Before the Oscars, a look at how big red became the thoroughfare of modern royalty

A French Deco Rug

“I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path.” -King Agamemnon, from the Greek tragedian-playwright Aeschylus in the fifth century, BC.

Those were the words the good (fictitious) king said upon returning home to his plotting wife after leading his troops to victory in the Trojan War. The story goes, wife Clytemnestra laid out a crimson carpet to highlight her husband’s arrogance by having him trample on the color of the gods. He walks on the carpet, but only under protest. Later, depending on which version you read, Clytemnestra or her lover kills him. Because, you know – tragedy.

A Swedish Rug

Evidence suggests that, while there’s a nice mythical quality to tracing red carpet back to ancient Greece, the practice more likely originated at railroad stations. According to Live Science, President James Monroe received the red carpet treatment in South Carolina, his hosts laid red carpet along the river in his honor in 1821. But it was not until the 1900s, when the luxurious 20th Century Limited train from Chicago to New York had passengers board and disembark on a plush carpet that the idea fancy people deserved fancy rugs, i.e. “red carpet treatment,” took hold.

According to the director of the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Margaret Herrick Library Linda Mehr, the red carpet was added to the Oscars in 1961.

Doris Day (1)

Doris Day at the Oscars, 1961
Via: DorisDay.net (http://www.dorisday.net)

 The television broadcasts of the awards show switched to color in 1966, and ever since watching our favorite movie stars traipse down that sanguine, hallowed walkway has become our chief vicarious indulgence.  It would be hard to name a more popular, or more American, fantasy than getting to be part of the Hollywood glitz.

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Jennifer Lawrence, 2013 Oscars
Via: The Gloss

So who is responsible for the actual red carpet at the Oscars? Today, it’s a man by the name of Joe Lewis. For seven years Lewis has been responsible for seeing that the carpet is ready and in place to carry the stars from their limos to the doors of the Dolby Theater. The carpet itself is 600 feet long and will be laid out today and vacuumed Sunday just in time for the wave of press to arrive.

Red is the color of blood and power. Cheerful, robust, vibrant, strong – a bold, red textile can imbue a bit of glamour and stateliness into any space, even if there’s no chance of Brad or Angie crossing the threshold. Check out DLB’s crimson textile tide here.

Rug Equivalents to Grammy’s 2014 Best Dressed

This year’s Grammys was a bit of a whirlwind when it came to style. There were more misses than hits, but the best dressed attendees really wowed for the occasion. On music’s biggest night, these stars took the cake.

Beyoncé in Michael Costello
Fashion
Superstar Beyoncé showed off her slim ‘n trim bod in a Michael Costello sheer ivory gown sprinkled floral embellishments. The designer (whom you may remember from Project Runway) was inspired by NYC covered in snow. Michael says he was in shock when Ty Hunter, Beyoncé’s longtime stylist, came into his showroom to pull Grammy looks! And I’m sure glad he did. I love the strategically placed cutouts on this gown. Its fresh, sexy and fun. Exactly what the Grammys should be. I especially love that Beyoncé rocked her blond wavy bob that was a hit from her ‘Beyoncé: The Visual Album’ release last month. Paired with wine hued lips and a subtle smoky eye, this look gets 10s across the board.
Taylor Swift in Gucci
Fashion
Taylor Swift glittered in this silvery Gucci number. The chain mail gown fit her body like a glove and I love the sheer detail at the neckline. The whole look is classy and incredibly beautiful. Taylor’s laid back ponytail and light pink lip were the perfect compliment.
Amber Rose in Naeem Khan
Fashion

Interior Design and Fashion: Mixing Things Up

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Maki Oh

Designer Maki Osakwe knows how to mix it up and her collection Maki Oh is a testament to women’s fearlessness and complexities. The Nigerian designer grew up in the bustling city of Lagos and witnessed power dressing to the max. After dabbling in design as a child (inspired by her mother) Maki went on to formulate her own line, driven by modernity and cultural influences.

Interior Design and Fashion-makioh2

The liveliness of Lagos is seen in Maki Oh’s eclectic collection. For her latest offering- Spring 2014- there’s a healthy dose of sheer, paint splatter, athleticism and ladylike appeal. And it’s wonderfully cohesive to boot. Maki says there’s a hidden meaning behind each piece, which draws inspiration from decades ago when Nigerian women used their clothing to pass messages to others. This line also cares about the environment. Maki uses fabric that is organically dyed on silks and cottons as opposed to industrial paint dying. There’s a passion for sustainability and every part of the design process is done on Nigerian soil.

