Growing up in the Louisiana Delta, Rebecca Vizard learned to sew. The task was both a domestic duty and a domestic art. “Everyone knew how to do it,” Vizard says from her workshop and home on Locustland Plantation, just miles from her girlhood home. “I didn’t realize until later, in college at Tulane, that knowing how to sew was a small-town thing. Friends would lose a button on a shirt and rather than thread it back on, they’d buy a new one.” So when she established her pillow-making business, B. Viz Design, in 1994, Vizard, in her own way, kept alive the art of sewing.
She has also kept alive and visible in homes “from California to Abu Dhabi” an array of luxurious textiles — antique panels from as far back as the Renaissance to patterns made by Fortuny of silk and Egyptian cotton. Although MILIEU has long known about her work making pillows from vintage fabrics, we were particularly inspired by a jacket she designed and wore to a son’s wedding, fashioned from a Fortuny fabric. We chose the Venice-based company’s Papiro in lavender and white and asked Vizard to design a caftan. And in keeping with Vizard’s uncanny skill and crafting ability, we used the same pattern to cover a cushion for an antique Mexican bench.
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Text by David Masello