Monday, November 19, 2012

Livin' on a prayer. And a swanky bed.

Channing Tatum, y'all.  

That big, beige potato head that probably smells like the inside of a boy's shoe is the sexiest man alive.  Think I'll have to move to Canada with all the anti-healthcare Republicans to avoid the imminent disaster that is our country.  

But hopefully he can follow in the footsteps of other Sexiest Mens Alives like Edward Scissorhands and Gay Wolverine.  And don't forget about 2-time winner Benjamin 'Brad Pitt' Button who has gone on to do great things like grow lots of facial hair. 

In honor of Thanksgiving week let's remember all the good things Brad has done for the community like donating money to the Human Rights Campaign to fight for marriage equality (in Maine, Maryland and Washington and that turned out pretty well).  He also helped rebuild New Orleans with his Make It Right Foundation (don't even get me started again on that again...ugh) in addition to continually blessing us with his handsome visage.

I'm starting to sound insane...

But Mr. Jolie Pitt just keeps. on. giving. to the world with his new furniture line.

Christ on a cracker, that's ugly.


Brad has had a constant design boner after taking a course in college on a whim where it quote Changed His Life end quote.  Since then he's been collecting women, children and super fancy furniture.

A few years ago he was having a reproduction Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann desk installed (yes "installed" not delivered(?) according to AD) when the maker of said reproduction and other exquisite Art Deco furniture pieces, Frank Pollaro, saw Brad's sketchbook and squeed his manties.  He immediately asked Brad if they could collabo like Jay-Z and Kanye on some bitchin' furniture.  Brad scratched his goatee in brief contemplation and then acquiesced.  They high-fived.

At least, that's how I imagine that exchange went down.

I'd be a little upset if some dude read my diary and looked at my private sketches but I guess rich people are different and also my sketches are of me as a woodland nymph having woodland sex with a woodland centaur and THAT SHIT IS TOTALLY PRIVATE, MOM.

So this diary-reading, opportunity-slut (that's a compliment), glorified furniture delivery installer Pollaro dude is just a working boy from New Jersey that decided his life's goal is to recreate Art Deco's finest and snobbiest king of furniture.

*Tommy used to work on the docks...* 
Backstory and picture from Forbes
Aww... he's kind of adorable in an Eddie Bauer/furniture dictator kind of way.  

Ruhlmann, if you don't know - and I didn't - was apparently maniacally elitist and was quoted in a 1920 magazine interview as saying "Only the very rich can pay for what is new and they alone can make it fashionable."  

Hold my glass of boxed wine, y'all.  I'm gonna need to sit down and rethink my life after that bombshell.

Ruhlmann moved to the top spot of my "Dead assholes invited to my next casserole party" when he added "Fashions don't start among the common people.  Along with satisfying a desire for change, fashion's real purpose is to display wealth."  

And somewhere Donald Trump just jizzed dollar bills into his silk pantaloons.

This is the reason I don't spend hours trolling on 1st Dibs.  Naturally, rich people today are covetous of Ruhlmann's work but totally because of his amazing art and stuff and not because they feel the same way about money.

But mad props to Pollaro whose life's goal is to be a master of craftsmanship probably unparalleled in today's world.  But I think you can see how the Pollaro-Pitt relationship blossomed.
*We've got each other and that's a lot...*
Here they are in Pitt's wine cellar in France (my eyeballs involuntarily rolled when I type that) talking about Brad's diary.  After a helluva a lot of wine and numerous 10 hour discussions, y'all about their mutual love for tropical hardwoods that probably involved the word "transcendent" far more than is necessary, they created this...
A bed made of mutual masturbation, exposed nickel trusses, integrated shagreen foot pads (???), nickel side tables covered in silk.  This one bed took over two years to create because of the "difficult physics and engineering issues related to the simplicity of the design," says Pollaro.

Now I know for sure these motherfuckers are high because that's the most complicated bed I've ever seen.  And my mind is now flooded with images of Tyler Durden and a pair of yellow rubber gloves using that bench for leverage. 

My mind is also flooded with this image:

The Homer.
Restraint.  It is not found in a wine cellar in France.

Once these two dudes saw this sketch-turned-real-life-fuckery they congratulated each other with bro hugs and decided to exhibit the bed as well as a create a full line of Brad's drawings.

One of those pieces being this two-person bathtub.
Perfect for Tommy and Gina.
Fill with guacamole or Chanel No. 5 - your choice.  Even after two years I don't think these designs are finished considering the image above is from Architectural Digest but this one from the NYTimes is a different design.  Hhmmm...??  

*Cause it doesn't make a difference if we make it or not...*

Also included in the line is this curvy white chair that I actually kinda dig in a monolithic sort of way.

Until I looked at it from the front and realized it was made of white patent leather and those two inserts sewn into the arms remind me of maxi pads.  No prices were given but Pollaro says some pieces may be significantly upwards of $45,000 but if they went into regular production they'd be much cheaper.

Oh thank gawd.  Because pleather - while easy to Swiffer and great for making my thighs make gross noises when I try to stand up - is really out of my price range.

