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Designer Spotlight: Rebecca Vizard

You know the story: a country girl escapes the simple ways to life and follows dreams into the big city, only to find herself one day rooted back in the comfortable and inspiring rural ways of home. If what Becky Vizard did is a recipe for success, we want to pack up and head for the hills. Perhaps it’s fewer distractions, but something allowed her entrepreneurial and creative spirit to reveal itself.

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

Becky was at Tulane University in New Orleans when she first started to feel her life coming together. Of course it only takes love to change the pace, like when she met the love of her life, her husband and Uptown-native, Michael Vizard. After a couple of years enjoying every bit of New Orleans life, Michael accepted a position at her family’s business back in St. Joseph. They were back home in the Delta. Becky claims she struggled those first few years out in what the locals call “Locustland.” But eventually she adapted to her isolated yet lush surroundings and turned it into a thriving family life and business.

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

Her design eye began with relaxed advice for her friends and their homes, and she quickly realized that her hobbies had evolved into a real career.  While on a job in New York, she encountered a problem that would go on to reshape her life:  she couldn’t find the right pillow! All the vintage or antique-inspired pillows she encountered came with a one too many frills, which wasn’t the look she had in mind for her rather polished client. Being the creative that she is, Becky headed over to her favorite New York market to start hunting for antique textiles. A beautiful antique priest’s vestment presented itself, and she set to work sewing.  After such a warm reception from her early clients, she decided to see what esteemed New Orleans designer Gerrie Bremmermann thought. Bremmermann bought all the pillows she could; and since then, neither momentum nor desire for these expertly composed treasures has wavered. Becky is now so sought after in the design world there’s a wait list of clients for her custom coterie.

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

Becky could teach historians a thing or two with the depth of her textile knowledge. After all, with history comes culture; and Becky is well versed in both. Some of her favorite textiles to hunt for and work with are listed below.

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

A pillow for every occasion and every style!

Suzani is an embroidered Uzbek textile, once made specifically for a bridal dowry. These textiles are now sought for their elaborate hand stitching and rich colors.

Vintage Suzani From Uzbekistan $600.00/ Vintage Suzani in Black, Red, and Wine $650.00

Designer: Melissa Rufty – New Orleans, LA/ Photo Credit: ‘Once Upon A Pillow’-Becky Vizard

Designers: Courtney Coleman & William Brockschmidt/ Photo Credit: ‘Once Upon A Pillow’-Becky Vizard

Ecclesiastical or religious textiles are very valuable fabrics, inherently reflective of the extreme wealth of churches throughout history. You will see the very best of European embroidery in these pieces.  The period of the highest acclaim was the 17th century, with their detailed biblical iconography on vestments and altar frontals. Today it’s extraordinarily rare to come across such a textile, defining their high value.

Ecclesiastical Embroidery of a Sacred Heart $1,150.00

Designer: Annelle Primos – Jackson, MS/ Photo Credit: ‘Once Upon A Pillow’-Becky Vizard

Designer: Katie Scott – Houston, TX/ Photo Credit: ‘Once Upon A Pillow’-Becky Vizard

Fortuny is one of more well known textiles in the fabric lexicon. The design was created by Mariano Fortuny in the early 20th century. He started his design career in the theater, making costumes for the likes of Isabella Duncan, gradually transitioning to interior design fabrics. Fortuny is characterized by the changing colors of the fabric as light casts upon the textile.

Solimena Fortuny $775.00/ Uccelli Fortuny in Butter and Gold $775.00

B. Vizard’s Fortuny Pillows on the bed and an Antique Stump work Pillow on the Chaise. Credit: Cote de Texas

Designer: Eleanor Cummings – Houston, TX/ Photo Credit: ‘Once Upon A Pillow’-Becky Vizard

European Embroidery encompasses a huge array of styles over multiple centuries and ranges from primitive to elaborate gold ornamentation. Some of the textiles sewn to silk are so delicate that Becky prefers to frame them.

Antique Raised Gold Metallic Embroidery $$1,550.00/ Antique European Raised Gold Metallic Embroidery $2,250.00

European embroidery – Raised Gold Metallic Textile Pillow $1,850.00

Designer: Ginger Barber Houston, TX

Tapestry fabric is woven from a matrix of threads called the warp and a weft. The warp serves as the stationary thread, and the weft is the thread that is woven in and out of the warp. Due to the high cost of this sort of labor, these textiles were first created exclusively for aristocracy or the church. Eventually, with the advent of machine operated weaving and the birth of a middle class, generic tapestries became widespread.

16th Century Flemish Tapestry $1,950.00

17th Century Flemish Tapestry $2,100.00

Our personal collection of Ecclesiastical and Tapestry pillows.

Ottoman Empire textiles boast raised-gold-or-silver metal embroidery. Becky gravitates towards this style, popular of the late-19th and early-20th century. A hallmark of Ottoman Empire fabric is the extreme density of the embroidery. This density was achieved by using a piece of cardboard or leather to serve as backing. The gold or metallic threads are reserved for the front and secured by a less ornamental thread from behind. Some of the common iconography seen includes Turkish flowers, pomegranates, apples, artichokes, baskets, scroll-work and vines.

Antique Ottoman Empire $650.00/ Antique Ottoman Empire $1,745.00

Antique Ottoman Empire Pillow with Raised Gold Metallic Embroidery -$1,100.00

Becky’s hallway connecting the main house with her studio. One of her Ottoman Empire tunics hanging on the door. Credit: House Beautiful

Designer: Susan Ferrier of McAlpine – Mountain Brook, AL / Photo Credit: ‘Once Upon A Pillow’-Becky Vizard

Becky Vizard’s beautiful master bedroom as featured in House Beautiful

Photo Credit: House Beautiful

Becky has given her antique textile pillows the breadth of her knowledge, her creative intuition, and her time.  We genuflect accordingly!

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