The Mad Silkman: Zika & Lida Ascher Textiles and Fashion
by Konstantina Hlavácková
The story of a formidable husband & wife team who left an indelible mark in fashion print-making.
Zika Ascher became internationally celebrated for the part he played in the history of textile design. He could take a design of high aesthetic value and render it flawlessly, and he had an extraordinary instinct for how fabric, design and colour could interact. He was by nature open to anything new, while also respecting traditional values. What is more he had a constant need to experiment with the technical and visual aspects of textiles. All of this was driven by his desire for immaculate fabrics that would help make the world more beautiful and life more perfect.
The Mad Silkman traces the story of the husband and wife who set up one of the most influential and prestigious fine textile design firms of the 20th Century.
Their personal and professional lives played out against the dramatic history of the 20th Century and despite having to flee from their native Czechoslovakia in 1939, they were able to build a highly successful fashion fabrics enterprise in London where they settled.
French, Italian and British designers and fashion houses chose Ascher textiles for their collections, including Dior, Balenciaga, Lanvin, Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent, Ronald Peterson, David Sassoon and Alberto Fabiani.
Lida and Zika were especially celebrated for their ‘Squares’, a collection of luxurious printed scarves designed by famous artists such as Henry Moore, Henri Matisse and André Derain.
The book weaves together all the different strands of their eventful lives to produce a comprehensive account that goes well beyond the individual artistic, technical and business aspects.
UK Distributor: Network Books Distribution
304pp, 280 x 220mm