Ed Driscoll

Sometimes, a Revolution is a Dinner Party

Back in August, we mentioned Restoration Hardware’s insane fall catalog, full of furniture that looked like it could have been props in Luchino Visconti’s The Damned, and which began with a letter from the firm’s chairman, who seemed to cross J. Peterman with Martin Bormann:


“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”

Pablo Picasso, one of the world’s preeminent artists and influencers of the 20th century, repeatedly broke down stylistic conventions and was undaunted by the art world’s status quo. His irreverent spirit, captured in the quote above, was unfettered as he pursued his calling and followed his muse – great art that answered to no one, yet inspired everyone.

During the collapse of the global economy, we drew inspiration from Picasso’s words and chose not to listen to the conventional wisdom encouraging us to follow the pack and lower quality to reduce prices. Instead, we saw an opportunity to be liberated, abandoning our past to embrace the future, one that has redefined the essence of who we are. No longer mere “retailers” of home furnishings, we are now “curators” of the best historical design the world has to offer.

We’ve destroyed the previous iteration of ourselves, clearing the way to express our brand in a never-before-seen fashion.

In that vein, and for those whom wearing a Che T-shirt is far too gauche, why not spend $1280 of your imperialistic running dog capitalist wages and buy this Mao Chair?

The Furniture Today Website (and a tip of the hat to the reader who emailed the link) cheerfully notes:

Standing in the showroom lobby of Rowe Furniture here three markets ago, fashion designer Vivienne Tam’s iconic Chairman Mao chair drew a lot of attention, much good for its Andy Worhal-like hipness, some bad from market- goers who considered it political blasphemy.

Nonetheless, it is a genuine piece of art that, before furniture, found its way into the culture through high fashion and cotton T-shirts. “When she first came to the States way back when, she designed the Chairman Mao pattern, and it was so well received internationally that it’s now in a bunch of different museums,” said Kate Holcomb, director of marketing.

Holcomb said the Mao chair was never intended for the masses. “It’s for a more sophisticated cliental, the higher-end person with a more sophisticated and urban aesthetic,” she said.


If you say so. Frankly, I agree with Moe Lane, who noted yesterday that “Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people.”

But if that doesn’t stop you, Mao has been quoted as saying, “A revolution is not a dinner party,” but heck, in this can it certainly can be. The Mao chair makes for a killer chic dining room set if you order it with the Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Castro and Pol Pot chairs as well, along with a Warhol Mao print to complete the collection. Perhaps Ida Amin could recommend the perfect dish to serve in your newly complete dining abattoir.

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