John Lewis launches exclusive collection of Lucienne Day cushions and fabrics made using re-issued archive textile designs

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To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Lucienne Day, one of Britain’s most pioneering and influential designers of the post-war generation, The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation has worked with specialist textile print company Classic Textiles and retailer John Lewis to launch a collection of elegant cushions and fabrics made using some of the designer’s most renowned archive designs.

The collection includes six cushion designs, two of which – Magnetic (1957) and Flotilla (1952) – have been produced on an extremely limited run with only 100 individually numbered cushions available (in celebration of the 100 years since Lucienne Day’s birth).

Calyx (1951)

Flotilla (1952)

The four other Lucienne Day at Classic Textiles cushions are:

  • Calyx (1951), a vibrant pattern featuring cupped flowers in abstracted form that was originally created for the Home Entertainment section of the Homes & Gardens Pavilion at the Festival of Britain. Having revolutionized British textile design during the 1950s, Calyx still shines out as a confident and highly original design.
  • Spectators (1953) is a witty print, which characterises Lucienne’s spirited approach to design during the 1950s, she received a Gran Premio Award for this design at the Milan Triennale in 1954.
  • Dandelion Clocks (1953), inspired by photographs of dried flowers in the house of Charles & Ray Eames. Lucienne Day used a fine-nibbed pen to draw the feathery plant motifs.
  • Lapis (1952) highlights Lucienne’s expert use of colour, and in particular her choice of unusual colour combinations.

The square cushions measure 43 x 43cm (Flotilla, Magnetic) and retail at £45 or 50 x 50 (Calyx, Dandelion Clocks) retailing at £50.00, the rectangular (Spectators, Lapis) cushion measures 40 x 60cm and will be sold at £55.00 in selected John Lewis shops and online (www.johnlewis.com) from early February 2017. The patterned fabric (on one side only) is made by Classic Textiles in a blend of 60% cotton, 40% linen fabric. Each cushion contains a feather pad.

Magnetic (1957)

Dandelion Clocks (1953)

A fabric collection made under license from The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation by specialist digital print company Classic Textiles introduces six designs chosen for their enduring relevance and dynamic colourful design:

  • Magnetic, available in 6 colours (dark blue, red, brown, purple, yellow and white
  • Calyx, available in 5 colours (blue, brown, dark red, mustard, grey)
  • Graphica, available in white Flotilla, available in 2 colours (sage and blue)
  • Flotilla, available in 2 colours (sage and blue)

The designs listed above are available from both John Lewis (selected shops) and from Classic Textiles. Two new prints have been reissued this year to add to the collection, which are available exclusively to order from John Lewis:

  • Silver Birch (1958), a beautiful minimal design with its inspiration taken from nature will be available in 8 colours (light blue, red, green, mustard, grey, sage, orange, beige)
  • Lapis (1952) highlights Lucienne’s expert use of colour, and in particular her choice of unusual colour combinations.

Fabrics are priced at £75/m and are available at John Lewis shops in Poole, Oxford St, Cheadle, Trafford, Kingston, Glasgow and Chichester from late February.

Lucienne Day greatly admired the John Lewis ethos and with her husband Robin Day, the furniture designer, they enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the company including a 25-year period (1962 – 1987) working as design consultants to the forward thinking retailer. The couple’s coherent and consistent style, reflecting the enterprising and enlightened ideas behind the co-owned business, can still be identified in the shops today.

A current exhibition at The John Lewis Heritage Centre in Cookham entitled ‘Creation of our Corporate Character – the legacy of Lucienne and Robin Day, a Partnership Perspective’ celebrates that long and fruitful relationship. The Heritage Centre holds an archive of documents and images that chart this relationship, as well as a unique collection of Lucienne Day’s own original textiles artwork. The exhibition, which runs until March 25, is open to the Public on Saturdays, 10 – 4pm, or by appointment.

www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/about/our-heritage/heritage-centre

Charlotte Archer, Buyer, Furnishing Fabrics, John Lewis explains: “Lucienne Day and her partner Robin were design consultants to the John Lewis Partnership for 25 years and played a big part in shaping the look and feel of the brand that you see today. The strength of Lucienne’s style makes her work stands out – simple but strong graphics, bold pops of colour and her stylised approach to natural motifs has inspired decades of design. We’re very pleased and proud to be introducing a limited edition collection of fabrics and cushions to selected John Lewis shops in early 2017, using archived prints that have not been previously available.”

Paula Day comments: ‘I’m absolutely delighted that in my mother’s centenary year some of her greatest and best-loved 1950s textile designs will become far more widely available to the public. My mother herself worked with specialist company Classic Textiles on authentic reprints of these historic designs. This year John Lewis will bring ‘Lucienne Day at Classic Textiles’ to high streets all over the country. My mother brightened up British homes in the postwar period and I believe she will do so again this year! The designs look utterly fresh and contemporary – they bubble with life and energy.

The launch of this collection forms part of a year-long centenary programme which sees leading cultural organisations, galleries and creative institutions including The Whitworth Art Gallery, Arts University Bournemouth, Glasgow School of Art, Pallant House Gallery and the Textile Society launch exhibitions, events and awards to highlight the many different aspects of Lucienne Day’s life and work.

The varied programme will introduce the public to fascinating and little-known material, including archive textiles, ceramics, photographs and portraits of Lucienne Day that have never before been exhibited or published.