Gloster Takes Art Deco “Outdoors”
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Whoever spends a lot of time at trade fairs will have to admit that yes there are always new and exciting designs yet also recognize most are pretty much on a “trajectory” of innovation. By that I mean once someone opens up creative avenue, at the next fair you get 10 new variations on that theme. That is why you also get excited when at a fair that “new avenue” is seen for the first time. This was the case at the September Spoga fair.

Gloster, who are heavy hitters in the outdoor category, have had a run of successful designs in the past couple of years yet somehow their newest design still came as a true surprise because it is indeed a new avenue. The brand has worked with American designer Philip Behrens to bring a modernized club style range to the outdoor market. Club is a 1930s/Art Deco inspired modular collection that has earned a Red Dot Design Award.

If you’re into history of design you perhaps agree one of the major movements that produced exceptional designs is also one that the market of copies and replicas has most damaged. Art Deco knock offs are a true crime against design because what typifies the art deco movement is superb craftsmanship as much as innovative design. Some of the most brilliant cabinet makers and lacquer creators were operating their talent at that time. I was a late convert, having seen too many such copies and was truly ignorant until a trip to New York corrected my views. I encourage you to take any chance you have to see (or touch!) premium authentic designs of the times. In New York I was introduced to the amazing talent of Ruhlmann. His cabinets are so well crafted you could virtual blow on a drawer to open it.

To come back closer to the outdoor discussion, I think that only a premium brand could ever pull off a legitimate Art Deco-inspired range. As is the case of Gloster’s Club collection. The details of the award are not online yet but my guess is that the award also recognizes the style innovation but also the real effort the brand makes to up outdoor designs suitability to weather conditions. The Club can stay out all year round without a cover. Whoever actually owns outdoor designs will appreciate that — what we really call “suitable for outdoors.”