Interior design and fashion-makioh3

The shining stars of this collection are as diverse as the line itself. An off the shoulder knee length dress boasts puffed sleeves and a sheer skirt. It’s equal parts artistic and whimsical. Another look features an athletic-inspired top with peplum sleeves in a graphic print, reminiscent of chipped paint. The rest of the look is comprised of a high waisted silk trouser with a tad bit of colorblocking under the knee. The details are both evident and discreet, loud yet bashful, mysterious but sweet: much like the duality of a woman. At the core, Maki Oh embodies the freedom of defining your own beauty.  Women want to express all sides of themselves and with this line there’s no need to choose. I’d like to see these pieces at the Fall ready-to-wear shows next month, opening night at an exhibit or pretty much any NYC event. They’ll do quite nicely in my closet.

Kara Mann

Interior designer Kara Mann does for spaces what Maki Oh does for the body. Her work is multifaceted: daring, strong, sexy, worldly and edgy. And sweet. The New York City and Chicago based designer creates distinctive interiors by mixing modern and traditional. Here are some standouts from a few spaces she’s worked on.

Table Toppers

Interior Design

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Antique Rugs: Rustic, but Not Old

It’s not all bear rugs and antlers…

Rustic

The dictionary definition of rustic is as follows:

adjective: Of, relating to, or suitable for the country or people who live in the country

Too often we conflate rustic with other less-than-pleasant descriptors – old, worn, decrepit – and sometimes (especially where real estate listings are concerned) rustic is misappropriated as a euphemism for “in need of refurbishment.”

Even when we aren’t using “rustic” against its natural purposes, the picture it most commonly calls to mind is a grandparent’s cabin draped in scratchy Navajo blankets, or a ski lodge with a stone fireplace and leather booths in dire need of reupholstering.  A sense of aging lingers around “rustic” that is unfairly limiting. Although there are probably city folk who believe pilling textiles and scuffed furniture are what is worthy of country dwellers, the truth is that a transcendent rustic interior is one that is tastefully informed by its natural setting – a space that uses locally-sourced materials and incorporates cultural heritage and quality craftsmanship.

Perhaps due to the prevalence of outdoor lifestyles in northern Europe, Scandinavian designers in particular excel at forging contemporary statements using a rustic palette.

Home Adore 1 home adore 2                                                             Via: Home Adore

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Antique Tulu Rugs

Tulu means long haired in Turkish. These rugs were made in the past for the purpose of getting warmth and for sleeping. They are soft, usually have vibrant colors and are very shiny. Antique Tulu rugs are some of the most beautiful textile creations in the entire world. They can be identified by their artistic details and luscious texture. These rugs were made by hand knotting with the Ghiordes knotting style. Tulu rug patterns are unique but they are mostly based on flowery or vinery designs with something solid or plain for a centerpiece. Tulu rugs are usually woven with a combination of vibrant and earthy tones for balance.

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Our collection of Tulu rugs is specially selected from Anatolia, the home of the Tulu rugs as well as other parts around it with a rich heritage of Tulu rug weaving. We guarantee great quality antique Tulu rugs no matter your choice. Every Tulu rug has a history, a story that it carries in its threads. Tulu rugs are woven in the city of Karapinar, which lies east of Konya. It is home to a lot of mountains and plains. At least 100 years ago, the people of the village could not grow plants or tend livestock because of the conditions at the time. As a result, they started doing Tulu weaving (long–haired) and producing Tulu – rugs. Most of these rugs are 70–100 years old. They begin weaving these Tulus to keep themselves warm in the blistering cold up in the mountains. Commercial Tulu rug weaving only started recently to help them make a living for themselves.

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Some Tulu rugs show regional geography and terrain, hence, the flowery and vinery centerpieces and designs. Some Tulu rugs exist with oatmeal fields (centers) and more solid edges. This depicts the plains of the Karapinar and the mountains depict the solid edges that give some balance to the city of Karapinar.

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Owning one of these Antiques mean owning a beautiful, soft and luscious piece of history. It’s worth it.

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Irish Donegal Rugs

Irish Rugs have a long and proud tradition. Their most famous rugs come from a town called Donegal in Ireland. The Donegal Carpets are a trademark brand of handmade wool carpets that can be found in esteemed establishments all over the world; including the US White House, Dublin Castle, Eltham Palace and Norte Dame University.

BB1504 Donegal 21.5 x 13.4

Rug and carpet making is an ancient tradition for Donegal and the most famous manufacturer was a Scottish textile company over 100 years ago owned by Alexander Morton. Morton practiced the same techniques of the Donegal people for his wool carpets. The popular Celtic designs made the rugs a real success. Soon the rugs began to be purchased by and gifted to famous churches and other establishments around the world.

