Michele Rondelli @ Design Gallery, Melbourne

Michele Rondelli @ Design Gallery, Melbourne

Fabric is half of fashion” … Yves Saint Laurent

Design superstar, Michele Rondelli, presented his groundbreaking fabric collection ‘design opulence’  on Thurs, 10th February at the Design Gallery of the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) in Melbourne.

The exhibition, ‘design opulence’, is a sneak preview before release in Europe.



Michele Rondelli is the Creative Director for Jakob Schlaepfer Décor, a division of a century old Swiss-based company Jacob Schlaepfer.

Under Rondelli’s direction the company has recently produced an extraordinary collection of magnificently coloured, opulent fabrics for residential use. These handcrafted designs have made their way into art installations, drapery, wall coverings and upholstery and were presented to a handpicked audience of Melbourne designers at the exhibition’s opening night last week.

Rondelli, an architect by profession, drew respect and admiration from his design audience as he demonstrated the extraordinary design qualities and breathtaking technical skills embedded into his creations. Fabrics made of metal that weighed only five grams per metre, and another with over one million sequins per square metre formed part of this extraordinary collection.

Until February 18th

DIA Design Gallery, Level 1, 175 Collins Street, Melbourne

10.00 am to 4.00pm.   / Admission is free.



Studio Rondelli 1:1

After many years experience of architecture and design in both the US and Europe, Swiss national Michele Rondelli arrived in Andalucia in 2002. Having decided to learn Spanish in Medina Sidonia over the summer, he met a new client, began building a boutique hotel and Studio Rondelli 1:1 was born.

Within a short time, Studio Rondelli 1:1 established a new standard of design and architecture in this area of Andalucia, building up a team of professionals within the studio and acquiring extensive local knowledge. Since then the studio has completed a huge variety of design and architectural projects both in Spain and globally, including hotels, corporate offices, private residences, factories, showrooms, and urban planning assignments.

Today Studio Rondelli 1:1 is working from new offices in Medina Sidonia and continues to successfully promote its core principles of design excellence, project efficiency and client satisfaction.


Jakob Schlaepfer Décor

The Fabric of The Imagination

Now into its second century of trading, the company begun by Jakob Schlaepfer is still as creative as ever.

From St. Gallen in Switzerland, their dedication to the pursuit of nothing less than the best has rightly propelled them to a unique position amongst the upper echelons of the worlds of fashion and textiles.

Decor Collections

Over their 100-year history, Jakob Schlaepfer’s determination to make only the best has brought the company to its unique place at the top of the world of fashion and textiles. It is just as creative as it has ever been, and now Jakob Schlaepfer is presenting textile collections for interiors under its own label.

With a feel for the spirit of the times, the design and development team has created trendsetting fabrics that will inspire architects and interior designers to create new looks for interiors. Jakob Schlaepfer bills itself as an “industrial manual manufacturer,” offering innovation in haute couture by combining traditional embroidery techniques with constantly developing know-how: an ever-increasing pool of ideas that Schlaepfer draws on in order to keep current and create momentum in textile design.

As part of its new Décor offerings, the innovative textile firm has launched a completely new concept in wall, floor and ceiling design with its Glinka range (shown here). A fabric printed with more than 40 pictures is bonded with a hologram film to produce a resilient and tough sheet that can either be wallpaper or sandwiched between glass and used for floors and ceilings. Whether seen in artificial or in natural light, the combination of ornament, high gloss effect and hologram produces an original and dramatic visual impact. Glinka was awarded the 2009 Red Dot Design Prize for Highest Design Quality.

decor collection 2009

In 2008 Jakob Schlaepfer introduced a world first in by Vada Pleats and Vada Giardino. Never before has printing been carried out on three layers of tulle simultaneously. The effect is as beautiful as it is striking, since the three layers give the fabric a 3D look. The collection is supplemented with the flame-retardant Buonanotte fabric for black out draperies, which can be printed with all the motifs in the collection.

buonanotte vada

Phanton in Motion

Phantom – the world’s lightest textile for windows needs to be thrown up in the air to see how it float swirls around you like smoke rings. Weighing only 10 grams per square meter, this polyester fiber enhanced with metal floats with every movement of the air. Introduced in 2009 and winning several prestigious textile design prizes; they built on its success with a printed version- Secret Garden.

