Ibulliance: Cubist Revival

Cubist Revival - Crewel work jacket

In Paris' Musée National d'Art Moderne is a small patchwork blanket crafted for a baby's crib. Though Sonia Delaunay made it by hand upon the birth of her son Charles, this little blanket and its radical use of color spawned a whole movement in the world of art.

It wasn't her formal education in St. Petersburg, Germany, and France, but her very early years in Odessa, now a part of Ukraine, which inspired her bold abstractions in color. Her textile work evoked Cubist associations which she then applied to painting and for which she is celebrated the world over. 

In 1911, I had the idea of making for my son, who had just been born, a blanked composed of bits of fabric like those I had seen in the houses of Ukrainian peasants. When it was finished, the arrangement of the pieces of material seemed to me to evoke Cubist conceptions and we then tried to apply the same process to other objects and paintings. ~ Sonia Delaunay

In Kashmir, the work of Sonia Delaunay has inspired a fresh interpretation of traditional crewel work. Fiery red/aubergine with blush, or watery blues with strong earth and golden light—the palettes simply sing. It is men in Kashmir who invest 150 hours embroidering these 250,000 chain stitches with a crewel needle, working with our artisan partner, Katherine Neumann, and other women across India. This is an exception to our focus on women-made, but we felt these heirlooms celebrating an ancient tradition and a modern woman were worth your notice—and support the larger work of the collective.

Charles Delaunay, the child who spent his first year wrapped in that celebrated blanket, grew up to become a jazz connoisseur, author, and organizer. It makes me wonder if that penchant for jazz wasn't born in the crib, in the music of his mother's hand. These jackets, like his blanket, are all riff and improv. The world in syncopated color.

All the Best,