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Uncommon Threads: how Luke Edward Hall designed a new fabric collection for Rubelli

Every year sees the launch of beautiful new fabric collections that get hearts racing across the interiors world. Our new series 'Uncommon Threads' looks at the collaborations and creative processes that make the collections possible. In our first episode, we join Luke Edward Hall at his London flat to find out about the patterns he has designed for distinguished Italian textile house Rubelli, including a vivid reworking of an archive chintz in a rich lilac shade, and how his own characteristic style of art informed this playful, joyful collection.

Released on 09/02/2022


[gentle music]

The collection with Rubelli,

came about pretty much during the pandemic, really.

Nicolo Rubelli got in touch with me.

And then when it was safe to travel again, I went to Venice,

and we began talking about working together on a collection.

The Rubelli archives are housed in Ca' Pisani.

A palazzo in Venice.

They have documents there going back to the 15th century.

And I think they have something crazy,

like over 7,000 pieces of fabric.

Obviously for me, that's like being a kid in a candy store.

I was rifling through bits of fabrics,

and I'm picking up my favorite things.

It's just an incredibly magical experience.

I'm always attracted to old things.

I'm always attracted to old furniture.

Fabrics are no different.

I mean, going and touching and feeling things,

that have been around for hundreds of years,

and imagining their kind of previous life,

is just really exciting,

and obviously they're full of character.

And so for me, it was a really brilliant starting point,

to be able to go look at these antique documents,

and then to sort of take inspiration for my own collection.

I think when we looked at the antique fabrics,

at the archive,

we were focusing on looking at this kind of thing.

Big florals.

Because we knew that, you know,

what I would be bringing to the table,

it's my sort of style of drawing,

which is very sort of graphic and bold.

I can't produce sort of old, amazing chins.

It's not in my realms of ability really.

So what we thought was why don't we look at the archive,

try and find a kind of amazing flaw fabric,

that we can breathe new life into.

So it was kind of thinking about what I can do,

and what I can't do.

My approach to interior design is very eclectic.

I love mixing old things with new things.

I love mixing up textures.

I love coming up with unexpected color combinations.

As we were developing it,

we were going off in different directions a lot of the time,

but what I really love about them as well,

is apart from the archive fabric,

they're all based on my drawings.

So even the stripes, I drew it out by hand.

This one here actually was based,

on a kind of wallpaper fragment in a museum,

and then I redrew it and then we made into a stripe.

So they all have this kind of handcrafted feel to them,

which I really like.

We called the collection, Return to Arcadia.

The kind of main inspiration was my garden in the country,

as well as other gardens around me in the countryside.

Rousham, which is one of my favorite gardens to visit,

that provided the inspiration for this fabric,

which is called rousham.

It's kind of, one of the kind of anchors of the collection,

I suppose.

And also kind of draws upon my love of Greek mythology,

Greek and Roman.

Sort of this magical Arcadian paradise,

with statues and Follies.

So there is this kind of theme of the English garden,

mixed with classical antiquity coming through.

I mean, I love creating stories,

and I love the fact that there is this overarching story,

to the collection.

But I also get inspiration from all over the place.

I think it's about how you kind of play with things,

and the kind of juxtaposition of different types of designs,

and different colors as well.

I mean, this was quite an unexpected.

When I said to Rubelli,

I wanted to do a lavender background,

I think at first they were sort of unsure,

but I think it gives it a completely new lease of life.

Really, I just worked with my favorite colors.

So we've got olive green and pistachio blue, lavender,

sky blue, coral, pale yellow.

Very early on, I thought I'd love to do stars on a fabric,

but very simple, very graphic, just stars.

Asturias is a sort of chenille.

And then it has these kind of stars,

that have an actual kind of metallic thread.

So they do, when you have candles lit,

they do actually have this little glow about them,

which is amazing.

I've sort of had a lot of people asking,

what's your favorite one,

which one would you like to use the most?

I love them all for different reasons.

I mean, I would love to use rousham,

because it's the one with the most detail.

It's my drawings, obviously.

And it's the most kind of enveloping one.

So I would love to use it all over the place.

I got married in May this year,

and it kind of just came to me,

when I was thinking about what I was going to wear,

for my wedding.

Wait, I should wear one of my new fabrics.

So I went for rousham,

and made an entire suit in this fabric.

And it was great. I loved it.

The overarching idea with the collection,

and my work in general, is optimism,

and this idea of bringing about joy.

And I think there's a lot of beige out there,

and I'm always kind of pushing this kind of color wagon,


I actually get a lot of joy from color.

That's the magic of color.

It can make you feel things and lift you up.

I hope that's really what this collection will do.

It'll kind of bring about joy.

[gentle music]