Eames Gossip

By David A. Greene / Published by Dwell
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In the wake of InStyle Magazine's feature on the TV show "Gossip Girl" and its modern-mashup Manhattan apartment set (aka the Bass/Van der Woodsen residence, if you're a cognoscento), mid-century modernistas have been buzzing about the show's brash design move—reupholstering a classic Eames lounge chair and ottoman in a Missoni Chevron pattern.

However, a careful reading of the InStyle article reveals that the remixed lounger is probably not a real Eames, but rather a knockoff re-covered for kicks by the set designer. Which makes sense, since Hollywood budgets are big—but not big enough to justify destroying a perfectly good, notoriously expensive, and possibly returnable piece of classic modern furniture. Not to mention the fact that anyone with a design sense (and a rudimentary knowledge of design history) should get a little queasy when contemplating "improving" a classic that's proven its solid design and good looks for over 50 years. Especially when that change is guaranteed to go out of style— maybe next week, maybe next year. (That's the nature of all fabric-based fashion.) Tarting up a chair that Charles Eames declared should have the "warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt" is like getting a tattoo on your forehead after an all-night party; everybody will tell you it's super cool at the time, but you'll probably regret it in the morning.

d

David A. Greene

@david_a_greene

Dave has contributed to Dwell since its inception. He's a CalArts dropout, a former art critic for The New Yorker, and a producer of comedies on TV. He lives in, and writes from, Los Angeles.

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