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The Line Style in Context

The Line is a modern and personal approach to retail. We bring together carefully chosen fashion, home, and beauty items and place them in context through inspiring editorial features and intimate offline shopping experiences. The thematic, seasonal, and handpicked assortments we call Selections offer another way to explore our evolving edit of things you’ll wear, use, and treasure for years to come.

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Modern Sentiment:

Permanent Collection on Lasting Design


by Alexa Hotz

The story of Permanent Collection, a line of clothing and objects based on “historical and contemporary originals,” is unusual. It involves two women, Fanny Singer and Mariah Nielson, who first met in London but grew up 46 miles from one another on opposite sides of the San Francisco Bay—Fanny in Berkeley and Mariah in Inverness. Daughters of chef Alice Waters and artist J.B. Blunk, respectively, Fanny and Mariah were both raised in idiosyncratic households: Fanny, in the kitchen of Chez Panisse with parents who “wore exclusively Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and Matsuda in total contravention of the bohemain-hippie aesthetic that prevailed” and Mariah, in a house altogether handmade by her father, J.B. Blunk, out of salvaged materials. In both worlds, art and design was interactive. “The absence of preciousness in our childhood homes was a shared vocabulary,” says Fanny. “To collect, or make, beautiful things, but also use them. That’s how aesthetic values really permeate.” So when Fanny and Mariah met in a London bakery wearing near-identical navy blue vintage coats, familiarity begot collaboration.

The Permanent Collection Acqua e Vino Glass Set is designed by Martino Gamper and handmade by Massimo Lunardon in San Giorgio de Perlena, Italy. “At my wedding, [Martino Gamper] gifted me and my husband, Max, a set of glasses he had made for his own wedding a few years prior,” says Mariah. “I cherish the glasses, and last year, we asked Martino if we could produce the set for Permanent Collection with new custom colors for the glass bands.” Acqua e Vino is made up of different-sized glasses—narrow for sparkling, short for white wine, wide for red, and a carafe for water. The carafe, Fanny says, “I love to use as a flower vase too.”

When they started Permanent Collection, the designers looked to the tradition of museum curation, applying those principles to the idea of a personal “permanent collection.” Thinking different, Fanny and Mariah avoid obsolescence and forgo the vagaries of fashion. It’s the lasting pieces from their own lives that inspire new designs: a set of porcelain cups slipcast from J.B. Blunk originals and forthcoming Egg Spoon inspired by Alice Waters’s own kitchen implement are two.

When asked what three objects they’ve kept close over the years, Fanny notes a cast iron pan from a college boyfriend, English cranberry-colored glass tumblers, and a pair of vintage Walter Steiger heeled slippers; Mariah keeps her father’s ceramic plates, a redwood salad bowl by artist Bruce Mitchell, and her favorite navy blue vintage coat. Quality hand-me-downs also make the cut, like the grey wool cardigan Mariah wears when in Inverness. It was her father's that he bought in Tokyo in 1954. “It’s still in great shape,” she says. “A quality that Fanny and I would love to replicate in future pieces for Permanent Collection.”.

Articles from Mariah’s life (clockwise from top): 1. A photo of her father, J.B. Blunk, and mother, Christine Nielson, in 1978, taken in front of their hand-built house while Christine was pregnant with Mariah. 2. A photo of neighbor, painter John Anderson, and J.B. Blunk in the redwood Entry Arch leading to the Blunk house. 3. A card from friend, designer Martino Gamper, sent from Italy. A postcard from another friend, artist Jesse Schlesinger. 4. A photo of neighbor, patron, and mentor to J.B. Blunk, Surrealist painter Gordon Onslow Ford, in his studio. 5. A photo from the early 1980s taken of Mariah’s godfather, artist Rick Yoshimoto, with his son Ido, and J.B. Blunk with Mariah.
My father always said ‘nothing is precious’ and so we lived with and used his art. We ate and drank from his handmade ceramics, sat on his carved redwood stools, and I grew up playing in and around his sculptures. This integration of art and life has encouraged me to live with—and use—beautiful objects.
Mariah Nielson.

Says Mariah: “This photo was taken in 1986. I remember the moment. My father needed something to describe the scale of the redwood burl I’m standing in front of. A client had asked for a photo so my father had me pose in front of the burl.”

Says Fanny: “This photo was taken in the back garden of the house my mom still lives in. The other girl is my godfather’s daughter [at right]. My mom is feeding us fruit, of course, which is something she would always do: peel the peach or trim the strawberries and then pass them around to all gathered.”

“At home, there was a patina to everything,” says Fanny. “A chip or crack or repair in every bowl, and copper and warm tones dominated. What I think about most when I think about my mother are her hands. The way she peels a clove of garlic, or holds a knife to cut fruit; cradles her iron ‘egg spoon’ to fry a breakfast egg in the fire; the array of dinged and lightly damaged—but beautiful—Victorian rings she wears across her fingers, and never removes, even to cook.”

At the table of the J.B. Blunk house in Inverness, California. “All of the ceramics in our home were made by my father—hand-built plates, cups, and bowl—with clay dug from around our house,” Mariah explains. “My father had studio visits twice a week at four in the afternoon. When guests arrived, he would give them a tour of the home and ask them to pick a cup from our ‘cup nook.’ The tradition continues: our cup nook is still lined with ceramics—some by my father, others gifted by friends, and our Permanent Collection slipcast ‘Blunk Cups.’ It’s a pleasure to watch guests select their favorite. I often think the cups people gravitate toward tells something about their personality.”

