modern monday: favorite modern (nouveau) toile wallpaper


About 4 years ago I came across some photos from the then-new Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. The design was incredible, the anchoring restaurant looked terrific, but what really caught my eye was the custom wallpaper: a nouveau toile (designed by Dan Funderburgh) featuring illustrations that paid tribute to the industrial past of the historic hotel's structure. That was the beginning of my obsession with modern toile (and in case you're wondering how to say toile, it's pronounced twΓ€l)…

Toile, or really Toile De Jouy, literally translates to a cloth from Jouy-en-Josas, the French town where the printed fabrics were first commercialized. The pattered style of linen or cotton, which became in vogue during the 18th century, usually featured a bucolic country setting, pastoral scene or contemporary mid-1700s life. The toile could have floral motifs, maidens or heroes in typical landscapes, and the colorways were often limited to red, blue, black or green.

Today the narrative of toile fabrics and prints has grown. While there are still many contemporary companies who favor a more traditional pattern, increasingly there are modern designers putting a twist on the classic look. In the modern toile, the landscapes have been updated, the colorways have expanded, prints incorporate more inclusive depictions of city life, and some have even woven powerful social commentary into their work.  

Toile is even inspring digital installations at LACMA!


Here are some of my favorite toile, y'all!
xx,
Batya 


Sheila Bridges' "Harlem Toile De Jouy" - a satirical piece that lampoons (some of) the stereotypes deeply woven into the African American experience.





Bay Area Toile by Matt Ritchie and JormaTaccone
 featuring Too $hort, Humpty Hump and Mac Dre, Alice Waters, Joe Montana, and Angela Davis. 




I FLIPPED out when I saw this custom wallpaper at the Henry Howard Hotel in New Orleans. I lived in the city for 6 years and fell in love with this design faster than beads fly off a float during Mardi Gras! Here, take a closer look:



It was designed by Kathleen Fitzgerald and Lauren Kolesinkas.




Peacock Toile available through Anthropologie


London Toile from Timorous Beasties


And more toile-centric design here:
Hazelnut New Orleans offers New Orleans-centric fabrics like Magnolia and Cafe au Lait! 
Spoonflower for more toile options at varying price points.