Most people wouldn’t think a cicada wing is beautiful. But most people aren’t Bec Brittain. This unexpected beauty is the central theme in Taxonomy, Brittain’s inaugural rug collection with New York-based luxury floor covering company Edward Fields. The line launches October 15 and features nine intricate wool and silk designs that mark the lighting designer’s first foray into the technical world of rug creation.
“[Edward Fields’] design team was amazing to work with,” she says. “I don’t think I ever heard them say ‘no’ to me. It was always ‘let’s give this a try.’” Brittain’s brainstorming process began with a lighting piece she had previously created for Patrick Parrish Gallery in New York. The work, named Mercury, featured large handmade leather tassels and natural materials such as obsidian, which she says “felt like a rich place to mine for materiality.” From there, she started studying fabric pleating, and then eventually discovered diagrams of folding insect wings she had used as inspiration 15 years ago while constructing sculptures from insect parts. “These ideas of pleating and materiality were dancing in concert when I came up with the [rug designs].”
Each carpet in Taxonomy plays with entomological elements and color palettes that give a dark, almost creepy vibe. In Mutare, shades of grayish blues and sandy browns lend an otherworldly look, but Brittain notes that they were taken directly from a beetle. The oval-shaped Lamella rug has a feminine dusty lilac coloration with a striking black swooping motif that was extrapolated from insect antennae. And then there’s Hylaine, a graphic silk rug with a layered cicada wing-shape pattern that gives off a shiny and sparkling effect. “The creepy-crawlies we don’t like to look at hold a lot of beauty,” Brittain says. “I wanted to take these things that not everyone finds attractive and make something elegant from them.”
Taxonomy launches on October 15 at Edward Fields and Tai Ping showrooms (to the trade only). edwardfields.com