by Marisa Marcantonio

An early adopter of exotic exploration that traveled world learning the tricks of the global style trade years ago, John Robshaw has helped define the global/exotic design category. His sophisticated, brightly colored block-prints celebrate the handmade with a fresh twist. Working with centuries - old block printing and dying techniques, Robshaw applies his design eye to create something new and exciting by mixing artisanal technique, pattern, scale and bold color. From frolicking elephants to flowering vines, his designs take the best elements of exoticism and Indian design. With a fine arts degree from Pratt, the search for indigo dyes took him to Asia many years ago, igniting a lifelong passion for the artistic sensibility and sense of tradition that existed there. Influenced by the culture, people and process, his sarongs, bedding, fabrics and pillows make a distinct statement. A new partnership with Duralee fabrics makes his pattern play available to a wider audience. The collection includes energetic prints, some embroidery and rich wovens that mix and layer together. A wide range of colors, from umber to khaki, charcoal to moss green, madder to coral and indigo to turquoise make the collection ever-varied. You will feel as though your passport has been stamped numerous times once you see this collection, but you don't have to venture far to channel it's global sensibility. 


by Marisa Marcantonio

Photos courtesy of Katherine Rally Textiles
The Dupps family surrounded by their designs

After I posted Batik Beauties covering batik fabrics and accessories, I was inundated with emails and Facebook messages telling me I had to know about Rally and Kathy Dupps. Thanks to Nicky Rising in LA, I now know about a beautiful line of batik fabrics called Katherine Rally Textiles designed by an amazing family that lives in Bali. The story of their collection is what dreams are made of-- everyone will wish they lived this gorgeous existence! Their textile company was inspired by their love of travel, textiles they had seen on their journey, and design. Rally, an architect, is from Nashville, and Kathy, an interior designer from Arizona, met in 2002. The great adventurers decided to backpack through Southeast Asia, to see how it went and what might come of it. After a marriage proposal, "they both thought 6 weeks in India sounded way more interesting than a diamond ring", says their website, so they hit the road. The fabric bug began with a sketch and a sarong, and the rest, as they say, is history. They relocated to the island of Bali, Indonesia, known for their batik artistry, with their two small children when the economy went south, and dug in their heels, creating batiks in modern patterns and great colors. When they are not globetrotting and creating textiles, they make their home in Aspen, Colorado. The fabrics are available through Walker Zabriskie Furniture in Palm Beach, the shop Lotus Bleu in San Francisco, to the trade in LA through Nicky Rising Limited, Travis and Company in Atlanta to the trade and more places listed on their website.

I recently caught up with Rally, who gave me the scoop:

Perhaps you can share your story from inspiration to reality.

Bali is a real melting pot and crossroads of culture and this mixed with amazing natural beauty means anyone with an iota of creativity will find inspiration here. Thomas Edison was right: inspiration is 99% perspiration (that goes double for hot humid Bali). One time I was on a long walk in the rice field and an elderly Balinese lady was making her rounds with incense and offerings for her shrines and I noticed she was wearing the most amazing batik sarong. I tried to capture it in my imagination as best I could and then began drawing furiously when I got home.

What made you decided to produce your own collection?

A collection must have a point of view. When you close your eyes and think of Katherine Rally Textiles, what comes to mind? I ask myself this question every time I begin designing something new. I want people to think of Katherine Rally Textiles as bold, beautiful batiks in memorable patterns using an innovative mix of modernism and tradition. Adding to our collection means offering our clients more of what they have come to love from us, but taken to a new level. It is an endless, delightful journey.

Do you sell retail and to the trade?
Actually, we sell to both. Our pillows and tableware are available through retailers and our fabric is sold through showrooms. All of our retailers and showrooms are shown on the "where to buy" section of our website, Katherine Rally.

A stack of colorful patterned pillows

Napkins styled on a bamboo ladder

The textiles:

Garden Gate in pink coral

Dallah in Kelly Green

Pondicherry in pink coral

Sassa in pink coral

Eliza in classic blue

Fleur in empire red

Rebecca in powder blue

Monaco in bougainvellea

Ballian in classic blue

Joie de Vivre in empire red

Afrique in chocolate