Gufram, the timeless radical design that appeals to fashion
Balanced between art and design since its inception, Gufram, the company based in Barolo, has an idea of the world and beauty that since the 1960s, thanks to the encounter with POP-ART, the revolution in materials - in particular polyurethane foam - aimed to derange a functional and flat idea of design and then gradually mix other sectors, such as music and, finally, fashion, today more than ever connected to aesthetics of form.
In the 1970s the radical design movement, which then reached its peak in 1972 thanks to the exhibition set up at the MoMa, dedicated to Italian design entitled "Italy: The New Domestic Landscape", curated by Emilio Ambasz, had a disruptive political value that it influenced not only industry but art and politics internationally.
Pratone - for example - inviting the user to find the seat in the midst of soft strands of polyurethane foam, was a criticism of the bourgeois living room and its respectable labels. Conceived by three brilliant minds, the Italian designers Giorgio Ceretti, Pietro Derossi, Riccardo Rosso in 1971, from the very beginning proposed the desecrating desire to break down the concept of bourgeois seating. The elasticity of the material is in fact proposed as the basis for welcoming a casual rest, but also fixed, multiple or enjoyed in solitude, because above all, Pratone wishes to modulate itself according to the expectations of the freest and most unconventional souls.
An approach that was also borrowed from rappers A$AP Rocky and Travis Scott who captured its irreverent yet timeless allure.
At the same time, the iconic Bocca sofa - designed by Studio65 and inspired by the face of Dali's Mae West and the iconic red lips of Hollywood divas - born as a provocation that evoked female sexuality, has become a global aesthetic icon by appearing on tours of Beyoncé, in David Lachapelle's shots as well as in magazines and museums around the world.
Today the brand owned by the Vezza family has managed to remain faithful to its aesthetics and at the same time surf the new market niches such as collectibles with the 'Guframini' collection that incorporates the pieces that have made the history of design on a small scale. The aesthetic of radical design has in fact maintained its pop charm thanks also to a measured management of the archive, whose relationship according to Charley Vezza, Gufram's Global Creative Orchestrator, "serves to indicate the direction but not to trace the path", an interesting lesson for the fashion brands that today have rediscovered the potential of the archive but are still experimenting with its practical use.
It is exactly in the fashion system that Gufram, in recent years, has been making a foray, engaging in successful collaborations, reinterpretations of the brand's famous pieces and new challenges that have led him to interpret iconic brand accessories according to the eclectic and unconventional style of radical design.
The thing that intrigues me, however, is that in Italian this word is so assonant to the word 'root', as if to produce a great upheaval it was always necessary to have your feet firmly planted on the ground,
The glamorous charm of the Cactus coat hanger revisited by the designer Paul Smith
The Cactus coat hanger, designed by Guido Drocco and Franco Mello in 1972 and one meter and 70 high, has now become one of the brand's iconic products, a representative piece of a very fertile season of Italian design.
Originally green, made of polyurethane foam, this sort of ironic totem has been proposed over the years in several limited editions. Then, to celebrate the company's 50th anniversary, in 2016, the collaboration with the designer Paul Smith began. The British designer first revisited it with Psychedelic Cactus, a limited edition of 169 copies of the soft coat hanger, made even more decorative thanks to the lysergic shades of color designed by the designer.
Shortly after, the charm Smith presented a series of fashion accessories featuring small printed or embroidered cacti. The plant, in the traditional bright green, has become a pattern on garments and accessories such as ties, silk scarves, clutches, socks, up to shirts and polo shirts.
Moschino Kisses Gufram, the capsule that makes fashion pop art
Irreverent and sensual. These are the characteristics that unite the radical style of Gufram and that of Moschino, the brand headed by the American Jeremy Scott. From this commonality of views, 'Moschino Kisses Gufram' was born in 2017, a capsule collection of furnishings that mixes approaches with an eclectic approach, mixing the creations between fashion and pop art.
The collection, presented in the United States on the occasion of the L.A. Design Week in the spaces of the MASS Beverly showroom, was composed of three iconic products, among which the sensual Zipped Lips! stands out (in only 99 pieces), special edition of the Bocca sofa - designed in 1970 by Studio65 - mixed by the inspiration of Jeremy Scott. The sofa, made of flexible polyurethane and upholstered in fire red fabric, comes with a golden zip that holds the lips of the sensual sofa closed, and thus takes on a fetish pop touch, characteristic of the personal and unpredictable mood of the Maison. For the first time Gufram tries his hand at the use of leather, without ever giving up his radical approach.
Biker cabinet, on the other hand, is a piece of furniture on wheels that incorporates the shapes of Moschino's iconic 'Biker bag', faithfully reproducing its studs, zippers, collar and pockets. Its glass shelves can also accommodate the most diverse objects.
Gufram then had fun interpreting huge shoes in a design key. 'High Heels' are two provocative decolletè shoes in black leather and golden heel, inside which there is space an ottoman, in the other three glass shelves: unexpected reinterpretations of a seat and a storage unit. These last two objects - 'Biker Cabinet' and 'High Heels' - confirm the Barolo-based company's desire to play with dimensions, making surreal out-of-scale a distinctive feature of its design.