x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Globetrotting brings wide appeal to John Robshaw's collection

Home Shopping From leaving his home for three months of the year to travel the East for inspiration to wearing shirts made of his leftover fabrics, the American textile designer John Robshaw's homeware collection is as eclectic as him.

Primrose cushion, US$100 (Dh367)
Primrose cushion, US$100 (Dh367)

American textile designer John Robshaw has a nomadic soul. After living in Rome as an art student, he travelled around central and south-east Asia learning traditional block printing methods in China, Indonesia and India. He returned to New York a changed man - determined to share the brilliant colours and printing techniques he had discovered by launching his own company.

Nowadays the busy, yoga-loving bachelor runs a thriving online "souq" as well as a quirky show room in New York packed full of bone-inlaid furniture, tribal costumes, lavish opium benches and vintage textiles from around the world. For three months every year, he packs his bag and leaves America to travel the East, searching for fresh inspiration and working with the artisans who produce his designs.

John's art school background has clearly influenced his work; many of his designs have a painterly quality. His bed linen, cushions and curtains and tablecloths are a real mix of styles; some are printed with dramatic geometric shapes, others with funky fretwork patterns or patchwork prints.

We like the new hand-printed "Matar" bed linen best. John describes it, romantically as " … a complicated medallion, happy as it floats in a soft rain of red buds". Poetry aside, it's a beautiful pattern and a great example of his signature style: traditional with a twist.

We've also fallen for John's cushions, particularly the cotton Ikat range. No printed imitations here - this is the real deal: hand-dyed and hand-woven by farmers in Thailand. In his evocative caption, John remembers: " ... the soft click-clack of the looms under their raised houses as you approach the village."

John's a real character. He wears shirts made from his leftover fabrics, spends a lot of time standing on his head and is fascinated with the flamboyantly dressed wandering "sadhus" - holy men, of India. "They remind me that there are other paths," he says. "I could just chuck it all in and hit the road." For the sake of our home decor, let's hope that he doesn't.

www.johnrobshaw.com (001) 212 594 6006