Shop Home

Explore another chapter in The Stories:
Free Spirit: The Modern Vision of Charlotte Perriand

Modern Sentiment: Permanent Collection on Lasting Design

Modern Sentiment:

Permanent Collection on Lasting Design


by Alexa Hotz

The story of Permanent Collection, a line of clothing and objects based on “historical and contemporary originals,” is unusual. It involves two women, Fanny Singer and Mariah Nielson, who first met in London but grew up 46 miles from one another on opposite sides of the San Francisco Bay—Fanny in Berkeley and Mariah in Inverness. Daughters of chef Alice Waters and artist J.B. Blunk, respectively, Fanny and Mariah were both raised in idiosyncratic households: Fanny, in the kitchen of Chez Panisse with parents who “wore exclusively Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garçons, and Matsuda in total contravention of the bohemain-hippie aesthetic that prevailed” and Mariah, in a house altogether handmade by her father, J.B. Blunk, out of salvaged materials. In both worlds, art and design was interactive. “The absence of preciousness in our childhood homes was a shared vocabulary,” says Fanny. “To collect, or make, beautiful things, but also use them. That’s how aesthetic values really permeate.” So when Fanny and Mariah met in a London bakery wearing near-identical navy blue vintage coats, familiarity begot collaboration.

The Permanent Collection Acqua e Vino Glass Set is designed by Martino Gamper and handmade by Massimo Lunardon in San Giorgio de Perlena, Italy. “At my wedding, [Martino Gamper] gifted me and my husband, Max, a set of glasses he had made for his own wedding a few years prior,” says Mariah. “I cherish the glasses, and last year, we asked Martino if we could produce the set for Permanent Collection with new custom colors for the glass bands.” Acqua e Vino is made up of different-sized glasses—narrow for sparkling, short for white wine, wide for red, and a carafe for water. The carafe, Fanny says, “I love to use as a flower vase too.”

When they started Permanent Collection, the designers looked to the tradition of museum curation, applying those principles to the idea of a personal “permanent collection.” Thinking different, Fanny and Mariah avoid obsolescence and forgo the vagaries of fashion. It’s the lasting pieces from their own lives that inspire new designs: a set of porcelain cups slipcast from J.B. Blunk originals and forthcoming Egg Spoon inspired by Alice Waters’s own kitchen implement are two.

When asked what three objects they’ve kept close over the years, Fanny notes a cast iron pan from a college boyfriend, English cranberry-colored glass tumblers, and a pair of vintage Walter Steiger heeled slippers; Mariah keeps her father’s ceramic plates, a redwood salad bowl by artist Bruce Mitchell, and her favorite navy blue vintage coat. Quality hand-me-downs also make the cut, like the grey wool cardigan Mariah wears when in Inverness. It was her father's that he bought in Tokyo in 1954. “It’s still in great shape,” she says. “A quality that Fanny and I would love to replicate in future pieces for Permanent Collection.”.

Articles from Mariah’s life (clockwise from top): 1. A photo of her father, J.B. Blunk, and mother, Christine Nielson, in 1978, taken in front of their hand-built house while Christine was pregnant with Mariah. 2. A photo of neighbor, painter John Anderson, and J.B. Blunk in the redwood Entry Arch leading to the Blunk house. 3. A card from friend, designer Martino Gamper, sent from Italy. A postcard from another friend, artist Jesse Schlesinger. 4. A photo of neighbor, patron, and mentor to J.B. Blunk, Surrealist painter Gordon Onslow Ford, in his studio. 5. A photo from the early 1980s taken of Mariah’s godfather, artist Rick Yoshimoto, with his son Ido, and J.B. Blunk with Mariah.
My father always said ‘nothing is precious’ and so we lived with and used his art. We ate and drank from his handmade ceramics, sat on his carved redwood stools, and I grew up playing in and around his sculptures. This integration of art and life has encouraged me to live with—and use—beautiful objects.
Mariah Nielson.

Says Mariah: “This photo was taken in 1986. I remember the moment. My father needed something to describe the scale of the redwood burl I’m standing in front of. A client had asked for a photo so my father had me pose in front of the burl.”

Says Fanny: “This photo was taken in the back garden of the house my mom still lives in. The other girl is my godfather’s daughter [at right]. My mom is feeding us fruit, of course, which is something she would always do: peel the peach or trim the strawberries and then pass them around to all gathered.”

“At home, there was a patina to everything,” says Fanny. “A chip or crack or repair in every bowl, and copper and warm tones dominated. What I think about most when I think about my mother are her hands. The way she peels a clove of garlic, or holds a knife to cut fruit; cradles her iron ‘egg spoon’ to fry a breakfast egg in the fire; the array of dinged and lightly damaged—but beautiful—Victorian rings she wears across her fingers, and never removes, even to cook.”

At the table of the J.B. Blunk house in Inverness, California. “All of the ceramics in our home were made by my father—hand-built plates, cups, and bowl—with clay dug from around our house,” Mariah explains. “My father had studio visits twice a week at four in the afternoon. When guests arrived, he would give them a tour of the home and ask them to pick a cup from our ‘cup nook.’ The tradition continues: our cup nook is still lined with ceramics—some by my father, others gifted by friends, and our Permanent Collection slipcast ‘Blunk Cups.’ It’s a pleasure to watch guests select their favorite. I often think the cups people gravitate toward tells something about their personality.”

Shop Home

Explore another chapter in The Stories:
Free Spirit: The Modern Vision of Charlotte Perriand