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  • Tracy Bulla

Razzle dazzle 'em

Sophistication streamlines contemporary with a glam attitude

The 2007 International Contemporary Furniture Fair boasted an 8% attendance increase over last year, packing the halls with 25,033 interior designers, architects and retailers seeking out the cutting edge in contemporary design. And with plenty of glamorous, yet thoroughly modern, designs on display, the show did not disappoint.

From a material perspective, the addition of more luxurious treatments put a fresh spin on Lucite, polyester and other manmade materials. Crystals in abundance (rock crystal, Swarovski and more) sparked the sophistication level upwards, while the use of porcelain, glass and lacquered finishes created a certain polished elegance. Opulent glass chandeliers, as well as lighting and art, open the door to new and distinctive opportunities for this medium.

Metallic elements, while not new, appeared fresh and in a multitude of forms, predominantly in tones of pewter, silver and bronze. With the overall tone of the show subdued in terms of color (think black, white and gray), these shimmering ores provided a shot of chic.

Sculptural forms in lighting and tables lent an air of extravagance to otherwise modernist designs, giving a nod to antiques with scalloped legs and obelisk shapes. The mood often felt feminine, too, with tapered legs and an excess of curves as opposed to linear constructions.

Laser-cut mirrors and metal spotlighted intricately wrought motifs, and even plastic featured overall etched patterns for a pop of pizzazz.

The juried 2007 ICFF Studio Bernhardt Design Exhibition featured the work of eight selected designers. Here, the lowrider sofa from Brad Ascalon Studio. The juried 2007 ICFF Studio Bernhardt Design Exhibition featured the work of eight selected designers. Here, the lowrider sofa from Brad Ascalon Studio.
Crystal drops glamorize the hand-blown Sheherazade glass chandelier from Refer + Staer, enhanced by a double layer of white inner and black outer glass. Crystal drops glamorize the hand-blown Sheherazade glass chandelier from Refer + Staer, enhanced by a double layer of white inner and black outer glass.
A contemporized twist turns the pineapple on its head in CL Sterling & Son's mercury glass design. A contemporized twist turns the pineapple on its head in CL Sterling & Son
The Crystal Connection, a joint exhibition of the department of furniture design at the Rhode Island School of Design and Swarovski, presented an assortment of Swarovski-studded wall art, lighting and furniture, including the Sea Urchin pouf by Constance Swinderman. The Crystal Connection, a joint exhibition of the department of furniture design at the Rhode Island School of Design and Swarovski, presented an assortment of Swarovski-studded wall art, lighting and furniture, including the Sea Urchin pouf by Constance Swinderman.
Kaz, Arik Levy's candleholder for Gaia & Gino, refracts organized chaotic form with the icy slickness of an iceberg. Kaz, Arik Levy
Designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell, the TopTop table combines elegance with minimalist geometry by pairing tapered, pleated translucent legs with a gloss-lacquered polyester top. Designed by Philippe Starck for Kartell, the TopTop table combines elegance with minimalist geometry by pairing tapered, pleated translucent legs with a gloss-lacquered polyester top.
Amaridian, a collective of handmade African accents, references traditional cultural designs with a brand new attitude, ranging from a laser-cut scorpion étagère and exquisite pottery to colorful bead-strung chandeliers and nylon-woven chairs. Amaridian, a collective of handmade African accents, references traditional cultural designs with a brand new attitude, ranging from a laser-cut scorpion étagère and exquisite pottery to colorful bead-strung chandeliers and nylon-woven chairs.
Yorgos Papadopoulos suspends graduated panels of glass art, mimicking the prismatic effect of a geode. Yorgos Papadopoulos suspends graduated panels of glass art, mimicking the prismatic effect of a geode.
Sculptural forms take center stage in Robert Austin Gonzalez' furniture collection, offered in natural wood or highly polished lacquer. Sculptural forms take center stage in Robert Austin Gonzalez
Bronzed leather accentuates the sophisticated, low-slung seat and widened silhouette of Longhi Bronzed leather accentuates the sophisticated, low-slung seat and widened silhouette of Longhi's oval-back chair.

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