From sofas to cheekbones, pockets are everywhere
In 1928, the American cosmetics firm Helena Rubinstein published “Eyes Forever Young,” an 11-page instruction manual on how to smooth lines and reduce puffiness around the eyes. To be puffy, we learn, is to be old. And to be old is to be unimportant.
What would Rubinstein think of today’s Instagram-ready face? Bouncy lips, soft cheekbones – volume on volume is the instruction of young women to their beauticians. Puffy is no longer verboten, but injected and adopted in fashion and interiors as well as in beauty. We watch Cloud Bread tutorials on TikTok and marvel at the inflatable artwork – the Portable sculpture The exhibit at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, which reopened last month, is dominated by Claire Ashley’s “Clown (Laughing Stock)”, a giant balloon creature crashed into the gallery. The aesthetics of the soufflé are essential.
Example: the Camaleonda sofa by Mario Bellini for B&B Italia, currently all over your Instagram feed. First conceived in 1970, then withdrawn in 1979, the modular design – which combines Pillsbury Doughboy polyurethane padding and a system of cables, carabiners and rings designed by Bellini to allow reconfiguration – has long been a piece used wanted. sites. Her very squish is sexy: Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev is said to have performed naked on a pale chocolate Camaleonda sofa at New York’s Gracie Mansion in the ’80s as guests gazed into their tuxedos.
With the pandemic blurring the lines between fashion and interiors further, style influencers quickly chose the puffy sofa as their backdrop of choice.
Now an article on the De Sede DS-600 sectional, a plush snake-shaped sofa with leather panels resembling vertebrae, is just as likely to make a fashion editor’s feed as a Coach bag. Plush Pillow Tabby. In February, Chrissy Teigen’s caramel-hued Camaleonda sparked more interest than the new loungewear line she was promoting while sitting in it.
You don’t have to be a genius to understand why those of us whose backs are ravaged by laptops listen to the siren song from a marshmallow-shaped sofa. “Puffy quilted leather is like sitting on clouds,” reports Danish style influencer Pernille Teisbaek, who recently installed an expansive beige leather Camaleonda in his Copenhagen home. “It creates a good contrast to other more streamlined pieces of furniture and artwork.” The next sleeper shot? The Pouf Boa, designed by New Zealand designer Sabine Marcelis, based in the Netherlands, and resembling a giant donut.
As artist Faye Toogood can attest, the design world is in a cloudy mood. In addition to his cult Puffy Lounge Chair and his new range of paste-inspired ceramics, his latest collaboration with Birkenstock is all about the cushion. She squeezed inflation on the German brand’s classic Arizona slide and combined quilted leather and canvas with a molded cork footbed, complemented by a chunky capsule collection of clothing.
She believes the pandemic has accelerated the abandonment of strict and minimum lines. “There is always an emotional component to effective design. These puffy shapes feel like they are resonating right now, when everything seems to need to be softer and warmer. I hope we have created pieces that are a source of comfort both physically and emotionally.
Comfort, to everyone’s surprise, is the new buzzword in fashion. It is definitely a factor behind the growth of soft and cuddly handbags. After the accessory took a sabbatical during the pandemic – few needed a bag to carry credit cards, keys, and lipstick from their couch to their kitchen – the season’s key styles are noticeably chubby, making it the perfect companion for the socially anxious transition to IRL dinner dates.
Maison Margiela’s Glam Slam bag, crafted from super-soft tufted leather, resembles the padding of a Chesterfield sofa. Stand Studio and Kassl Editions have created quilted tote bags, Saint Laurent’s quilted Loulou style is proving popular. And then there’s Bottega Veneta’s best-selling padded Cassette bag, which features the house’s distinctive intrecciato weave but with the double-sided leather seemingly puffed up to resemble a lattice brioche bun.
The shoes slowly inflate, too: New Amsterdam-based brand Yume Yume offers Japanese-inspired flip flops with cushioned udon noodle waist straps. See also: the quilted leather slipper models by Proenza Schouler and Dries Van Noten, and the Cabersa sandal by Hereu, a padded fisherman model that sold on MatchesFashion.com. Plush, friendly, much more forgiving than heels, they are the equivalent of a hug for your feet.
Then there is the down jacket. If you haven’t yet succumbed to his gentle embrace, he’s coming to your shoulders this winter, seen on the AW21 catwalks at Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Miu Miu (where even the bralettes were quilted). Net-a-Porter has purchased over 180 quilted coat designs for the upcoming season, with a particular focus on Chloe’s ‘puffcho’, a quilted / poncho hybrid that featured in Gabriela Hearst’s debut home collection.
The most avant-garde practitioners will turn to Louis Vuitton, where Nicolas Ghesquière has padded the linings with bombers and offered huge cocooning cape coats alongside two giant down jackets for the AW21. “To feel soft, comfortable, to treat[ing] yourself well – there is clearly that feeling, ”he told the FT after his unveiling in March. “Comfort is not a bad word.”
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