Sheila Bridges Harlem Toile de Jouy Square Silk Scarf from The Met Museum


Our silk scarf features Harlem Toile de Jouy by the celebrated New York City-based interior designer Sheila Bridges (American, b. 1964). This timeless accessory honors Bridges’s stylish mother, who loved to wear colorful scarves from museum shops. Bridges’s contemporary vision of 18th-century toile-a classic French fabric abounding with pastoral imagery-is inspired by archival maps of Harlem, which was settled by the Dutch in 1658. It simultaneously riffs on old stereotypes: women styling hair, men playing basketball, girls enjoying a round of Double Dutch. The motif originates from Bridges’s tenacious search for an existing toile suited to her sensibility as a decorator and her perspective as an African American woman living in Harlem. She created Harlem Toile de Jouy as a custom expression of her personal style and a reflection upon history, politics, and culture.

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