Drawn from a vast archive of material acquired before his death in 2014, the National Museum of Scotland lays out some of the finest creations of Bernat Klein, one of the most respected textile designers of the 20th century.
Born in Senta, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and having moved to Edinburgh via studying in Jerusalem and Leeds, Klein somewhat unsuspectingly became a huge success in the world of couture fashion. Utilising a run down mill in Galashiels, he set up Colourcraft Ltd, producing brightly coloured tweeds and mohair, inspired by the landscape around his Peter Wormsley designed home and studio in the Scottish Borders. When Coco Chanel chose his fabric for her spring collection in 1963, his designs became sought after in the European fashion industry, leading to collaborations with Pierre Cardin, Dior, Nina Ricci, Yves St Laurent and Hardy Aimes.
Klein continued a long and successful career as a designer, painter and colour consultant. He published his book Eye For Colour in 1965 and also created a set of Personal Colour Guides, a way to help customers find which colours suited them best, based on their eye colour.
In celebration of the centenary of his birth, this exhibition encourages you to learn about Klein’s life and career, through garments, textiles, paintings, design development work and press material. Discover how he was influenced by colour theory and the work of French post-Impressionist artist Georges Seurat, and in turn how his own work and processes inspire designers of today.
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