As strange as it may seem that a man of my stature would be so enamoured by a woman of beautiful fabrics, the simple fact remains that it happened. When I (meaning #BlogTourLDN) met with Bernie de La Cuona on that misty afternoon just off the stunning row houses of Brompton Road in Knightsbridge, I would say that our design eyes had just been excited by another shop but our hearts did not know that they were going to fall in love that day.
It did not take much for me to have sparks of fantasy, whimsy, lust, and desire because her fabric collection is stunning but it is all about the drape for her, as you can see from the cover photo. The absolute refinement of every single fabric is beyond what I would have ever have expected.
Artisan techniques underpin each new fabric introduced into the collection – Bernie has led the way with stone-washed linens, embossed linens and the use of tonal wool yarns to add a special dimension to unique embroideries on superb quality linen base cloths and, of course, her signature wool and cotton paisleys which are recognized worldwide. Her cushion collection enjoys the same reputation.
Bernie, if I may be so "North American" and call her by her first name, explained so many concepts, processes, and results to us all that I think we wished we had a video to go back to. Her South African gentle-ness was inspiring that she wanted us to create our own ideas by throw all the fabric around on her farm table on what inspired her. She didn't stay still for one second. We went through some regional differences, mixed some colours together, and I think everyone walked out of there in awe of what a true master can do.
I swear to the Spinning Jenny that the next client to knock on my door and wants de La Cuona will have a hard time tearing me away from their new space.
One word: "Cashmere."