Text copyright
© Lesley Jackson and Paula Day 2014

Lucienne Day

Having defined the post-war ‘Contemporary’ style with Calyx, Lucienne spent the rest of the decade exploring and developing the potential of this new aesthetic. Acknowledged as the star designer at Heal Fabrics, she consolidated her relationship with this adventurous firm, creating around six new designs each year, all strikingly original.

During the early 1950s Lucienne’s patterns were primarily linear, with an energetic wiry quality. While some were inspired by plant forms, others were entirely abstract. Later in the decade she adopted a sketchier drawing style and made bolder use of flat blocks and stripes of colour.

Although Heal’s was her main client, she also designed printed fabrics for Liberty, John Lewis and Edinburgh Weavers, as well as expanding her repertoire in other fields, working with a range of top companies in Britain and Europe. Tailoring her designs to each medium, she designed wallpapers for Crown and the German firm Rasch, carpets for Tomkinson and Wilton Royal, tea towels for Thomas Somerset and ceramics for Rosenthal.

Lucienne Day in her Motcomb Street studio, c 1951
©Robin & Lucienne Day Foundation/photo: John Gay