Swatches by Louis Postel, Editor in Chief, Design Times
Taking a break from shooting photos for the bath issue you hold in your hands, I visited my girlfriend. It was mid-summer, pre-drinks, the sandy stickiness of the beach drawing me inexorably toward shower time. But, you know, the evening cool was so rhapsody and the company such a compelling mix of Euro and Hollywood, that it was hard to contemplate interrupting it all just to soap off. I secretly hoped that with a few tasty Polish vodkas (“You can’t get this in the States!”) the yucky beach salt would somehow wear off on its own. But no such luck.
“The shower’s outside,” said my beautiful, no frills girlfriend. For a second, I resented her for being one of those Continental types who knows nothing about the virtues of American plumbing. I recalled Marcel Duchamp’s snide remark that the only thing Americans contributed to world culture was plumbing. It hit me like a big, insulting wave.
“No problem,” I lied, “we can shower together.”
As we headed to the outdoor shower with our towels and flip-flops, rude and crude images of piney boys’ camp filled my head. I thought I had graduated from those uncivilized days.
I have to admit, showering al fresco was a really wonderful experience that bare-nuded-ness in the face of the universe, the existential wateriness of it all. The titillation of cool breezes and hot spray. The rosiness of the setting sun caught in a spider web. Even the dime store shampoo smelled marvelous.
And that exhilaration is what this issue is dedicated to how top designers are liberating us from Puritan water closets and introducing us to a whole new world that pays homage to our deepest natures. Every day of the year, we can immerse ourselves in the beauty of the universe and the best of human culture: heavily veined marble tiles, rococo settees, jewel like drawer pulls, sculptural sinks, massaging shower heads, Venetian mirrors, and on and on.
Louis Postel, Editor-in-Chief
P.S. I would like to add a few words of welcome to author / designer Alexandra Stoddard. Her millions of fans will find her where she used to be at McCall’s for so many years (hint: not the front page).