When we're talking about a design icon like the Le Corbusier LC2 Armchair, I hate to use the phrase "Out with the old, in with the new." But after seeing the LC in its hot new color options, I can't imagine ever going back to basic black and white. The revived palette, ranging from orange to olive, is just the boost the ubiquitous classic needed, and with new fabric options like durable canvas, the chair is not only more affordable, but also more user-friendly. Better yet, the manufacturer Cassina has also introduced seven stylish colors for the chair's metal frame, including matte and gloss black, and gloss gray, light blue, green, bordeaux, and ochre.
While I give much applause to Cassina for giving the LC a fresh face, I can't help but be reminded that the manufacturer wasn't the first to dare to go there. Several years ago, San Francisco-based interior designer Martha Angus reupholstered a pair of Le Corbusier chairs in absorbent, blue terrycloth for a residence she designed in Portola Valley, CA. Back then, I was struggling with the idea, but in retrospect, I really love it. As much as I think that an iconic design like this one — which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art — doesn't need to be altered, I also appreciate the irreverence of Angus and the bold spin she put on a classic. Of course, if a designer were to make it over in busy, floral, eyelet fabric, I might be singing a different tune.