Tucked to the side of the BMW dealership in Shuwaikh is unique shopper's heaven that sells unique clothing, shoes, accessories, books, music, and furniture from world-renowned designers and artists. 4 Boutique is an amalgamation of a curio cabinet, the Guggenheim museum, and a sight-for-sore-eyes fashion convention; every single item within the store has been designed and intricately created with a sure-fire artistic eye, and displayed as such. Gorgeous and eclectic clothing by Rick Owens, Osman Yousefzada, and Raf Simons can be found at 4 Boutique, along with an impressive line of jewelry by designers such as Jennifer Behr and Monies. The furniture lines designed by 4 Boutique and Fornasetti can stand alone as works of art, creating the perfect blend of aesthetic appeal and functionality. 4 Boutique has recently become a venue for exclusive art and furniture exhibitions, including the launch of Established & Sons limited edition furniture collection on December 15th, 2009.
Established & Sons is a design and manufacturing company based in the United Kingdom, channeling the most innovative designers in the world to propose and produce incredibly inventive pieces of furniture. This being E&S's second worldwide launch (the first was in Australia's Living Edge furniture showroom), the turnout was outstanding. Hundreds of people swarmed in and out of 4 Boutique, admiring the artfully displayed tables, chairs, and cabinets.
Photographs could never do these furniture pieces justice; the perfectly engineered curves and hollows on Amanda Levetes seating sculpture. Drift were inspired by a piece of driftwood, rendering her organic design style flawlessly. Another piece by Levete was the Chester sofa, a re-interpreted version of a chaise lounge with smooth angles and a curved base.
I was more than excited to see one of my favorite architect pieces; Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-born mastermind, contributed her Aqua Table to the launch, taking fluidity to a whole new spectrum! Three held up the inky black table made of glass-reinforced polyester, translating the name Aqua Table quite literally. It looked like a giant avant-garde surfboard! The Nekton, a stool collection also designed by Zaha Hadid, is a group of four mutable curvaceous stools that fit together to create a one-of-a-kind composition.
The Tudor chair collection by Jaime Hayon was simply elegant and rather charming, with the chrome and gold finished legs and quilted upholstery. Each chair in the collection was inspired by and designed with King Henry VIII's six wives in mind, resonating their characteristic with every detail.
While some designers swept the crowd away with their unconventional design styles and furniture pieces, some designers broke barriers with their comical and kitschy pieces. Sebastian Wrong was totally right with his exciting set of lighting fixtures labeled‚ Buggs Life. The series of pendant lamps and table lamps were spheres of blown opal glass, featuring what seems to be a clown's smiling mouth and nose. Though I have a slight fear of clowns (no thanks to Stephen King), I wouldn't mind having these lights hanging around my house one bit. The prominently displayed enamel teeth make them that much more irresistible!
There were many more exquisite pieces of furniture, especially the chairs. The Bricks & Mortar chair by Richard Woods and Sebastian Wrong would be the perfect piece for any Super Mario Bros. fan, with it's bright red brick detail. Lee Broom's Club Chair, though not very functional, is a beautiful leather armchair studded with jewel light bulbs. Another chair he designed, the Electric Chair, is a traditional chair outlined with bright pink neon lighting, a must-have for every pink diva!
Proving once more that furniture is not just practical, but also a massive extension of art, Established & Sons blew our minds and inspired us with their groundbreaking collection. Our gracious host for the evening, Abdulaziz Al-Mudhaf, spared no details about 4 Boutique and Established & Sons furniture extravaganza, and made us feel extremely welcome. Stop by 4 Boutique today to check out more of it's amazing exhibitions and clothing collections, you will not be disappointed!
– Farah Bishara