Hide and Seek
A world leader in luxury leather furniture has unveiled its latest lines in Dubai. Poltrona Frau, the 105-year-old Italian company, has showcased products under its eponymous brand, which focuses on classical, elegant styles, as well as the more modern Cassina and the smaller Cappellini collection. The latter, created by Milanese architect Giulio Cappellini, is an eclectic collection of contemporary, avant-garde statement pieces, many of them feats of engineering as well as of design.
Many of the items on display were showcased at Italian design fair Salone del Mobile, which ran last April. Rayah Daban, sales & interior design executive at Poltrona Frau Middle East, talked us through of the collection’s key pieces…
Roberto Lazzeroni gives form to the Nivola armchair and sofa with a light, streamlined shape. A compact and rounded seat with simple and precise lines, its feminine allure is enhanced by warm and natural materials.
Daban says: “It’s a composition, so you can have choose how you’d like it to be arranged and it comes with a table. You can extend the Bullit forwards or you can have a fourseater and you can have it with or without the chaiselongue. It’s beautiful.”
Roberto Lazzeroni’s side tables and chests of drawers are elegant, subtly
curvaceous pieces composed of leather and wood. Part of Poltrona Frau’s eponymous collection, it was recently displayed at Milan design fair Salone del Mobile. One example in the showroom is topped with marble, and buyers can ask to have the back of the chest leather-coated, enabling it to be displayed in the centre of a room rather than placed against a wall.
When it was first released in 2004, the Bong side table was made of fibreglass; today’s version is resin. Daban says: “It’s a modification of the Bong chair, which came in red, black or white. This has a summery butterfly pattern.”
“I’ve heard Giulio Cappellini himself say that stretching this material over the frame took a very long time,” Daban says. “It’s quite eccentric in its form, but the funny thing about this chair is the way it’s made. In terms of industrial design – I’m a product designer as well – you can’t make this style of chair in a factory, it’s not that easy. You have to make a wire form and then you pump foam inside, and eventually this is the shape you get. It’s quite amazing.”
Designed in 1928 in France by Pierre Jeanneret, Charlotte Perriand and legendary architect Le Corbusier, this chair became famous in 1965 when Cassina reissued it. Marrying comfort and geometric purity, its stability is assured by the friction between the hide – either cow or pony skin – and the rubber tubes that cover the cross bar of the base. The adjustable frame is in polished trivalent chrome-plated steel.
This striking piece is a reflection on Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe of 2011, in which a tsunami triggered a sequence of events that caused a nuclear reactor to overheat. Dabah says: “It comes in different colours and compositions; it could be a floor lamp or suspended from the ceiling. “The glass bulbs have melted but not to the bottom, to show there is hope after disaster, that there is an endpoint.”