The Memphis Design Group’s Swift Comeback


Here's to the anonymous pioneer at Revlon responsible for a black-and-white-speckled top coat called Rebel Graffiti. The composition notebook of a lacquer hit drugstores in February, just days before Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez sent out Fall 2014’s cropped turtlenecks and round-shouldered dusters in a nearly identical pattern, one which also adorned Phoebe Philo’s ground-pooling pants and '30s-era double-breasted coats for Céline.

The common thread? The 'Bacterio' pattern created by the 1980s Italian design group Memphis. Indeed, the Milan-based collective, once beloved by the fashion elite (Karl Lagerfeld outfitted his entire Monte Carlo penthouse with Memphis designs during his early days at Chanel) is having something of a resurgence. Founding members Ettore Sottsass and Shiro Kuramata’s pieces were highlights of Tuesday’s Barry Friedman: The Eclectic Eye auction at Christie’s, and Nathalie Du Pasquier just launched a graphic collaboration with American Apparel, where black-and-white Bacterio abounds. So, until you can get your hands on that Proenza coat [5], try painting them up in Revlon's $4.99 version of the everywhere print.

Photos [1, 2] by Deja Turner.

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  • scin


  • Zanone

    Memphis graphics and colors are showing up again in design and fashion. A Memphis-Milano museum retrospective will be held this Spring at The Dixon in Memphis, TN

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    All their patterns remind me of my childhood!

  • Jessie

    These prints bring back childhood memories..

  • LJ

    Love! What is the black polish underneath?

  • Kat

    The nails aren't Memphis tho.