Other possibly-$45,000 items include a side table that Chiasso probably introduced six years ago.

Or maybe this side table finished in 24-karat gold is more your bag, baby.  I do like shiny.

It's kinda cool except for its 24-KARAT GOLD existence is an assault on my humanity.  I feel like if this table is actually purchased by another human being then we are about 6 months away from the Hunger Games.  I can only shoot a gun, not a bow and arrow, so I'm fucked.

I'm not hating on this table below either even though I have a phobia about glass tops and this whole paperclip thing really isn't my personal taste.  Trying to be generous.  It's Thanksgiving and all.

The NY Times interviewed four designers for their take on Brad's line and they could barely mask their disdain and it is worth a read.  When asked if anyone would have one of the pieces in their home, Kurt Anderson answered "Possibly [this] oval table - in a guest room of a second home, if I owned a second home."   Ooh, burn. 

Kurt - my new best friend - also described Brad's line as " 'Swanky.  Which is the word I've used for many years to describe expensive, curvy, shiny modern things meant to look stylish.' "  

Come sit by me, Kurt.

When responding to all of the designers' comments, Pollaro said after working with Pitt for thousands of hours he's "impressed by his commitment to express his own artistic vision."  Maybe that's code for ole Frankie wanted to jump on the Jolie-Pitt gravy train but instead was trapped in a French basement with a drunk goat herder for two years talking wood veneers and bullshit beds and now he just wants to die alone.  In America. 

Say no more, Frankie.  We've all seen the crazy Brad before.  Just blink twice if you need us to call the police.

Things could have been good.  This tiny maquette of wire makes me exceedingly happy and seems nicer than the oval table above.  Surely it wasn't all design masturbation, was it?
*Take my hand and we'll make it I swear...*
I'd eat some pizza rolls off that.

Brad Pitt seems to have Multiple Designer Personality Disorder.  He also seems to have highlighted the fact that while you and I are worried about whether or not people will notice we replaced half of the cornbread dressing with dryer lint because food prices are getting jacked up, some people are manufacturing gold-plated tables and beds so complex and rare of material that only nine are being made.  Nine.

But don't worry, designers!  The NYT agrees that product designers have a thankless job so you're probably encouraged to see that Brad Pitt "respects" what you do but also "takes pains" to be one of you.  

That's the sweet, sweet smell of validation wafting through the air right now.

So fuck your education, your student loan debt, your possibly unpaid internship, your thankless 60 hour work weeks, your shitty pay, your lack of a social life and the swallowing of your own ego.  None of that is even necessary to be successful.  

In fact, you should feel grateful that someone is finally taking pains to shine a light on all the hard work that you do by spending two years jacking off to the splendor of their own ideas with an unlimited budget, the finest materials on the planet and no regard for potential customers.  

Make sure to include Brad Pitt when you say grace this Thursday.

*You live for the fight when it's all that you've got...*

Your move, Channing Tatum.


  1. The tables are kinda cool, in a "photo shoot for M magazine" kinda way. The bed, however, oh dear Lord! I can only imagine how many time I would hit my little toes on that!

    1. Heh. M Magazine...

      Can you imagine changing the sheets on that bed?! WTF?

  2. Please be sure to include an invite to your next casserole party with my Christmas card. Sounds like a real rager. ;)

    That furniture is garbage. It *might* have been considered cool for about 30 seconds back in 1993.

    1. Done. You must bring something with cream of mushroom soup!

      Garbage, yes. Lawd what are these people thinking?!

  3. That chair looks like it's part of the S'more series!

    1. I like marshmallows more than this stuff and I hate marshmallows.

  4. 1. Fight Club - Outstanding!
    2. Benjamin Button - Excellent!
    3. BP furniture - Embarrassing.


    1. This is a time when it's important to have people around you say no. Just, NO.

  5. Have you seen his awful Chanel commercials? Heinous, just like his furniture.

  6. Oh never mind! I just clicked on the commercial spoof! Ha ha!

    1. His original commercial is so bad there's almost no need for a spoof!

  7. I'm very glad you wrote this, because for some reason this furniture fucking enrages me. Just...enrages. I don't know why as I am not a product designer. It seems like there was no external interaction, no refining the design -- everything looks weirdly unfinished to me, like a half-done idea. I wish I knew more about design so I could articulate what bugs me about it.

    Although this come close: "In fact, you should feel grateful that someone is finally taking pains to shine a light on all the hard work that you do by spending two years jacking off to the splendor of their own ideas with an unlimited budget, the finest materials on the planet and no regard for potential customers."

    Yeah, this isn't product design, because that is for people. This is a vanity project that's weirdly unfocused.

    1. I think your last sentence sums it up perfectly - "vanity project that's weirdly unfocused." It's enraging because this "vanity project" is supposed to pass for real design. I'm sure there were actual "design" choices made but I think they completely miss the purpose of what I think Design with a capital D is - solving problems. In this case, the only problem is dealing with too much money and ego so fuck that bullshit.

      And you don't need to know anything about Design to know when your bullshit meter is activated!