Interview Fromental co-founder Lizzie Deshayes
In 2005 Deshayes co-founded Fromental with her partner Tim Butcher, makers of hand-painted, embroidered, and printed wallcoverings, framed artworks and objets. Central to their ethos was a deep love and respect for beauty and Fromental became known for their hand-painted, hand-embroidered silk wallcoverings, created with a team of designers, artists, and craftspeople across the world from London to Wuxi and Calcutta.
In 2022 Fromental launched a line with Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand, Goop, inspired by their mutual love of nature. Previous collaborations include THC Collection, Lalique and Eric Egan.
THE WICK: Tell us about your typical Monday.
I always wake before 6 am, probably because I go to bed before 9.30. My coffee is waiting in the machine which I take it back to bed and spend 30 min truly waking up. At 8.20am my daughter heads off to school, so that’s my cue to set off on my bike to work.
My job is very hands on, so I might be physically making samples, prototypes or computer renderings of wallcoverings, embroidery, or needlepoint on custom projects of new designs. This happens in my studio, a room within the office and is crammed with books, textiles, ongoing projects, and inspiration. Mondays are important for creative work, so this is interrupted only by necessary meetings.
These days I leave a little early to pick my daughter up on my push bike, it’s a lovely moment to share someone else’s day. Often, I continue the textile side of work at home. It’s easily portable and is the bridge between my professional life and my life passion for design.
TW: If you could wallpaper any art gallery or museum – which would it be and why?
LD: Musee Victor Hugo. It is a lovely bourgeois house in Paris and was his home. Victor Hugo had an incredible talent for ink drawings and prints as well as an eye for the curious and exotic decorative arts. It would be wonderful to be invited to furnish just one room!
TW: What do you think your wallpaper says about you and how are you making it “collectible”?
LD: I wouldn’t say that Fromental has a signature look, we are guided only by what inspires us and what we are burning to make. With that approach, our designs don’t necessarily fall into any design categories and are more timeless. The collectible aspect comes into its own in our objects, wall tapestries, throws and cushions, where each piece is the product of hundreds of hours of design and making.
TW: The most coveted artwork or culturally curious object you’d love to add to your personal collection?
LD: I believe that truly great art should belong to everyone, in museums and galleries, so I would hunt down a beautiful and large Scholars Rock (a naturally formed stone usually limestone, weathered by water and time in China) to contemplate instead.