Secret Garden

Secret Garden

“The technical perfection of the material, which shows most spectacularly in movement, has here been made entirely subservient to the poetic effect achieved,” commented one member of the Textile Design Jury.

Pollock Wall Panels

Pollock must be played with. This textile is like a incredibly beautiful etch-a sketch.

Invention is in Jakob Schlaepfer’s blood: it has been more than thirty years since the St Gallen manufacturer developed the first industrial procedure for applying paillettes(sequins) to fabrics, revolutionizing the entire textile industry. Now a new process has made these same paillettes interactive: by stroking them you can turn them over, from one face to the other, from one colour combination to another,from bright to matt, from plain to printed, from glittering to iridescent – with more than 200 combinations the possibilities are simply endless.

Korsakow is embossed foam tipped with gold or silver leather and applied by hand to transparent black tulle).

aluminum sheer

A layer of aluminum is sandwiched between contrasting chiffons in this sculputural curtain.

Beautiful fabrics for over 100 years

1904  Rudolf Vogel establishes an embroidery business in St. Gallen

1908  Jakob Schläpfer joins the company

1911   Company is renamed Vogel & Séquin

1920 Rudolf Vogel leaves Séquin, and sets up Vogel & Co.

1924 Jakob Schläpfer becomes minority shareholder

1934 Jakob Schläpfer buys the Vogel company and establishes the new company Jakob Schlaepfer (changing ä to ae) running it single-handedly at Schützengasse 5 in St. Gallen

1944 Upturn in business operations

1945 Son Robert Schläpfer joins the company

1950 First venture into women’s clothing

1955 Robert Schläpfer marries Lisbet Bucher who becomes involved in creating the collection

1957 Introduction of the peacock logo designed by Robert Geisser

1961 First business in Asia

1962 Death of Jakob Schläpfer

1963 Relocation of the company to Teufener Strasse 11 in St. Gallen Acquisition from Arnold Ochsner of the world patent for sequin production on shuttle embroidery machines

1964 First haute couture collection for Paris and Rome

1965 First sequin production

1966 Jakob Schlaepfer becomes a joint stock company

1968 Introduction of first computers

1975 Development of thermo-fixable paste gems in cooperation with Swarovski

1978 Setting up of the integrated EDP organisation

1980 Establishment of Jakob Schlaepfer SA, Paris

1983 Purchase from Akira Kurihara of the world patent for the transfer application machine

1984 Establishment of Jakob Schlaepfer Inc., New York office

1985 Establishment of Jakob Schlaepfer Ltd., London Development of the marvel print technique

1986 Own EDP Artworker System Opening of a production plant in Los Angeles

1988 Opening of a sales office in Osaka, Japan

1989 Opening of a sales office in Munich, Germany

1993 Development of textile metal fabrics Start of cooperation with Création Baumann for interiors

1995 Sale of Jakob Schlaepfer to Messrs. von Meiss and Bolte

1996 Reorganisation and restructuring

1997 Sale of all Jakob Schlaepfer business operations including subsidiaries abroad to the Filtex AG textile group of St. Gallen. Jakob Schlaepfer continues to be run as an independent division

1998 Formation of a new company management consisting of the heads of the creation, sales and production departments as well as the group managers Development and expansion of laser technology

2001 Setting up of the inkjet section

2003 Start of the development of the new business software package

2004 Jakob Schlaepfer centenary Publication of the book Blendwerk Textile exhibition (“Bling Bling – dream fabrics from St. Gallen”) at the Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum) Zurich using Jakob Schlaepfer as an example

2006 Emboscan – laser unit on the embroidery machines creates new technical possibilities

2008 World wide launch of own Décor collection

2009 The Year of Awards:  Red Dot Design Award: «Best of the Best» for «Phantom» and «Highest Distinction for Design Quality» for «Glinka» Robb Report: «Best of the Best» in the «Décor » category Design Preis Schweiz: Textile Design Award for «Secret Garden» Première Vision: Imagination Prize


Presentation at The Whitehouse Design School, Sydney
Feb 11th, 2011

The Design Institute of Australia – Australia’s only professional, multi-disciplinary design organisation – has been actively improving the community and status of designers since 1947. The organisation promotes the value of design and designers to industry, business, government and the community. The DIA provides a vibrant networking base on a state, national and international level. Through its international affiliations, the DIA links its members with designers in over 40 countries.

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