Château de Louÿe
Acquired in 1770 by Monsieur d’Arjuzon, the château de Louÿe still proudly dominates the valley of the Eure. It is sometimes said that the walls have ears. Without a doubt, they have a memory. Just push the door of the hallway to feel immediately that the Château de Louÿe has a soul, a heart that beats in tune with its current owners, Jean-Ghislain and Eléonore Lepic.
Proud and aware of this heritage, they wish to bring it fully into the 21st century, while restoring it according to the rules of traditional know-how. It is easy to find a happy correspondence between this embodied residence and the Maison Braquenié which, on the eve of celebrating its 200th anniversary, has never been so alive.
Braquenié Revival, when heritage nourishes contemporary creation.
Created in 1823, Braquenié is famous for its printed cotton, silk and hand-woven carpets. The Frey family acquired it in 1991, perpetuating the spirit of origin through common values: tradition, know-how and excellence. The Pierre Frey heritage collection contains more than 16,000 archives from Maison Braquenié, carefully preserved, that have inspired the Pierre Frey Studio.
On the eve of its bicentennial, Braquenié bears witness to the timelessness of its heritage and celebrates the quintessence of French style, a subtle blend of foreign influences and national creations.
Offering a rich dialogue between tradition embodied in unalterable elegance and assumed representations, the ANNIVERSAIRE 1823 – 2023 collection unfolds around authentic reproductions as well as reinterpretations inspired by illustrious documents, preserved in the House’s archives department, or in the heritage collections of the Château de Versailles, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris or the Musée de la Toile de Jouy.
Unwrapped from their protective coverings, as if awakened from a long sleep, some of the archival drawings are used here for the first time. Others, emblematic, free themselves from their original coloring or technique and reinvent themselves in a new way.
The collection reads like pages of history recalling the spirit of the time. Stunning trees of life, sublime indiennes, glorious cashmeres, eternal flowers and rivers, tapestries that are more than contemporary, the classics are endlessly reinvented. Novelties written today, reinterpreting the codes of our heritage as transgenerational values.
The Queen’s Hamlet, the English garden of the Petit Trianon in Rambouillet… So many places imagined by Man parodying a domesticated, wild or generous nature. These constructions are the remnants of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s philosophical reflections. In the second half of the 18th century, his ideas infused the sciences and the fine arts, which took up this subject for educational or recreational purposes. Over the seasons, still lifes and botanical plates attest to a meticulous observation of flora, while the rural fantasies of Fragonard or Boucher exalt an idealized nature, favorable to gallant and anecdotal scenes.
This recomposed nature inspires the manufacturers of decorative arts thanks to the publication of numerous collections of engraved plates, encyclopedias and dictionaries dedicated to botany. The walls and windows of the houses echo the surrounding countryside, between enveloping undergrowth and flowerbeds, making the border between inside and outside porous.
The Amorous Indies
During the Enlightenment, knowledge of the world progressed, but this definition of “the Indies” shows the gaps. These distant lands were perceived as territories with a thousand riches that Europeans rushed to acquire via the Dutch, English and French East India companies. Founded by Colbert in 1664, the latter imported painted fabrics, shimmering silks, spices, perfumes and exotic fruits. Its luxurious objects, rare, sometimes necessary, translate desires for elsewhere, for adventures that are part of a larger trend, called exoticism.
Travel stories, literature with the translation of the Thousand and One Nights by Galland, Les Indes galantes, demonstrate the enthusiasm for this trend that is also found in decoration. Many Turkish boudoirs and Chinese salons appeared at that time, where picturesque imports and fantasized national creations were mixed. This exoticism offers a cultivated public the possibility of being in the four corners of the world without leaving Paris.
Oberkampf, a forward-thinking entrepreneur
Christophe-Philippe Oberkampf is at the origin of the famous “Toile de Jouy” which is still today an essential genre in decoration and fashion.
In 1760, he decides to set up a printed cloth factory in Jouy-en-Josas. Very quickly, the factory develops thanks to the know-how and the entrepreneurial qualities of its leader, to become a jewel of the national industry.
In 1783, the establishment obtained the title of royal factory, attesting to the quality of its production.
Oberkampf then hired designers who created most of the polychrome floral motifs, engraved on wood. Mainly intended for fashion, these woodblock prints make up the majority of the production. In addition to these, commissions were placed with renowned independent designers such as Jean-Baptiste Huet or Louis-Hippolyte Le Bas for the most beautiful cameo printed fabrics. The success of the latter, was such that the term Toiles de Jouy describes today all the paintings printed in cameos whatever their origin.
The proximity of Versailles also favored the development of his company. Oberkampf did not hesitate to specify on the head of the manufacture “Jouy near Versailles” to benefit from the prestige of the king and his court. Marie-Antoinette came to visit the factory after seeing a perfect reproduction of a pattern from a Persian torn dress.
When the factory closed its doors in 1843, Braquenié was well advised to buy back material and printed documents, to perpetuate the spirit of the factory.
Three fabrics, reissued and printed in the traditional hand screen technique, were ordered by Versailles. The curators of the castle have chosen Maison Braquenié, worthy heir of Oberkampf, to refurnish the small apartments of the Queen.
A history of Fashion
Fashion is versatile, furniture much less so. However, these two worlds have long influenced each other. Before the 19th century, the same qualities were used indifferently for fashion and furnishing. Only the size of the pattern dictated its use. Many Jouy fabrics intended for the walls were also found in dresses and imagined by the dressmakers since the 18th century!
It was natural for Braquenié to open the wardrobe of its heritage department to reproduce and adapt fabrics originally intended to clothe the body. It was also an opportunity to review the clothing trends of the past: A silhouette would not be complete without accessories, such as shoes, shawls or mezzari. Empress Josephine is credited with starting the fashion for cashmere shawls in France in the early 19th century. The mezzari, which we imagine at first used in hanging, covered the head and bust of charming Italian women. Playing with codes, genres, daring, surprising, this was the spirit of the studio when thinking about this collection, just like the fashionistas of yesterday and today.