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Icons of '1950s' Design: Dali's Lips and the Smeg Fridge

June 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 317

Fifties design is still influential, even today. So much so, that many pieces that are often thought of as fifties actually aren't. Dali's 'lips' sofa and the Smeg fridge both ooze retro chic, but they are from vastly different eras. Even so, they would look great in a fifties-style home.

The fifties were a period of intense change and excitement. With the world having at least partly recovered from the ravages of the Second World War, a new generation of consumers was born in a world of atom bombs and baby boom. Mid-century design has filtered down from that era to this, but has become so muddled in the public consciousness that several iconic 'fifties' designs aren't actually from the period. Classic pieces such as the Smeg fridge and Salvador Dali's 'lips' sofa have a timelessness which allows them to fit into any home.

The SMEG fridge

The Smeg fridge embodies several features of fifties design. It looks like something from an American diner, with curved edges softening the boxy shape, chrome lettering and a candy store colour range. It was designed in the 1990s, but would look at home in the kitchen of any mid-century domestic goddess. The era certainly saw many changes in the kitchen, with the introduction of new materials and consumer goods.

Post-war housing was often cheap and relatively small. To combat this, fitted kitchens were introduced for the first time and open plan layouts were popular. Plastics were used more extensively and as people had a little disposable cash, consumer appliances became more desirable and stylish than ever before. Microwave ovens and impressively large fridges were introduced. It is easy to see how Smeg's retro version takes inspiration from the period. It certainly makes a statement.

Dali's 'lips' sofa

Salvador Dali's iconic settee isn't from the fifties either. Famously based on Mae West's mouth, Dali actually designed the piece in 1937. It is often referred to as fifties, though, for two possible reasons. One is that a lot of 1950s designs harked back to the 1930s. Thirties modernism emphasised function over form, with little ornamentation and simple, clean lines - ideas which went well with the abstract, geometric patterns of the '50s. Art deco was also an influence. The second reason is there are several iconic chairs that are really from the 1950s, some of which are similar to Dali's. Arne Jacobsen's 'Egg' chair is one example.

While the 1950s have a lot to answer for (Tupperware!), ideas and concepts from the period are still influential. If you want a stylish addition to your home, look no further than retro fifties design.

Go Electrical specialise in electrical items and kitchen appliances. Many of their products offer retro, 1950s style and they have a large range of Smeg fridges, microwaves and ovens. Visit the website to add an iconic appliance to your kitchen.

Source: EzineArticles
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