Pierre Frey Reissues Striking Geometric Textiles by Elise Djo-Bourgeois
When the archives of 1870s textile company Maison Maurice Lauer were acquired by Pierre Frey, the treasure trove revealed an unsung virtuoso: Elise Djo-Bourgeois. Amid a groundswell of female modernists to emerge following World War I, the textile designer never achieved the renown of her contemporaries, having abandoned her career following the 1937 death of her husband and frequent collaborator, designer Georges Djo-Bourgeois. Her striking geometrics now find a new lease on life in nine reissues, block-printed on cotton percale—just as it was done in the twenties. The technique causes slight imperfections across patterns like 1723, an assembly of triangles and broken lines, and 1746, the triangles meeting parallelograms. Earlier this year in Hyères, France, an exhibition at Villa Noailles—a Robert Mallet-Stevens house with interior design by Djo-Bourgeois’s husband—showcased the vivid collection against archival black-and-white photos, underscoring color as the quintessence of her oeuvre.