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Cubes Magazine
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Old-World Style for New Times

Leveraging on India’s traditional craftsmanship and rich materials, Nathan Yong has created a collection of furniture with a strong customisation angle for ipse ipsa ipsum.

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Udaipur Sofa

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Sangli Mirror with back shelves

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Nabha Make Up Desk

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Jaipur Dining Chair and Jaipur Armchair

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Mahal Standing Full Mirror and Mahal Standing Half Mirror

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Alwar Dining Table

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Maharaja Tall Sideboard and Maharaja Long Sideboard

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Mahal Hanging Mirror and Kotar Serving Tray

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Bikaner Aged Glass Lamp, off and on

  • Old-World Style for New Times

    Solar Table Lamp and Taj Marble Tee Light Holder

Brass, glass, leather and marble – there’s a wealth of material with exquisite finishes in the Nathan Yong Collection for ipse ipsa ipsum. The furniture collection, presented at IFFS 2017, brings forth the opulence and nostalgia of the Mughal-era Indian architecture.

The range is the result of a yearlong collaboration between brand and designer. It was produced in India using locally sourced materials. “The materials are the lexicon of Indian architecture,” said Nathan Yong at the unveiling of the collection on 9 March. He added, “For me, it is about bringing back the romanticism of the great Mughal era in an updated way.”

The founders of ipse ipsa ipsum had been in the business of crafting fine goods for over 45 years before launching the brand in 2016. “My grandfather retired from the army and supplied silverware for the army mess – so we’re using silver smiting techniques to make furniture and bringing the quality of jewellery making,” said brand founder Saurabh Mangla.

He also saw the potential to create handcrafted furniture for a yet-untapped audience: millennials. Says Mangla, “We decided that to engage with millennials we needed a designer who focuses on function, and that’s Nathan.” Mangla and Yong had been in each other’s orbit for a while and the stars aligned one morning when they bumped into each other during their morning jogs – thus began the collaboration.

It’s fair to think that furniture pieces handcrafted with premium materials and inspired by a bygone era are not something many millennials would imagine owning. And there are two reasons: price point and aesthetic. The Nathan Yong Collection has addressed these challenges with a simplified, clean-cut style that has reduced production costs and is more suited to modern interiors.

The Udaipur sofa – the centrepiece of the collection – features a hand-forged solid stainless steel frame that offers myriad customisation options including a lamp, table, mirror or a TV remote holder. Tables, sideboards, chairs, mirrors and accessories combine the authenticity of natural materials with delightful elements of surprise. The Sangli floor-standing, hand-antiqued mirror, for example, hides storage compartments finished in crocodile-print leather on its rear surface.

“[The collaboration] has provided me with the opportunity to look at materials that you can find in India – materials that add wonderful, lustrous texture to the creation I made. Hopefully it’s a bridge for the craftsman, designer and retailer to come up with something that excites the current market,” says Yong.

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