World’s Most Sought After

This post is not about needlepoint.

Not directly , anyway.

I got the idea that I should make a pillow that was a simple tiger skin pattern, so I started searching for vintage or modern kits. Unfortunately, all I could come up with was hodgepodge designs of several  animal prints mooshed together onto a single canvas  or representations of tigers before they were skinned. So I googled “tiger skin pattern” and came up with a  wealth of images. The one I was drawn to was this one:

Scalmandre le tigre
Scalamandre silk velvet, Le Tigre

Naturally, it is the most sought after fabrics and retails for about $2,000.00 per yard. Williams-Sonoma and this other place offer a made up pillow that sells for $250-$500 depending on the size you want. And guess what fusion of style and garish pop culture is relevant to this topic? Bravo’s Real Housewives! Carole Radziwill of Real Housewives of New York has a sofa upholstered in the stuff.

tiger sofa
Sofa designed for Lee Radziwill upholstered in Scalamandre’s Le Tigre silk velvet fabric

The sofa was designed for Carole’s mother-in-law, Lee Radziwill  in the 1960s. Lee gave it to her son Anthony, who later married Carole. Anthony died and Carole has the sofa. It’s the only thing in her entire apartment that has any personality at all except for that long mirror between the windows. CArole said the sofa was worn and ripped in places but she loved it an would never give it up. Kudos to her for that; kudos to Lee Radziwill for investing in something so timeless and well made that it remains covetable 60 years later. (Carole recently did a minimal apartment makeover and the ripped fabric on the arms seems to have been replaced with new – a gutsy move indeed. Maybe the shredded piping as replaced as well?)

Carole’s pretty cool – definitely the best of the bunch, moral compass-wise – and has a  demeanor that is difficult to ruffle and is able to give measured responses that are not full of shouted curses, which is the norm for any RH franchise. Still, I have to think that Lee must be something less than approving of Carole’s involvement with this show. On the other hand,Lee is Jackie O’s sister so she is probably very adept at shutting out questionable choices and behaviors, thanks to close proximity to the Kennedy clan.

But back to me. I don’t know. Maybe I should drop the tiger skin idea and  stick to my original Scalmandre zebra obsession and do up a pillow in one of these colors?

2 thoughts on “World’s Most Sought After”

  1. I have a designer friend in L.A. that I have worked with on upholstery projects. We used to make and sell high end pillows together.
    If you just want the fabric and can sew the pillows yourself, I might be able to hook you up with the fabric (and inserts) at a wholesale price that is affordable.

    Shoot me an email. I might or might not be able to help with your safari pillow needs.

  2. You do have an unerring instinct for high end. My youngest daughter does that. Give her a choice of several items and she can always point to the most expensive one and say “I want that one.”

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