Vassili. Designed by Dima Loginoff.
No doubt this vocational array contributed to the singular style of two of my personal favorites: the Bone Lounge and Trunk. It also fed the ingenuity requisite to craft "Curl My Light," a table lamp constructed of a network of extruded plastic curly-cues that sketch out the shape of a traditional table lamp in captured negative space (a design honored with 2nd place at L.A.'s recent International Design Awards). Loginoff's latest is "Vassili," a highback chair modeled after certain formal pieces that prevailed during the age of Russian Rococo. In general terms, this style of art/architecture gifted to the world by Louis XV's France featured asymmetrical designs, undulating curves, organically-inspired forms, and excessive ornamentation (see Louis XV Buffet and Wine Rack). The aesthetic is responsible for the high-backed upholstered armchair, an affectation of the era that rendered the user slim and tall, as well as (rumor has it) facilitating a place of protective repose for the high coiffure hairstyle favored by the age.
Perhaps this explains Loginoff's interest in recapitulating the chair as "Vassili" (incidentally, the most common name in Russia), a piece that pays homage to its antecedents yet articulates its very own post-modern aesthetic. While Vassili's shape certainly recalls the traditional highback, and while the balusters are dead-ringers for their historical counterparts, the seat proper is a symphony of ironic evocation. Looking to my eyes like an apostrophe gone wild, or the top-heavy silhouette of a heavily-corseted duchess, it ends in a broad sweep of twin wings, which hides the user's head, thus implying privacy while creating a sort of odd disembodiment and encouraging our inner voyeur. It also has a touch of the coffin about it.
In sum, Vassili is a stylishly ironic re-interpration of an historical icon. Someone should tell Tim Burton (Betelgeuse, Edward Scissorhands) or Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) about it—its ghoulishly contemporary stylistics might make the perfect backdrop for their next foray into the darkly humourous terrain of bodily demise.