The Golden Age - A Story of Glamour

The Golden Age - A Story of Glamour

How do you give linen lustre, make it fall like a ball gown, create colours that reflect candlelight on crystal? The answers rest in the hands of Bernie de Le Cuona. In her new collection Golden Age a little glamour goes a long way. Fabrics seem to glow softly from within, more like a pearl than a diamond. 
“It’s a collection that brings to life the glamour of the Roaring Twenties and the spirit of Chanel, one of my style icons, who said that ‘simplicity is the keynote of true elegance.’ Imagine old Hollywood dinner parties with crystal and silver, free spirited women living luxurious lives with limitless minds.”

Bernie de Le Cuona

 The Design Journey 

The Golden Age design journey began with a mood board that evoked the feeling of Twenties glamour as envisioned by Bernie. Next, a colour palette was developed inspired by the collection story, but using only colours from nature. The team never uses Pantone references. Bernie then looked at specialist mills, exploring fibres, weaving techniques, and finishes to create a collection of understated sophistication. 

“We have worked with a small group of specialist mills using the most precious natural fibres. Mills that weave couture fashion brands are special in that they use very high-quality yarn and concentrate on many aspects of the cloth. In the case of Coco, the handle, the drape, and the pure slub-free yarn were paramount. I like to use fashion mills for very, very fine fabrics.” 

The Fabrics  

Inspired in part by couturier Coco Chanel Coco embraces a fluid drape and effortless sophistication. This fine cashmere-soft wool is woven in a mill that only weaves couture textiles. Another Golden Age fabric with an incredible drape that has to be seen to be believed is Club House, a super-fine merino wool satin. The barely-there pink and neutral shades of silver, champagne and shell offer designers a truly elegant choice.

Going beyond a neutral palette, Golden Age dips into burnished golds and shimmering silvers. The epitome of this can be seen in the lustrous surface of Old Hollywood, which is enhanced by the glowing colours of reflected candlelight. 

“Old Hollywood is our ‘ball gown’ fabric. I wanted something that was spectacularly theatrical, so we choose a very fine viscose yarn on the face for reflection. It was important to me that the viscose we used came from cultivated wood pulp and not deforestation. The viscose gives the face of the cloth a taffeta like effect, whilst the reverse is created using the finest linen yarn in a tightly woven construction for a crisp parchment-like hand.”

Each design name speaks of the decadence of the era. Smoking Jacket, reminiscent of decerning gentleman’s attire, is a mix of silk and linen.  Where the silk catches the light the pattern appears to dance across the fabric like delicate Japanese brush strokes. Speakeasy recalling jazz-age bars is a heavyweight linen woven with vintage lurex to give a barely there shimmer. The colours are named after cocktails invented in this era.
Throughout the collection there are contrasts of sheer and opaque, the interplay of light and shade. Orchestra, named after the jazz bands of the time, is the collection’s only semi- transparent sheer woven with a touch of vintage lurex in silver, copper, or gold.

de Le Cuona often sources artisan yarns which are spun and dyed in small batches. Boardwalk uses a mix of artisan linen and wool yarns. The strié pattern is made by each of the natural yarns taking up the dye differently. These yarns create a slubby surface and a unique two-tone effect.

Look closely at the yarns in Bearcat, a wool boucle, to discover a contrast of luminosity and matt flatness. It’s a free-fall design in gorgeous grey browns through to silver and champagne. Like many de Le Cuona cloths it’s reversible due to the superior natural fibres uses and the way the fabrics are woven.

At de Le Cuona glamour is never overdone. Surfaces glow, never shine. The colours and yarns are always carefully chosen and then mixed with raw linen or wool. This is what makes de Le Cuona unique.

Vintage is a painted stonewashed peasant linen. This time we’ve added a new shade Vintage Cement which I’d combine with the elegance of Coco. It’s the ultimate contrast to the lustrous cloths in The Golden Age.”


And Bernie‘s favourite? 

“It changes daily.  I love the hot colours of Old Hollywood Flame, Speakeasy Bee’s Knees, Bearcat Greta and Cashmere Velvet Fire Opal  mixed with Pure Equator Truffle and Assegai Bronze for a rich, eccentric interior. Otherwise, for something calm and beautiful Muse Hepburn, Coco Lace, Smoking Jacket Dove, Bearcat Zelda with Vintage Cement and Buffalo Mud  in an elegant bedroom.”
“I hope this collection brings a sense of excitement and glamour and a bit of decadence into your home.”
Bernie de Le Cuona

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