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Behind the Design: Parisian Prints

Deb’s design inspiration for this pattern came from a print on a dilapidated wallpaper plastered to the side of a building in Paris. I remember Deb telling the story of her Parisian pattern inspo after returning from her bi-annual Europe trip last September. The a-ha moment occurred just as a wrecking machine was about to smash an old boulangerie/boucher/banque (could have been any of these v French places) to smithereens. Untethered by her own inspiration, Deb shotgunned her tea and smashed the cup on the sidewalk. The woman would not be stopped. With the blind determination of a protagonist from a Victor Hugo book, she charged through ongoing traffic as irritated cab drivers honked horns, screaming, “sacré bleu! Qui est cette petite dame en noir!?”

And, she valiantly tore a strip of the precious artifact from the building’s facade, got on a plane, flew home, came to the office, and was like, “Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. I have this idea for a pattern…”

The rest is h(er)story.
*Parts of this story have been slightly altered/fabricated for entertainment reasons.

Not to generalize, but I think most people would brush past the wallpaper, or shrug it off like they would a flyer passed out by a millennial promoting a cause they’ve never heard of. Deb Waterman Johns is not most people.

Deb says, “The imperfection and unevenness give the worn and weathered brocade even more character because there’s something missing.” I mean, I would like someone to describe me that way, like, “You know, she’s not perfect, and the city life has done a number on her. But, by Jove, does she have character. Heck, she has more character than the best of them.”

The blue hour, or “l'heure bleue,” is a period of twilight in the morning and in the evening when the sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and when the residual, indirect sunlight casts a blue glow over the city.

Even when night falls, there’s always still light in this city that, truly, never sleeps. Whether it’s the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, or the Grande Roue, there is always light in the darkness. Light versus dark and black versus white was the ideal motif for Midnight in Paris.

Paris is a city of bridges, domes, and statues. Landmarks and bridges, like the Pont Alexandre III, have recently undergone a gilt overlay with gold leaf. The gold on limestone is both aged and ornate, inspiring the French Kiss design.

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