Monday, June 4, 2012

A World of Style: Rug and Textiles Specialist Madeline Weinrib Opens Her New Bespoke Design Atelier and Launches Chic New Products


Fans of the great New York textile and rug designer Madeline Weinrib are in for a treat, exclusively here on THE STYLE SALONISTE.

She has just opened a 2,700 sq ft appointment-only showroom on lower Fifth Avenue, adjacent to her studio. This highly anticipated space gives Madeline the opportunity to address the demand from the design industry for custom designs, ultra-luxury collaborations, and new concepts.

“In my new atelier, by appointment only, I can work closely with architects and designers in what I envision will be a design laboratory,” said Weinrib, giving a tour of her new space.

There she offers the full range of carpet and textile collections but she has also created new products, including cashmere carpets that are exclusive to this location.

“I’ll continue my focus on the hand of the artist, artisanal traditions, handcrafted rugs and textiles, my silk velvet ikats, and always with contemporary elegance, “ she said. 

I recently chatted with Madeline Weinrib to learn for about her new atelier, her new products, and her designs.

Stop by for a moment, and join us for an inspiring conversation. 

The new showroom carries the full range of Madeline Weinrib carpets, textiles and pillows. She works directly with designers on contract carpeting and other bespoke services. There is another small line being offered exclusively as bespoke called Classic Indian Dhurries.

Madeline Weinrib’s Mission Statement:
“ I embrace authenticity as one of my hallmark values. My aesthetic is defined by the use of techniques that favor hand over machine and tradition over automation. Rigorous and process-oriented, my design approach is one of open-ended experimentation, reframing and refinement.” 

A Chat with Madeline Weinrib: Art and Soul 
I recently spoke with Madi about her designs, her inspiration, and her love of textiles and carpets.

Sit down with us and meet Madeline. In her work, her devotion and passion for beauty shine through.

DDS: Tell us about your exciting new venture.
My new Showroom enables me to work on a more personal level with architects and designers, which is very inspiring to me. I also have a wide range of different weaving techniques that I can work with on a one to one basis with my clients. These would be difficult to retail. For instance, I have just created a carpet made of cashmere that will be available on a bespoke basis. It is an incredibly luxurious product. I love it. I also have beautiful jacquard fabrics that are new and not available anywhere else.

DDS: In your work you collaborate with art galleries, fashion designers, and other creatives. Tell us about your recent project in Italy.
The show in Milan was titled Climbers & Ramblers; A Series of Carpets by Madeline Weinrib. It was held at the Alberto Levi Gallery in Milan in conjunction with the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan.

My show in Milan was an exhibition of a series of carpets made in Pakistan from hand spun, vegetable dyed wool. Inspired by Persian carpets. I feel that this is one of my most important collections. It integrates Old Persian motifs with contemporary design and is based on conceptual ideas. The weavers who make these carpets are master craftsmen. It would be quite hard to make these carpets anywhere else. 

DDS: You travel for inspiration and to work with hand weavers and visit workshops, always learning.
Next I am off to Turkey, which is one of my favorite countries to visit. Fortunately I go often for production. I have been making gorgeous Angora goat hair carpets. They come in beautiful hues inspired by the colors of the Ottoman Empire.

DDS: I admire your idea of taking folkloric and handcrafted traditional patterns and making them modern. Your new colors are glorious.
I'm so glad that you picked up on that current in my work. My appropriation of traditional patterns and modernizing of that visual language has always been central to what I do. Now this idea seems everywhere, but at the time--12 years ago-- that wasn't the case. I discovered that it really resonated for me and that it could serve as my voice in the decorative arts. It became a departure from my paintings, which at the time were organic abstraction. This departure was possible because I was open to using new materials--the decorative textiles that I had been looking at-- and was responding to the particularities and formal constraints that they presented.

Once I started shifting my ideas, I had to rethink my technique and my perspective. I trained myself to see from the floor as opposed to the wall and realizing that it had to exist in dialogue with the decor in the room, that it would have furniture placed on it. I had to plan for that, to work with that. It couldn't be as hermetic. In painting, it's a world of its own. That’s not true for rugs, which are part of the décor and must be functional. 

DDS: What was your original design motive and inspiration?
I fell in love with an antique Tibetan carpet with a traditional design of a checkerboard. As an artist at that time, I was working on a series of drawings and sketches on craft paper and the designs on the checkerboard corresponded to the color of my paper and charcoal. That's when I realized I could transfer my ideas to a different surface with a different set of values. I designed my first collection. 

