Mae West Lips Sofa

When I was in school studying interior design, we had a whole unit where we discussed all sorts of iconic furniture.  This was definitely one of my favorite times in school — learning about the designers, the history behind each piece, why these pieces are still popular today, etc.!  By far, one of the pieces that I loved the most (and still do!) is the Mae West Lips Sofa.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.34.28 PMArchitectural Digest

This is a surrealist sofa made of wood and satin (or, of course, the original was), designed by Salvador Dali.  Isn’t it fun?!  I don’t think there are many people that could hate this sofa…at the very least there is a certain amount of appreciation that can be felt for it and Dali, too, since this design was incredibly ahead of its time.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.35.26 PMSource Unknown — Model Lisa Fonssagrives

You may be wondering where the idea for such a sofa originated from!  The answer is that Salvador Dali was much inspired by the lips of actress Mae West in 1937, and so what better way to appreciate those lips than to create something.  He didn’t ever intend it to be a functional or produced piece of furniture.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.36.19 PMThe Decorista

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.37.02 PM
Studio Designs

But then 1972 came along, and with that year, so did an Italian Designer Group called Studio 65.  They created an updated version of Dali’s original design and named it the Marilyn Bocca Sofa, after Marilyn Monroe, of course.  This is really the piece that became produced for mid-century homes and became iconic!

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 9.37.51 PMElle

I love the whimsical and fun feel that this sofa adds to any interior.  Although you’ll see this piece most commonly in a more contemporary setting, can we just take a moment and appreciate how amazing this looks in such a classic aesthetic?  Such a stark contrast, but absolutely perfect!

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