Designing Women

A show opening at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum this week celebrates the trio of women who pioneered post-war British textile design – Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler.

Day, Chevron
Day, Chevron

Designing Women: Post-war British textiles will show more than 100 works from the designers, works that still look as fresh, innovative and beautiful as they did 50 years ago.

Groag, Red Pebbles
Groag, Red Pebbles

Starting with Lucienne Day’s iconic Calyx pattern, shown at the Festival of Britain in 1951, the show traces the development of textile designs through to commissions from the 1970s.

Gorag, Traffic Lights
Gorag, Traffic Lights

The works are characterised by bold, vibrant abstract patterning, a marked departure from the prevailing sense of post-war austerity into a world that was more brightly coloured, an importantly, widely available.

Mary Warren, Nautilus
Mary Warren, Nautilus

The works of these female designers also proved a bold step on from the more subdued furniture designs of the time, and helped catalyse the growth of textile manufacturers and wholesale firms like Heal & Sons and David Whitehead Ltd, which were taking advantage of the advancing technologies of the time.

Mahler, Mauve
Mahler, Mauve

As well as works by Day, Groag and Mahler, the exhibition will also showcase works from other women designers including Paule Vézelay, Mary Warren and Mary White.

Mahler, Grey Mobiles
Mahler, Grey Mobiles

Designing Women: Post-war British textiles runs from 16 March – 16 June at The Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1

Mary White, Cottage Garden with Pink Trees
Mary White, Cottage Garden with Pink Trees
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  • Linda Le Merle November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I have a panel of “Nautilus” by Mary Warren with the design in white on a black background. It is a single curtain (200 cm x 57 cm with turnings and hem) with some fading (sunshine) along the edge and a tear in one corner. Is this of interest to a collector?

  • Sarah Dening November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Mary White was featured on BBC1 The 1952 Show this morning.

    Some more information and her more recent work is available on http://www.ShopOnYourDoorstep.com

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