Alexander McQueen Studio and The Rug Company Practice the Dark Arts

The British brands unite for a bewitching, limited-edition design that gets goth.

The Rug Company Photo: Courtesy The Rug Company

When it has something to celebrate, the Rug Company calls on visionary friends. To mark its 20th anniversary this year, the revered London-based brand has unveiled the TRC20 capsule collection of handmade rugs featuring creations from Alexander McQueen, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, and Kelly Wearstler—all coauthors of the company’s handcrafted past—as well as company cofounder Suzanne Sharp.

TRC20’s Chiaroscuro, created in collaboration with Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton, is limited to 40 editions (starting at $9,456 for a 6-foot-by-4-foot rug). Its pattern is a gothic, moody free fall into sumptuous influences—Dutch floral paintings of the 17th century—and cut with the sly, evocative defiance that defined the late fashion designer’s oeuvre. The pieces are handwoven (as are all TRC20 designs) from natural yarns, with every color blended by hand to impart an impressive contrast of light and dark, subtle and bodacious.

Years ago, the Rug Company worked with McQueen himself on a number of editions that, like the Chiaroscuro, resonate for their design and dimension. “When we started working with him,” says cofounder Christopher Sharp, “he was amazed by the craftsmanship involved in our rugs. We asked him to come up with the best rug designs he could, and not to worry about how we’d make them. The designs were incredible and challenged us to explore new weaving techniques, and they have since become iconic.”


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