This Is Not Your Grandma’s Rattan

·1-min read
Photo credit: Gieves Anderson
Photo credit: Gieves Anderson

When you think of rattan in design, your mind’s eye likely conjures a rustic country estate or a tropical retreat. Designer David Netto has an altogether different slate of references for the palm material: Interiors by Marella Agnelli, 1930s airplane seats, and vintage furniture by Michael Taylor and Isamu Kenmochi all influenced his new collection of wicker lighting, produced in collaboration with Soane Britain.

“I have always revered Soane’s taste,” says Netto of the artisan-focused London-based brand, known for highlighting British crafts in danger of extinction, among them rattan weaving. “And using rattan guarantees that something will have a young energy and informality.”

Photo credit: Gieves Anderson
Photo credit: Gieves Anderson

“When David sent his initial sketches, it was clear that he understood the sculptural potential of working in rattan,” says Soane Britain cofounder Lulu Lytle. Certainly, Netto had at his disposal some of the finest wicker craftspeople in the world: In 2010, Soane Britain rescued one of the last rattan factories in England. As such, Netto’s vision was fairly unrestrained as he dreamt up fixtures like the Bouillotte pendant, which takes its cues from a metal-and-glass pendant in Hubert de Givenchy’s Côte d’Azur home. The sharply angled Trousdale sconce and floor lamp, meanwhile, were inspired by midcentury homes in Los Angeles. There are nine offerings in total.

Photo credit: Gieves Anderson
Photo credit: Gieves Anderson



If Netto’s creations for the heritage-oriented Soane don’t sound specifically British, that is because, like his far-reaching points of reference for rattan, they rely on a more expansive view of English design.

“There is a very accepted canon of British taste, and the question is, who is moving that forward?” Netto says. “Soane is about the future to me.”

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

This story originally appeared in the September 2021 issue of ELLE DECOR. SUBSCRIBE



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