Karl Lagerfeld Photographs for Cassina
Lagerfeld on Cassina “I’ve had all this furniture a lifetime. I love doing this!”
These past few images show the Imbottita 699 Chair designed by Gio Ponti in 1957. The frame, is a white/black ashwood with a padded seat & upholstery in white/black leather. Gio Ponti is quite the historical figure in the design world. An architect, designer & artist (1891-1979) Ponti made an intensive contribution to the renewal of Italian production. Some of the most iconic pieces of design were, to this day the creation of Gio Ponti. If you have heard from the brand Molteni, many of his most famous pieces were manufactured by them. Famous not just for his furniture though, Ponti has an extensive collection of silverware & lighting as well as his publications. All strong collectors pieces.
This Nuage bookcase is an old Charlotte Perriand design, recently brought into the collection this year. Charlotte Perriand’s (1903-1999) designs are to this day at the heart of our contemporary lifestyle, she brought round a profound change in aesthetic values. A woman who was a sphere head in the modern furniture movement, a direct result of who she chose to surrounded herself with during her earlier design years. At just 24 years old Perriand embarked on a decade long collaboration with the Le Courbuiser Studio. To put that into context, imagine leaving university & joining Norman Foster as a newly qualified architect, or joining Thomas Heatherwick or Philippe Starck’s studios. A serious beginning for her in the world of design. You couldn’t have wished for a more inspiring mentor. You can also clearly see Courbusiers influences in her work. Perriand has also been credited for her particular talent and intuition in the discovery of materials and their uses in the furniture market. Case in point being how contemporary her designs are, not only for thier stylistic values but also for the materials in which they are manufactured. Take this bookshelf as an example. The composition of the unit allows you to play with the function. You can create a sideboard & cupboards to a bookshelf. With wooden oak shelves and vertical elements in anodised aluminium or just painted black. You can also create five different heights. The sliding panels can be in anodised aluminium or a colour, red, blue, green, yellow, grey, white or black.
Another designer I wanted to call out is Gerrit Thomas Rietveld (1888-1964) the son of a Dutch joiner. At a very young age he was enrolled as an apprentice. He became a master craftsman/cabinet-maker who re-invented the way in which his generation was to view furniture. Rietveld was part of the Bauhaus movement, he designed & constructed pieces in an almost an entirely new way, these ‘design pieces’ were being formed using his architectural background, his own code in construction & design. Elegant, logical forms, new ways of constructing furniture using completely traditional techniques. I remember studying Rietveld’s designs not only at university but at school. We used to make miniature versions of his most iconic designs. I remember the 635 Red & Blue being a particular challenge. You may recognise this piece that is in the Lagerfeld exhibition in it’s most natural format. Modern times have dictacted that a few new additions in pop colours have recently been introduced into the Cassina Collection, as illustrated by Lagerfeld below.
The Zig-Zag Chair – Designed in 1934
New edition Zig-Zags
You’ll know this next armchair. Copied & manufactured the world over, but did you ever know who originally designed it? The first sketches of the LC2 date back to 1928, & came from the drawing board of Le Corbusier (1887-1965). You can tell an original LC (Le Corbusier) piece by the makers mark on the frame of the chair. Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, he adopted the pseudonym Le Corbusier for his architectural persona, a name derived from his maternal grandfather, Lecorbusier. With countless publications to his name, a well respected architect/designer & a furniture collection that remains in production to this day, Le Corbusier is a name even the non-design person surely must have heard of once or twice before. A fiercely ambitious man, Le Corbusier showed at an early age his will & desire to leave any trace of his life & works to the “Fondation Le Corbusier”. With no heir to his name, all was to be kept safe via his Foundation.
The LC Series is available for purchase at Discover&Deliver (www.discover-deliver.com).
This exhibition is showing until 31st May 2013 at the Cassina showroom in Paris with plans to move to the Cassina Showroom in London during LDW 2013.
Images courtesy of Cassina, Discover&Deliver & Circle PR
Foundation Le Corbusier website: www.fondationlecorbusier.fr