Lori Weitzner in her Chelsea Studio
If you’ve been around the interior design industry as long as I have, you’ve likely amassed a collection of at least a dozen ‘go-to’ fabrics which you favor in your work. I’m also betting that like many designers I know you keep the memos close at hand.
I bring this up because several weeks ago I stopped in to Decor NYC on West 25th street, and spotted a vintage Donghia sofa covered in Larsen’s now discontinued ‘Jacob’s Ladder’. When it was introduced more than a decade ago it was a truly revolutionary textile, a mix of pleated cotton velvet and a virtual checkerboard. And even though it isn’t produced anymore, it’s still in my top 12.
With a little research I learned that it was designed by Lori Weitzner during her tenure creating the textile collections for Larsen. What’s even more of a coincidence? When Carl Lana and I visited Lori in her Chelsea studio last week to see her second collection of textiles for her eponymous firm, we found a pair of chairs in her conference room covered in Jacob’s Ladder to greet us. Small world.
Now I must confess I’d not met Lori before, but as kindred textile spirits, I instantly felt as if I’ve known her for a long time. We had a delightful chat about her career, and were shown some of the most inspired, subtly sophisticated fabrics I’ve seen in years.
‘Mela’ – a coarse textured hand-woven interspersed with multi-colored cotton remnant threads. Available in 3 color ways.
Lori explained that she spent 5 years designing the textile collections for Larsen, and that she saw her work there as modern, timeless, and innovative. Many of the patterns she created were inspired by traditional fabrics realized in fresh, new ways.
She left Larsen to design textiles for Sahco, where she had the opportunity to design fabrics for the global market. Her line for the firm was considered ‘modern romantic’ – soft, soulful, organic, and decidedly feminine. But in the end she explained “It was a wonderful experience, but my design work there was only a part of what I do.”
So I asked Lori the inevitable question: How is the design aesthetic for your own company different from your work for Larsen and Sahco? “With Weitzner I’m able to work in all the styles that ‘speak to me’. When I created the company I established the ’12 Words of Weitzner’ to encompass my vision: Luxurious, Contemporary, Innovative, Timeless, Refined, Environmental, Tactile, Ethereal, Artisanal, Soulful, Worldly, and Livable. So in a way it’s a combination of my time at Larsen and Sahco, and what is now.”
In addition to ‘Mela’, here are a few of the fabrics Carl and I found exciting;
‘Jubilee’, an overall embroidery on a silk and cotton ground. Available in 3 color ways
‘Orchard’, a stylized botanical embroidery rendered in monofilament. Available in 2 color ways
‘Aerie’, a translucent tissue weight Trevira with the hand of a fine glazed cotton. Available in 10 color ways. (This fabric will join my list of all-time favorites!)
‘Luna’, a linen casement with opalescent sequins. Available in 3 color ways – it’s a masterful mix of rustic fiber and quiet glamour. For me this fabric rivals any of the best casements at Knoll.
‘Isis’, a double width lino-weave casement. Available in 3 color ways
‘Tetra’, an open weave embroidery which is produced much like burn-out velvet. The open weave is embroidered on seaweed, which disintegrates when washed leaving only the stitching behind. Available in 2 color ways.
We also had the opportunity to see the collection of modern passementerie which Lori designed for Samuel and Sons, in which she interprets her crisp aesthetic in gimp, tassels, braids and beads. If you’re as excited as we are about her fabrics, you will surely appreciate the trims.
We would like to thank Lori for being so generous with her time in meeting with us, we look forward to seeing more of her sensational work in the future. To see the fabrics in person visit a Pollack showroom near you, or follow this link to her fabric collection online. You can also follow this link to her collection for Samuel and Sons.
Written by CJ Dellatore