BB1148 Irish Donegal 16.4 x 11.4 C.1920

In 1957, the Morton’s sold the company to a consortium called Donegal Carpets Ltd. Many Irish textile manufactures that made rugs and carpets closed their doors during “The Great Depression” and in 1987 the last facility was forced to close its doors. In 1997 the government reopened Donegal Carpets by petition of the local people. Now Donegal once again makes their signature Celtic rugs for the world to enjoy.

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Today’s Donegal rugs are typically custom made with colors that are chosen by the clients. In their contemporary designs the Donegal rugs are now often neoclassical or abstract. The designs are graceful, the quality is top-notch and the colors divine. There is no greater quality rug to be found.

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Turkish Hereke Rugs

The Middle East is historically known as a source of beautiful, elegant rugs, and Turkey is one of the most well-renowned sources of those rugs. Of particular interest are the Hereke rugs made in the small coastal town of Hereke, Turkey. Antique Hereke rugs are truly beautiful pieces of art, and it’s truly mind-boggling to think that so many beautiful pieces came from a single town.
HerekeLike many antique rugs, Hereke rugs feature subtle, muted colors that span the spectrum. They also feature intricate designs from edge to edge. Hereke rugs can range from small 6’x4’ rugs that will cover a small piece of a room to massive, room-spanning 22’x14’ carpets. Each one will serve as a unique piece of art with its own distinct flair.

BB4569 Hereke 12.9 x 11.6Originally intended to furnish palaces, Hereke rugs were made throughout the 1800’s. To fit their palatial purposes, Hereke rugs are not only made of cotton, wool, or silk, but many also feature threads of gold or silver. These threads help antique Hereke rugs stand out visually, and vastly increase their value among collectors.

BB0251 Turkish Hereke 14.7 x 12.8 C.1920
While some Hereke rugs are still produced today, the most beautiful and valuable of them are the antiques. There is no need to worry about any degradation of quality over time, however. Even in the 1800’s, Hereke rugs were precisely made with double knots, and their patterns are still clearly visible and their colors have not faded. Collectors that can get their hands on an antique Hereke rug should absolutely take the chance to display such a classic piece of art.
To view our collection of Hereke rugs:
http://www.dorisleslieblau.com/hereke-turkish-rugs

World Record Price For A Rug: $33 M

The World is waking up to a new record price in the world of Rugs today. A Sickle-Leaf Vine Scroll and palmette “Vase” Technique rug probably Kirman South East Persia $33,765,000 at Sotheby’s NY.

New record price for a rug“This is one of the most beautifully drawn and elegant of the many “Vase” – technique carpets. Like the formal Garden carpet designs it can be regarded as a bird’s eye view of a woody landscape, here seen through festoons of spiraling creepers terminating in slender sickle leaves, and bearing the large floral motifs familiar in so many of the lattice designs.”
– May H. Beattie

A Sickle-Leaf Vine Scroll and palmette Vase Technique rug

“If a prize could be given to one single item from the extensive Clark Bequest of Oriental carpets, it would readily be presented to a rug belonging technically and thematically to the well-known group of Persian “Vase Carpets.” Although there are a few rugs which generally relate to it, the Clark carpet remains unique… Almost all Persian carpets… emit an air of tranquility. … In contrast to this classical repose, the Clark carpet has all the aspects of Baroque impetuosity. … The awareness of contrasting movements and ornamental abundance is further sharpened by the unusually compact format of the carpet; its many elements seem to be barely contained in the available space. … Here then, as sometimes happens in carpet compositions when the designer deviates from the standard pattern, a new concept is born from well-known themes re-arranged to appear novel and exciting.
– Richard Ettinghausen

World Record Price For A Rug

Below is the last world  record price for a rug set in 2010 at Christie’s London for $9.5 Million ironically also a 17th Century Persian Kirman rug.

As rugs continue to claim new heights as an art form and not just decoration for the floor it would be interesting to see rippling effects on vintage and antique carpets from the 19th and 20th Century which we show case in our galleries.

Persian Kirman Rug sold in 2010 for 10M

Rugs and Hugs (RORO)

Valentines Day is a day for lovers and for those hopeful of romance, but for others, it’s just another day in the week. Whether you’re a believer in Valentines Day or not, the positive feelings tied to it are a part of everyday. Today we present you with carpets both old and new that evoke feelings associated with Valentines Day and every other day where playfulness, warmth, happiness, courage and love are felt.

