"Looking in the past, is not a backward vision"
These were the words spoken by archive specialist Sophie Rouart from Focus 2016, Chelsea. WOOLF were treated to a presentation showing some of the incredible pieces collected by Pierre Frey that are meticulously documented and protected in Pierre Frey’s Paris showroom.
WOOLF have been in quiet admiration of Pierre Frey for many years. This family owned business was founded in 1935 starting with only printing single coloured fabrics. It was only once a client suggested that Frey print an artist’s design, that the company started to evolve. Rouart displayed many incredible pieces that have since been either re-created, or used as inspiration for a new idea. For example, she delicately laid out a hand embroidered curtain from the 16th Century that has been the source of inspiration for a woven wallcovering. She also displayed the versatility that Pierre Frey offer as a client wished to re-create a pattern using metallic beads.
It is this sense of history that WOOLF are inspired by the most, as these pieces represent an outstanding heritage and a true appreciation of styles and designs that have come before. It is here where the company have taken these patterns and prints that are hundreds of years old and used them in a new way, creating unique collections that hold a history, with a modern twist. They let the ‘clients be the creators’ as Rouart so elegantly put, showing once more Frey’s adventurous flare, giving everyone a chance to create a piece of history.
The extraordinary way in which these fabrics are preserved and then often re-designed in a different colour, design or for a contrasting purpose can also be reflected in how the business has been passed down from one generation to the next. Pierre Frey pride themselves on tradition but are not afraid to look towards the future, which is clear from their fast growing collections. It is not a company, but a home.