- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Eames chairs are beloved by Hollywood, and the release of new versions of two of the most iconic will only further whet the appetite. This winter, Herman Miller is imparting a light note to Charles and Ray Eames‘ famously comfortable lounger and ottoman, offering them in white-leather upholstered ash. And Eames’ sleekly functional Executive Chair (Don Draper’s choice) can now go out on the patio — it has just become available in weather-resistant metal.
In recent years, of course, Eames has become an easy signifier of modern-design sensibility — in a recent issue of People, Simon Cowell prominently displayed a lounger in his living room. Collecting originals also has grown to almost become a competitive sport. “I’d see a pair of chairs I loved and I’d come back the next day and ask where they’d gone. ‘Oh, Brad Pitt bought those.’ I was dogged by him,” says Daniel Ostroff, a film producer (The Missing, 2012’s Of Two Minds) and noted collector.
Now three exhibits and a new documentary are offering a deeper look at the late husband-and-wife team who revolutionized modern design with furnishings that are at once utilitarian and sculptural.
The just-opened, James Franco-narrated doc Eames: The Architect and the Painter portrays a design duo who stayed true to their ideal of bringing high quality to a broad audience, especially in their innovative use of such low-cost materials as resin and plywood.
As Eames fan Ice Cube said recently: “The Eames were masters of sampling. They took existing materials, mixed them into something better and brought their designs to the people.”
A comprehensive show, Collecting Eames: The JF Chen Collection, is on view at high-end vintage showroom JF Chen (941 N. Highland Ave., through Jan. 14). The more than 425 objects include a lyrically biomorphic La Chaise chair once owned by Tim Burton. Many of the pieces were originally collected by Ostroff.
More than 1,800 objects from the couple’s Pacific Palisades home, now a museum, have been temporarily moved to LACMA, which has re-created the Eameses’ living room as the centerpiece of its show Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965 (through June 3). Across the street, the A+D Museum (6032 Wilshire Blvd., through Jan. 16) is presenting Eames Words, spotlighting the pair’s aphoristic quotes. “What works is better than what looks good,” Charles once said. He died in 1978 at age 71; Ray 10 years later to the day at 75.
They were also filmmakers, making more than 125 movies, including the well-known Powers of Ten and shorts focusing on design. And one of their celebrated pieces has a Hollywood genesis. As Ostroff tells it, their friend Billy Wilder used to love to take office naps. He asked Charles to design a chaise for him, but insisted it not be mistaken for a casting couch. The item, still in production, ended up 18 inches wide. When Wilder saw it, he exclaimed, “That would be very good if your girlfriend was built like a Giacometti.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
power stylists 2023
Megan Thee Stallion, Riley Keough and the Fanning Sisters Attend The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo’s Power Stylists Dinner
Daniel Radcliffe Moderates Trans and Nonbinary Youth Roundtable for The Trevor Project (Exclusive)
Inside The Hollywood Reporter and Jimmy Choo’s Power Stylists Dinner With Megan Thee Stallion, Riley Keough and the Fanning Sisters
THR Cover Story
Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Stylists: Why Sydney Sweeney, Sadie Sink, Anne Hathaway, Angela Bassett and Jodie Turner-Smith Love Their Image Makers
power stylists 2023
Rising Stylists 2023: Jenna Ortega’s Gothic-Glam Guru, Ke Huy Quan’s Suit Master