Tekla taps Le Corbusier for fall’s chicest blanket collection

Think of Le Corbusier, and sharpness of line is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The influential French-Swiss architect is famous for ushering in brutalism with his Cité Radieuse concrete housing project in Marseille; the urban overhaul with his meticulously organized plan for Chandigarh, the first purpose-built city in India; and spreading the idea of ​​open, light-filled living with his modernist designs for private homes in Paris and beyond.

But don’t forget his path with color. “People talk more about the spaces he designed and his description of a home as ‘a machine for living’,” muses Charlie Hedin, the founder of Copenhagen-based textile brand Tekla. “It sounds very harsh – ‘a machine for living’ – but its meaning is actually very warm. If you make the space as simple as possible, then you fill it with love, emotions, clothes, textiles, dinners… life. And his color book is a big part of that.

On October 18, Hedin will unveil the first fruits of a collection of limited-edition mohair blankets inspired by the 63 hues that make up Le Corbusier’s architectural color system, known as architectural polychromy, from his 1930 essay. of the same name. Working closely with Les Couleurs Suisse AG, the company commissioned by the Le Corbusier Foundation to translate colors onto textiles for the first time, Hedin chose three shades – 32024 Outremer Gris, a spearmint green, 4320K Bleu Outremer 59 , an ocean blue hue, and 4320C Hot Pink, a cotton candy pink – which he said provided key accents for contemporary living. The covers are hand woven in Spain and will be released in a numbered edition.

Ola Rindal © FLC / VISDA 2022

Ola Rindal © FLC / VISDA 2022

“Everything is based on things we found in the archives,” says Hedin, speaking on the phone from Paris, where he is to present the collection in Le Corbusier’s studio-apartment on the top two floors of the Molitor building. designed with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret in the 1930s in the southwest of the city. “It’s an interpretation of what we think he would have chosen. We wanted to know how Le Corbusier used colours, but also how he used textiles in his various homes – his apartment and studio in Paris, Villa Le Lac in Switzerland and Le Cabanon, his vacation cabin in the south of France. . “The biggest challenge? “You have to give the story a lot of respect, because in a way it’s a one-way conversation,” he says. “It was a lot of trying to get us on his mind.”

This is not the first time that Hedin has been inspired by architecture. Tekla, which has moved from bedding, towels and blankets to sleepwear and tablewear in recent years, collaborated for several seasons with British architect John Pawson. Indeed, the 40-year-old Swede reveals that if he hadn’t pursued a career in fashion (he spent seven years at Acne Studios) and then in textiles, he would have studied architecture. “I love the design of space and being in very well-proportioned rooms,” he says.

Ola Rindal © FLC / VISDA 2022

Ola Rindal © FLC / VISDA 2022

Nor is Tekla the first in the fashion and lifestyle space to invoke Le Corbusier’s legacy. Karl Lagerfeld chose “Le Corbusier goes to Versailles” as the theme for Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2014 haute couture collection, while Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo has said in interviews that she respects “simplicity and space” of Le Corbusier’s philosophy. Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester bought her only home in Belgium, Maison Guiette in Antwerp, in 1983. The architect’s work also had a lasting impact on Lanvin’s Bruno Sialelli, who grew up in Cité Radieuse, the housing complex designed by Le Corbusier. in Marseille. “There I was, this skateboard-obsessed ’90s kid surrounded by bizarre mid-century brutalist design – it was like a dream world,” he told the New York Times in 2020.