14718 Thu, 06/19/2008 - 3:07pm
By Jennifer Quail
NEW YORK–Tai Ping has taken a cultural turn with its latest collection, Caravan.
Designs within the line were created to pay homage to Morocco’s historic culture of colorful markets and gardens and elaborate architecture, topics dear to design director Yasmina Kossman, who grew up in the North African country.
Kossman said she culled inspiration from all aspects of Moroccan culture, including “mosaics on floors, wood carvings, home textiles. It’s a very diverse culture and a very different country from North to South,” she said, adding she always knew she wanted to build a collection around her homeland, and “tried to go through everything that caught my eye and interpret it to rugs.”
For example, among the 45 samples created for the collection is Ksar, which is an Arabic term for a village consisting of attached houses. Ksar is designed with an interlocking pattern of wool pile sage-colored hexagons on a field of saffron-colored dull silk. For the Zellijs design, earthy brown and taupe “tiles” in dull silk, wool and flax are positioned in varying heights to reflect the traditional graphic mosaic for which it is named.
The overall collection is hand-tufted using combinations of wool, silk, jute, flax and sisal colored using a natural hand-dyeing process typical of tribal rugs and textiles, the company said. But while thoughts of Morocco often conjure images of daring colors, Kossman said there is a softer, more neutral side to the land as well, a polarity she strove to communicate in her collection.
“Something very particular in Morocco are these whites and neutrals that come very naturally from the earth,” Kossman said. “But then in the cities, they have a strong connection with bold colors. They are not afraid of them—the exuberance of loud colors.”
That said, Kossman noted the importance of having options for clients looking for all areas of the color spectrum, and said that is the reason many of the Caravan patterns have been interpreted in both neutrals and brights.
“This year it was orange and purple and chartreuse, and sometimes a great color palette can really sell the whole collection,” she said. “But there are definitely different cultures of color, and what is translating globally now is the neutral palette.”