John Lewis has launched a collection to celebrate the centenary of the birth of pioneering textile designer Lucienne Day.
The department store group said Lucienne greatly admired the John Lewis ethos and, with her furniture designer husband Robin Day, enjoyed a long and productive relationship with the company.
The retailer has worked with The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation and specialist textile print company Classic Textiles to create a range of cushions and fabrics.
John Lewis furnishing fabrics buyer Charlotte Archer explained: “Lucienne and 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. Her simple but strong graphics, bold pops of colour and 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, using archived prints that have not been previously available.”
Lucienne Day’s daughter Paula Day commented: ‘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.
“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 post-war 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 collection includes six cushion designs, two of which – Magnetic and Flotilla – have been produced on a limited run with only 100 individually numbered cushions available (in celebration of the 100 years since Lucienne Day’s birth).
The four other cushions are: Calyx (a vibrant pattern featuring cupped flowers in abstracted form), Spectators (a witty print, which characterises Lucienne’s spirited approach to design), Dandelion Clocks (inspired by photographs of dried flowers in the house of Charles & Ray Eames) and Lapis (which highlights Lucienne’s use of colour, particularly her choice of unusual colour combinations).
The square cushions measure 43cm x 43cm (Flotilla, Magnetic) retailing at £45 or 50cm x 50cm (Calyx, Dandelion Clocks) retailing at £50. The rectangular cushions (Spectators, Lapis) measure 40cm x 60cm retailing at £55.
The cushions’ patterned fabric (on one side only) is made by Classic Textiles in a blend of 60% cotton and 40% linen fabric. Each cushion contains a feather pad.
The fabrics are made under licence from The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation by specialist digital print company Classic Textiles. There are six designs: Magnetic, Calyx, Graphica, Flotilla, Silver Birch and Lapis. Priced at £75/m, the fabrics are available at John Lewis shops in Poole, Oxford St, Cheadle, Trafford, Kingston, Glasgow and Chichester from late February.
The launch of this collection forms part of a 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’s life and work.
The varied programme will introduce the public to little-known material including archive textiles, ceramics, photographs and portraits of Lucienne that have never been exhibited or published before.
An exhibition is currently being held at The John Lewis Heritage Centre at Cookham in Berkshire entitled ‘Creation of our Corporate Character – the legacy of Lucienne and Robin Day, a Partnership Perspective’. The Heritage Centre holds an archive of relevant documents and images, as well as a unique collection of Lucienne Day’s own original textiles artwork.
The exhibition runs until March 25 and is open to the public on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, or by appointment: