Thursday, 19 May 2011

Lucienne and Robin Day

From researching the 1951 Festival of Britain for this months newsletter, it got me interested in some of the designers and artists who produced work specifically for the festival. Robin and Lucienne Day who's work is being celebrated in a retrospective exhibition at the Pallant House Gallery particularly appealed to me.

Lucienne and Robin were married but didn't collaborate professionally as such, they both stuck to their own fields yet their own designs worked so well together.
Back in the 1950’s, the Days’ aim was to produce quality, mass-produced low cost furniture and textiles. Functionality, ease of manufacturing and low cost production was very important to them both.

They both rose to prominence during the 1951 Festival of Britain, which provided an ideal showcase for their talents. Lucienne’s abstract-patterned textiles and wallpapers were displayed alongside Robin’s steel and plywood furniture in the Homes and Gardens Pavilion.

The Englishman's Home' mural by John Piper, on the southern facade of the Homes and Gardens Pavilion at the South Bank Exhibition

In 1951 Day was awarded a Gold Medal at the Milan Triennale for his design of his 'Homes and Gardens' pavilion at the Festival of Britain.

Robin Day chairs from Thirteen Interiors

It was for the Homes and Gardens display that Lucienne designed her renowned fabric Calyx - an abstract print inspired by nature and plants.

Calyx was widely praised, so much so that after Lucienne had persuaded Heals to manufacture the initial design, the company embraced her style and championed Lucienne’s work. Over the next 20 years or so she produced over 50 outstanding patterns for Heal’s, all remarkable for their inventiveness and now very sought after.

While hunting for vintage fabrics in Alfies you never know you might come across one of Lucienne's designs.

Lots of fabric available at Persiflage

And at Ian Brighton's stand

Thursday, 12 May 2011

The Glamour of Cannes

The 63rd Cannes Film Festival opened last night with stars gracing the red carpet in jawdropping splendor. Founded in 1946, Cannes is one of the world's most prestigious film festivals and has become synonymous with glamour and celebrity, as well as being an important showcase for European films. In this post we will look back at previous Cannes festivals and inject some glamour into your life with a little help from the Alfies dealers!

Vintage Cannes Festival poster from 1951

During the festival there will also be an exhibition celebrating the world of the pin-up, with vintage photographs taken from the Kobal Collection, featuring stars such as Marylin Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Brigitte Bardot at the height of their fame.

Jayne Mansfield © PixPlanete. 1953

Jacques Erwin, Louise Carletti, Alain Cuny © AFP. 1947

Vintage Swimsuit from Deborah Woolf Vintage.

Pair of French Cinema Seats, from Christopher Hall.

Vintage Paul Allen Silk Scarf from Rank Cinema, Cannes Film Festival. £85

A pair of stunning vintage dresses from Dandy Dolls.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

No more sapphire rings...

I am sure we all agree that the Royal Wedding was lovely to watch, Kate looked stunning and the nation felt happily united for a weekend. It was quite a wonderful event.
But during the months running up to the wedding date we have also seen our fair share of sapphire engagement rings - some amazingly beautiful ones, some rather cheap looking copies.
So to cater for people with a more individual taste Alfies joined our big sister Grays Antique Market in the hunt for engagement rings that are just that little bit different.
Here is what we have found so far - more to follow so do keep checking our weekly blog for inspiration!

Victorian 9ct gold ring with three diamonds at Marie Antiques

18ct gold Art Deco ring with rubies and diamonds in a diamond shaped platinum setting at Marie Antiques

A platinum Art Deco diamond and onyx ring at Gareth Brooks

9ct gold Edwardian ring with three seed pearls and diamonds in a silver setting at Marie Antiques

15 ct white gold Art Deco ring with flower shaped carved coral at Marie Antiques

18 ct gold Art Deco knot style ring adorned with rubies, diamonds and a pearl at Gareth Brooks

And once the ring is bought, why not plan your engagement party in our lovely Rooftop Restaurant? Its sunny terrace is the perfect setting for a spring or summer event. Please call 0207 706 2969 for enquiries.

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