Now that we’ve examined the history of toile, it’s time to look at modern day versions of this pattern. I have to say that I am totally blown away by the way that designers have been able to make this 240 year-old design feel completely modern. One of my favorite artists, Richard Saja, subtly subverts the 18th century patterns via embroidery as he adds masks on the humans, a bouquet of flowers or a clown nose on a woman. I love how it forces you to look closely at what’s happening in the design. Richard’s work is available through his site, Historically Inaccurate.
So many designers are doing fun things with toile and I’ve included a few of my favs here – they definitely inspire you to look at the pattern in a new light!