A Fashion Veteran Puts a Stylish Spin on Textiles for the Home

It’s no coincidence that Astrid de Saint Anthost’s hand-embellished Belgian linen fabrics are chic enough for the runway. After all, she created textiles for Chanel, Dior, and Vera Wang during her decades-long career in fashion. Now the Frenchwoman is focusing her artistic vision on prints for interiors, employing many of the same techniques (silk screen, needle punch, and burnout) and materials (paint, silicone, foil, wool, and felt) familiar to her from her previous vocation. “This is couture for the home,” says Saint Anthost, whose Greenpoint studio is chock-full of samples and in-progress compositions. “The process behind my work is so involved that I consider each fabric a piece of art.”

Trained at the French textile company Atelier Dynale, Saint Anthost debuted her first collection of fabrics by the yard in 2016. The line, sold under the label Le Studio Anthost and popular with design firms including Kelly Wearstler, Pembrooke & Ives, and Cullman & Kravis Associates, ranges from geometrics and florals to animal- and tribal-inspired patterns.

To create a fabric for her floral collection, Saint Anthost sketches a botanical pattern and makes a silk screen from it, then places the design atop six yards of Belgian linen. Using a squeegee, she applies several coats of a single pigment to the silk screen in order to achieve the desired intensity. She then moves the screen down the length of the cloth, repeating the process until the entire surface is covered. After the paint dries for 10 minutes, she irons small pieces of felt onto the linen to replicate leaves. With the design complete, Saint Anthost feeds the textile through a needle-punch machine (an alternative to sewing) in order to affix the felt permanently, a process that can take up to six hours. “When I start decorating a new fabric, I never have a set pattern in mind,” Saint Anthost says. “I’ve always liked to experiment and see where it takes me.”

A version of this article appeared in the April 2019 issue of NYC&G (New York Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Nice Threads.