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Top 10 Rug to Runway Styles

Assistant Editor Reine Hage reveals the Top 10 Rug to Runway Styles from the past few seasons.

The world’s largest fashion houses have taken inspiration from traditional carpets and textiles for season upon season. Although it is rarely a predominant theme, it appears from time to time alongside the nomad look, using features such as fringes and tassels.

The last AW 2014 season saw the return of knit wear, shaggy shearling and baggy woollen clothing. Print was a no-show, replaced by embroidery and embellishment, depicting fantastical folk tales and flora in exquisite detail. There was a diverse cut-and-paste atmosphere going on for patchwork from Phillip Lim, Jonathan Saunders, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, Valentino and Helen Lawrence, which has been a rug trend over the past couple of years. When there wasn’t patchwork, there was quilting, and occasionally both, as seen in the shows of Temperley London, Miu Miu, Hunter, Christian Dior and Balenciaga.

10. Burberry Prorsum, Men, SS 2012

The ikat pattern has become a staple trend in recent years. It has appeared on furniture, carpets, jewellery and even finger nails and has infiltrated the fashion markets. The graphic tribal and ikat patterns began hitting headlines two years ago at Burberry Prorsum’s catwalk, and since then has been imitated by high street stores Zara, Topman, Banana Republic and H&M.

Burberry prorsum SS12 ikat 1 Burberry prorsum SS12 ikat 2

9.  Chanel, Cruise Collection 2015

Karl Lagerfeld presented Chanel’s Cruise 2015 collection in Dubai, where towers plucked from the likes of Futurama poke the sky – something you couldn’t imagine for the Emirati state a hundred years ago. The same could be said for the collection, which although received some negative reviews, Lagerfeld defends, “This is my idea of a romantic, modern Orient, a new One Thousand and One Nights.” Where else would be more appropriate than Dubai to offer such a collection – where East meets West, past meets present and real meets fake, all in a duty-free embrace. There was a shifting sense of time and place, huge hair matched with harem pants and Aladdin sandals. There were knitted overcoats and skirts, crocheted in harmoniously clashing colours, with frayed edges giving clothing an authentic unfinished look.


8. Dries Van Noten, Ready To Wear SS 2014

If we go back a couple of years to the Belgian designer’s PFW show, we can pick up some real traditional carpet influence. Described as ‘marriage of rich and poor’, there was an explosion of multicultural play. The interesting combination of styles and fabrics such as damask and linen, inspire us to think of Middle Eastern cultures, but at the same time the abundance of golden details and accessories captured a part of the Byzantine Empire. There was a stunning display of ottoman tassels and embroideries with extraordinary attention to detail, appearing on jackets, skirts, bags and scarves.

dries van noten RTW 2014 7 dries van noten RTW 2014 2 dries van noten RTW 2014 3 dries van noten RTW 2014 5 dries van noten RTW 2014 9 embroidery, ethnic motifs and tassels

7. Emilio Pucci AW 2014

Head designer Peter Dundas has spent over five years soaking in Pucci’s Italian history however this season saw a change in the wind as he tapped into his own Norwegian roots (possible compelled by the success of Disney’s Frozen?). Hand-knitted chunky sweaters made an appearance, as well as tribal blanket patterns and adapted to the tassel trend this season. 

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6. Hermès Tabriz Collection, AW 2013

These textiles were inspired by motifs on Persian Tabriz rugs and carpets that come from north west Iran. Designed by Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire, the wearable collection consists of over-sized masculine pieces with a touch of leather and rich colours, made with Hermès Tabriz fabric. This is not the fist time Hermès was inspired by Iranian art and motifs, which have appeared before on the Hermès scarf of Qalamdan by Catherine Baschet.

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5. Jonathan Saunders AW 2014

Memorable looks included big, roomy coats and delicately cut dresses, covered in patchwork placements and asymmetrical bands of colour. Whilst the collection was nostalgic in its use of patches and homespun knits, there was a strange new territory being explored in its play on textiles and ‘off’ colours. The randomly placed patchwork squares look like they have been put back together from beautiful scraps of discarded material, similar to how rugs are being cut up and patched together. 

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4. Vogue Germany, November 2010

Although not on the catwalk, in 2010 Vogue Germany did an extensive feature on nomadic fashion, featuring Liu Wen photographed by Greg Kadel. The stunning photo shoot featured huge feather sleeves, fringes, nomadic printed scarves, knitted skirts and a lot of attention to detail.


3. Missoni Men AW 2014

For a Winter collection, Missoni went for surfer cool as they took us for a dip in the Pacific winter sun. There were quilted and knitted blankets thrown round shoulders, heavy, warm and patched in murky greens, pinks and browns. The traditional Missoni zigzags were in muted colours, like the blankets you carry to festivals or cocoon yourself in whilst camping.

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2. Temperly AW 2014

Whimsical folk themed dresses came with colourful layers and beautiful Russian-inspired detailing. In addition to patchworks, fabrics came quilted in vibrant blues and black featuring flowers and swirling motifs in green, red and orange.

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1. Valentino AW 2014

Design duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli make quite the team. Very few designers can create a ready-to-wear collection that drifts into the realms of couture. The floor length, long sleeved, high necked gowns have been reborn in fragile lace or rich, beautiful embroidery. Patch working also made a feature, with jackets, skirts and even knee high boots created with leather, in colour combinations of red, white, brick, grey-blue and sage.

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Another Category, Custom Category, Design, Rugs, Shows/Fairs, Textiles

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