Featured Designer: Charlotte Perriand

ID Collaborative blog post

Charlotte Perriand was a French architect and designer. Her work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. In her article “L’Art de Vivre” from 1981 she states “The extension of the art of dwelling is the art of living—living in harmony with man’s deepest drives and with his adopted or fabricated environment.”

She always understood the crossover between architecture, products, and fashion. During the 1920’s she designed the LC4 chaise, with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, which was directly inspired by the flapper fashions of the day-she wanted to create a chaise lounge that women could lie upon wearing short skirts, without everyone seeing their underwear. “The furniture, the equipment of the architecture-it was for a new type of woman with a new type of clothes,” syas the late architect and designer’s son-in-law Jacques Barsac. “It was about the spirit of the new woman.” One might call it functional beauty at its best.

This elegant merger between function and style is something that Perriand-who was once mostly recognized for her work with le Corbusier and Jean Prouve-eventually became known for, and was what drew the attention of the designers at Louis Vuitton. For the brand’s spring/summer 2014 line, it unveiled the Icons Collection, a brightly colored, adaptable selection-informed by Perriand’s passion for interchangeable clothing-that includes a reversible yellow jacket with removable sleeves as well as expandable bags.

The ode to Perriand’s work would not be complete without using her deisgns to showcase the line. Turning to furniture producer Cassina for Perriand’s repertoire, the fashion house incorporated her tables, shelves, and seating into its lookbooks and displays. Yet, the true homage came when Cassina and Louis Vuitton joined forces to release a limited-edition version of Perriand’s classic called LC4 CP. The chaise lounge, of which there are only 1000, uses raw saddle leather supplied by the Louis Vuitton tannery. “It was something new and important for Cassina and Louis Vuitton,” says Gianluca Armento, Cassina’s brand director. “And it’s probably the most beautiful chaise lounge done in ninety years.”