LIV­ING

A MILESTONE BIRTH­DAY IS CEL­E­BRATED WITH A STYLISH RET­RO­SPEC­TIVE

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents - by Neale Whi­taker Neale Whi­taker is edi­tor-in-chief of Vogue Liv­ing.

Neale Whi­taker steps back in time to cel­e­brate a milestone birth­day.

It’s Vogue Liv­ing’s 50th birth­day and how do we choose to cel­e­brate? By putting our head in the lion’s mouth – metaphor­i­cally, that is. Let me ex­plain. The mag­a­zine’s spe­cial an­niver­sary May/june is­sue in­cludes our 50 favourite rooms – ever. Noth­ing too con­fronting there, although it’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see how in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing styles have evolved over the years while re­main­ing cu­ri­ously sim­i­lar. One par­tic­u­lar room has a spi­ral con­crete stair­case, in­dus­trial vaulted ceil­ings, pops of bril­liant or­ange, big slouchy so­fas and lux­u­ri­ous Moroc­can rugs. Ev­ery­thing about it screams 2017. Only the qual­ity of the image (crude by to­day’s stan­dards) is a clue to the year that room was pho­tographed: 1973.

But so far, so un­con­tro­ver­sial – why the lion’s mouth? Be­cause we also de­cided to choose the 50 most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple in Aus­tralian de­sign to­day (highly con­tentious, end­lessly de­bat­able, even we didn’t dare place them in nu­mer­i­cal or­der) and – most au­da­cious of all – 50 de­signs that have rocked Vogue Liv­ing’s world since 1967, the year the mag­a­zine was first pub­lished. To be fair, we re­laxed the brief to al­low for peo­ple, places, mu­sic and movies, but I guess that’s where we re­ally threw down the gauntlet be­cause de­sign is ul­ti­mately per­sonal. For ex­am­ple, shar­ing top spot on my list would be Jim Thomp­son’s klong­side home in Bangkok (still my all-time favourite house) and Tom Dixon’s cur­va­ceous S chair, aes­thet­i­cally un­sur­passed in my book.

We threw Vogue Liv­ing con­tribut­ing edi­tor and in­te­rior de­signer Ja­son Mowen the orig­i­nal chal­lenge of sift­ing through five decades of de­sign and cul­ture, but the list took on a life of its own. Ev­ery­one had an opin­ion (Ziggy Star­dust! Jeff Koons! Syd­ney Opera House!). Our Top 50 reads like a barom­e­ter of our times, and if all it does is make you think about what would have been on your list, then we nailed it.

Aus­tralia’s Marc New­son gets dou­ble hon­ours for his iconic Lock­heed lounge and lesser-known Em­bryo chair, both from the ’80s. Ap­ple’s imac G3 – pre­cur­sor to the iphone and ipad – is also on the list. And amid the era-defin­ing chairs, lamps and ta­bles, the Mis­so­nis and Mag­istret­tis, we in­cluded punk (Vivi­enne West­wood) and disco (Stu­dio 54).The late-’70s col­li­sion of those two worlds split the style atom. We haven’t stopped danc­ing yet.

DECADES IN DE­SIGN (clock­wise from above) With its spi­ral stair­case and bursts of tan­ger­ine this room from 1973 could pass for 2017; the Turin apart­ment of the late ar­chi­tect Carlo Mollino from 2008; Hol­ly­wood glam­our circa 2014.

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