Walking into Yves Delorme’s chic shop on lower King Street this spring, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped right into Monet’s Water Lilies.
This spring, the refined shop is getting a fresh infusion with Yves Delorme’s newest collection, Au Fil de la Rivière or Following the River. The theme is water and the effect is masterful. Here in Charleston, the French company’s spring designs seem to mirror our winding inlets, miles of beaches and marshy islands.
The naissance of Yves Delorme came in 1845 in a French province near Lille, the home of France’s textile industry. Ernestine Fremaux and her husband created a linen weaving company, which was handed down through generations. Today, Yves Delorme is a member of France’s prestigious Comité Colbert—an organization of the most luxurious French brands in the world—and it has expanded internationally. Still, the Fremaux legacy is very much a family endeavor.
On King Street, just a block from Charleston’s historic French district, Yves Delorme feels beautifully at home.
“Home linens speak to intimacy, to personal well-being and to an authentic luxury,” says Yves Delorme’s current art director, Laurence Rouet, the artist behind each year’s new collections.
Inside the Charleston shop, white pillars, crystal-drop chandeliers and Charleston’s iconic brick walls set the stage for Yves Delorme’s beautiful products: heavenly soft bedding, classic sleepwear, soaps and scents, and perhaps most enticing of all—robes.
Kim Morgan, manager of the Charleston store, is excited to share the new line with Yves Delorme regulars—locals as well as travelers from the Northeast and Florida who stop in on every trip. “We get close to our customers,” she says. “I can often remember exactly what they bought last time.”
The company’s latest line will have something for traditionalists and modernists alike. Morgan says: “I think we’ll do wonderfully with it. It’s splendid and vibrant. Yves Delorme is always doing something different.”
The spring line is different in one particularly notable way. With Following the River, Yves Delorme is taking a step to beautify not only the home but the planet as a whole. With the release of this water-themed spring line, the company is pairing with an international nonprofit organization, The TerraMar Project, to fund education and research for global waterways and oceans. During April, in honor of Earth Day, the company is giving 10 percent of all profits from its ocean-inspired patterns to The TerraMar Project.
Each of the designs in the new collection can be traced back to water as a life source. Whether distinct or just suggested— by vines, waving coral or swirling patterns—water is ever present, notes Lee Dufour, vice president of marketing and communications.
Yves Delorme designer Laurence Rouet has carefully crafted the new line to balance traditional with contemporary. In fact, this year’s collection feels especially distinctive and relevant, thanks to the partnership with The TerraMar Project.
Imagine wild clematis turned sateen, jasmine made of percale, or ocean waves spun into a throw of 100 percent baby alpaca fleece. That’s the world Yves Delorme has created for spring and summer 2018.
Each of the nine new designs evokes water in a different way. The white-on-white Petales design is laced with small hand-embroidered blossoms on white cotton, giving it subtle texture that pairs well with Charleston’s beachy homes. On the Lucine coverlet, bold green shoots of jasmine crisscross the percale in a more bubbly design. For a twist on the classics, the Mousson linens reenvision a popular palm pattern in bright lilac and grassy hues, making it easy to update a bedroom for summer just by changing the sheets.
Yves Delorme is one of the only bedding design houses that unveils a new collection twice a year. Collections of limited edition designs that intermingle with a permanent line of classics.
Dufour is enamoured with the Sources pattern, a design with aqua coloring, stylized fern and, as she describes it, “a delicate coral-colored bloom pushing up through the foliage, searching for the sunlight.”
Like the iconic Water Lilies, Yves Delorme’s spring-summer line is both classic and fresh. It evokes new life and an old world. In partnership with The TerraMar Project, the French home designer hopes to create a luxurious and healthy world for centuries to come.
Enid Spitz is a Charleston-based writer.
Find her at verb-mgmt.com.