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Raf Simons and Kvadrat unveil new line of dappled textiles

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Ria was inspired by Pointillism

Two shots side by side. First of four winged lounge chairs arranged at the bottom of a spiral staircase in a marble foyer. The second of a curving sofa and an ottoman set in a grand salon with sculptural paper lanterns behind them.
Ria marks the fourth collaboration between Kvadrat and Raf Simons.
Photos by Brian Ferry

Last night, in an opulent Upper East Side townhouse that was once home to the National Academy Museum, Danish textile company Kvadrat celebrated its latest collaboration with Raf Simons, the Belgian fashion designer, with a special exhibition.

Vladimir Kagan’s swooping sofas upholstered with dappled fabric held court in a grand salon among Isamu Noguchi paper lamps, while inviting bean bag chairs from Zanotta lined a hallway.

The exquisite pieces were on display to showcase the fourth collection from Simons and Kvadrat. Continuing his interest in modern and contemporary art, Simons took on Pointillism this time to create Ria, a new line that evokes the texture and color of the paintings from Impressionist masters like George Seurat and Paul Signac.

Two tones of richly textured yarn are woven through a contrasting base color, producing an organic, almost floral pattern of light and depth. Ria is available in 15 colorways, including pastels, neutrals, and brights, with hues like duck-egg blue, primrose yellow, lavender, dark mint, dry earth tones, and a gentle blushing pink peeking through the fabric. The new line also complements the previous collections of short-pile velour, large-grain bouclé, and sheepskin-like mohair, all of which have been expanded for 2017.

Simons, who is currently the chief creative officer of Calvin Klein, found a way to translate fashion textile processes into those that work with fabrics for furniture—with the help of Kvadrat, of course:

I was fascinated by how the coloration and weaving processes in fashion textiles don’t have the same limitations as those of furnishing textiles. Working with Kvadrat, we’ve been translating the subtle colouration and texture that you’d find perhaps in a tweed or bouclé into textiles suitable for use in furniture. Because of the dense weave that is needed for furniture, the coloration becomes even more interesting, with almost a painterly impact.

The National Academy of Design is currently on the market as three parcels, available as a package for $78.5 million.

The special installation included textiles from previous collections. Here, a Vladimir Kagan sofa is upholstered in a rich, red fabric.