domes as they might have been viewed from above. ‘Sydenham’ (above, bottom left) takes its name from the corner of south-east London where the Crystal Palace ended up: “It’s a nice example of textile craft,” said Stefan Gabel, global creative director of Zimmer + Rohde, launching the collection as part of Focus/20’s virtual programme. “It looks like a big knit stitch, but in fact it’s a cotton embroidery on a linen ground – those stitches are really bold. It’s a beautiful texture, not too loud, which really plays with this three dimensional effect.” Other fabrics are inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite painters and their sumptuous approach to painting textiles, while ‘Kohninoor’ has a fractured appearance to represent the glittering facets of the diamond of the same name, gifted to the British Empire in 1849.

Stefan Gabel also introduced Zimmer + Rohde’s other new collections at Focus/20: view the full presentation here.

Zimmer + Rohde, Ground Floor, North Dome