Sumptuous Curves Comprise the Squash Collection by Faye Toogood for Poltrona Frau

Sumptuous Curves Comprise the Squash Collection by Faye Toogood for Poltrona Frau

History tends to repeat itself as famed heritage home furnishing brands often rest on their laurels, periodically referencing archives only to update the color and finish of classic silhouettes or upgrade objects with hardware previously unavailable. But Poltrona Frau, an esteemed Italian luxury furniture leathership, taps British artist Faye Toogood to deliver a masterclass on leveraging one’s storied résumé with the release of Squash. Part of the broader Imagine Collection recently launched, this collective contemplation on relaxed upholstery comprises an armchair, ottoman, side table, and mirrors, complemented by a rug in the designer’s distinctive style.

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A room with a red cushioned chair and matching ottoman on a blue and white geometric rug, a tall framed mirror, and shelves filled with various items in the background.

Photo: Federico Clavarino

A plush red leather chair with a matching ottoman sit on a white and blue checkered rug in front of shelves filled with beige boxes.

Photo: Federico Clavarino

Squash eases effortlessly into Poltrona Frau’s dialogue of otherwise linear, smooth, and refined pieces – a design language the brand has spoken for over a century – and plans to shift the conversation into the foreseeable future. “Wrinkles are beautiful, especially in leather. It’s just like bags,” Toogood says. “The way you use them, they get better with age. I personally think the chairs, in theory, should look their best in 20 year’s time.”

A modern living room with two blue cushioned chairs, matching ottomans, a geometric rug, plants, decorative items, and a bookshelf. Large windows offer a view of city buildings.

Modern living room with two tufted chairs, matching ottoman, checkerboard pattern rug, wooden sideboard, decorative mirror, and potted plants.

A modern hallway featuring wooden paneling, a plaid bench with cushion, a large decorative mirror with an irregular frame, a potted plant, and a painting on the wall.

Modern room with large pink-framed mirror, wooden bench, patterned rug, small table with lamp, and large windows showcasing outdoor greenery.

A modern living room features a green armchair, ottoman, and side table on a black-and-white checkered rug. Pendant lights hang from the ceiling, and a large window lets in natural light.

Bold and alluring, the oversized seat beckons passersby to get comfortable as if to catch up with an old friend. Perhaps it is the gathered edges that echo the Archibald or the graphic geometry derived from the iconic Vanity Fair that make Squash Armchair feel so familiar. And yet, the expression of its snug contours is as unique as the amalgamation of English folk art and Italian tailoring that inform its concept. The back and bottom cushions are sumptuous and tightly tethered to a lightly padded, leather-upholstered, thin sculptural base. Tone-on-tone color combinations – including Cream, Sage, Burgundy, Blue, and Brown – paired with contrasting visual weights allow for greater articulation of this soon-to-be iconic shape.

Abstract artwork featuring various curved, bean-like shapes rendered in dark, fluid brushstrokes on a white background.

Impressionistic drawing of several stacked bread rolls outlined in brown.

An abstract image featuring multiple irregular shapes outlined in blue and black against a white background. The shapes vary in size and contour.

A collection of abstract rectangular shapes and checkerboard patterns, featuring wavy borders in brown and blue hues, arranged on a white background.

Simple abstract illustrations of various shapes, including rectangles, rounded squares, and wavy lines, outlined in black and blue on a white background.

While the Squash Ottoman is an abbreviated version of its armchair counterpart, the Squash Small Table offers a more literal take on its namesake with two lacquered wood blocks smooshing an upholstered cushion of a similar hue. This whimsical interpretation of utility – or flippant stacking for those lacking a sense of humor – extends to the Squash mirrors whether it be the Long, Wall, or Pocket. Each enchanting variation invites the viewer to peer into a curvaceous padded frame for a moment of reflection, maybe even a reminder to take things a little less seriously. The checkerboard Squash Rugs ground the playfulness translating curvilinear, hand-painted motifs onto floor surfaces and brush strokes into Berber knotting.

Street view of a multi-story building with large windows on the ground floor, displaying an auto showroom. Blurred motion of passing vehicles is visible in the foreground.

As Squash’s unveiling marks Toogood’s debut in leather and upholstered forms, so too does the collaboration mark a return to venerable retail space. Poltrona Frau’s new Madison Avenue flagship store is more of an experiential center than point of sale allowing for potential clients and unsure shoppers alike to escape from the din of the city. “And this is what we want to have here,” says Nicola Coropulis, Chief Executive Officer of Poltrona Frau. “We want, for example, to host an art show with it, or a concert, or the presentation of books – these things – even a cocktail hour or dinner party.” It is something of a living gallery that becomes an interactive performance piece once activated by foot traffic.

Modern living room with brown sectional sofa, blue and white checkered rug, unique ceiling light fixture, potted plants, and large windows overlooking city street.

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A modern living room features abstract ceiling art, a checkered rug, a low coffee table with decorative vases, a wall-mounted colorful art piece, and a large window with a view of the street.

Modern living room with a sectional sofa, unique armchairs, round coffee table with a flower vase, hanging pendant lights, and abundant greenery providing a stylish, contemporary ambiance.

The showroom is housed within a historic early twentieth-century Art Deco building and implements an immersive concept developed by the multidisciplinary studio AMDL CIRCLE, which is helmed by Italian architect Michele De Lucchi. The interior architecture reconciles a shift in elevation along the storefront from Madison to Park Avenue, through a dynamic structure spanning multiple levels in a layout of terraced floor plates, which accommodates staging for adaptive vignettes that guests can move through fluidly. Unencumbered, the reception desk is removed, the ceiling exposed, and stairs self-supporting. Other auxiliary rooms include a pseudo-theater kitchen, and material library.

A person with curly hair holds several red, heart-shaped objects in their hand, wearing a black garment.

Faye Toogood, English artist and designer

Two men pose in front of a wall displaying a variety of colored materials. One man wears a suit, and the other has a beard and wears a jacket. Both are smiling.

Nicola Coropulis, Chief Executive Officer of Poltrona Frau; Michele De Lucchi, architect and founder of multidisciplinary studio AMDL CIRCLE

“Today, there are many more opportunities than in the past to create your own space, where you participate in the creation of the space. And this, I think, is one of the values of our time in terms of how we can increase our capability to express ourselves,” says De Lucchi. “And this is also the role of the architect today to excite this kind of capability… this is a very important concept to understand, modernity today. That means we do not want to create a very rigid installment settlement.” And with Squash, you don’t have too.

To learn more about the heritage brand, visit or for more on designer Faye Toogood, visit

Source: design-milk

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