Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why are designers so big on flamingos?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it’s better than having to deal with more questions about the Confederate flag. If you don’t live in SC, why can’t you just enjoy a tall, cold glass of STFU, mmmkay?)
So why are designers so big on flamingos? After all, as Chitra Ramaswamy, contributor to The Guardian confirms “this year they can be found adorning phone cases, shoes, wallpaper, swimsuits, lampshades, dresses, cushions, crockery shoes and bags”. Designers “from fashion to interiors, (have been drawn) to this eye-catching bird.”
Ramaswamy notes that “you can spot this increasingly common visitor from the United States on the uncut lawns of manicured hipsters who love a bit of tongue-in-cheek tackiness to rub up against their bunting.”
It could also be that the more recent flamingo-themed items were brought out now as a tribute to Don Featherstone, the inventor of the original plastic lawn ornament, who died recently at the age of 79.Ramaswamy notes that the flamingos were “first cast in Massachusetts, 1957, after a failed experiment with a duck” and went on to become a “totem of suburban satisfaction and, in later years, (one of) postmodern irony.”
She notes the more recent flamingo “iPhone cases, socks and underwear.” She notes that “Sophia Webster’s current collection features four pairs of flamingo-inspired shoes and Mary Katrantzou has a range of bags, shirts and skirts with a flamingo savannah print.” She adds that flamingos are “basically the pineapple of 2015.”
Jamie Graham, creative director at London interior designers Graham and Green, reports that this year they are “selling everything from teeny flamingos in light bulbs to their own take on Featherstone’s kitsch prototype (called Florence). They believe flamingos “will never cease to entice us.”
Graham told her that the flamingos may be so popular because “they nod towards the wild, playfulness and color. Flamingos are an easy way to inject fun and personality into a scheme.”
Could there be other reasons? Could it be their unique look? Possibly.
Ramaswamy reports that in “Birds & People, the masterly global survey by ornithologist Mark Cocker, he writes: ‘Their physique seems to confirm a central human idea that they are deeply special. The curiousness of flamingos has only added to their allure as captive adornments for parks and gardens. It is partly this tradition, which goes back thousands of years, that has led us to think of them as an adjunct to our world’.”
Why are designers so big on flamingos? Now you know.
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