The tropical banana leaf pattern is a classic motif which rose to popularity in the 1940s, 1950s and had a resurgence in the 1980s. It has became a symbol of Hollywood poolside glam and has also become synonymous with attributes such as pleasurable hedonism and continental sophistication. You can see the frond covered pattern in a variety of world reknowned locations ranging from Don Loper’s Beverly Hills Hotel to Dorothy Draper’s Greenbrier to the iconic New York restaurant, Indochine, made famous as the stomping grounds or place to be by the likes of Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Kate Moss in the Eighties.
The lush Martinique wallpaper is reminiscient of Gauguin in his Tahiti years, of Hollywood in the Rat Pack era, of Palm Springs during the mid-twentieth century US economic boom, and of Havana any day of the week. The influence however, hails directly from the Southeast Asian territories (Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, etc) once established as a part of the French colonial empire. Colonialists brought back the spoils of their travels including this motif and shared it with a world where it was previously unknown, or perhaps solely read about in novels.
Today, the banana leaf pattern still provides wonder and is a glorious accoutrement to virtually any space. The appeal is legendary.
“In the end, we lost IndoChina to the communists. But we did not lose Southeast Asia.”