Perfect Synergy Culminates in a New Collection by Elizabeth Eakins for Holland & Sherry
New to Holland & Sherry showrooms worldwide this spring: an exclusive Elizabeth Eakins–designed line of linens in fresh and versatile jacquards, stripes and solids. We discuss this exciting venture with Bryan Dicker, president, Interiors Division, Holland & Sherry , and Elizabeth Eakins, founder/owner of Elizabeth Eakins, Inc.
What attracted you to working together?
Bryan Dicker: Elizabeth is an icon in the industry, and we are thrilled to work with her. Our companies cross paths all the time. There is a synergy in our quality and look. Elizabeth is a hand-weaver, and H&S has a strong weaving tradition. There is a natural harmony with Elizabeth’s hand-woven sensibility and the artisan approach to weaving at our mill. We gave her access to our toolbox and let her create. She was able to design right on the loom.
Elizabeth Eakins: Holland & Sherry is a natural fit. It is a company that is equal in quality with wonderful resources in production. They have an excellent mill with an enthusiastic staff that is open to development. After 35 years of being my own manufacturer, it is really fun to work on a team that is comprised of very talented people doing something I love. It is a wonderful learning opportunity.
What did you learn?
EE: Holland & Sherry allowed me a great deal of freedom to participate in the process. Traveling to the mill with a very nice group of women that I had never met—they were fun and very directed in their work. To be able to work within the mill itself, be at the loom, which is my favorite part of my job. Weaving on jacquard looms requires me to think in another way than handlooms. To actively participate in what is working, what needs modification, while receiving the support of the staff at the mill was very special. It enables so much for the imagination. Working in a large corporate company was pleasing because I was not the leader.
Why did you choose to create a linen line?
BD: We originally started talking about wool qualities for the collection. Elizabeth has a strong foundation in wool and so does Holland & Sherry. As we worked together, the linen qualities worked better for the timing and the look and feel of the collection. Wool will be featured in future collections.
EE: Wool and linen are my two favorite fibers. Holland & Sherry has limitless capability in each. For my first collection I wanted to weave in all linen. The hand of the fabric is lovely—wonderful for drapery, slipcovers and upholstery in all climates.
How did you develop the color palette?
BD: Elizabeth selected the color palette. These are her classic colorations, and they are favorites at H&S as well.
EE: This collection is simple and fresh. My colors always come from nature. The palette is minimal: cream, beige, brown and blues. They are color, but quite neutral. It’s a subtle palette that can change with accents and elements that surround it.
With whom do you think the collection will primarily resonate?
BD: I think this collection will have appeal across the board. Elizabeth has given a fresh, updated approach to classic designs.
EE: It is important to provide core fabrics for architects and designers that are flexible for different styles of design. When they shop, they are looking to create schemes that reflect their vision.
What’s your favorite fabric in the collection?
BD: The whole collection is beautiful. But if I have to choose, it would be the Flowers pattern in the blue colorway. This is a fresh approach to a classic diamond/ogee pattern. It’s small in scale yet distinctive.
EE: I love the jacquards—the weight, the feel and the finish. My favorite pattern is Flowers. It reminds me of our rugs; it is clean and unadorned.
A version of this article appeared in the June 2015 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Dream Weavers.