Thursday, 16 October 2014

Guzzini and me

An iconic name for any lovers of quality retro, Guzzini lighting is a classic combination of style and substance, proof that you don't need to sacrifice form over function

As the most accessible form of design, we have a bit of an obsession with lighting here in Space.
You may not be able to stretch to a big money designer or vintage sofa, or not be sure if you're quite ready for that huge statement artwork but every room in your house will need lighting and a great retro lamp is an effective, affordable way to create a great mood for a room.

I personally have a Vico Magistretti Mezza chimera floor lamp and a pair of Guzzini plastic mushroom ceiling shades, well Guzzini style!  These particular shades were widely copied through the 1970's so I thought I'd look into the companys history a little. With a little digging (HERE for example), it turns out that a lot of what I thought I knew was wrong! 

Did you know that the company was named after a giant invisible rabbit? Any quick search on the internet will bring up the name Harvey Guzzini, surely I can't be the only person who laboured under the illusion that this was a real actual person? One of the brothers, presumably? Seems not, in fact the older brothers-  Raimondo, Virgilio and Giovanni - on founding the business in 1959, named the company after James Stewarts giant invisible furry companion from the 1950 film 'Harvey'. 

They initially specialised in smaller homewares, copper trays and bowls but with the addition of younger brothers Adolpho, Giuseppe and Giannunzio to the team and the employment of designer and architect Luigi Massoni as art director by 1965 Guzzini were starting to produce the classics so sought after today.

Massoni encouraged the use of designers who were exploring the fast developing technologies of the sixties, particularly in plastics, Here's a fabulous example from 1970.
The Quadrifoglio table lamp designed by Gae Aulenti. Named after the four leaved clover that inspired it's organic shape, the futuristic, fluid shape is classic retro. 
This particular light is currently available on the Space website HERE

A much sought after Guzzini light that we've had in recently is the gigantic 'Clan' floor lamp. Much rarer, this was the first I'd seen of these outside of a design book.
There was a smaller table top version but this bigger one was an absolute gem.
Even writing this I'm wondering whether this one should have been gracing a corner of my own living room but it sold so quickly it didn't even make it onto the website.
Still, there's a very happy customer out there.
Here's a link to more info on the Clan on Object<>Plastic a great site specialising in classic plastic design

By the late 1970's Harvey Guzzini had morphed into iGuzzini (pre-empting the iPhone by a good 30 years!) and were specialising in industrial and architectural lighting rather than designing for the home. A shame of course, who knows where they would have taken design but by then stores such as Habitat and even BHS were selling many Guzzini style shades and lights. You can see the design influnces even today in IKEA. and the like, but for retro hunters the originals will always be the best.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Malcolm Hall - Glam Style

 We love a little bit of Glam here in Space. The 40's and 50's are lovely of course but, personally, the colour, vibrancy and new materials of the 60's and 70's do it for me, especially when you can associate those styles with the music of the time. 
You'll know the names Ossie Clark and Tommy Roberts but, if you're a fan of 1970's rock, you'll certainly have seen the work of Malcolm Hall. How about this for starters
White Malcolm Hall suit worn by Led Zeppelins Jimmy Page, made around 1975 and now in the V&A

Paul McCartney, Brian Eno, David Bowie, ABBA and were among the many stars to wear Malcolms threads, there's a tasty selection in the retro section on his website. Indeed, happily, he is still trading and his style hasn't changed too much
An image from Malcolm Halls current range with appropriately stylish old rocker model

What's inspired me to write this piece is that we've been lucky enough to find a vintage Malcolm Hall suit from the early 1970's. We can even trace it's provenance to Boodle-am, a small independent shop in Leeds, one of a few places to stock him outside of London.
Son of Space, Gabriel Elvidge, modelling our Malcolm Hall suit

What a beauty. Olive brown satin, with velvet panels front and back, a huge lapel and gently flared trousers. We'd love to sell this to the equivalent of Jimmy Page etc but who's around nowadays with enough flamboyance, Coldplay? More HERE

While I had my captive model I took a few shots of him in another of our 1970's Pop/Rock culture suits, this time a 3-piece Teddy Boy style number tailored by John W. Mills of Bexleyheath. I can't find a single mention of him on the net so presumably he didn't go on to dress the stars although they'd have looked pretty dapper in this..
Find it HERE

Sunday, 18 May 2014

National Vintage Awards

We're delighted to have been shortlisted for the Northern 'Best Regional Shop' in this years Nva's
If you have a moment please click the pic to go to the voting page, put a tick next to us and enter your email and send. 
It means a lot to us to get some recognition for all the hard work (no really!) we've put in over the last 5 years. Winning would really be a boost!  Many Thanks.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

When buying Vintage.......

Some great advice here for those 'on a mission' to buy some quality pieces!  How to buy Vintage

The only quote that doesn't apply to us is "Have you noticed how dark vintage shops can be?"

Friday, 11 April 2014

Oh, What a lovely blog.

Here's a great post about a visit to the shop by the good folks at Wish Vintage, Kent.  
Many thanks.

Read it HERE

and here's a link to their Facebook

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Gorgeous Yorkshire at our opening

We had a private launch for our both floors of 'The Ginnel' last week and the lovely ladies from the 'Gorgeous Yorkshire' blog came along, took some excellent photos and gave us a very nice write up.

Here's the link Gorgeous

Sunday, 12 January 2014


Come and see our beautiful new shop.  Its a wonder to behold. Upstairs and Major Toms Cafe/Bar open in 2 weeks. Immense.