If there’s one place to get the pulse of designer wallpaper and fabric trends, it’s Paris in January. Every year, design professionals from all over the world descend on the city for Paris Déco Off, where textile houses present their latest collections—and a first look at what’s to come—in spectacularly devised showrooms. For when it comes to designer wallpaper and fabrics, the beauty is in the application as much as it is the design.
This season’s launches share in an unabashed enthusiasm. Perhaps it’s a pendulum shift from quiet luxury—these new palettes throw a punch, from heritage brands reimagining their archival prints in daring new colorways to contemporary labels reviving a flair for the psychedelic. Design-wise, one country in particular seems to be at the forefront of creative directors’ minds: Japan. Homages to japonisme abound, ushering a new era in transportive luxury, as seen at De Gournay, Pierre Frey, and Fromental, whose Paris Déco Off showrooms were visions in metallic gold, Imari prints, and scenic murals. Below, discover all seven musings inspiring this season’s top designer wallpaper and fabric launches.
Travels to Japan
Odes to Japanese design principles have globally risen like a tide in recent years, as appeals to wabi-sabi (the Japanese art of impermanence), Japandi stylistic fusions, or kanso (meaning the elimination of clutter in Japanese, furthered to the mainstream by author and organizer Marie Kondo) simmered within the design collective. But this year, Japanese musings have been a tidal wave in textile houses. The resulting prints, patterns, and murals are a love letter to Japan—from its bucolic natural landscape to the quality and artistry exhibited by its artisans for generations.
De Gournay’s latest collection, Byōbu (which means “folding screen” in Japanese), features stylized, seasonal depictions of the land, sky, and sea that hark back to the Edo Period (1603–1868), a golden age for Japanese painting. Fromental presents its New Gilded Age collection, whose highlights are Kiku Garden’s gleaming chrysanthemums, as well as Haiku, a scenic brush painting made in collaboration with American-born, Milan-based designer Eric Egan.
Designers Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen looked to their personal collection of Imari porcelain for inspiration for their new collection, while Pierre Frey’s brilliant Soleil Levant collection, too, was influenced by Eastern decorative arts, from not just Japan (think ukiyo-e woodblock prints and silk obi patterns), but also China and Tibet.
Day at the Museum
At Paris Déco Off, some collection previews—presenting textiles defined by a flurry of brushstrokes, hand-drawn illustrations, or abstract watercolors—felt more like a tour through the Louvre. Take S. Harris’s Identity collection, which channels Abstract Expressionists and Color Field painters with designs like Frenetic Zen, emotively expressed on a cotton velvet. For those craving a Rothko-like canvases after seeing the Fondation Louis Vuitton blockbuster, peep Harlequin’s new Onburo wallpaper, told in meditative stripes.
In her first textile and wallpaper collection, created for Clarke & Clarke, interior designer Breegan Jane transforms African wildlife scenes into Pop art and painterly fabrics and wallpapers. Graphic repeats emphasized by glittering metallic shadows tell a tropical tale fit for Warhol in the collection’s Malindi wallpaper, while the abstract Nairobi wall covering conjures Monet’s waterlilies.