Sonia Delaunay - abstract print queen

Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) was a leading designer of abstract prints and patterns in the 1920s and 30s. She originally trained in Russia and Germany but moved to France and spent most of her working life in Paris. With her husband and others, she founded the Orphism movement which focussed on strong colours and geometric shapes. The couple were at the centre of avant-garde Paris and regularly held salons at their home with friends such as Chagall and Kandinsky.

Sonia focused initially on needlework and textiles, bringing in Russian folk influences, and designed costumes for the Ballet Russes. In the 1920s her designs for interiors and fashion were sold through her boutique Casa Sonia.

Sonia also designed fabrics for the Amsterdam luxury store Metz and Co, and latterly for Liberty. However, she was often overshadowed by her husband and not fully appreciated in her own right until the 1960s and 70s.

Sonia Delaunay

Dress fabric 1925-1927 (V&A)