We stopped by Roche Bobois’ posh midtown east showroom to get an in-depth look at the new collaboration for Fall/Winter 2016 between two icons: Roche Bobois and Christian Lacroix.
Roche Bobois has a simple approach to design: bring the very best designers to create the very best designs. However, in this apparently simple approach, complications of taste and quality are quickly introduced. What makes a good designer? What makes a good design? These questions were not difficult to answer when Roche Bobois resolved to tap the famed fashion house Christian Lacroix for a new collaboration of 20 pieces. Accurately, Gilles Bonan of Roche Bobois said, “Fashion and design are united by a common set of principles: creativity, audacity, and energy.”
The approach was simple: allow Christian Lacroix to reimagine Roche Bobois’ [highlight background=”#333″ color=”#fff”]Hightlight Text[/highlight]storied Nouveaux Classiques line in the context of Lacroix’s iconic colorways and couture fashion tendencies. The result? A compact but ambitious capsule of design, aimed to surprise and please with designs that are at once classic and approachable, all the while being tailored and unique. Whimsy isn’t really the right word- it is more apt to regard the pieces as eccentric. They are restrained, well-fitting suits and tidy outfits as furnishings- with high levels of detail and fine materials to round it out. This almost oppressively realist approach to appropriating couture for furniture is actually way more pleasing than its description might suggest, for example, stackable, cubic side tables with brass and polished wood accents, rounded out with broad stripes of various colors. Or consider a simple dining chair, with a chevron fabric back, a polished wood frame, signature Nouveaux Classiques brass chair leg tips, and a silky smooth upholstery and a single seam running down the center. As if a dress was composed as a chair from the start. The extent of whimsy stops at polite irregularity, that is, a lounge chair cut with a puffy structural integrity, done in a classic La Croix fabric, a great deal of respect paid to the classic midcentury Italian designers of the past. Not to mention overt references to Fornasetti in the cadenza and liquor bar, as well as a stunning multi-panel room divider with a tropical scene collage silkscreened onto a lacquered wood.
Who’s responsible? We turn to Sasha Walckhoff of Christian Lacroix, who maintained the role of artistic advisor to Lacroix himself. Sasha’s carte blanche access to Nouveaux Classiques enabled him to touch on decades of influence and inspiration, leading to the highly varied but cohesive 20 piece collection for Roche Bobois, available now.