Heal's has drawn upon the talent of both established and emerging British designers in its striking autumn 2013 collection
Stunning designs feature prominently in Heal’s new autumn collection. The company has a history of working with talented designers and this year called upon the talents of Lee Broom, Katie Walker, Jake Phipps and John Galvin to create a range of dramatic, unusual pieces. But the Heal’s collection also includes interesting pieces by emerging designers Ian Archer, Joss Barton, Matthew Elton and Sebastian Cox – part of the company’s Discovers programme to nurture British talent. Yet Heal’s has more surprises lined up for the autumn: the Tottenham Court Road store’s newly refurbished Ceramics department displays pieces by some of the world’s best ceramicists.
Lee Broom looked back at Heal's heritage - particularly the style of upholstery the company produced in the Fifties and Sixties - and combined this with inspiration and techniques from classic Christian Dior and quilted Chanel handbags to develop a stunning sofa, armchair and footstool.
Furniture artist John Galvin likes to create contemporary designs using
the finest quality hardwoods and craftsmanship and his new kingsize bed
with matching bedside tables is no exception. Arranging oak panels like
bricks, he achieved a stunning visual effect. Each of his pieces will be
individually made by John and his team in Scotland, using Scottish oak.
Like fellow Heal's Designer Collaboration artist John Galvin, Katie Walker also marries wood and contemporary design, adding in inspiration from Eero Saarinen and earlier designers, in her original take on the classic pedestal table. The simple, sleek table and its accompanying chair are classic examples of the pared back style that made Katie's name.
Simplicity and functionality are the key ideas behind Jake Phipps's Shell stool. Jake set out to design a stool that was easy to pick up and created a tube with an indentation all around the top that's reminiscent of a shell casing - although he is quick to point out that his intention isn't 'to glamorise guns'.
Ian Archer sought to combine sustainability with the highest level of craftsmanship in his Soho three-seater sofa and armchair, which are entirely manufactured in Britain. Fabrics and upholstery materials used in his range are all natural and Ian went to great lengths to minimise their use while making a style statement - he left the wooden frame exposed on both sofa and chair.
Sustainability is a driving principle for Sebastian Cox, who created a sideboard and desk from coppiced hazel grown in the UK. 'Coppicing,' he explains, 'provides an abundant source of timber, as well as creating a healthy and diverse woodland.' Details such as hand-cut, dovetailed joints infuse his pieces with a rustic feel.
Contemporary design meets tradition in Matthew Elton's Clue table, which is inspired by British and Danish mid-20th century designs. Three slim oak legs support a chunky, bevelled round top finished in fumed-oak veneer.
Cutting-edge technology is at the heart of Joss Barton's Diamond light. This stunning, origami-like piece is made from a single piece of laser-cut, bright annealed stainless steel that's folded by hand.
Some of the world's most talented china designers have their pieces showcased at Heal's Tottenham Court store this autumn in the dedicated 1882 section of the newly renovated ceramics department. Pieces range from Max Lamb's solid, charmingly rustic fine bone china tableware, slip-cast from plaster models carved by hand, to Alan Hughes' sleek, streamlined Gashu bowl (pictured). Named after the Japanese word for elegance, this fine bone china half sphere looks fragile but is surprisingly functional.
The 65-arm 14 Series Bocci chandelier looks set to make waves in the design world. Made of recycled glass, this extraordinary piece hangs from Heal's fifth-floor ceiling but each of its cast-glass spherical pendants, which house individual lights, floats at a different height down the store's magnificent spiral staircase. The original Bocci chandelier is for display only but you can order your own custom-made version in store.