Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Memphis Matrimony.

In 1981, designer Ettore Sottsass formed an Italian design and architecture collaborative called the Memphis Group, named in homage to the Bob Dylan song Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again, which had been playing on repeat during the group's first meeting. Memphis-Milano produced and exhibited furniture, fashion and design objects through 1988. Their influential work drew inspiration from Art Deco, Pop Art, and '50s kitsch, essentially defining the colorful and cartoonishly futuristic '80s aesthetic.
Above: Some of our major Memphis inspirations for the project (from L to R), Michele De Lucchi's Oceanic Lamp (1981), Thomas Bley's Astor lamp (1982), the Tahiti lamp by Ettore Sottsass (1981), and Sottsass's iconic Carlton room divider (1981).
Being that we're pretty much obsessed with the Memphis aesthetic, we were over the moon when asked by clients, Morgan & John, if we could rise to the challenge of designing a perfectly Memphis-style wedding suite, to which we replied "are you kidding?" We were officially in design-nerd heaven, floating on a pastel turquoise triangular cloud.Morgan wanted the invites to echo her mother's adoration of Memphis, which is displayed in the decor of her parents circa-1980s weekend home on Long Island, where the couple's nuptials would take place. We made sure that the invitation emanated the minimal-yet-meaningful simplicity that the Memphis school, as well as her parents beloved beach abode, were all about.Our construction began with neon bright white 100% cotton rag paper, which we then flood-coated with deeply saturated colors using offset lithography. Each of the pieces was then die-cut and scored to create dimension. We completed the suite with letterpressed confetti-esque patterns on several surfaces, each of which were custom designed, the exception being Sottsass' classic 1978 Bacterio pattern, which we placed as a broad panel to separate the text on the main invitation piece.
We're now certain that if Memphis-Milano were ever to re-form, there'd be two seats booked on the next Alitalia flight . . . our suitcases full of plastic tubing, pink acrylic, and black & white striped vinyl.


  1. Fantastica! It looks like it was made in 1986! You guys are awesome.

  2. Coming from you, that comment just made our weekend : )
    Hugs and bubblegum pink grids to you and the fam!