PLAYFULNESS

A Persian Meshad Rug

Persian Meshad

WARMTH

Alpaca Fur

Alpaca

HAPPINESS

Peacock- Nanette Lepore Rug

Peacock12.2 x 9.5- happiness

COURAGE

An English Axminster Round Rug

English Axminster

LOVE

Red Cowhide

red leather-love

Explore the collections.

A Rug Roundup: Doris Leslie Blau’s Year in Review!

Horizontal press

As the year is coming to an end, it’s time to reflect on what an exhilarating year it has been.  It is quite the honor to have had Doris Leslie Blau antique, vintage and custom rugs placed in so many impeccably designed rooms by fabulous designers, as well as being featured in many of the top media outlets. Below is all the wonderful press we’ve received in 2012! We look forward to seeing you in 2013!

Michael J. Fox Home

Architectural Digest featured Michael J. Fox and Tracy Pollan’s home designed by Gomez Associates. Doris Leslie Blau’s antique and vintage carpets were placed in their home.

Promenade winter 2012

DLB’s Persian Malayer carpet was featured in the article, “Fine Art for the Floor… Whether Modern or Antique, These Beautiful Rugs Transform a Room.” Our very own Nader Bolour was quoted in the article, “It’s like putting a soul into a body. The eye always goes to the floor when someone enters a room.”

NY Spaces Special issue 2012 inside

DLB’s custom rug was featured in NY Spaces page “Artful Furniture and Home Accessories.”  Doris Leslie Blau’s rug was titled, “Tibetan Beauty.”

Elle Decor Nov 2012

DLB’s Persian Sultanabad rug was featured in Elle Décor’s  Arts and Antiques page, “For the Adventurous Collector.”

Trad Home Fall 2012

Traditional Home featured a dining room designed by Mary Douglas Drysdale; the carpet is a Doris Leslie Blau Aubusson carpet.

AD Oct. 2012

Owner Nader Bolour’s Starburst designed rug was featured in Architectural Digest’s article, “Most Wanted… From Simple Pleasures to Ultimate Luxuries.” To quote the article, “The exuberant black and white design of Nader Bolour’s Starburst rug for DLB evokes the tactile brushstrokes of abstract expressionist paintings.”

Veranda July-Aug 2012

Doris Leslie Blau’s Brown Stripe rug was a featured rug in Veranda’s “The World of…” page discussing flat weaves.

AD Sept. 2012

In Architectural Digest’s article, “A Plum Assignment,” interior designer Jamie Drake’s designed room featured Doris Leslie Blau’s custom designed Lily Rug.

Architectural Digest August 2012

A Doris Leslie Blau Persian Tabriz was used in a Carey Maloney designed room in Architectural Digest, August 2012.

Atlanta Homes June 2012

Atlanta Home featured a Lindsey Coral Harper designed room with our Eskayel Madagascar rug. Lindsey said, “My jumping-off point was the carpet. I wanted to do a rich jewel-toned room, glossy from floor to ceiling. So when I found the inkblot carpet from Doris Leslie Blau, I flipped! It looked like a Rorschach, so I thought that my room could double as an in-home shrink’s office.”

Interior Design Magazine May 2012

Two Doris Leslie Blau custom rugs, the Madagascar and animal skin flat weave, were featured in Interior Design magazine’s article, “Painterly Strokes that are Artfully Placed.”

Metropolitan Home April 2012

In the article “Lighten Up,” Doris Leslie Blau’s cotton Dhurrie carpet was a featured rug. To quote the article, “Forget plush
pile carpets, thin is in. Today’s most desirable carpets are graphic flat weaves.”

Cover Magazine Spring 2012

Our Madagascar Eskayel custom designed rug was a featured rug in Cover Magazines “Rug Revolution” edition.

Elle Decor April 2012

Elle Décor featured DLB in their “Happenings” feature. They shared Doris Leslie Blau’s custom-made collection of hand-knotted jute sisal rugs. The collection was said to“Come in various voluptuous colors with a solid, self-contained cotton border, give delight to the senses.”

In Style March 2012

In Style featured fashion designer Nanette Lepore’s living room designed by Jonathan Adler with a custom Doris Leslie Blau peacock carpet.

Elle Decor March 2012

Elle Décor featured Doris Leslie Blau’s custom Ikat-style rug. “The rug has an overscale motif in hand-loomed hemp.”

W Magazine Jan 2012

W Magazine featured one of our Eskayel designed rugs in the article, “Six Room-Making Rugs.” The rugs were said to be “A series of ethereal, Rorschach-esque statement pieces.”

Thank you for joing us and supporting us on our journey through 2012!