On 27 September 1822, the French historian and linguist Jean-François Champollion announced a remarkable discovery – he had managed to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.
Now, 200 years later, Pierre Frey has paid tribute to this discovery, and the period of ‘Egyptomania’ experienced in French culture that began at the end of the 18th century, with the Merveilles d’ Égypte textile collection.
In partnership with the Louvre Museum, the collection references Egyptology in multiple ways. Designs range from faithful reproductions to contemporary takes of preserved works. Genoa velvets evoke the precious jewels and ornaments of pharaohs, jacquards and prints recall hieroglyphs and the frescoes of ancient buildings, while flora and fauna embroidered on linen takes us to the banks of the Nile. “The collections … resonate with the sacred art materialised by the pyramids and their decorations with a form of celebration of life on the Nile,” says brand communication director Pierre Frey, grandson of the maison’s founder.
Visits to the Egyptian Antiquities Department at the Louvre sparked inspiration. Combined with research into the period’s crafts, the collection came together within the Pierre Frey studio. Also part of the collection is work by artist and illustrator Louis Barthélemy, invited by Pierre Frey to imagine contemporary frescoes celebrating the Nile. An Egyptophile himself, Barthélemy divides his time between Cairo and Paris and drew inspiration from both cultures for his designs.