If I might be allowed to take you back five months to our look at Cini Boeri’s Ghost Chair (which, in turn, took us back to 1987), I’d direct your attention for purposes of comparison to a new design by Ms. Boeri, one that’s every bit the Ghost Chair’s equal for stylistic moxie and aesthetic singularity: the Poltrona Frau Bebop Sofa. Though both pieces exemplify bold innovation, a side-by-side comparison would reveal a study in contrasts. Where the Ghost Chair is transparent, Bebop is opaque; if Ghost offers solidity, Bebop proffers a kind of liquid indulgence; and while Ghost exemplifies formal experimentation and a museum quality artfulness, Bebop is tried and true—versatile enough for the family room or the drawing room.
Bebop Sofa. Designed by Cini Boeri for Poltrona Frau.
Elegant, Casual, and Hip
Some might object that the first two descriptors above are oxy-moronic, but they’ve likely neither seen nor sat in Boeri’s Bebop. The sofa synthesizes formal and relaxed elements via the juxtaposition of over-sized cushions and thin tubular steel, via the classic touch of carefully crafted ruching and the modern flourish of Poltrona’s Pelle Frau leather (in about 100 cool colors, I might add). These stylistic modulations explain why Boeri and Poltrona chose to name the piece for Bebop—that groovy, versatile, and eminently adaptable form of jazz known for its fluid transitions and rhyming improvisations.
The Bebop sofa, for its part, matches the music’s broad appeal courtesy of its “simple and pleasantly rounded lines... the comfort of an enveloping and velvety soft seat... its perfectly balanced proportions.” With a frame in solid beech, back and armrests in poplar plywood, and cushions of “differentiated density polyurethane foam and polyester wadding,” Exactly like jazz, Bebop brings several disparate elements together to create an entity that's comfortable, voluble, and vivacious. In fact, if Bebop were given the power of speech, it might just forego any utterance at all in favor of Max Roach’s smooth as silk cymbals, Dizzy Gillespie’s barking trumpet, and Charlie Parker’s singing sax.