Last summer, we had an exciting visitor here at Farrow & Ball HQ — respected fashion designer Christopher John Rogers. How did a celebrated fashion designer from across the pond find himself in Dorset enjoying a cream tea, surrounded by paint tins, reems of wallpaper and our friendly neighbourhood sheep? And not just once, but twice? Our new collection, Carte Blanche. After visiting way back when the collection was first being created in June 2022, Christopher returned recently to see it all come to life.
Huddled over paint vats and inspecting every inch of wallpaper, Christopher and our Creative Director Charlotte spent hours roaming the factory making sure everything was exactly how they’d envisioned. With their shared passion for craft, quality and colour obvious from the second they met the first time, it was no surprise to see them so invested.
In fact, attention to detail and care for how things are made were deciding factors behind choosing this partnership, on both sides of the Atlantic. Charlotte waxes lyrical about the “exquisite quality” of Christopher’s pieces, which was “a key reason why he felt like such a natural partner”. While for Christopher, our mutual love of colour and emphasis on quality and longevity and his “emphasis on artful, declarative design” felt “like the most natural fit”.
It’s safe to say, Charlotte relished the opportunity to share the inner workings of how we handcraft our paint and paper with someone who’s as passionate as she is. Starting where the story of Farrow & Ball began, the pair first visited the paint factory. From the base ingredients to packing the finished product into tins, and even a turn mixing in the pigment (a highlight of every visit to the factory), our team of experts walked Christopher and Charlotte through each stage of creating the 12 delightful new colours.
The next stop was the wallpaper factory next door to see the Carte Blanche colours applied to paper. Using bespoke equipment and traditional techniques, our wallpaper team carefully craft the three different patterns in four different colourways each. A fresh twist on a classic, the Stripe paper is made using a roller block, creating a continuous, bold stream of colour. Across the room, Dot and Check are both made using flatbed printing, which leaves an irresistible texture as the block pulls up and away from the paper. The final stage is careful trimming and quality control, to make sure the pattern lines up beautifully on your walls.
Although the whirlwind visit was only a few days, we packed plenty in and it was a joy. Christopher, you’re welcome back any time – we’ll get another plate of scones ready.