Villeroy & Boch has unveiled its first designer tile collaboration in more than 20 years.
Created by fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, Victorian is a vibrant and colourful tile collection inspired by the art of lepidopterists and the geometry of Victorian tiles, bringing the natural world into the living environment.
This is Katrantzou’s first foray into ceramic tile design, building on the global success of her eponymous fashion label.
By working with Katrantzou, Villeroy & Boch tiles saw the opportunity to create a signature collection that would lend itself to the designer’s unique aesthetic and style.
When Katrantzou was first approached by V&B, she was instantly drawn to its over two centuries’ history of design and manufacturing. She was keen to convert her approach to fashion into a spatial context of walls and floors, blurring boundaries between decorative mediums and drawing inspiration from objects, interiors and art.
When visiting V&B, Katrantzou discovered that tiles from this era were still present in one of the hallways on site, and realised that 19th century Victorian tiles have truly stood the test of time.
Katrantzou recognised that this collaboration with Villeroy & Boch tiles should be an exercise in the understanding and application of balance, symmetry and proportion, and that striking a harmonious balance between colour, pattern and form is just as important in interiors as it is in fashion.
The designer and V&B decided to collaborate on a collection that interplays between their respective archival designs.
Butterflies are central to the new collection. A recurring theme in her fashion collections, Katrantzou sees them as one of the truest examples of metamorphosis.
Another theme central to Katrantzou’s work is postage stamps. She believes that they “exude the allure of faraway lands and make you dream about what each piece of paper represents, where it might have been, who has touched it on its journey round the world.”
The Victorian collection features eight different décor sets (200 by 200mm) with borders and edges to complete the offering. Four coloured butterflies on either white or black backgrounds have been created using a combination of digital print and traditional screen-printing, with light visual 3-D effect used to provide a handcrafted appearance to each tile.
Seen either straight-on or at a 45-degree angle, each butterfly tile is enhanced with either gold, black or perforated borders. Continuing the theme of white, black and gold, authentic marble-effect tiles are offered in two different finishes – high gloss for walls and polished surface for floors. They are joined by concentric designs alongside modern graphic interpretations of Victorian tiles.
Mary Katrantzou commented, “It’s been a privilege working on ceramics with Villeroy & Boch tiles – an exciting process to imagine and create spaces that people will live in daily.