Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, closed
4, 5, 6 at 59th St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Husband and wife Daniel and Madeleine Porthault started their line of colorful, daintily-patterned linens in the Depression era, a time when sheets never anything but white. Although many linen labels have since followed, D. Porthault is the only one to hold true to its tradition of screen-printing its patterns by hand. Well-known in wealthier social circles, the signature designs—which were either originally created by the Porthaults or are couture alterations by the company’s design studio in Paris—pop against the all-white décor and worn, antique mirrored furnishings of this Madison Avenue store. Many were inspired by artists (“Matisse coral”) or famous customers (“Jackie violet” named after Jacqueline Kennedy). Along with their distinctive patterns, D. Porthault linens are also known for often having wavy or scalloped finishings and embroidery or appliqué detailing. Each year, several designs from the archive of 5000-plus varieties are reissued on bed sets in percale and lighter voile, as well as on towels, porcelain dinnerware, and table linens—including rectangular cocktail napkins and European critone tablecloths for patio dining.Not Just for Grownups
The store also features fine children’s items, like hooded robes with blue bunny patterns, custom baby quilts, and dainty smock dresses.
New York brides swear by this French shop’s statusy table and bed linens. Floral-print sheet sets start at about $1,400.
In the French tradition, week-long white sales take place in January and June. Patterns are reintroduced specifically for the sale are 40 percent off, and regular stock is 40- to 80-percent off.