Sartorial Seating – Furniture’s getting all Dressed-Up for 2013

Robert Grimshaw’s Knit stool at 100% Design

Each visit to September’s London Design Festival reveals certain trends (for want of a better word) which stand out as new for that year. Sometimes it’s a type of material used, a colour which is everywhere or a general movement in style of design and this year was no exception. I find it fascinating how designers as a whole sometimes all move in a similar direction without ever universally deciding to or consciously taking note of what others are doing.

Everywhere, at every show, was what I’m going to label Sartorial Seating… from sofas to armchairs to stools, all had been dressed up with a new suit, jumper or frock to wear. Even the most simple of chairs had been softened with fabric. Let’s start off above with possibly the cutest of all, Robert Grimshaw’s Knit stool warmed by a roll neck knitted by the Thursday night Purl knitting circle and holding together an adhesive-less design – a true collaboration of skills.

Below is another playful take on the theme, Korean Designers KamKam’s Modern Boy stool. I love the idea of buttoning up furniture and unbuttoning it to find secret compartments 🙂

Kam-Kam Design Studio’s Modern Boy Stool at Tent 2012

I was delighted to see the stunning Canevas pieces by designer Charlotte Lancelot on the Aram stand at Design Junction. Her contemporary interpretation of traditional cross-stitch looked amazing dressing block seating and cushions, brilliant to see something so different and exciting.

Canevas by Charlotte Lancelot

Some more delightful knits below at Tent London, which was my favourite exhibition this year. Almost makes me want to throw on a jumper, they look so toasty!

Knitted furniture at Tent London 2012: Top – Melanie Porter, Bottom – Clare Anne O’Brien

We certainly weren’t limited to seeing furniture dressed only in wool, as you can see below. Craftsmanship in leather was evident at Tent and Design Junction with intricately stitched design and superb attention to detail. Loved the Zoe Murphy chair, but then again, I love all her work!

Leather upholstered & stitched chairs at Tent London and Design Junction 2012. Clockwise from top: Zoe Murphy, Simon Hasan, Alexena Cayless and Gareth Batowski

Things were less extravagant at 100% Design, but there was still beautiful button detailing, unexpected stitching on wool and restrained dressing. I particularly liked the Deadgood chair with it’s muted heart stitching and the Milly stools by Hart & Miller with cute buttoned tops.

Subtle buttoning detail on Dressed-Up furniture at 100% Design.

Nothing less than sumptuous dressing at SuperBrands in Tent London, all decadent dressing gowns and draped velvet.. The warm red coppery shade of the chair below also highlighted a colour trend (more on that in another post!)…

Glamorously Dressed-Up for Super Brands 2012: Top – Ginger & Jagger, Middle – Okumi by Ligne Roset, Bottom – Ginger & Jagger

Over at Decorex 2012, the dress code was Highland with a twist, lots of muted tweeds in shades of grey, purple and green. The sofas looked like the gorgeous linings of bespoke Saville Row suits and Linwood had even had some rather fabulous suits made!

Suited up in woollen tweeds at Decorex 2012. Clockwise from top: Linwood, Linwood, Moon, Isle Mill, Teasel, Johnstons of Elgin
Linwood fabrics suit collection

Stylish design was deconstructed in an installation by Benjamin Hubert at Design Junction, along with other elegantly crafted chairs given a tailored touch. Or in Pitfield’s case, a golden suit maybe only Jonathan Ross would dare to wear 😉

Stylish chairs get simply Dressed-Up at Design Junction

Trust Tent London to deliver the splash of colour required in every wardrobe! From frills to flocking, furniture was given a multi-coloured make-over. The grey footstools below caught my eye with their unusual pleated detail… expect to see more of this type of thing in the future, you saw it here first!

Colourfully Dressed-Up at Tent London 2012

See anything you like? You can be sure Sartorial Seating will be hitting the high street in the next couple of years 😉

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