Thursday, August 19, 2010

Modern Classics

Looking back on the Architectural Digest Show weeks later, the work of the New Traditionalists in SoHo was some of the work that still stuck with me most. When I first saw their booth, I thought it looked especially handsome and really liked their aesthetic. But when the booth rep started pointing things out to me, I got really impressed. It's the kind of stuff I've spoken about before. It's first of all applying hot new technologies to familiar forms. Secondly, it's the kind of stuff you'd possibly pass by thinking it's nice, but only upon taking a much closer look might you realize how impeccably crafted it is. I appreciate both the subtlety of that and the potential for "ooohhh!" kinds of moments.

Their Chair No. 79 shows all the adept craftsmanship:

Chair No. 395 has all the warm, handsome richness of an old library:

Side Table No. 33 gives you something vaguely familiar, but in decidedly new colors:

Most impressive are the details. Like the door faces on the Credenza No. 840. It's navy plaid leather:

But the piece that really took me over the edge was their Chair No. 66.

Now, it looks like your ordinary club chair, more or less. Minor details like the buckled straps at the bottom make it fairly obvious that this is a high quality piece of furniture. But the rep pointed out to me the upholstery. It looks in the photo like suede. In fact, even in person, even getting right up to it and touching it, it seems like suede. Actually, it's laser cut leather. The leather has been cut in grooves about a half a millimeter apart, almost like very, very fine leather corduroy. It has the most amazing texture to it, and I was immediately blown away by this classy and fascinating use of new technology in a piece that looks undeniably classic.

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