In the shade

Philippe StarckHATS OFF TO PHILIPPE STARCK the Parisian designer needs them for his latest lighting project. Chapo, which he has created for FLOS, has some thing of a split personality. By day, it’s a minimal, aluminium hat stand, ready to sport a straw boater slung off after a long, hot summer’s day. By night, however, the chosen headwear serves a different purpose, transforming itself into an irreverent lamp shade, easily personalised by simply switching millinery. “When James Stewart and Fred Astaire got home in the evening, with a sharp and elegant gesture they would throw their hat onto anything within reach,” says Starck of the inspiration behind Chapo. “So why not a lamp?”

There are obvious dangers in topping a hot table lamp with a hat. The hat is supported by a cross-shaped structure that securely contains an LED light, dimmable by a switch on the base of the lamp. The lamp also has a USB socket to charge your smartphone or tablet, making it a useful addition to desks and bedside tables.

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Functionality aside, it shares the humour that drives so many of Starck’s designs, and Chapo will fit very comfortably into a family of equally eccentric pieces, such as his narrow Aunt Maggy table, Uncle Jack transparent sofa and Le Chien Savant.

Chapo, you can leave your hat on.

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Words Rosie Duncan