Friday, 23 November 2012

THE ALVAR AALTO SAVOY VASE

I was recently asked to nominate an object that summed-up 'Best in Authentic Style' and immediately opted for my favourite vase, the Alvar Aalto Savoy vase. I grew up with this beautifully simple vase as my Swedish parents collected Alvar Aalto for iittala designs since the 1950's. This vase is known as the Aalto- or Savoy vase, as Aalto and his wife Aino Marsio originally designed it for an iittala competition and also used it for a commission to create furnishings for the Savoy restaurant in Helsinki in their native Finland in 1937. The clean undulating shape is apparently inspired by Sami (Lapp) women's breeches, but my parents always maintained it reflected the shape of the many lakes found all over Finland. I've always loved the purity of the design, which would be hard to better. It looks sleek and stark as an object in its own right, or takes on another guise filled with beautiful artifacts or simple flowers. 


The Aalto Savoy vase


We've bought, given away and sadly smashed a few over the years. I still have my parents' original transparent Aalto vase and also an opaque white version, that I found at a local auction house recently.  The Aalto vase is a great example of authentic style; it still looks totally modern and has perfectly stood the test of time. You can buy the vase in several sizes and colours at iittala or Skandium.

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