For anyone who thinks they could identify the aesthetic of Marcel Wanders in a heartbeat, recent Moooi collections show it might be time to think again.
Marcel Wanders' idiosyncratic and theatrical approach has seen him dubbed by the New York Times as the “Lady Gaga of Design” and by another journalist as the "peacock like Prince of Dutch design".
But as his elegant Zio and Nut collections for Moooi demonstrate, there’s more to Wanders' prolific portfolio of work than flamboyance.
The Zio collection for Moooi is defined by a quieter aesthetic than most Wanders followers might be attuned to. With its solid oak frame, the collection with its dining chairs, dining table, coffee table, lounge, ottoman, and buffet are reminiscent of mid-century modern furniture.
When the collection was exhibited at the Milan Furniture Fair in 2014, Co.Design even described the combination of Zio with Wanders more out-there pieces looked “as if the set design from Mad Men crash-landed onto a Wes Anderson film.”
Graceful and refined, Zio has a cozy familiarity that’s as comforting and solid as an old rocking chair but like Wanders himself, it leans towards playfulness.
His Nut collection for Moooi, released the year before Zio, conveys a similar warmth and Scandinavian-style curves, featuring oak veneer bent plywood, solid oak legs and cozy.
Both collections could be seen as outliers when juxtaposed with other Wanders creations like the Monster chair. However, when considered as an expression of Wanders’ enduring interest in tradition, Zio and Nut begin to make sense.
"I'm trying to create a sense of bigger scope in time," the designer told Co.Design when discussing Zio. "In the compass of modernism there's only newness, but I'm trying to create a love and awareness of things, so we invite visitors to look backward and sideways. If we want to have a sustainable world we should not accept the past as irrelevant; we should take it with us."