Maharam explores the creative legacy of Alexander Girard
Maharam celebrates the world of Alexander Girard through new collections of graphic upholstery, rugs and wallpapers designed between the 1950s and 1970s, and a short film exploring the American designer’s relationship with New Mexico
Iconic American designer and architect Alexander Girard is at the heart of a new capsule collection of reissued fabrics from the equally venerable Maharam textile house. Published as part of his “Textiles of the 20th Century” collection, the six reintroduced models stem from Girard’s tenure as founding design director of Herman Miller’s textile division, from 1952 to 1973, during which he has created more than 300 models. Maharam’s eye-catching offering brings together some of the most enduring designs of this period and will be available in two coverings, three wall coverings and a hand-woven rug.
“Textiles du XXe siècle” collection by Alexander Girard and Maharam
Girard’s inspiring ability to focus on graphic patterns and create unusual combinations is fully evidenced in Maharam’s new selection. Accustomed to emphasizing Girard’s brilliance – the “Textiles of the 20th Century” collection already includes 30 Girard patterns to this day – Maharam’s commitment to faithfully reproducing these historic designs is matched with an underlying innovative spirit that maintains the design in line with the current era. The company even commissioned a short film for the occasion, highlighting the impact of Santa Fe and the surrounding New Mexico landscape on Girard’s life and work.
Specifically in the reproduction of ‘Mexidot’ (1963), an upholstery pattern originally released as part of a hand-woven stripe series called ‘Mexicotton’, Girard Studio (the entity run by the Girard family to promote and preserving Girard’s legacy) requested that the updated version be produced with reduced environmental impact and accessibility in mind. Maharam Design Studio used recycled spun yarns to mimic the original look of natural cotton, while ensuring that the textile still stands up to the contemporary needs of high traffic seating.
Led by Creative Co-Directors Alexander Kori Girard and Aleishall Girard Maxon, the designer’s grandchildren, Girard Studio says: “Durability and material quality have always been important considerations in the work we do with Maharam, but now more than ever we strive to create products that improve the built world around us while having minimal impact on the earth. This new collection is particularly interesting in its use of post-consumer recycled and renewable materials. ‘ The three wallpaper designs: “Alphabet” (1952), “Roman Stripe” (1952) and “Broken Stripe” (1952) were digitally printed on a PVC-free substrate, while retaining warmth, tactility and vibrancy originals.
The collection is a testament to the timelessness of Girard’s aesthetics. “Pepitas” (1952), a padding design featuring a pointed ellipse formed by two intersecting disks of the same radius, which overlap so that the center of one shape lies on the perimeter of the other, is an example. staple designs that could be used in multiple applications, from drapery to wallpaper. Even the ‘Millerstripe’ rug, which is based on an upholstery fabric designed in 1972 (and reissued by Maharam in 2002), celebrates the power of universal stripe and is made from a woolen twill that represents the layout. Original full color design at double its original scale.
“The great thing about Girard’s designs is that with all of this from one hand, most of them work well together. I love that these designs reflect Girard’s belief that textiles are a fundamental building material for any space, ”says Mary Murphy, vice president of design at Maharam.
A statement from Girard Studio concludes: “From an aesthetic perspective, we are delighted to continue to raise awareness of the diversity of Girard’s wide range of designs. Classic yet unexpected at the same time, these upholstery, wall coverings and rugs offer a discreet but still distinctly Girard flavor. ‘
Watch: Alexander Girard and New Mexico