October 26, 2011

High Design or Frivolity?

          It has recently occurred to this Recent Paterfamilias that, after last week’s column (see: tirade), it might possibly be construed by some wretched breeders of twisted slanders that the R.P. suffers from an inability to appreciate the design aspects inherent in a pair of red-soled ladies’ shoes and $4,000 kids fur coat. This is not the way the Recent Paterfamilias wishes to be viewed. And it is patently untrue.

         The Recent Paterfamilias appreciates design (and at almost any price, too, he might add). A good-looking chaise lounge by someone with the ostensibly ridiculous name of Le Corbursier for lots of money? Sure. An expensive elephant-shaped metal kid’s seat by some person (or persons) going by the name of Eames? Sure. A molded plywood chair by this same person (or persons) called Eames? Sure. (I like the cowhide-covered one nearly enough to get it as a tattoo, if such a tattoo wasn’t a tremendous cliché amongst design devotees). Egg-shaped sitting pods made by Dutchmen? Strangely shaped homes designed by Americans and Japanese? Patterned fabrics by firms in Finland? The Recent Paterfamilias can appreciate all these things (or pieces, or objects, or designs, or whatever you wish to call them).

An arc floor lamp for $2,500? Absolutely. It’s great. It’s design. A fabric lighting pendant for three grand? Absolutely. It’s great. It’s design. A German-manufactured internal combustion engine-propelled personal transportation driving device? Absolutely. It’s great. It’s design. (Or is that engineering?)

But still, a child’s coat crafted out of bunny skin or Bambi’s hair for four grand seems a little bit steep.

Maybe it’s just the stuff for kids. The Eames elephant chair for kids is great (and expensive), but it can also serve a second purpose: a fixture in a sculpture garden after its stint in the nursery. That’s something, I suppose.

Does the R.P. think that a pig-shaped piggy bank in a tacky metallic pink is worth three figures? No. Does he think a simplistic black bird by those mysterious Eames people is worth an equivalent amount? Yes.

And why is this?


Well…honestly, the Recent Paterfamilias can’t say.

As a Master of Opinion, the coin of the so-called realm is just that, opinion, and the opinion of the Recent Paterfamilias is presently stating these following things are, if not self-evident, at least “true”: red-soled ladies’ shoes = good; red-soled ladies’ shoes encrusted in ersatz crystals with an inflated price tag = bad; a molded plywood chair = good; a handmade molded particle board P.O.S. = bad; an Eames elephant = good; a real elephant = better.

And the R.P.’s newest opinion is consequently thus: this R.P. column = opinionated; this R.P. column = finished.


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