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Set of 2 "Gli Abiti" armchairs by Paolo Nava and Gianfranco Ferrè for B&B Italia


In 1984 B&B Italia accepted Paolo Nava's proposal to design and produce a series of armchairs and sofas in which the decisive aspect was given by the dressing.


Nava, who after a long association with Antonio Citterio began a solo career designing for many other important companies, is passionate about other cultures, music and fashion: the year before he had already designed a chair for Flexform (Eva, 1983) which wears a textile "dress" on a metal and polyurethane structure that gives it its final shape.


After a few sartorial attempts by Nava, B&B Italia decides to entrust Gianfranco Ferré with conducting the design experiment, studying "The Dresses" in the summer-winter-evening version, as if they were three collections in one.


Ferré, who graduated in architecture at the Milan Polytechnic with the authoritative Franco Albini and a thesis on Methodology of the approach to composition: nothing more serious and modernist for a young architect who, however, soon decides to devote himself solely to fashion, even if clothes that he designs and produces have compositions and constructions that are at least conceptually similar to those of an architecture.


Nava then dedicates himself to the design of the structure and the seat that he will be dressed in: he proposes a very linear and simplified design, with the consolidated technique of cold-foamed polyurethane on a metal structure.


Ferré studies different variations of cut and materials, in this case quilted satin, with a velvet border stitched with damier, like a collar, eliminating the folds and replacing them with a fall of train fabric.


For the presentation of the "collection" a location typically linked to fashion was chosen, the Superstudio in Milan, in an installation by Paolo Paganini with scenographic elements that connect the sensations of the seasons to iridescent materials and lights, and the staging of armchairs they "parade" as on the catwalk.


B&B Italia is thus the only furniture industry that has been able (well ahead of its time) to carry forward up to mass production and marketing what has long been only the idea of a possible, stable meeting between fashion and design in real things.


The armchairs are in excellent condition, as shown in the photographs, complete with the original certificate of authenticity and description of the assembly of the dress, slightly different colors in the two variants available at the time, thus requested by the previous owner, only a few small signs of wear and a zip that needs to be repaired , which does not affect the aesthetics of the armchair as it is hidden under the fabric and can be easily repaired.


Dimensions: L. 84cm D. 108cm H. 78cm A.S. 47cm

Set of 2 "Gli Abiti" armchairs by Paolo Nava and Gianfranco Ferrè for B&B Italia

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