I was researching Brunswig and Fils fabric for an internet inquiry tonight when I came across a reference to La Portugaise, the pattern in my bedroom. I remembered the first time I ever saw it! (late 1980’s) When I saw La Portugaise remnants in Hancock’s years ago I went wild over it and Jack and I drove to 5 different Hancock’s and I bought every piece of it we found. I wanted to wrap myself in it, eat it, sew everything about my room with it. I get that kind of enthusiasm about a textile when it hits the right chord in me. There was a strong stripe of purple in between the major motifs. I made curtains and bed hangings of it, carefully stitching out the bold purple stripe I could not abide, leaving me with great rusts and coral reds and peach with peacock and blue greens. Love it yet and it is on my bed this very minute. Fortunately I had traded it all after a few years to friend Penny who used it some eight or ten years and then brought it back to me after the house fire, which is how it was saved. At the time I bought mine in many many pieces for about $3. a yard, retail on it was about $165. Looking for a bit of it tonight on the web, I came on the above link, telling me that it was used by Sister Parish in my cousin Brooke Astor’s drawing room. Isn’t that fun? By all accounts she was a magnificent woman. Wish I could have known her. e
Here is some of the information contained in the link above:
"La Portugaise" is one of the iconic prints of the Brunschwig & Fils collection and has enjoyed a rich history. It was notably used by Sister Parish in the original drawing room of Brooke Astor's home in New York City. Alfred Hatley remodeled the room into a library with oxblood lacquered walls and used the same fabric. That design is known as one of the most famous rooms in the history of American interior design. A photograph of that famous room from 1967 was used in a Spring 2013 Brunschwig & Fils print ad. The company currently markets iconic fabrics as designs that never go out of style.
"La Portugaise" is associated with other famous interior designers. Both Billy Baldwin and Mark Hampton used it in their personal homes in Nantucket and the Hamptons. It's also known as a favorite of Keith Irvine and Jeffrey Bilhuber.
The fabric design is currently available from Brunschwig & Fils "To the Trade" through designers and architects. The yardage listed is 100% cotton and retails for $220 per yard, SKU BR-70110 (plus color code for current colors). There is also a cotton linen blend for $336 retail.