DDS: Your designs can be read as both very modern and quite traditional.
When I started working in textiles that was something I wanted to achieve. I designed concepts that would be contemporary and speak of its own time, but if it were a really strong design, it would work well in other environments. Great design should have flexibility. Using traditional motifs that have been simplified and pared to their essence has allowed me to achieve this duality. 

DDS: When did you start designing textiles?
I started making textiles about nine years ago. I meet a lot of interesting people through my travels, including a woman working in Uzbekistan helping to resurrect the art of ikat weaving. I wanted to produce ikats using my own palette and designs. It took a long time, but it has really taken off. I do the same thing with suzani textiles, and they are even harder to develop, but they look very beautiful. Five years ago, I started developing a hand-woven brocade. At this time, I can only make 14 yards per month. It’s rare and exquisite.

DDS: Thank you, Madi. I can’t wait to see what you do next. See you in India! 

A Selection of Collaborations:

Neue Galerie
The Neue Galerie in New York carries exclusive pillows in the gift shop. . More recently, Madeline created the Opium Ikat Kimono exclusively for the museum. Inspired by a photograph by Viennese photographer Madame D'Ora, it took Madeline years to perfect the ikat pattern on this beautiful handcrafted piece. It is currently available at the Neue Galerie.

Sebastian & Barquet
Madeline held a collaborative exhibition with renowned furniture gallery Sebastian + Barquet. Madeline brought her signature textile designs to a dozen pieces of Modernist furniture. “Reimagining mid-century touchstones by Gio Ponti, Vladimir Kagan and Arne Jacobsen through her own contemporary and highly-singular lens, Weinrib’s project explored the relationship between form, color and pattern and upends the formal rigor of the Modernist aesthetic.

Barneys NY
Madeline has launched an exclusive collection of home accessories for Barneys New York. The line of lacquer items was created from Madeline’s signature hand woven ikat textiles and is comprised of two serving trays, a stationery box, pencil box and Parsons table. The collaborative line is in the Chelsea Passage section of the retailer's Madison Avenue Flagship store as well as online. 


Visiting historic and highly decorative palaces throughout India, Madeline was drawn to the timeless beauty of the traditional hand-woven Indian cotton Dhurrie. Her designs reflect the elegant simplicity and rhythmic geometric sequences that give these carpets their allure. To evoke the mood and style of the old Indian palaces, this collection is stonewashed and gently weathered for an earthy, age-softened look. These versatile carpets look equally at home in a city apartment or a modernist beach house. Hand loomed in India from natural cotton and reversible.

Available exclusively as a bespoke offering, any Classic Indian Dhurrie style can be made to size and color. 

Where to find Madeline Weinrib:

New Bespoke Showroom
Madeline Weinrib Showroom for Bespoke Services
126 Fifth Avenue, 2nd floor
New York, NY
By appointment only, telephone (212) 414-5978

Madeline Weinrib Atelier
ABC Carpet & Home
888 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY

All photographs courtesy Madeline Weinrib, New York. Showroom photos by photographer Antoine Bootz and Madeline's portrait by photographer Jason Rothenberg.


quintessence said...

Wonderful piece!! Can't wait to visit!

shiree segerstrom said...

Have always found Madeline's designs to be peerless: the perfect balancce of pretty, handsome, and interesting. Shiree'

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hello, Stacey-

Thank you so much. I hope you will make an appointment at the that you can be sure to meet Madi. She is wonderfully inspiring.
Important: there have been so many copies of the ikat 'look' (printed)...but Madeline's are the real thing, woven in the traditional manner.

Hello, Shiree-
Lovely to hear your positive thoughts.
I agree with you that they are pretty--such a beautiful description.
I hope you will stop in to her atelier when you are next in New York. It is very inspiring to see all of her products together-and to see her point of view expressed so strongly.

best DIANE

karina nielsen rios, copenhagen, denmark said...

What a nice post about Madeline. Her textiles are amazing.

peggy braswell said...

What a delicious article + Next time I am in NY I will make an appointment. Love your blog.

busana muslim pesta said...

Its the details of our lives I think that in some respects make the impact. Its only once in a while the big picture matters. I loves these photos of the details.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Dear Friends-

I love hearing from my readers around the world--in this case, Indonesia, Copenhagen and the US.

Everyone loves Madeline Weinrib's textiles and rugs--and her design resonate with many different interiors.

I hope you'll all have a chance to visit her New York studio. all best, DIANE

Brad said...

Madeline certainly has a precise and interesting approach. I especially like the dyed goat fur.