11th October: This was the date marked on my calender for an exciting event. One of my favourite Designers was scheduled to come to Singapore for a Design World Tour for one of my favourite brands. Proof Living had organised a Cocktail Reception for Poltrona Frau’s Design World Tour to unveil a Limited Edition of the Archibald and launching Poltrona Frau’s Milan Fair 2013 Collection. Gracing the event was none other than the world renowned designer, Jean-Marie Massaud himself. I found myself getting all excited to attend this event, much like a youngster meeting their idols. I couldn’t believe that I had actually queued to take a picture and get an autograph from the man himself! This was the kind of things which I had once lamented as a youngster’s thing which I thought I would never had done. I guess, I still have some “youth” in me. 🙂
The event gave me the opportunity to enjoy Poltrona Frau’s various iconic pieces on display in the Scotts Square showroom in Singapore. Well, this was the first time I was attending a cocktail event and I thought I would attend this event by myself. But my wife, whom was not the most interested in design, was really nice to accompany me to the event. Thanks wifey. 🙂
The anticipation of the arrival of Jean-Marie Massaud was high and the showroom was filled with excited guests, eager to meet the renowned Designer responsible for iconic pieces for the likes of Poltrona Frau, MDF Italia and Poliform. Jean-Marie Massaud’s minimalist designs had always been one of my favourites. The night was fruitful as well as I had also learned of Jean-Marie Massaud’s philosophy of reducing details for designs while speaking to one of the organiser at Poltrona Frau. The organiser spoke of Jean-Marie Massaud’s past designs such as the Kennedee collection carrying such traits, where complex tufting and buttons were simplified into mere cross-stitching.
Finally, at around 8pm, the highlight of the night arrived at the thundering applause of the guests. Jean-Marie Massaud arrived together with Poltrona Frau’s Brand Division Director, Roberto Archetti and Proof Living’s Director of Operations, Yung Ong. Mr Archetti presented the design of the Archibald and led the crowd to the key moment of the night: the unveiling of the Limited Edition Archibald Armchair. There are only 20 pieces available for the lucky ones with each of the Limited Edition piece coming with new unique leather, colours inspired by the cultures and nature. The legs were also finished unique to this Limited Edition. The most obvious feature of this Limited Archibald had to be the plate adorning the back of the armchair with a serial number and Jean-Marie Massaud’s signature.
The floor was passed to Jean-Marie Massaud who then talked about his other designs launched in this year’s Milan 2013. He spoke of the Poltrona Frau Anthon Sofa which was an evolution of the John John sofa. He was talking about the feedback about the need for a high back version of the John John sofa to “cure” the “backaches” of sitting on the low back John John. As the star of the night speaks, a question lingered on my mind which I wished I had the opportunity to ask him. To my delight, the answer to this question came while talking about his design philosophy for John John and Anthon.
The question I had was whether his inspirations for his designs was for the form or function. Many designers would get inspiration from form and put function into the form. But interestingly, Jean-Marie Massaud was explaining how he wanted to create a sofa out of pillows and the design for the John John sofa was in fact, “no design at all”. This philosophy puts function into a form, the stack opposite of creating visually interesting designs by getting inspirations for forms.
The rest of the night was all fun and experiencing the other wonderful designs of Poltrona Frau, the timeless designs of Poltrona Frau’s past collections are in no way in the shadows of the new Milan Fair 2013 Collections. These are what timeless design is all about. It feels like you could pass them down the generations. I can only say that they are simply classics.
Another 2013 new Collection from Roberto Lazzeroni – The Fiorile Tables. The Poltrona Frau Centenary Chair – The Juliet by Benjamin Hubert. Look at those Unique and Intrigue Tufting. The Regina II Armchair by Paolo Rizzatto. Reminiscent of the Classic Egg Chair.
It was truly a memorable and enjoyable night for me. I went back with good memories and some nice little souvenirs – A key chain in the shape of the Poltrona Frau Vanity Fair Armchair and more importantly, Jean-Marie Massaud’s autograph. 🙂 It had been a pleasure and oh boy, I want that Limited Edition Archibald!
My Catch of the Day – The autograph of Jean-Marie Massaud and a Poltrona Frau Key Chain.