Lucienne Day OBE
Born 5th January 1917. Died 30th January 2010.
Lucienne Day, best known as a textile designer, was a virtuoso pattern designer and colourist in a variety of media. Like her husband, she made her career breakthrough at the Festival of Britain when she launched her uncompromisingly modern textile ‘Calyx’.
She went on to design over sixty outstanding furnishing fabrics for the seminal British retailer Heal’s, as well as dress fabrics, wallpapers, tea towels, carpets and china tableware for many other companies in Britain and overseas.
In the mid-1970s, Day changed direction, developing a new medium she called ‘Silk Mosaics’. These one-off wall-hangings, hand stitched by her assistants in tiny squares of richly coloured silk, were exhibited and sold around the world. Her design style is characterised by a balance of delicacy and strength, and her personal determination and organizational ability underpinned her design career.
Though Robin and Lucienne Day mostly worked separately, they were engaged as joint Design Consultants by John Lewis. During their 25 years’ relationship with the company they initiated a transformation of every aspect of the house style. Lucienne’s largest silk mosaic ‘Aspects of the Sun’ was designed for the John Lewis coffee shop.
Robin and Lucienne Day were both awarded the OBE and were the first married couple both to be appointed Royal Designer for Industry.
May 2015 saw the formation of the Robin and Lucienne Day Foundation spearheaded by their daughter Paula. As part of its mission to promote public knowledge, appreciation and understanding of the Days’ design legacies, the Foundation has made donations from Robin and Lucienne’s personal design archive to leading public collections including the V&A Museum, London, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester and the Geffrye Museum, London. The contents of Robin Day’s studio are to be donated to London’s Design Museum for public display on its new site, the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington. The Foundation will also work closely with design writers and curators to provide information about the Days’ design careers, and is currently digitising Robin Day’s historic design photograph archive to create an important educational resource.