“I am always looking for treasures,” says Olivia Deruelle, design director at Manuel Canovas, of sourcing inspiration for upcoming collections at the famed French fabric house. Growing up in Brittany, a charming region dotting the coast of France, this idea of collecting pieces from nature and the sea was embedded at an early age and continues to be a common theme in her current role. Coincidently, Monsieur Manuel Canovas, who founded his namesake brand in 1963, was also an incredible collector of art, crafts and antiques, and eventually grew the company internationally to encompass fabrics, wallpapers and carpets.
It is this collectors’ sensibility, both from the past and present, that has curated beautiful designs that feel at once au courant and incredibly refined. While color continues to be at the heart of the brand, Deruelle focuses on maximalist, narrative-driven patterns; the result is an eclectic mix infused with happiness and joy. It was fitting then for her first collection released this year, that the focus was on French joie de vivre and exploring the modern interpretation of Toile de Jouy fabrics and wallcoverings. Classic Canovas motifs including Bengale and La Musardiere were recolored in vivid hues, and introductions like Pondicherry and Nara have farther flung influences including Japanese architecture and an Indian palace.
Finding joy in the process of textile making is important to the design director as she considers Manuel Canovas’ honored heritage and gently steers the company into the future. Whether delving into the archives or working with contemporary artists and her team to develop original patterns, the guiding principle is to stay true to a brand that has created so much happiness and exuberance through the language of fabrics.