by Louis Postel | First published in Showboats International, November 2015
An awe-inspiring, fearsome, majestic, gallant vessel commands respect from its interior furnishings. Somehow boho-chic and ultra-casual in the dining area can feel as appealing as a loud table sporting frumpy fishing hats at Louis XV in Monte Carlo.
All the more reason to love this new crop of outdoor fabrics.
Because here’s where you can loosen your tie, don your funky cap, express your freedom and the glorious fact that you were indeed cut from a different cloth. Now your seal buddies can do the funky break-down on your chaise lounge and, really, who cares? A little bleach and a brush will easily eradicate the slimy mess.
Thank Sunbrella and its many offspring for allowing this degree of carefree.
Beginning in the 1990’s with industrial grade awning fabric, the firm launched an industry, which now offers thousands of colors and patterns in 100% solution-dyed, non-fading, non-moisture absorbing, UV-protecting acrylic, good for at least 12,000 double rubs.
Breathable, and cotton soft, this new generation of textiles lets you shrug off formality, as the fun and sense of freedom unfolds.
French, American or None of the Above? Like a Rorschach test these Sunbrella stripes are open to interpretation. While they remind some of ribbon candy, others see barbershop awnings on the Fourth of July, and still others are reminded of the colorful wares in market stalls in Provence. Almost everyone finds them psychologically the same: both energizing and soothing. Circus Stripe Carnival, the Alaxi Collection. https://www.silverstatetextiles.com
A Toast to Wet Sand, Champagne, and a Mermaid! This one evokes the wave patterns left on the sand when the tide goes out, or even robe material for a mermaid in all its pearlescent 40’s glamor. Then when she ultimately leaves it behind to return to the sea, using it to upholster the chaise lounge on the upper deck. Wave from Extex Luxury Outdoor Fabrics. http://www.extex.co.uk/
Do I wake or sleep? Feathers drifting from a clear sky alight on aft deck cushions evoking day dreams in all that sit or lie there. In this poetic, Keatsian state, the feathers and their shadows appear to separate and recombine in a mesmerizing dance. But what saves the sitters from drifting off entirely is the color orange. What is it about orange that is so spirited, modern, and wakeful? Janus et Cie calls its outdoor fabric “Rambutan Plume” after the delicious, orange lychee nut. $122/yard. http://www.janusetcie.com/
Lie Down with Lions. Overdone, seashell and beach umbrella themes can come off as pretty clichéd on M/Y upholstery, and sun wings. How about something different? Something that gets people talking. Like this Acacia tree from the African veld plains? “One can picture lions lolling in its shade,” says its designer and South African ex-pat Mally Skok. Canvas or acrylic by special request. http://www.mallyskokdesign.com/
Ready for the start line? The Regatta group from Sunbrella makes you feel you’ve already won the race — without having had to move a single muscle. Fabrics from top to bottom are: Cabana Regatta (picture yourself changing, stretching, getting mentally prepared for The Big One) , Cast Mist and Canvas Regatta (you’re so confident and relaxed), Shore Flame (but with energy to burn), Fretwork Pewter (you have a carefully-designed race plan, as usual), Hybrid Sky (why worry about the next race — let’s concentrate on this one!), and Token Surfside (some beautiful people are waving to you). http://www.sunbrella.com