Well, they do say August is the silly season…
It is nearly the month when newspapers have traditionally concentrated on stories about surfing squirrels. When even the BBC’s Today programme can run segments on whether flip-flops are superior to loafers. Well, at least I know where I stand on that one. Think Grace Kelly in ‘Rear Window.’ The loafers are great.
But back to the silly season and I just love Jamb’s owners for their historical correctness and witticisms. The name of one of their new handsome pieces of furniture is of-course accurate but has a interesting twist - the ebonized three-tier ‘Bobbin Whatnot.’
Yes I know it has an historic definition - ‘a piece of furniture derived from the French étagère, which was exceedingly popular in England in the first three-quarters of the 19th century. It usually consists of slender uprights or pillars, supporting a series of shelves for holding ornaments or what not, hence the allusive name.’
But the name still makes me smile, a piece of furniture for trifles or what not. That reminds me I must ask Max Rollitt about the naming of his beautiful primrose-yellow Katzsic sofa and we all should take a leaf out of Simon March’s ‘Colour Makes People Happy’ paint books. Now he is one to resist any dictatorial force.
Here’s a name for the silly season and this is the most summery shade in his palette.
‘I will not dignify that with an answer’
Answers on a postcard
The 1950s saw a frenzy of interest in home making and the young were keen that decoration and furnishings should be modern. They were encouraged by a flurry of exhibitions most notably the Festival of Britain in 1951; institutions such as the Council of Industrial Design established in 1944 and publications such as House & Garden, which all promoted a vision of ‘good design.’
Blighty and in particular London continues to push the boundaries of design and the capital is now an international creative hub, a city with a great heart flowing out to communities each with their own unique stamp.
Cutting-edge jewellery designer Lara Bohinc celebrates the launch of her furniture collaborations with Lapicida, as part of Chelsea Design Quarter events at The London Design Festival.
The new kid on the block is The London Design Festival launched in 2003, an event conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans. Building on London's existing design activity, their concept was to create an annual event that would promote the city's creativity, drawing in the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to deliver an unmissable celebration of design.
If last year was jam-packed (333 projects and events staged by 216 partner organisations) then this year (13-21 Sept) sees even more districts. The sheer scope of the Festival events is fabulous but I wonder if far too much to see and do. Maybe our city is just too big and sprawling for the design cognoscenti to venue-hop.
The Chelsea Design Quarter is a partner of the London Design Festival and is one of the design districts to visit. Check out events on the London Design Festival website but a few highlights include:
Designers In Conversation
Monday 15 September, 6.30-8.30pm
Roca London Gallery
‘Urban Plunge’ exhibition & panel discussion
Monday 15 September, 6-8pm
The Rug Company
Meet the Designer – Jonathan Saunders
Thursday 18 September, 6 – 8pm
The trouble with this PR business is that you are always working months ahead. This bonkers time scale is further hindered by the onset of the summer holidays, which means magazines try and get a few issues under their belts before the seasonal exodus. This planning ahead also gives rise to the phenomenon of what we media folk call ‘ Christmas in July.’
Summer is when the shops preview their festive designs, when sandal-footed editors do their Christmas shopping for stories.
Where better to start then Pentreath & Hall and their fellow Bloomsbury shopkeepers – Darkroom, Persephone Books, Susannah Hunter, The French House, Maggie Owen and Thornback & Peel.
Only 161 days...
Christmas in July Press Day
Thursday 17th July, 8.30am – 6pm