What do Bob Dylan, Pop Art, the 1980’s and the world’s most prestigious furniture fair have in common? Well for those of you that don’t know, it’s called Memphis and it’s one of the most exciting interiors’ trends for AW15.
Back in 1980, a group of prominent designers met. As a collective they were inspired by Art Deco, Pop Art, 50’s kitsch and futuristic themes. Whilst they discussed and debated, “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” by Bob Dylan played repeatedly in the background and the Memphis Group was born. Influenced by postmodern styling, the use of plastics, asymmetrical shapes and blocks of colour, the group’s designs on furniture and objects debuted at the 1981 Salon de Mobil in Milan to high acclaim. They continued to exhibit annually until 1988 when the look fell somewhat out of favour and the group disbanded.
But, like most movements (especially one as statement-led as this), Memphis is ripe for resurgence. “It started following an exhibition of 1980’s Memphis design that was held at the same time as the main Milan furniture fair in 2014” explains Polly Dickens, Habitat’s creative director. “This brought a collection of key designs back in the general consciousness and drew attention to combinations of patterns, colour and detailing that felt very relevant. This, in turn, inspired a lot of designers, who have evolved the designs into their SS15 collections and obviously had a lot of fun doing so.”
Geometric shapes, clashing colour combinations and brazenly graphic textiles are certainly not for the fainthearted but the trend this time around is surprisingly easy to accommodate into your home. “It’s a powerful love-or-hate look and you can invest in it as much as you feel works for your interiors”, says Polly. “Don’t feel you have to go ‘all in’ when it comes to injecting some Memphis design into your home.” Habitat’s interpretation of Memphis has found its way onto furniture, textiles and accessories. These are functional items that easily ingratiate themselves to an existing scheme. There’s no need employ the interior design skills of Christian Bale in ‘American Psycho’, one statement piece like our Hawkins chair will seal your postmodern credentials. Equally, you could merely flirt with the trend: the Fernanda vase or the Pila candlestick are enough to show you know what you’re talking about.
However you choose to buy into Memphis, you’re in very fashionable company.
All images from the Habitat AW15 lookbook unless otherwise credited. The range will launch online and in-store from September.