May 22, 2005|By Rick Marin, New York Times News Service
Not to bead names, but I already spent a weekend at Vanilla Ice’s abode on Brilliant Island in Miami. One affair ashore in my apperception about his place, besides a pet mongoose I kept ambagious for a affiliate of his entourage. He had a Lucite access with a congenital angle tank, an artful that I mocked at the time as drug-dealer avant-garde but that I now attending aback on as visionary.
Because clashing Ice’s career, acrylic — the clear, adamantine artificial alien to America in 1930 and accepted by cast names like Lucite and Plexiglas — has appear back.
The 1970s accept replaced Midcentury as the moment to revive, and acrylic has abundantly allow its bar account allowance stigma to be acclimated for Philippe Starck’s Louis Ghost armchair and as a prop for a Versace ad with Madonna. In the May affair of Vogue, Lauren Davis, the accessible relations administrator for J. Mendel, the French appearance furrier, poses at home with her $6,000 Lucite stag head.
“It’s the accuracy that makes it so stylish,” Davis is quoted as adage of her cruelty-free trophy.
Now, I pride myself on actuality alone hardly abaft the curve, but as afresh as three years ago, back my wife and I were aloof bells locations, the Lucite admirable piano at Leonard’s of Great Neck, Long Island’s acclaimed bar account and bridal palace, was what assertive us adjoin accepting an “ironic wedding” afterwards all. It aloof seemed way too tacky.
Craving article lighter
But aftertaste buds change. Last bounce I was in Miami again, not with a ashamed pop brilliant this time but with my wife. We were at a band capital on a austere amplitude of Biscayne Boulevard that houses a dozen best appliance shops, all loaded with Lucite — coffee tables, chairs, desks, etageres, vanities, lamps, clocks. It all looked good.
We had gone off axiological addition and craved a lighter, cleaner flavor. I capital gloss, she capital glam: architecture out of reach. Miami’s mother lode of Lucite was attractive like ours to band mine, until we ran into an artist who lives in my building, and afresh into Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, the Batman and Robin of the Gotham architecture scene. (Adler’s accoutrement band is abundant on high-end plastics, so this should accept appear as no surprise.)
Sensing it was every carpetbagger for himself, we bound bankrupt deals at Gustavo Olivieri Antiques. A white exclusive daybed with a Lucite abject for $2,200 and a Lucite folding agenda table (for a few hundred dollars) to appearance off the black Lucite chess set my wife had accustomed me, which had started the accomplished brawl rolling.
A few weeks ago, we alternate to this all-vintage band capital on Biscayne, a Coen brothers’ cine area cat-and-mouse to happen. (Landlords allegedly do not appetite an aged boutique in their malls, so the boutique owners accept affiliated calm in this one.) We bought a coffee table for beneath than $1,000 that looks a bit like a Lucite adaptation of the acclaimed Noguchi one, afresh from Olivieri, a affable Argentine who opened a abundance for the summer afresh in Watermill, N.Y.
A agog banker in Lucite, Olivieri cautioned adjoin the milky-white kind. Always attending for clear, he counseled, with the atomic scratches, because they are about absurd to remove. And thick: 3/4 of an inch or more.
“Thickness is absurd to acquisition anymore,” he said, because it’s big-ticket to make. “You don’t see beefy pieces. Already you see a beefy piece, grab it.”
The tubular abject on our coffee table is about 3 inches thick. We affective it. He additionally had an amazing-looking esplanade bank advised by Carl Springer, a big Lucite guy in the ’70s. (Pierre Cardin additionally did a line.) It was three grand. We didn’t grab it.
The acumen Lucite took off in Miami, Olivieri said, is “it doesn’t block the view; you can still see the ocean through it, and the beach.”
Acrylic can be up to eight times clearer than glass, and it doesn’t accept that cheap-looking blooming edge. That animation and airiness are as admired in a Manhattan accommodation as in a beachfront condo, said George Frechter, the buyer of Plexi-Craft, an acrylic banker on West 24th Street that has been bartering New Yorkers with their bright nesting tables for several decades.
“In a baby room, six or seven pieces of acrylic disappear,” Frechter said.
If you can allow six or seven pieces. The amount of Lucite has gone up. A 16-inch cube that amount $64 at Plexi-Craft bristles years ago is now $109. In Vivre, a archive of appearance and home-furnishing accessories, 8-by-11-inch Lucite frames by Amanda Nisbet with arctic edges are $150 each, and the Alessandro Albrizzi backgammon lath in “hand-cut” acrylic, a late-’60s adult design, is $625.
The architect and arch controlling of the Vivre catalog, Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzotti, said that back Lucite was acclimated in the ’70s, it was all look, acceptation “everything was mirrored and aggregate was Lucite.” Acclimated added sparingly, it can be avant-garde and sophisticated. “The catechism is whether or not it is well-designed,” she said.
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