Los Angeles-based loungewear label Bedhead Pajamas, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has created a collection of loungewear and table linens using a 1954 Paul László textile design from its “California Design, 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way” exhibition.
If you didn’t notice the trippy textile in the exhibition itself (which opened Oct. 1 and runs through June 3, 2012), you might have caught the collection in LACMA's gift shop –- though we have to confess all of our attention at the time was focused on procuring one of the cool-looking posters (adapted from a Ray Eames design that originally appeared on the cover of the May 1943 issue of "Arts & Architecture").
But, a few weeks later we couldn’t have missed it as we walked past Bedhead’s 3rd Street flagship boutique, where a pajama-clad family of four Midcentury Modern mannequins had taken up residence in the storefront window display (Look! Ultra-modern flair for baby!), posed alongside two of the museum's street light pole banners.
Even if you're not familiar with the name, you're more than likely familiar with the work of the architect and interior designer László (1900-1993), a Hungarian emigre who liked to oversee every aspect of his projects -- not just drafting architectural blueprints, but textile design, furniture, lamps and the like. His contributions to the landscape of Los Angeles and beyond included stores like Bullock’s Wilshire, Robinson’s and Orbach’s, and celebrity clients like Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor earned him the nickname "the millionaire's architect."
According to Bedhead Pajamas’ CEO and designer Renee Claire Bertrand, the collaboration project began when Wendy Kaplan, head of LACMA’s Decorative Arts and Design department, asked Bertrand to select a textile from the museum’s “California Design” exhibition to use on an array of gift shop merchandise, and she chose the Laszlo upholstery textile design, which according to the Bobbye Tigerman essay in the book accompanying the exhibit, "drew on the biomorphic shapes of Hans Arp and Joan Miró." (Purists take note: according to Bertrand, the version that appears on the merchandise has been tweaked ever-so-slightly from the original, making it slightly smaller in scale and slightly brighter in tone.)
The result is a range of pieces that includes men’s, women’s and children’s pajamas, T-shirts, boxer shorts, table runners and napkins, which have been available through the LACMA gift shop and Bedhead’s bricks-and-mortar 3rd Street store since Oct. 1.
(If you're not nearby, the pajamas are currently in stock at both Bedhead's and LACMA's websites. The women's pieces are a 95% cotton and 5% Lycra blend with lavender piping, the men's are 100% cotton sateen with brown piping, with retail prices ranging from $128 to $142 -- depending on where you buy them and whether you're a LACMA member.)
“The collaborative products have been selling remarkably well, which points to the possibility of doing numerous projects of this kind, with a variety of museums,” Bertrand told us. “This show is going to travel the globe and it’s hugely popular.”
Although Bedhead is already known for the surfeit of boldly patterned PJs it creates, the pairing of the icon of Midcentury design is an especially good fit given that it keys into the overall vibe of the 3rd Street store interior, which includes a 10-foot-in-diameter Herman Miller conference table, George Nelson dining table, Dutch modern industrial chairs and a pair of 1930s Alvar Aalto bent wood shelving units.
Bedhead Pajamas, 8336 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Paul László: A flair for Hollywood
Review: 'California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way'
LACMA hosts first Art + Film gala honoring Clint Eastwood and John Baldessari
-- Adam Tschorn
Photos, from top: The front window of Bedhead Pajamas 3rd Street flagship; a T-shirt from the Bedhead Pajamas for LACMA collection. Credit for both: Grant Mudford.
The original Paul László textile design circa 1954, image from LACMA