Mansur Gavriel Spring/Summer 2016

For Spring / Summer 2016, Mansur Gavriel is broadening its material palette with several Maharam textiles designed by Alexander Girard.

Departing from classic leather, Mansur Gavriel’s decision to bring these textiles back into fashion again speaks to the enduring power of Alexander Girard’s vision. Designed over a sixteen-year period spanning the 1950s and 60s, Lanalux, Mikado and Toostripe now accentuate four bags set to debut on September 14th at the Swiss Institute in SoHo. The new styles – including a flat, moon and volume clutch as well as a circle bag – will adorn models dressed in one-off garments made from the same materials as part of the label’s first official New York Fashion Week presentation. This limited-edition capsule collection will be available exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman in February.

Maharam has re-editioned twenty Girard designs to date as part of its ongoing Textiles of the 20th Century™ series. Dedicated to faithfully reissuing the work of great multidisciplinary designers past, the series connects multiple design movements—from the Wiener Werkstätte to the Bauhaus to midcentury modernism and beyond—through the designs of Anni Albers, Charles and Ray Eames, Verner Panton, and Gio Ponti, among others.

Interestingly, Girard’s textiles are among the most challenging to reissue as his command of the medium favored complex constructions and techniques, an intensity and variety of color, and unusual yarns. To ensure an accurate re-edition, Maharam works closely with Girard Studio, which was founded by the Girard family to preserve and promote the archive and design legacy of Alexander Girard.

Lanalux (1970) uses a three-ply fine micron wool yarn to achieve a rich homespun texture, Mikado (1954) features a stylized floral motif set against a bold checkerboard background, and Toostripe (1965) emphasizes graphic chromatic vibration. Collectively, these three textiles represent the breadth and diversity of Girard’s oeuvre. A highly prolific designer who was unhampered by contemporary dictums of style and taste, Girard produced over 300 textiles during his twenty-one years as the founding design director of Herman Miller’s textile division. The resulting body of work is staggering not only in sheer volume and creativity, but due to its fundamental qualities of beauty and usefulness, remains relevant today.