Maharam continues to broaden its offering of Textiles of the 20th Century™ with the introduction of Alphabet Sheer and Stars Sheer by Alexander Girard. Originally produced as wallcoverings, the two iconic designs have now been adapted in close cooperation with the Girard Studio for window covering application.
Both re-editions respect Girard’s preference for geometrically patterned drapery: “I had the notion then, and still do, that any form of representational pattern, when used on a folded or draped fabric, becomes disturbingly distorted and then, therefore, a geometric pattern is more appropriate for a draped fabric.”
Created as a hand-printed wallpaper in 1952 during Girard’s first year as design director for Herman Miller’s textile division, Alphabet was first re-engineered by the Maharam Design Studio as a contract wallcovering in 2004 using a PVC-free substrate that has since been discontinued. Now, utilizing an industrial silkscreen process, the pattern has been reimagined as a burnout drapery.
A burnout occurs when the material undergoes chemical treatment to dissolve the fibers, creating a semitransparent effect. Maintaining its original scale, Alphabet’s crisp, typographic pattern is rendered as transparent text embedded in an opaque white ground. Its stenciled pattern is one of many Girard designs centered on typography—a theme seen throughout his career.
Stars was originally designed as an Environmental Enrichment Panel for Herman Miller in 1972 to “personalize and add an element of aesthetic functionalism” to furniture systems and office spaces. For this application, its scale has been reduced by forty-five percent. Using the same industrial silkscreen process, Stars employs various five-to-six pointed shapes with shifting angles to generate a playful and kinetic geometric pattern.
To keep the focus on the pattern, rather than the palette, both Alphabet and Stars are available in a singular sheer, white color, placing them in a continuum with Dot Pattern Sheer by Charles and Ray Eames and Geometri Sheer by Verner Panton.
Maharam has reissued a total of twenty-one Girard patterns to date as part of its Textiles of the 20th Century™ series. Committed to authentically reproducing the textiles of great designers of the past, this collection also includes the work of Anni Albers, Josef Hoffman, George Nelson, and Gio Ponti, among others.
Maharam is proud to sponsor the first major Girard retrospective. Organized by the Vitra Design Museum and co-sponsored by Herman Miller, Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe made its US debut at Cranbrook Art Museum on June 17. The landmark exhibition presents hundreds of works across a range of disciplines and will run through October 8, 2017.
Alphabet Sheer by Alexander Girard, 1952 Specifications
Content: 100% Polyester
Stars Sheer by Alexander Girard, 1972 Specifications
Content: 100% Polyester