Lucienne Day centenary

On January 6, 2017 · 0 Comments

Lucienne Day

Born on 5th January 1917, Lucienne Day was Britain’s most distinguished textile designer of the 20th century, esteemed for her acute understanding of pattern, colour and scale and her significant role in popularising modern design in Great Britain from the 1940s onwards.

The Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation has organised a programme of events and exhibitions to mark the centenary of such a prolific, progressive and influential designer, launched on what would have been Lucienne’s 100th birthday.

Lucienne_Day_100_GIFThe centenary is also commemorated with the poster Lucienne Day 100 Designs. Designed by Studio Fernando Gutierrez, the poster forms a companion piece to Robin Day 100 Designs, similarly issued to mark the centenary of Lucienne Day’s husband and fellow designer.

Lucienne Day 100 Designs poster

The new poster features previously unpublished images of Lucienne Day’s work as well as portraits from the Foundation’s Lucienne Day photograph archive, providing a fitting tribute to one of Britain’s foremost designers.

It is a testament to the enduring nature of Lucienne Day’s designs that many remain in production, more than half a century after their inception.

In 2003 a selection of Day’s printed textiles from the 1950s were reissued by Classic Textiles, including perhaps her most well-known design, Calyx.

Calyx fabric designed by Lucienne Day

Originally designed for Heals in 1951, Calyx was exhibited at the Festival of Great Britain Homes and Gardens Pavilion, hanging in a modern dining room setting designed by Robin Day.

It went on to win the Milan Triennale gold medal and the American Institute of Decorator’s international design award (the latter a first for any British designer).

Lucienne Day OBE, 1917-2010In the present day, digital printing techniques ensure that Calyx and its companion fabrics remain faithful both to the integrity of the original designs and to Day’s longstanding conviction that good design should be available to all.

As the designer observed, ”I went into industrial design because I wanted people to have good things at a reasonable price.”

twentytwentyone hosted the exhibition Lucienne Day Classic Textiles in 2003 to celebrate the launch of the reissued textiles collection.

Lucienne Day Classic Textiles exhibition at twentytwentyone, 2003

On a smaller scale – but no less appealing, are Lucienne Day’s tea towels. These witty and timeless designs printed on linen were first created in the late 1950s for  Thomas Somerset.

Lucienne Day tea towels

Now reissued and perennially popular, they are just as likely to end up framed and hung on a wall as put to work in the kitchen.

Lucienne Day Black Leaf tea towel

twentytwentyone is honoured to participate in the celebration of a designer whose work was profoundly influential in its own time while continuing to delight and inspire in the present day.

Full details of the events planned over the year can be found here.

All archive images are courtesy of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation.

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