American Mid-Century Modern: Alexander Girard
*Warning I am a huge furniture nerd so this may be extremely boring if you're not*
Last night Herman Miller hosted a presentation on
in their SF showroom. It was the last presentation in a series that traveled to each of their US showrooms and it was awesome! I love me some mid-century modern design so this was right up my alley (I responded in 0.2 seconds when they asked for volunteers to help run the event). HM had set up some of their classics from the relaunched collection (including a pretty awful plaid- totally not my thing but I guess people like it??). Lisa Eames (granddaughter of
) showed up for the lecture and brought a bunch of items from the Eames archives- super cool to see the old textiles, sketches and posters.
Todd Oldham (of MTV, Bravo and-my personal favorite-Target fame) was the presenter since he recently (well fairly recently) put out a
and had lots to share. It was interesting to hear him speak since it was obvious that he was a huge fan...always makes for a good lecture when the presenter is passionate about the subject. Lots of images and personal anecdotes that he picked up along the way in his almost three years of research and time spent with the Girard family. Two of Girard's grandkids were also at the event so their stories added a personal touch to the presentation. I managed to sneak in a photo after the lecture- this would be me being super stoked to hang out with Kori Girard and Todd.
Now for the book-this baby is gigantic (15 pounds!) and was the largest bindable book they could make. According to Todd at one point they had over 1100 pages and had to whittle it down to the 'mere' 700 they were left with. I've barely made a dent in looking through this thing (I think its going to be a rainy afternoon with a cup of tea activity) but every time I walk by my coffee table I check out a few more pages. I love all the photos - especially neat to see how he combined colors. He was not afraid of color AT ALL and considered fuchsia to be a primary color. In looking through the book, I would have to say my favorite project (so far) is what he did for the
. In the sixties, Braniff brought Girard, Pucci and Beth Levine on board for the 'End of the Plain Plane' campaign. Bright solid colored planes (orange, turquoise, yellow etc), awesome textiles for the interiors (57 Herman Miller fabrics- crazy amounts of color) and cool graphics on everything from luggage tags to barf bags (yup he had bright pink barf bags designed).
I've known of Girard for a long time but mainly in a textile capacity (we still use his fabrics)- I had always been more drawn to what the Eames's were doing during this time period. It was really eye opening to see what kind of influence Girard had and how much he did in his lifetime- Todd warned us that we would feel really lazy after seeing what Girard managed to accomplish in his lifetime...umm yea understatement there Todd.
Ps. I wanted to title this post 'Girard Style' but that made me think of Gangnam style and now I have that song stuck in my head...awesome. Just what one wants while trying to fall asleep ;-)