'Bums on Seats' at Ally Capellino East




11am - 6pm Tuesday to Saturday, 11am - 5pm Sunday. Evening opening as part of Shoreditch Design Triangle: 6-9pm Tuesday 17th Sept.

Free Event



London accessories designer Ally Capellino brings her design aesthetic to the tubular stacking chair, with eight variations on a theme. These iconic British made chairs have been adapted at their Hackney factory using materials and techniques used in the designer's signature leather bags.

London accessories designer Ally Capellino brings her signature design aesthetic to an iconic piece of furniture, the tubular stacking chair.

Initially conceived by the Bauhaus group, they were the inspiration for many manufacturers in the interwar period in Britain. The PEL (Practical Equipment Limited) name quickly became synonymous with the product, and exploited the interest in modern shapes and design durability. These chairs have been the mainstay of schools, church halls and factories ever since. Originally manufactured by Cox of Solihull, this set has been stripped back to their raw steel frames and taken in a new and inventive direction.

Using the premise ‘Bums on Seats’ as a starting point, Ally looked at the way that we position ourselves whilst seated - ‘left leaning’ or ‘knees up’ for example - and then designed eight variations on the theme. Long time Ally Capellino collaborator, Donald Christie has elaborated on the concept producing a hypnotic black and white film. The treatment references the 1957 Oscar winning short ‘A Chairy Tale’ by Norman McLaren and Claude Jutra, and is a playful take on Brechtian theatre.

Ally Capellino’s London factory has made up the seats, which have been stitched and hand polished, before being branded with their individual name. The sling seats and backs are manufactured from the same Italian bridle leather as Ally Capellino’s belts and bag straps.

During the London Design Festival there will be a ‘Bums on Seats’ installation at each of Ally Capellino’s London shops, in Calvert Avenue, Shoreditch and at the junction of Portobello and Golborne Roads. The installations have been designed by another regular collaborator and PEL chair enthusiast, Rupert Blanchard.

Donald Christie, Rupert Blanchard and Ally, will be discussing the project during the London Design Festival at the V&A's Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, at 2pm on the 19th September.

Ally Capellino

Satchels, totes and rucksacks for men and women who like their design to come without dictates. That’s the backbone of Ally Capellino, the accessories label so unlike your average fashion brand that, in the beginning, its name was never even intended to stick. A renegade from the outset, founder Alison Lloyd’s debut collection of T-shirts after the 1980 Moscow Olympics scandal. After heading up young British design during that decade, her characterful classics have since brought her label international acclaim and cult status among like-minded customers.

More than 30 years on, Ally Capellino accessories have taken their place on the global stage, reliant not on trends, but on timelessness and quality of design, and discreetly representative of a discerning type of modern consumer. Lloyd’s faithful fans return time and again not for this season’s It-bag, but for unassuming and expertly made pieces that fit into their urban existence.

An iconoclastic sense of fun and witty irreverence abides in bags named for Cabinet, Conservative and New Labour politicians, and in the brand’s quintessentially British outlook. Numerous global stockists two London shops, a collaboration with the city’s first Ace Hotel, a long running Artists range for Tate and 2010’s major retrospective at the Wapping Project mark Ally Capellino as one of the UK’s most successful homegrown brands.

Not only that, but there is an integrity to the range, with production and practicality as high up on Alison Lloyd’s list as aesthetics. British design and waxed cotton, Italian veg tanned leather and attention to detail make up the unique mix of quirk and quality that is Ally Capellino.

1980: First womenswear collection
1983: Launch of diffusion range ‘Hearts of Oak’
1986: Launch of mens and childrens wear
1988: Soho shop opens
1996: Launched the ‘ao’ range at The Serpentine Gallery
1999: Designed Girl Guides and Brownie uniforms
2000: Ally Capellino accessories launched
2005: Opening of the Shoreditch boutique and launch of business online
2006: Artists Range (Collection 1) for Tate
2008: Collaboration with Apple
2010: 30 Years Exhibition at The Wapping Project featuring the ‘Wall of Bags’
2011: Second shop opens in West London on Portobello Road
2012: ‘Bags for Bikes’ range launched
2013: Artists Range (Collection 2) for Tate with apron worn by all Tate Café staff
2013: ‘Bums on Seats’ London Design Festival Project at V&A Museum and AC shops
2014: London Design Festival collaboration with architect Seng Watson ‘Polyomino’
2016: tokyobike Collaboration: London, New York and Tokyo
2016: Norwegian Rain Collaboration
2016: London Design Festival Footrest
2017: Studio Nicholson Collaboration
2017: Artists Range (Collection 3) for Tate
2017: tokyobike Collaboration: London, Tokyo and Melbourne

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