Wednesday 23 October 2013

Anna Maria Garthwaite (1688-1763) - 18th century textile designer

When it comes to choosing fabric for a dress project I am rather reluctant to take risks. Which  means I mostly opt for plain colours as I found you can go SO wrong with a pattern... I mean, you can't take ANY plaid or striped or colour combination, and coming to even more complicated things like floral patterns the possibilities for choosing the wrong kind of style and colour become even more abundant.

Anyway, I have been stumbling across some fabulous pictures of this English designer from the 18th century and wanted to share it with you.

Garthwaite 1726-28, HOW MODERN IS THIS!!!

Garthwaite 1752

Garthwaite 1726, one of my favourites

Garthwaite 1728

Garthwaite 1751

Garthwaite 1734

Garthwaite at the V&A, search

(above pictures are from V&A)

Pinterest Board Garthwaite

About Anna Maria Garthwaite (from Wikipedia)

Anna Maria Garthwaite (born 14 March 1688 in Leicestershire– October 1763, Spitalfields ) was a textile designer and created beautiful and intriguing floral designs for Spitalfield Silks (damask and brocades). Mainly from the 1720s to 50s. Many of her watercolour and fabric designs (more than 1000!) have survived (see V&A collection), but also pictures of her designs and original garments. (follow the wikipedia link above for more information on her biography)

What I found most astonishing was how incredibly modern some of her graphical work seems. The little trees (first picture above) could have been designed just recently but no, she came up with it about 300 years ago! 300 years!!! The below pictures show a few dresses with designs that are really bold , nearly greometrical patterns. I didn't believe my eyes! She turned from these very stylized designs to more "true to nature" designs which came into fashion in England (picture at the very bottom), while French designers went more stylized.

Mrs Charles Willing of Philadelphia was painted by Robert Feke in 1746 wearing a gown of English silk damask woven to a surviving 1743 design by Anna Maria Garthwaite. ( from wikipedia)

Robe à l’anglaise
Red silk damask
Circa 1775, England
Fabric by Anna Maria Garthwaite, 1751 from:

1740-1750 (woven) 1750-1760 (made) (attributed) from after 1751 1752

More about patterns and do's and don't's here: Marquise Stoffmuster

No comments:

Post a Comment