by Marisa Marcantonio

 The work of Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes is part trompe l'oeil, part performance art. As you can see, she is certainly not a wallflower, or a shrinking violet. By becoming one with her backgrounds, she disappears into her subject matter. By hiding in plain sight using her body as her canvas, her work has an air of intrigue. Using body paint to camouflage and painstakingly transform herself to fit in with her floral wallpaper backgrounds, her Landscape Series examines themes of femininity, being noticed and the idea of transformation. Choosing to engage with her viewer in some of the portraits, Paredes' eyes stare out from her work with a haunting gaze. In other shots, she is only recognizable by her dark hair-- everything else blends in. By pairing herself with classic chintz, floral and tropical interior prints, her "photoperformance" work would be a wonderful foil to a traditional or modern setting. The Philadelphia-based artist's work can be found at The J. Johnson Gallery.

Photos courtesy of Cecilia Paredes

Asia, features Clarence House's cherry blossom patterned wallpaper

Both Worlds features Paredes in a full frontal gaze. She has nowhere to hide, as her shock of dark hair reveals her human form.

Blue Landscape with  potted tropical plants on a pale blue ground

In Bed of Roses, Paredes sleeps wrapped up in a yellow floral print with the same background

Dreaming Rose shows her sleeping on a fabric strewn surface with her arms camouflaged in blooms

Stretched out with her head down, Rythmic Garland takes a lot of body paint

In Tuttu Frutti she wears a pleated skirt with painted legs


by Marisa Marcantonio

It seems the collaboration machine is again hard at work.  This time, it is a partnership between two British print-centric textile companies.  Vintage Celia Birtwell mini prints and newer company Cabbages and Roses' blooms are cropping up at Uniqlo. I have a thing for prints, especially when they have a sweet retro feeling.  I have long been a fan of the colorful, naive Birtwell prints, an icon of 1960's and 70's London. Cabbages and Roses launched in London in 2000, and  made their mark with big Cabbage roses on pastel grounds. Their toiles and chintz prints are the epitome of the English countryside, with their charming, realistic flowers strewn about. The two lines are reinvented by Uniqlo, with pared-down crisp shapes in clothing, bags and scarves. With great prices and easy to wear designs, they are a summer treat. Scoop them up by the armful.

 Pretty Woman, one of Birtwell's best-loved prints.

 It looks completely different in a yellow color way.

Their Beasties animal print is adorable with animals and flowers that look midieval.

A Cabbage Rose print in purple and white on a mint ground.

 A striking black and white floral.

A classic blue rose on cream.

Tiny flowers in rows.

 A linen tunic in blue and white floral, perfect for the beach.

 Ships sailing!

An easy cotton dress in a blue and white Indian floral print.

 A diamond printed scarf with tiny blooms in pink and blue.

Quite the striking pairing of colors.

 Mystic Daisy a wonderful linking floral pattern.

A pale blue and red print.

 The same print on a green ground.

Tiny dog portraits. Subtle and darling.


by Marisa Marcantonio

Photo courtesy of Designer's Guild
A digitally printed panel Bosquet, is oversized and breathtaking

From the minute I saw these new fabrics and wallpaper panels from Designer's Guild's Zepherine Collection at the D and D Building's Osborne and Little last spring, reminiscent of stage sets and English country manors, I was taken by their old world, British brooding yet charming impact.

Ornamental Garden, a fabric panel of gigantic urns against a glamorous dark grey background is like nothing else out there. Yes, more is more.

The design is also available in a wallpaper, the hyper realistic flowers and urns set against a background with classic molding. It is fantastic in that Cecil Beaton's English country house way.

The drop repeat of flower filled urns in Rugosa has an unparalleled wow factor to it.

The pastiche collage effect of this Orangerie fabric makes me love it. I could envision it on a chair, in pillows or covering every surface in a small guest bedroom to create an indoor garden.

Palmieri, a grisaille drawing of flower and frond filled classical urns against a bright pop of color is pretty eye catching.

Photo courtesy of Rizzoli
If Tricia Guild's inventive designs and verve for explosive patterns and color intrigues you, then take a look at her newest visual feast,
Colors Patterns and Space from Rizzoli. As Tricia's largest design book, with over 400 photos, the hardbound tome has a vibrant silk binding with woven ribbon details. If you are familiar with her vast King's Road emporium, then you know she has a mesmerizing way with color pairings and design.