The historic Trimmings brand Houlès presents a new collection of braids, designed by the American interior designer Michael Aiduss and inspired by the legendary Villa Kérylos. The braids woven around antique patterns have been revisited in a contemporary way. Resulting in some extra soul for a prestigious decoration.
Above on the left: Philippe Houlès – Right : he braids: “Delos”, “Calla”, “Calliope” and “Minos”.
The braids “Calliope” “Thalia” and “Hélios”.
The spirit of Ancient Greece
The Ionic columns stand on the horizon while the friezes line up along an ancient peristyle. The Mediterranean breeze also blows on the waves while a few bay leaves are imagined. In fact, the Villa Kérylos varied motifs tell the story of Ancient Greece in great detail. This legendary residence was indeed intended to resuscitate in 1908 an ancient villa from the island of Delos. Designed on the initiative of archaeologist Théodore Reinach in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, the Villa Kérylos has since never ceased to inspire artists. Michael Aiduss likewise succumbed to the majesty of the iconic site. An art book, then a visit to this incredible residence fuelled the interior designer’s inspiration. Thereafter, the American designer immersed himself in his memories to design a collection of trimmings for the maison Houlès. The result is the essence of the Villa Kérylos woven into elegant braids.
Beautifully crafted braids
Trimmings bring through the woven and embroidered braids, adding extra soul of an elegant interior. “The Michael Aiduss collection” by Houlès tells the story of Villa Kérylos through subtle details. The ancient spirit revisited in a contemporary way brings to life 15 models of braids, representing a total of 77 references. Linen, cotton, raffia and polyester are the main materials used to weave this collection. The manufacture of each of the braids requires more or less time according to the pattern and the combination of fibers. Thus, Calla is the most complex design as it is embellished with embroidered details finished by hand. As a result? A stylized and miniaturized representation of the wrought ornaments of Villa Kérylos! With subtle touches, this new refined collection of precious details undeniably offers character to any elegant interior.
Michael Aiduss: above – right: the braid “Leandro”.
Above on the left: The braids “Maïa” “Delphine” and “Calla”. Above on the right : “Isadore”.
The art of trimmings
French creator and editor, Houlès is a historic name for trimmings. Founded in 1928, this family company has passed on its know-how from generation to generation. Houlès designs unique and high-end models that have won over private individuals and decorators all over the world. The collections from the Maison Houlès have so far been designed in-house, especially by Suzanne Houlès. The latter has designed, among other collections, “the trimmings of Suzanne Houlès” while the company was developing its export side of the business.
For the first time, her son Philippe Houlès, the current company director, invited an external designer, Michael Aiduss. The American interior designer also created the new interior design for the Houlès showroom in New York. Houlès sells its range of trimmings, curtain poles and fabrics all over the world. Its collections, both classic and contemporary, have maintained over time the reputation of the French brand in the service of exceptional interiors.
The first Houlès showroom near Bastille in Paris, in the 60s.
Interview with Philippe Houlès.
Director of the historic brand Houlès, Philippe Houlès is also along with his sister, the representative of the family company’s fourth generation. Story around the editor’s first external collaboration with Michael Aiduss and around the French company upcoming projects.
What were the reasons that prompted you to invite interior designer Michael Aiduss to sign this new collection and what is the story of this meeting?
Philippe Houlès: after several decades of creating our collections in-house, four of which were created by my mother Suzanne Houlès, I wanted this organisation to evolve. Calling on external creators had to meet our objective of bringing a fresh eye to each new creation and thus renewing our style while preserving the fundamentals of the brand. As part of this first collaboration, we wished to focus on the American market. Our subsidiary then introduced three recognized designers and users of our collections to us. Michael naturally stood out for his strong and elegant creations and his obvious sensitivity to trimmings. Our first concrete meeting during Paris Déco Off in January 2018 immediately sealed our collaboration which led to the birth, 18 months later, of this magnificent collection. Our first concrete meeting during Paris Déco Off in January 2018 immediately sealed our collaboration which allowed the birth, 18 months later, of this magnificent collection.
Has the Mediterranean spirit inspired by the antique patterns of the Villa Kérylos, prompted you to create other collections on this theme?
Philippe Houlès: setting up an external collaboration represented a major change in our organization. This is the reason why we wanted to reserve the total exclusivity of the Villa Kérylos inspiration for this new collection before considering a new variation. With 15 braid models and a total of 77 references (including all colour ways), The Michael Aiduss Collection alone offers several creative themes and universes. In addition, Michael Aiduss’ creative spirit and his vision of decoration that is both modern and elegant encouraged us to entrust him with the complete renovation of our New York showroom, which was inaugurated on Thursday, March 5.
What materials were chosen to weave and embroider these braids?
Philippe Houlès: linen, cotton, raffia, polyester, are the main materials used to weave the 15 references of this collection. The subtle combination of these materials has enabled the creation of refined braids with character.
How long does it take on average to make these braids?
Philippe Houlès: the production of one meter of braid will vary from a few minutes for the simplest jacquard braid, to several tens of minutes for machine embroidered braid. The making of the “Calla” braid will be the longest, due to its complexity and its embroidery details that are entirely finished by hand.
What are the first projects (hotels, private residences, etc…) likely to integrate these trimmings in their decorations?
Philippe Houlès: the extreme creativity of the braids from this collection naturally leads towards the decoration of private residences or large hotel suites. Indeed, the integration of such braids will bring an exclusive touch to all the decorations that they will embellish.
What were the main challenges in creating this collaboration and making these drawings?
Philippe Houlès: as mentioned above, the birth of the collaboration was quite natural, as Houlès and Michael Aiduss were in accordance with their desire to carry out this project. On the other hand, the challenges were on the one hand to get organised efficiently between Paris and New York to validate the design and colouring proposals, and on the other hand to coordinate the manufacture of the various braids.
The ancient spirit revisited in a contemporary way is a real trend today. What are the next themes considered for future collections? Is a new collaboration with Michael Aiduss planned? Or with other designers?
Philippe Houlès: for our next collections, we wish to continue to offer contemporary trimmings but also to renew our classic range. We are therefore working on various projects and are particularly hopeful to realize a new collaboration with a European designer, also very inspired by trimmings and his ability to sublimate decors.
The “Minos” and “Isadore” braids.
The braids “Calyx” (curtains) and “Olympia” (cushion on armchair).
References: “Thalia” “Calla” and “Delphine”.
Above on the left: “Helios” – Above on the right : “Olympia” and “Delos”.
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