Chinoiserie and a taste for the exotic by Furious Goose
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The Regency Era (1797-1837) was an explosion of new fashions and pleasure-seeking, driven by a rarified society booming with the proceeds of trade and conquest and by the Prince Regent himself as hedonist-in-chief.
“The era celebrated the world and its different cultures as well as all things new and extraordinary. It was the age of the middle class as every stratum of the population revelled in the material, intellectual and cultural riches flooding into the kingdom.”
One of the most recognisable Regency movements is Chinoiserie, a style that George IV was particularly fond of. It was born in the porcelain cups and used bohea leaves of the salon as the drinking of tea became de rigeur. Soon there was a craze for all things exotic in architecture, furniture, ceramics and of course fabric and fashion. As for questions of cultural appropriation or accuracy – That was neither here nor there.
“The flood of exotic textiles pouring into Britain from the East, far from sinking the domestic silk and other textile manufacturers, fuelled change and growth. Manufactures began replicating the cornucopia of exquisite and elaborate new patterns and designs of the East to cater to the population’s insatiable appetite for the latest fashions and styles. By 1800, Britain had already acquired the reputation as the largest counterfeit textile industry in the world. But it was our eccentric British take on international designs, blended with our own cultural memes and vision; inspired by the Regency’s fascination with other cultures which fuelled unique new patterns; chinoiserie being the perfect example of this.”
It was in this spirit of playful reinvention that the British accessories brand Furious Goose was inspired to create a collection of silk scarves, pocket squares and lavallières inspired by the Dragon.
In true Regency style they have pulled together conflicting cultural references by featuring dragons from the Orient and the Occident. The Chinese Dragon meets its mesoamerican counterpart, the flying serpent god Quetzalcoatl, in a mesmerising blur of fangs, scales and feathers.
The Furious Goose studio is in Brighton close to one of the finest examples of Regency Chinoiserie, the Pavilion – home to several dragons of its own.
This award-winning accessories brand is designed and made entirely in the UK, making bold silks and wools with their unique mix of fine art and contemporary design aesthetic.
Website: www.furiousgoose.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @furiousgoose