Italian designer Paola Navone is an illustrious figure in the design world whose list of collaborations, from Knoll International to Molteni, in passing by Gervasoni, are too many to enumerate. For the last ten years, the designer has confirmed a passion for savoir-faire. Her collaborations with long-standing companies like Reichenbach (porcelain), Richard Ginori (also porcelain) and Barovier & Toso (blown glass) have shown her to be a high-flying artistic director, capable of drawing a substantial marrow from each company’s past glories to concoct breathtaking scenarios or new products with a rich sensitivity.
Passionate about materials, she deploys her expertise in the area of textiles, especially with linen, one of her favorite fabrics. ‘ Linen has an extraordinary hand, it doesn’t need ironing and can be machine washed at 90°. I have been using this fabric for a long time, it is beautiful, sensual and practical ’. These reasons helped her imagine, for Dutch editor Linteloo in 2010, a collection of everyday linen sofas which are easy to live with and care for. ‘ I like the idea of undressing sofas to change their look or clean them. With these linen slipcovers, it is possible to change a sofa look like you would change sheets on a bed ’, she explains.
She already experimented with this idea successfully at Gervasoni. Her collection for the Italian editor, baptized Ghost, is made up of sofas, chairs and beds covered in white or colored linen with an ultra-soft hand which gives the furniture a relaxed, poetic appeal. A fabric afficienado, this year Paola Navone also signed one of the 200 linen lanterns suspended above Milan’s famous Via Montenapoleone during the International Furniture Fair for the Luce dal Lino event. However she refused a total look, instead pairing linen with other fabrics to better validate its qualities. ‘ I nourish myself by the interaction of a know-how, a material and a factory. With Gervasoni, for example, I mix crafts like braiding or worked fabric with industrial techniques ’, she explains.
This approach is not new for someone who, from 1985 to 1988, was a consultant for the United Nations ‘ Innovations in Handicrafts ’ program. It focused on transforming traditional craftsmanship images and required her to travel the world from the Philippines to Indonesia in passing by Malaysia and Thailand. An expert in mixing, the designer thus continues, with linen, the voyage she began long ago. Today, this has motivated her to mix this high-end European fabric with shapes and color palettes from around the world for a result that is both chic and bohemian.
www.paolanavone.it — www.gervasoni1882.it — www.linteloo.nl
Image: SOFA COLLECTION FOR LINTELOO
Text by Cédric Morisset