Trends 2022/2023: sculptural furniture by Gabriella Crespi

2022 marks the 100th birthday of  Gabriella Crespi. To mark the anniversary,  Gubi launched the never-before-seen Bohemian 72 collection, half a century since its inception. The collection marked the beginning of Gubi’s collaboration with the curators of the Archivio Gabriella Crespi archive, which is headed by Crespi’s daughter Elisabetta.

The famous Italian throughout her design career has been her own among European royalty and among the Hollywood elite. This glamorous inventor with a sophisticated sense of style became Valentino’s muse and worked closely with Audrey Hepburn, Gianni Versace, and Hubert de Givenchy. 

As a designer, she was famous for her ability to transfer the charm of streamlined shapes and luxurious haute couture finishes into objects. This fanatical fascination with materials has earned her the attention of prestigious fashion houses, from Dior to Stella McCartney. Crespi’s ambivalent aesthetic, both modernist and functional, was influenced by the Baroque, and clear lines turned into sensual curves. She left behind a legacy of more than 2,000 items, including furniture, jewelry, and sculpture, eclectic pieces that combine organic whimsical and geometric elements.

The Bohemian 72 collection stands out among others – it showed the creator’s interest in natural materials, interest in multi-layered sculptural forms, and passion for oriental culture and philosophy. Crespi designed this versatile rattan furniture for her “home of the sun”, which was meant to reflect a bohemian lounge style. The line consisted of a lounge chair, a three-seater sofa, an ottoman, and a floor lamp, and was perfect for both the interior and the terrace. Initially made to order for private clients, it later became part of the larger Bamboo collection created between 1972 and 1975.

Crespi came up with these objects in the 70s when rattan was very popular, but she decided to use this material in an unconventional way: circular horizontal layers of vines were uncharacteristic of that time. Layers of reeds form the basis of a chaise lounge, a three-seater sofa, and an ottoman. The floor lamp is formed by vertical strips of rattan with brass details. The pattern of the floor lamp stripes allows the lamp to create a beautiful play of light and shadow on the floor around.

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  1. The floor lamp in the last picture seems to be by the great Finnish designer Paavo Tynell, not Crespi

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