Updated: Apr 30, 2021
You may have noticed that we are passionate about design and colours! Both the website and our product packaging feature the work of Louis Lang (b. 1915), French fabric designer working from approximately1930 to 1960.
We have been lucky enough to be granted use of these original designs and have incorporated them in all aspects of BATH & STILL, including product labelling and gift wrapping (watch this space for exclusive Louis Lang wrapping paper!).
The original designs are available from Hartnoll & Daughters.
We know relatively little about Louis Lang despite his legacy of sought-after fabric designs. The records available relate largely to his employment, with just a few letters referring to his private life... Born in 1915, Louis Lang grew up immersed in the world of art and design. His father was an art advisor for the auction house L’hotel Drouot and also owned his own contemporary art gallery on the Rue Victor Masse in Paris. The gallery stock was diverse, and included works by artists such as Modigliani alongside art and artefacts from China and the African continent. Lang’s textile designs bear witness to this early exposure to other cultures, with references to African kitenge fabric and Egyptian tomb paintings notable in his designs.
There is no evidence that Lang received any formal education in art, but during his working life he was employed by some of the greatest textile design houses. In his early years he worked as an apprentice for Maison Bianchini Férier, a silk-weaving firm which included Raoul Dufy amongst its designers. Lang also worked for a subsidiary firm, Toiles de Tournon, which sold printed cottons for the prêt-à-porter trade. In keeping with the firm’s preference for ‘floral geometric’ Lang produced and refined this style of design which was to become his trademark.
Records of his activities seem to disappear during World War II, though we know he worked as a salesman, selling working drawings to the pattern seller Claude Ferres in Mulhouse. It is possible that he may have escaped to Switzerland and worked as a freelance designer there. We do know that he fell in love with an Alsatian girl called Louisa, though there is no confirmation as to whether they ever married. He wrote to friend Paul Giraud, describing Louisa as having auburn hair and a captivating laugh, saying that he was in love with her. He also exuberantly claimed that he had produced his greatest work, a portrait of Louisa, which he wished to persuade his father to sell in order to support his life with Louisa.
After the War, we have records of Louis Lang as a freelance designer for the firm Libert in Paris. Their trademark was large floral designs for the furnishing industry. They had great success with the ‘new fresh style’ designs with their painterly effect and black edges to denote the form. This style suited Lang and it enabled him to extend his range from fashion to furnishings.
During the 1940s and 1950s he returned to Bianchini Ferier, producing fashion fabric and scarf designs. But after 1959, when he no longer appeared to be working for Libert, records of his employment and work cease.
We hope you enjoy our sustainable bath products with their unique and unusual fragrances and design. We aim to fulfil both parts of the famous dictum:
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” ― William Morris
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