How Do I Love Thee? With Another Helping Of Midcentury Show East!

Sunday played host to the rather brilliant Midcentury Show East as you all know after reading yesterday’s post. And while yesterday’s post captured, to an extent, the gusto of the show I wanted to delve a little deeper into some of the people (and their work) that I spoke to on Sunday. In my giddiness at being there I snapped too many photos and, in turn, was left with the harrowing job of editing them down. In addition, I think my school girl demeanour (overly excited) meant I didn’t, quite, get everything. Still, though, read on and feast your eyes on some stunning work.

First up is run by the lovely Christine Shepherd who is quite the expert when it comes to cocktail chairs and Fase lamps. I didn’t know much about Fase lamps until I spoke with Christine who was very willing to share her knowledge. They are Spanish and quintessentially mid-century and often featured in a lot of drama from said era. Most importantly, though, they are beautiful and not in a soft feminine way but in a loud, slightly obtrusive way that makes you want to basque in their warm glow while comfortably nestled in one of Christine’s cocktail chairs.

Lucy Bates Vintage Fabric is just that, vintage. Like Christine she was kind enough to spend a lot of time chatting to me about her work and products. And, whilst I am aware that school girl elation is seeping through, again, I cannot find words that illustrate how fabulous all of Lucy’s work is. With a background in fashion, she has a distinctive knack for making and unearthing some wonderfully unique pieces. Her fabric is loud and opinionated and full of all the things we’ve come to recognise from the era.  The website alludes to a golden age of design and Lucy’s curated stock certainly is golden.

The ladies behind Pelikan, Penny and Rachel, have created, not just a high quality business, stocking some marvellous sofas but have, also, managed to inject some warming humour to the mix. All of their stock has been carefully chosen and restored lovingly and the best bit, they’re given a name and a lonely hearts ad. I just loved it. And the fact that each sofa, or chair has been christened with a suitably appropriate nom de plume (as it were) acknowledges a past life while simultaneously affirming that their new one is just beginning. How could you not fall in love with the concept and, of course, the goods. Giddiness aside, Pelikan has a wealth of great items all styled wonderfully. On Sunday they used some items from Hus and Hem like the blanket which had me swooning all over again.

MAR-DEN, another fantastic stall on Sunday, was a real pleasure to peruse.  Mar-Den’s aesthetic is centred on strong pieces that stand alone. The German armchairs in the photo above  feature, possibly, the original upholstery and if not, it is at the very least, quite old. It is beautiful and serves as a reminder why shows like Midcentury work because the pieces sold, stand the test of time in both durability and style. And Mar-Den showcases that at its best. I only met Charlie on Sunday and he was great to chat to about Mar-Den’s new studio in Peckham and future plans.

I didn’t speak to the folk behind MetroRetro Ltd except to admire the phenomenal table customised by the proprietors and looking unique, glamorous and functional all rolled into one. There was a lot more eclectic goods on offer ranging from vintage to customised and reclaimed. All simply fabulous.

Lastly, on my way out, I passed the wonderful wares of Vintage Unit home to a collection of industrial gems and refurbished pieces. All glorious. Osi Modern and The Modern Warehouse deserve a mention too. Sadly I didn’t have time to talk with these people but they are both based in Hackney so I want to visit them soon to enable me keep the magic of Midcentury Show alive until December…


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